Class 2014 Basketball
Since the 2013-2014 college basketball season has come to a close, lets take a quick look at the recruits for the next era in Louisville basketball. There are a couple changes since the last time this was posted. First, Michal Cekovsky which was widely expected to commit to the Cardinals if he decided to play collegiate basketball, committed to Maryland earlier this week. This happens in recruiting, but it was unexpected nonetheless. Second, the likelihood that a 5th year transfer ends up a Cardinal is growing by the minute. The question remains, who will it be? There are a few names out there, but none have any real legitimacy just yet, when they do, I will update. The last recruit for this 2014 class will be a new assistant coach. With Kevin Keatts taking the UNC-Wilmington job, there is a vacancy that must be filled. Pitino gave some hints in a recent press conference and it seems he wants Ralph Willard to return to the program. Willard has been in retirement so the is by no means a “done deal”, but it is interesting. Willard notably put Rick onto now Louisville legend Russ Smith and was integral in the development of Gorgui Dieng. Considering the amount of “bigs” in this class it seems apparent that Rick wants Willard back to help in developing the new guys. If any of them could become as good as Gorgui, then I am all for his return. The rest of the class is featured below:
Quentin Snider – 6-1 (PG) **** When we watched him commit and then de-commit it was jubilation, then devastation. It just didn’t feel right that a Ballard star, (and need I remind you of the other star from Ballard that gave us some of the most memorable years, Dejuan Wheat) wouldn’t come play for his favorite team. Well, it didn’t feel right to him either and as we all know, at the last minute, he called Rick and the rest is history. I am really looking forward to having a hometown kid to cheer for, it has been a while.
Shaqquan Aaron – 6-8 (SG) ***** Perhaps the gem of the 2014 class is Shaqquan Aaron. He is, according to 247sports, the 14th ranked recruit in the class. He is the next in the Seattle pipeline and hails from the same high school (Rainier Beach) as former Cardinal great Terrence Williams. Shaqquan has star written all over him. He is an exceptional passer and has incredible scoring ability. He had 2 triple-doubles last week! Although he was snubbed an invite to the coveted McDonald’s All-American game, he was unquestionably a deserving candidate.
Jaylen Johnson – 6-9 (PF) **** Jaylen Johnson is one of the youngest recruits in this class. He just recently turned 17 and many people have stated that his upside is enormous. He had offers from Michigan State, Cincinnati, Maryland just to name a few of the 14. Think about this, a 17 year old kid, that is 6-9 and wants to work hard, given to Pitino…..watch out!
Chinanu Onuaku – 6-10 (C) **** I heard Pitino pronounce his name (SHinanU OnUakU), but don’t quote me on that. Chinanu comes to us from Maryland, where many talented big men have come before. The notable difference here, Georgetown, UCONN, or any other North East school didn’t get him. It has been notoriously difficult to get big men out of the NE. There are too many great basketball programs up there that gobble them up. Chinanu was the exception. He appears to be the most physically ready recruit in our class. Weighing in at 220, means it won’t take an entire season to get him in playing shape. Our biggest difficulty this season is that Mango is just not strong enough, that will not be our issue here.
Matz Stockman – 7-2 (C) *** Or better named “The Viking”, is our last commit in the 2014 class. Matz comes to us from Norway by way of the “Canarias Basketball Academy”. When I first heard about him I was mesmerized by the fact that we, UL, were going to sign a 7-2 center! Talk about something you can’t teach! Although he is tall, he will be a work in progress. He has a ton of skill, and an enormous, (no pun intended) upside, but he is VERY raw. The small clip I could find on him shows skill, but we will need to wait for some of the famous Pitino development before we get a bunch from him. Either way you look at it, it is very exciting for us to have this type of player.
Any Surprises…Well, potentially. Matz has a teammate, a really talented teammate named Michal Cekovsky. He is another 7 FOOTER, but not a center, he is a PF! For the longest time, it was felt that Michal would either play a year of professional ball in Europe and then declare for the NBA draft, but the tide is shifting and many feel he will go to college. If he attends college, UofL is the odds on favorite for his services. If anything changes or any new names appear, I will be posting as soon as possible.
Jon McSwain (Buckles)