It was a strange Friday night for Louisville target Maverick Rowan. The Cards have one spot left to fill for next season’s team. That spot looks to be reserved for Rowan, and if he can’t reclassify to 2015, the scholarship may just be saved and not used for this season.
Rowan was in Lexington on Friday playing in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. Yes, Nike. Not only that, he played for the Each1Teach1 team, better known as E1T1. That is the same team that Antonio Blakeney played for. Remember Blakeney committed to Louisville and then about (what seemed like) 10 seconds later, he decommitted and ultimately ended up choosing LSU, a Nike school.
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It became official on Thursday that Ralph Willard will be coming back to UofL to join Rick Pitino’s staff as an assistant coach. Willard was on staff at Louisville from 2009-2011 and has also coached with Rick Pitino with the New York Knicks (1987-89) and the University of Kentucky (1989-90). He has coached the game of basketball for 39 years. I don’t need to go into his records at all of his stops. The man has proven he knows the game of basketball.
What is interesting about this hire is some of the reaction it has gotten. I certainly didn’t think I would need to defend this hire, but here we go. Here are some quotes I saw about Willard while searching the interwebs.
Rick Pitino just wrapped up his press conference where he talked about new transfer Damion Lee, new assistant Ralph Willard, and the Cards’ trip to Puerto Rico this summer. He obviously said a lot of things worth mentioning, but one thing near the end seemed to stick out when talking about the offense.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville men’s basketball team will play as many as six games against national teams from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic during a week-long trip to Puerto Rico in August.
The Cardinals will face the Puerto Rico National Team, the Puerto Rico Junior National Team and the Dominican Republic National Team during their Aug. 10-17 visit to Puerto Rico. Details on game dates will be available at a later date.
The Louisville Cardinals have filled another void for next season. Evan Daniels has reported that Drexel transfer Damion Lee has decided to finish his career at the University of Louisville, where he will have one year of eligibility remaining. After hearing from many schools, around 70 or 80 according to Lee, he narrowed his list down to five. Ultimately, Lee chose the Cards over Arizona, Maryland, Gonzaga, and Marquette.
Don’t ask Gorgui who is going to win the NBA title this season. He doesn’t care.
The next few days could be very big for the future of Louisville basketball as two players will be taking official visits. Drexel transfer Damion Lee, who you have probably heard of by now, wraps up a visit to Arizona on Sunday and will be in Louisville at some point of the day. Five star shooting guard Tyus Battle, who is in the class of 2016, will also be on campus and is fresh off of a visit to Duke.
The University of Louisville has announced that guard Ryan McMahon has officially signed and will be a member of the basketball team for the 2014-15 season. McMahon joins Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Raymond Spalding, and Trey Lewis as new members of the team. Lewis is a graduate transfer that will have one year of eligibility remaining.
Rick Pitino released a statement about McMahon, saying that he will likely redshirt.
The Louisville Cardinals have two spots left to fill for next season’s team. If you caught the post from the other day, we focused in on the three guys that were the most likely options to fill the two spots. One of those players was 5-star point guard Derryck Thornton from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada.
Thornton is currently a player in the 2016 class. But Rick Pitino brought the idea to Thornton to reclassify to 2015 and come in and join the Cards. If he does reclassify, it is believed that he will either choose Louisville or Duke. The Blue Devils will have a wide open spot at point guard with Tyus Jones declaring for the NBA.
According to this tweet from Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com, 6’4 shooting guard Sterling Smith will visit Louisville next Wednesday.
Smith is a transfer from Coppin State and as the tweet says, he is eligible immediately. This past season for the Eagles, Smith averaged 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 30.1 minutes per game. He shot 41.8% from three, connecting on 76-182 from behind the arc. As we have said before, Wayne Blackshear led the Cards this past season with 60 made three pointers.
Drexel transfer Damion Lee announced his final 5 schools today on twitter:
The 6’6 Lee is one of the most sought after transfers in awhile and the Cards are right there in the mix. Most believe Lee’s home state school Maryland will be tough to beat out but it is possible. Lee told Mike Hughes of 247Sports that he plans to visit Arizona (April 17-19) and Louisville (April 19-21) before making an early May decision. Lee has no other visits planned at this time.
