Louisville MBB was looking to add one more piece to the backcourt. They courted Minnesota transfer Marcus Carr, but he ultimately chose Texas. However, Coach Chris Mack was able to find himself an excellent guard. In a way things came full circle as Mason Faulkner, a KY native chose to continue his college career with the Cards.
Sources close to the program confirmed that Faulkner has enrolled and plans to be a part of the team.
I say things came full circle because early on in the recruiting period, Faulkner appeared to be a priority target for UofL. However, things at that time did not work out and UofL moved on to other targets such as Jarrod West and Noah Locke. Somehow, Louisville and Faulkner were meant to be as he now joins the backcourt featuring El Ellis, West, and Locke.
Faulkner is a 6’1 190 lbs guard that is a native Glasgow, KY. Before joining the Cards, he played at Northern Kentucky and Western Carolina. In the 2020-2021 season, Faulkner earned a spot on the All-Southern Conference Third Team playing for Western Carolina. In his two seasons as a Catamount, Faulkner averaged 17.4 ppg, 5.5 apg, 5.8 rpg, and 1.2 spg. He shot 42.3-percent from the field, 32.6-percent from 3-point range, and 77.4-percent from the foul line. Looking at Faulkner’s stats, it’s hard not to see a slight comparison to Carlik Jones. Both have similar statures and both have similar stats.
When watching Mason Faulkner highlights, his scoring ability is what makes him truly special. Faulkner is a scorer at all three levels. His ball handling appears to be excellent as well as his speed.
To be honest, the 3-point shooting percentage for Faulkner doesn’t match what I saw of him in his highlights. His shot is a nice and smooth and he can hit off the dribble, off a step-back, or off the catch. When I looked at his splits from the arc between his first and second seasons at Western Carolina, it’s clear he’s a much better long-range shooter than his percentage would say. He went from making 31.3-percent of his threes in 2019-2020 to 35.5-percent last season. I think, based on what I’ve seen in highlights alone mind you, that Faulkner can easily increase that percentage more this year and get close to 40-percent from the arc.
Inside the line, Faulkner is a tough shot maker. He can make little mid-range jumpers, floaters, and contested layups. He’s definitely got the toughness Coach Mack covets. Faulkner can finish through contact quite well around the rim, which, at his size, is exactly what you want to see. This area here is where he reminds me so much of Carlik.
The ball handling and speed of Faulkner will make him a valuable piece for the backcourt. He’s got good quickness and is able to penetrate the lane very well from the wing or the point. Once he gets a step, his straight line speed makes it near impossible for defenders to re-establish a good defensive position and allows him to get to the rim and finish. These skills are also a valuable commodity because it will give him more room beyond the arc for open shots off step-backs and rhythm dribbles. Faulkner can drive left or right and finish with both hands, but he loves going to his right the most and finishing with his right hand.
I couldn’t really find any defensive highlights, but averaging 1.2 steals per game and his obvious lateral quickness lead me to believe he will be a good defender for the Cards.
Mason Faulkner now gives the Cards 4 legit ball handlers and playmakers. It appears there is now plenty of experience and depth in the backcourt. Faulkner could start or come off the bench, but regardless I think he will play significant minutes. If he comes off the bench, he can provide scoring punch and leadership. What’s certain is the Cards backcourt is now stocked with talent, toughness, and experience.
Mason Faulkner has been announced as an official member of Team 108!
Mason Faulkner 🤝 #Team108https://t.co/IG6YvswYef pic.twitter.com/LTwrhxvFpF— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) August 16, 2021
His addition officially gives Louisville MBB not only one of the deepest backcourts in the ACC, but the country.