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    Top University of Louisville basketball signee Terry Rozier is headed to prep school this fall and will not play basketball this season for the Cardinals.

    The 6-1 Shaker Heights, Ohio, guard was long-rumored to be more interested in the court than the classroom, and apparently was not able to accumulate required high school academic credits this summer to qualify to enroll at U of L this season. A grade-A basketball talent, Rozier had been expected to see plenty of action this season at guard for the Cardinals, who were thin there last year.

     In a release Tuesday afternoon, the university said Rozier would attend Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., for a year of prep school.

    “We have spoken to Terry and without question, he is headed to the ideal spot for him to improve his academic standing and to play with teammates very familiar with him,” said U of L Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Pitino.

    “A.W. (Hamilton, Hargrave’s head basketball coach) is an outstanding coach and was a terrific backcourt player himself.  Another year academically and athletically in prep school will be a great opportunity for Terry.”
    Hargrave has a good record of academic rehabilitation, as well as a strong basketball program – with a roster usually filled with players in situations similar to Rozier’s.

    A 6-1 guard, Rozier averaged 25.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.7 steals as a senior last season in leading Shaker Heights High School (Ohio) to a 21-3 record, the Erie League championship and a berth in the Ohio state basketball regionals.

    Louisville returns senior guard Peyton Siva, and junior Russ Smith, but starter Chris Smith has graduated. Mike Marra, who missed last season with a knee injury and surgery, is expected to return to action this season as a junior and maybe give the Cards something they sorely lacked a year ago – strong outside shooting. Another possibility is sophomore Kevin Ware, who is a good ball handler and excellent passer – but unproven as a scorer in a half season of play in 2012.

    The loss of Rozier for a year (if he makes grades at Hargrave) is a serious blow to Pitino, who relies on plenty of depth in his roster, and needed a new star guard to arrive as Siva plays his last season.

    Stay tuned.

    Photo: Courtesy Twitter/GodsGift_3