Looks like Rick Pitino may be on to something.
The Louisville coach recently insinuated that his team doesn't land the nation's best recruits because they are sponsored by adidas instead of Nike. A Louisville Courier-Journal study actually backs up Pitino's theory, showing that Nike schools do indeed land the most highly-coveted basketball recruits.
Since 2011, 58 percent of Rival.com's top 10 seniors played in Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League. Of those seniors, 69 percent of them committed to play for college programs sponsored by Nike. The numbers further show that of those 5 senior classes, only nine top-10 players played for adidas-sponsored travel teams while in high school with just a paltry two of them going to adidas-backed colleges.
It should be mentioned, however, that Nike sponsors 45 of the 65 power conference teams, meaning that the Swoosh is already aligned with the teams most likely to land big time recruits. Throw in the fact that 15 out of the last 20 Final Four teams have also been Nike sponsored, and you may have your answer as to why Nike teams are landing so many recruits.
Let us know if you think Nike really has an influence in college recruiting and keep it with Sneaker Report for all your NCAA sneaker news.