Men’s Basketball Preview: Freshmen

The 2019 recruiting class was the first of the Chris Mack era, and ended up as one of the best in school history. The six man class includes a 5-star and four 4-star recruits who all have the ability to make an impact in 2019-2020. Today, we preview the six freshman and how they can play a role this season.

Samuell Williamson



200 lbs

Rockwall HS/Rockwall, TX

@S_Williamson35 on Twitter

247sports Composite Rankings
National: 19
Position: 5
State: 3

Williamson is the highest rated and the lone 5-star prospect in the class. Williamson was a consensus 4-star prospect when he committed to Louisville last fall, but an outstanding senior season saw him rise up the rankings and earn a trip to the McDonald’s All American game. He will be the first burger boy since VJ King (2016) to play minutes for UofL.

Williamson figures to play a big role offensively for this team from the start. He’s a long wing who can be a knock down shooter and overall playmaker for this team. It’s unclear whether he will be an immediate starter, but it’s likely that he will wind up starting at some point during the season. This is a deep class, but Williamson is the gem. He has the best chance out of the six to make an instant impact in 2019-2020.

Aidan Igiehon



240 lbs

Dublin, Ireland/Lawrence Woodmere Academy (NY)

@aidanigiehon on Twitter

247sports Composite Rankings
National: 55
Position: 14
State: 1

Louisville fans may better know Aidan Igiehon than any other freshman in the class. He was the fifth to commit in the class and may already be a fan favorite before he ever steps foot on the Yum! Center floor. He’s a raw, yet intelligent high-motor big whose skill set will only expand once he gains some experience on the court. Igiehon could serve as an important spark off the bench throughout the year with the potential to take on a larger role as the season progresses.

David Johnson

David Johnson
Photo Courtesy of @davidjohnson13


210 lbs

Louisville, KY/ Trinity

@davidjohnson13 on Twitter

247sports composite rankings
National: 82
Position: 13
State: 1

Johnson committed to the Cards back in 2017 before reopening his recruitment amid the FBI scandal. Coach Mack pursued him after he was hired, and David committed for good last fall. The staff views Johnson as an asset to this team as a freshman. His passing ability and vision as a big point guard are something that could be used right away on this team.

Johnson, however, underwent shoulder surgery in August and is expected to miss some time to start the season. Reports indicate that his recovery has been ahead of schedule, and he is back practicing with the team. Assuming he returns to 100 percent, Johnson should be a valuable reserve this season for the Cards.

Josh Nickelberry

Josh Nickelberry
Photo Courtesy of Coach CB Williams Twitter Account (@CoachCBWilliams)


200 lbs

Fayetteville, NC/Northwood Temple Academy

@joshnickelberry on Twitter

247sports Composite Rankings
National: 101
Position: 17
State: 5

Josh Nickelberry was the first commitment of the Chris Mack era and should be an important member of the 2019 class. Nickelberry was an elite, record-setting scorer at the high school level who will have the appetite to score points right away at the next level. We will find out how much playing time he will get this year, but he’s going to be a threat to come off the bench and put together a scoring run at any moment.

When we talk about the strength in depth of the 2019-20 Louisville team compared to last season, a guy like Nickelberry is someone that just was not on the roster last year. The hope is that he will blossom to even more over the next few seasons, but off the bat he is someone with the ability to impact this team as an important role player

Jae’Lyn Withers



215 lbs

Charlotte, NC/Cleveland Heights (OH)

@jaelynwithers on Twitter

247sports Composite Rankings
Position: 20
State: 3

Withers is likely the most underrated freshman in Louisville’s 2019 class. He’s a long forward who will be able to shoot at this level right away. As he bulks up over time, he could be a real problem as a scoring wing. Along with Igiehon, Withers could break into the frontcourt rotation at some point this season.

Quinn Slazinski



215 lbs

Houston, TX/Huntington Prep (WV)

@quinnslazinski on Twitter

247sports Composite Rankings
National: 320

Slazinski reclassified to the class of 2019 last fall as he committed to Coach Mack and the Cards. It was initially reported with his commitment that he planned on redshirting during his first season on the team, but as of now its unclear whether or not he will suit up in 2019-2020. Regardless, he’s an interesting prospect who can blossom into a helpful asset to this team over time. He’s another long forward who is already an elite shooter with the potential to be an all around playmaker.

Orbaugh-RedWhiteHogan Orbaugh


240 lbs

Zionsville HS/Zionsville, IN

@hoganorbaugh on Twitter

Hogan Orbaugh joins the Cards as a freshman walk-on. He was previously committed to Depauw University out of high school. Orbaugh was named to the Hoosier Crossroads Conference All-2nd Team as a senior, averaging 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds. He will be one of only two true centers on the Cards’ roster for 2019-2020 (Enoch).

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