If Lee does in fact visit Louisville on those dates the Cards could have Lee as well as 5 star PG Derryck Thornton on campus at the same time. Hold on to your seats!
It is no secret that the Louisville Cardinals will look much different in the 2015-16 season. Personally, I am very excited for it and to see this team of mostly young guys develop and have their own identity. There are still a couple of spots left to fill for the Cards, and I will give a little update on where things stand. About a week and a half ago, Steve posted a list of potential transfers that UofL could bring in. Trey Lewis was first on the list, and of course we know he will be a Cardinal. So this is really the first update we have posted since then.
If you are wondering how UofL has so much room for all of these guys, here is why. In all, there are seven open spots to fill due to the departures of Wayne Blackshear, Terry Rozier, Montrezl Harrell, Chris Jones, Shaqquan Aaron, Anton Gill, and Akoy Agau. Five of those have already been filled by Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Raymond Spalding, Ryan McMahon, and Trey Lewis. So there are two spots left. Who are the biggest names to fill those spots right now?
What we had been hoping for is now official, and that is that Cleveland State’s Trey Lewis has officially decided to transfer to the University of Louisville to play his final college basketball season for Rick Pitino in 2015-16. It was supposed to be down to Louisville and Ohio State, but the Cards won this battle without Lewis taking his planned visit to see his hometown Buckeyes. That is pretty nice.
Lewis is listed at 6’2 and 185 lbs. He can play either guard position. That will give the Cards a very good three man rotation between both guard spots with Lewis, Quentin Snider, and Donovan Mitchell. So looking at it like that, you were going to have a backcourt with a sophomore and a freshman playing the bulk of the minutes. Now you throw a senior into the mix to bring experience, not to mention he is just a solid basketball player.
All signs point to graduate transfer (Cleveland State) combo guard Trey Lewis choosing the Cards over his hometown school Ohio State tomorrow, per multiple sources. Lewis averaged 16 points a game, shooting 42% from behind the 3 point line and hitting 96 of 227 three pointers. You may remember Lewis from his 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals performance earlier this season in the Yum Center.
Pitino said he wanted shooters from here on out and the addition of Lewis will be just that. Expect the sharp shooting combo guard to push for a starting spot next season.
Rick Pitino talked for about 15 minutes on Sunday evening with the Courier-Journal and WLKY. He talked about still having the passion to coach, what this team needs, Terry Rozier, Mangok Mathiang being named a captain, and more. Here is just some of that interview.
On naming his captains
I know Mangok’s going to be one of those guys. I don’t know who the other will be. I’m hoping it’ll be a fifth-year senior who has leadership qualities.
On if he helps departing players with anything
What I do is I stay out of the agent business. The only time I give advice to my guys is if they need financial advice. I tell them what to do because that’s where they make their biggest mistakes.
I had to put a time in the title of the post because there seems to be news every few hours with the basketball team and roster. So this is just to update you on what has been going on with the Cards and what we could see happening soon.
The roster news continues today for the University of Louisville basketball team. It has been more good than bad, and this news is that freshman Shaqquan Aaron will stay at UofL and not transfer, as some had thought he would do.
One of the roster questions appears to have been answered. According to the Courier-Journal, big man Chinanu Onuaku will return to the University of Louisville. After Rick Pitino’s press conference on Monday to wrap up the season, there was a question as to whether Onuaku would be one of the players that would transfer out of the program.
Soon after the press conference, it was learned that Anton Gill would transfer. The other two question marks appeared to be Onuaku and Shaqquan Aaron. There is still no word on Aaron just yet, but it is good to hear that Onuaku will be back.
Since the basketball season ended on Sunday for the University of Louisville, there has been no shortage in news. Rick Pitino held a 30 minute press conference to wrap up the season, Anton Gill announced he was going to transfer, and he may not be the last player to leave.
What this also means is that the Cards are looking to add people to the current class, including possible transfers. Another player on the radar is 4-star small forward/shooting guard Maverick Rowan from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Cardinal Gibbons High School). According to Mike Hughes of InsideTheVille.com, Rick Pitino was going to meet with Rowan in Florida today (Tuesday).