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Rick Pitino plans to hold Louisville Pro Day for NBA scouts

Louisville v Syracuse

SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals looks on against the Syracuse Orange during the second half at the Carrier Dome on February 13, 2017 in Syracuse, New York. Louisville defeated Syracuse 76-72 in overtime. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

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Louisville head coach Rick Pitino announced that he intends to have a Pro Day at the school this fall. Following in the footsteps of Duke and Kentucky, the Cardinals will have one-day event devoted to having NBA personnel in attendance to see their players in a pro-style workout. No date has been set yet for the event.

Not only does Louisville have a healthy amount of pro prospects for this upcoming season, but this is also a solid test for the team early in the season, according to Pitino. In a story from Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal, Pitino shared some of the logic behind his decision behind the Pro Day.
“Because this team is so young, I want to see how they perform in a very intense practice in front of pro scouts,” Pitino said to Greer. “We’re going to probably have the No. 1 schedule in the nation again, and that is a lot of pressure that a young team will go through. We’re young in certain areas and very experienced in others, so I think it’s going to be good for these guys to play in front of pro scouts in one day.”

“This is just going to help our basketball team mature.”

With upperclassmen like Deng Adel, Anas Mahmoud and Ray Spaulding, the Cardinals should be a major factor in the ACC this season as those veterans are complemented by a group of talented underclassmen. Sophomore V.J. King is also back for the Cardinals and freshmen Malik Williams and Brian Bowen were both considered five-star prospects by many recruiting services.

This is a smart move by Pitino because elite recruits want to play in front of NBA eyes and get feedback as much as possible before they turn pro. By following in the footsteps of Duke and Kentucky, Louisville is trying to maintain its credibility with five-star prospects as a place that is open to players going pro when they are ready to do so.

With the recent Summer League success of former Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell with the Utah Jazz, the Cardinals are trying to capitalize on some recent pro success as they are hoping to sustain in order to help land top-notch recruits.