Louisville MBB Lands Guard Fabio Basili

A former 2022 guard who reclassified into the 2023 class has committed to UofL. Fabio Basili, a point guard out of Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, FL has pledged to the black and red. It appears he will reclassify again and become a Card for this season.

Basili is a former teammate of current UofL guard/forward Mike James. He will now be joining forces with him again. Though, listed as a 6’2 155 lbs point guard, observers have noted in a picture where he stands with Mike James he seems considerably taller. Mike James himself, who recently joined us on the CSZ Podcast claims Basili is around 6’5. He is an under-the-radar type recruit with his only offers outside of UofL coming from only SMU and TCU per 247sports.

Watching Basili’s highlights, the two skills that stand out the most are his ball handling and his passing. Basili dribbles the ball with confidence and strength. Contact does not seem to bother him on drives. He’s not bothered by more physical on-ball defense. He can get to where he wants to go and understands how to change speeds to get by defenders. Louisville fans have been clamoring for someone besides El Ellis who can bring the ball up the court and Basili can fill that roll.

Even better than Basili’s ball handling is his passing. Basili is a truly elite passer. His court vision is second to none. The ability to process information the defense is giving him quickly and make the correct pass is quite extraordinary. To me, he’s a quintessential pass-first point guard that takes pride in getting his teammates open shots. When he drives, he’s always got his head up looking to draw a help defender and kick it to the open man at the rim or on the perimeter. An offense that values hard cutting will be where Basili can really shine as he’s excellent at finding open cutters heading to the rim for layups and dunks. He’s great at finding the big man on screen-and-roll plays which I think UofL will continue to utilize under Coach Kenny Payne.

Speaking of screen-and-rolls and pick-and-pop situations, I think Basili is exactly the type of guard who will thrive on that type of play. The main reason is he’s a heady player. He seems to understand how a defense is reacting quickly in real time and is able to make a quick, and correct, decision. On screen-and-rolls, he knows when to hit the big with a pass for a dunk or layup, when to use the screen to get a mismatch and exploit it, when to step back or over for an open shot, and when to attack the rim himself off the bounce.

Basili is a good shooter. He can hit from pretty much anywhere on the floor. He can hit step-back threes, threes off a rhythm dribble, or threes of the catch-and-shoot variety. He’s a confident shooter too. There’s no hesitation when he shoots. He always looks like he believes the shot is going in. The only slight mechanical issue could be release point. While he gets his shot off quickly, his release point is low which, against higher level competitors, could get his shot tipped and blocked. I consider this a minor flaw that can be fixed easily. Of course, as I said, he’s got a pretty quick release which could negate the need to really mess with his mechanics because it may compensate for the somewhat low shot release point.

As a defender, there aren’t really any highlights. With his length and size, you can imagine in an attacking man-to-man he could be a good defender, especially when off the ball and jumping passing lanes. It’s hard to really gauge from the highlights I have seen what his prowess is as an on-ball pressure type defender. I will defer to Coach Payne on his determination in that department and really all departments because he’s a better talent evaluator than I could ever dream of being.

In the end, Louisville needed a guard and got an under the radar guy. Fabio Basili definitely has some elite level skills. He can become a starter at some point in my opinion. I don’t foresee him starting this season. I’m not exactly sure how he will be utilized. My opinion is he will be a guy used in clean up minutes and maybe occasionally when UofL gets a decent lead and El Ellis needs a breather. It’s hard to project due to the fact he’s kind of an unknown commodity. However, with his obvious talent and the ability each member of this staff has shown at all their previous stop of cultivating talent and helping players reach their full potential, I think Fabio Basili is a guy that UofL fans will look back on and wonder how we were lucky enough to watch him in a Cardinal uniform and why so many others missed the boat on him.

Check out what his former & now current teammate Mike James had to say about him on this week’s CSZ Podcast:



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