On Wednesday, Louisville basketball freshman Samuell Williamson received high praise from ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla.
In less than two months, Louisville officially tips off a much-anticipated season under second-year head coach Chris Mack. Not only do the Cards bring back nearly everyone from a team that surprised the country a year ago, but they will feature one of the best recruiting classes in school history.
On Wednesday, Louisville color analyst and V Show host Bob Valvano had on recurring guest Fran Fraschilla to talk some basketball, and Fraschilla dropped a ton of knowledge about the Cards.
The most surprising thing about the interview was that Fraschilla went out of his way to talk about one of Louisville’s incoming freshmen who is expected to have a big-time impact in 2019-20.
"“The Louisville Cardinals have the second coming of Klay Thompson,” Fraschilla said, completely changing the topic of conversation. “That young man I think has a chance to be a one-and-done guy. I think he’s going to be a fabulous player for coach Mack and the guys over there at Louisville.”"
Klay Thompson? You have my attention.
"“I love watching that young man play,” Fraschilla continued. “Athletic, can shoot it, and has a chance to be a big-time player this year.”"
Valvano was taken aback a bit by the comparison.
Thompson is a significant same in the NBA. He has won three NBA championships with the Warriors, is a five-time all-star, three-time gold medalist in the Olympics, World Cup, and U19 World Cup, and has made the third-most three-point field goals among active players.
"“It’s more about style of play. The kid is a terrific player. I saw him play at the (FIBA) Under 19s, and he should’ve made the team, but they have a number of guys who have played USA and have been a part of that family- I get it. Clearly, he was one of the five best players there.” I fell in love with that kid. I think he’s going to be a really good player for coach Mack. You gotta be excited because I think they have a chance to be a really good team.”"
Clearly, he was one of the five best players (at the FIBA U19 workouts). -Fran Fraschilla on Samuell Williamson
The praise cannot get any higher for the 6’7,” 190-pound guard from Rockwall, Texas. Samuell Williamson was one of Louisville’s best pick-ups in the 2019 class and worked his way up to consensus five-star status in the process.
Williamson was a bit of a late bloomer in high school, but his stock has been soaring since his junior season. He became a clear priority for the new Louisville basketball staff and has made quite the impression since his commitment. He got a nod for the McDonald’s All-American Game, where other participants consistently talked about Williamson as the most underrated player in the game.
Williamson is the perfect compliment to Louisville’s already loaded squad, and could be one of the missing pieces that helps propel the Cards to national prominence.
Fraschilla also went on record saying that he has been extremely impressed every time he sees Louisville junior forward Jordan Nwora.
"“I was watching video of Jordan the other day. I have to tell you, I don’t think there are five better shooters in the country than Jordan Nwora.”"
He went on to consider the thought of Nwora and Williamson playing together and feeding off of one another.
Fraschilla took a stab at Louisville “best” lineup, which he thinks will include Nwora at the 4, Williamson at the 3, Fresh Kimble at the point, and a “platoon” style with Louisville’s bigs of Steven Enoch, Malik Williams, and Aidan Igiehon.
Overall, the former head coach and current ESPN college basketball and NBA draft analyst is most excited to see Williamson- Perhaps Louisville basketball’s next big star.
You can catch the entire interview right here.