Mangok saying goodbye to his brothers
First, let's look at the key pieces leaving Louisville basketball, as they will be very missed.
- Mangok Mathiang
- Tony Hicks
- David Levich
While we all enjoyed David Levitch's shooting and effort, as well as Tony Hicks streaky explosiveness, they are both easy replacements. However, the one key piece that is big to the puzzle in Louisville basketball is leaving, and that is #12 in the middle. He always brought an interior presence, gave maximum effort, and was a great leader (besides his slip up with Adel prior to the Virgina game.)
The New Faces
Ah, Rick has done it again. Another top 10 recruiting class marked in the books. Among the four commits, there are no 5 stars. However, Louisville basketball is gaining 4 very solid four star recruits, headlined by the much improved Malik Williams.
Here are the incoming Louisville freshmen:
- Malik Williams
- Darius Perry
- Jordan Nwora
- Lance Thomas
Malik Williams is a much improved player, in terms of progression from his junior to senior year. ESPN has him ranked as the number 29 player in the country, and a very highly regarded player. He offers tremendous length and height at 6-11, an ability to defend the rim, rebound, and score from all areas of the floor. And yes, he has a jump shot, too.
Darius Perry is an under-the-radar ESPN100 combo guard from Georgia. Listed as the number 51 player in the country, Perry offers a high ceiling, but also a pretty decently high floor as well. Whilest he needs to add some weight at 170 pounds, Perry should become a fan favorite pretty quickly.
Jordan Nwora is also an under the radar prospect, however still listed in the ESPN100. At number 87 , Nwora provides versatility at being able to play the 3 or the 4, and can shoot very well. In fact, some believe he may be the best shooter in the whole class. He definitely provides major matchup problems for opposing teams in the future, such as the ones Louisville went up against Michigan recently.
And last but not least, Lance Thomas. The lone recruit not listed in the ESPN100, Lance Thomas is still a very skilled and talented player. Like Nwora, Lance Thomas brings along great versatility with the ability to play the 3 or 4. also, Lance is very athletic and has a lot of potential.
Roster Outlook for next year
With Mangok Mathiang being the only key departure, the 2017-18 Louisville mens basketball team may be arguably the deepest teams ever. However, this is depending on one decision and one player:
Will Donovan Mitchell stay or go pro?
From what it sounds like, Donovan Mitchell is coming back. In his interview, conducted by Mark Blankenbaker of Thecrunchzone, he stated, "I don't want to end on a loss." All signs point toward a return to the Ville for Donovan Mitchell.
Depth Chart for 2017-2018
- PG: Quentin Snyder, SR
- SG: Donovan Mitchell, JR
- SF: Deng Adel, JR
- PF: Jaylen Johnson, SR
- C: Anas Mahmoud, SR
- PG: Darius Perry, FR
- SG: Ryan McMahon, SO
- SF: VJ King, SO
- PF: Ray Spalding, JR
- C: Malik Williams, FR
- 11th: Dwayne Sutton, JR
- 12th: Jordan Nwora, FR
- 13th: Lance Thomas, FR
- 14th: Matz Stockman, SR
Just look at the depth of our bench. Could this be the revival of our full court press? We definitely have the athleticism, length, and depth to cause khaos.
The one problem
What about Tyler Sharpe and Jay Henderson? That's a problem to be addressed later, as you can't have 16 people on a roster. Will Pitino redshirt Nwora or Thomas? Will Stockman transfer? Or will Tyler Sharpe and/or Jay Henderson get cut?
Depth is a very good problem to have. While the potential lineup I have listed above is most likely, Rick can experiment with as many lineups as he chooses to. Louisville Basketball could potentially go 13 deep, and that is a very dangerous thing for opposing teams. Remember Villinova getting knocked out early 2 years ago before winning the championship? Louisville may be next at repeating that stat.
- At Kentucky
- ACC-big 10 challenge
- Vs Indiana
Louisville should potentially be a top 5 team coming back in 2017. While this season ended quicker than most expected, we should all be excited for Louisville hoops this coming year. 80 percent of our scoring is coming back, and that 20 percent lost should be replaced very easily. A deep tourney run should be in the makings, and th future of Louisville basketball is very bright.