Mar 30, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino huddles with his team during practice the day before the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball Final Four at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
Rick Pitino was in Omaha today. He left a happy man. According to reports, Akoy Agau gave Pitino his verbal commitment after an in-home visit. Agau had taken an official visit to the Louisville campus over the weekend.
Agau is one of the most highly sought after recruits in the history of Nebraska high school history and long coveted by Nebraska basketball fans. Nebraska hoops has seen success as hard to come by and Agau was viewed as pivitol to the rebuilding effort being undertaken by first year head coach Tim Miles. Now, Miles will have to find a new target as Agau heads out to the Big East.
UCONN had long been viewed as Agau's prefered destination, but after it became clear that the Huskies were not going to extend him an offer and then coach Jim Calhoun retired, the assumption, was that Georgetown had now become the favorite. Something Agau said himself. Turns out things didn't play out that way and, assuming things don't change drastically between now and signing day in November, he'll become a Cardinal.
For the Huskers, they'll have to shift their priorities. This is a big blow for the psyche of the program, more than it is a blow for the on the court product. Miles still has put together what appears to be a very good class, one of the best in years. Agau would have been the coup de grace, but the full impact of that will ultimately be filled by who Miles is able to get to Lincoln to fill the scholarship many has so hoped Agau would claim.
The Huskers have 3 commitments currently set to sign the dotted line in November. All three are considered perimeter players. They'll need some help in the paint as their top two post players will graduate after the 2012-13 season.
This doesn't kill the program, folks. It's tough to fault a kid for going to play for an established program in a glamour conference instead of playing for the program trying to build something in your back yard. There's no doubt he would have felt the weight of expectation had he moved 56 miles down the road. Also tough to fault a kid for not wanting to shoulder that load. Perhaps he'll get Louisville and find the red there isn't what he thought it was going to be. That happens a lot. Only time will tell. But, if you insist on seeing Agau play on Nebraska's home court, I suggest you head down to the Devaney Center as Agay and his Omaha Central teammates go for their fourth straight state title in early march.