Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinal Basketball: Looking ahead

As Pitino said after the disappointing loss to Kentucky, this is an end of an era for the Cardinals.  The Cardinals lose four guys who epitomized the term Louisville First Cardinals Forever.  These guys gave everything they had to the team and never sought out individual accolades, though their play did warrant them.  Louisville will be returning some solid players, but likely only a single starter from this years team.  Louisville expects to lose Montrezl Harrell to go along with the seniors and Kevin Ware who are all moving on.  Returning starter Chris Jones is expected back, along with Wayne Blackshear, Terry Rozier, Mangok Mathiang, Anton Gill, and Akoy Agau.  That leaves Louisville with 7 open scholarships for next season.

Louisville has already 6 commits for next year, 5 of which have already signed.  Louisville adds Kentucky Mr. Basketball Quentin Snider who is a 6’1 point guard.  Joining him in the back court is 6’8 Shaqquan Aaron whose high school team is competing for a national championship.  In the front court Louisville adds a pair of 7 footers in Anas Osama Mahmoud and Matz Stockman.  Louisville also adds Chinanu Onuaku a 6’10 center who might be the most college ready player, and 6’9 power forward Jaylen Johnson whose potential is as high as any.

It’s difficult to predict what the starting line up will look like or what the rotation will be, but we’ll give it a shot.

PG – Terry Rozier  – Quentin Snider

SG – Chris Jones – Anton Gill

SF – Wayne Blackshear – Shaqquan Aaron

PF – Chinanu Onuaku – Jaylen Johnson, Akoy Agau

C – Mangok Mathiang – Anas Osama Mahmoud, Matz Stockman

Louisville hopes to add another player with their open scholarship and was searching for another power forward.  I believe the Cardinals should add another wing player being that both our 2 and 3 guys will be seniors and Shaqquan is a high level talent that could head to the NBA well before his senior season.  While Louisville loses a lot, Louisville should improve drastically in the rebounding area with all of the size it is bringing in.  It should be an interesting season, but as of right now, it’s hard to predict what the Cards will look like.

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