Louisville basketball lands homegrown 2020 star

Chris Mack the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Chris Mack the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Louisville basketball landed their first commitment of the class of 2020 from a local grad from the JUCO ranks.

At this time last season, head coach Chris Mack, in his first season with Louisville basketball, had already put together a top five recruiting class- An accomplishment no one expected so quickly.

That group, now deemed the “Super Six,” look poised to help the Cards take a big leap in their second season under Mack, and are a huge reason there’s hype surrounding Louisville as a potential Final Four caliber team.

With the success of the 2019 class, many expected Mack to keep it rolling into 2020. Unfortunately, it’s taken a bit longer than expected for the staff to get the first commitment in the class under their belt. In turn, it has caused a large group of Card Nation to worry about the chances of putting together an elite class.

With September loaded with big time visitors, we all thought that maybe someone like Caleb Love, Deivon Smith, Josh Hall- or many of the other talented players who have had Louisville at the top of their list- would have pulled the trigger.

While that hasn’t happened yet (for a myriad of reasons) the wait is officially over.

After an incredible second Louisville Live! and a nice turn out at the practice facility for the weekend scrimmages, the Cards picked up their first commitment.

It came in the form of the nation’s top junior college player and homegrown Trinity graduate, Jay Scrubb, as first reported by Rivals.com’s Jake Weingarten.

There’s arguably been more hype around Scrubb than any player in recent memory. After having a nice high school career, Scrubb flew under the radar, only picking up a few mid-major offers before deciding to take the JUCO route.

In his first season at John Logan College, Scrubb became one of the hottest names on the recruiting trail and arguably the number one target for Louisville considering his local roots and ties to the program.

While the junior college tag on a player may not be “sexy,” Scrubb is easily one of the top players in the nation at any level.

Last season, Scrubb was the only freshman in the country to be named an NJCAA first-team All-American averaging 19.5 points per game and nearly 9 rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the floor and 47 percent from three. He was also the only JUCO player invited to try out for the U-19 USA basketball organization.

Throughout the summer Scrubb has picked up tons of offers from Power Five programs and even has had interest from the NBA ranks.

For Mack and the Cards, landing Scrubb was always a top priority. At 6’6, 220 pounds he has a college-ready body and more importantly, a college-ready game.

In 2020-2021 Louisville is expected to lose Jordan Nwora to the NBA, making Scrubb the perfect player to step in and help the Cards continue their upward trajectory.

Scrubb is an elite athlete and has professional-like feel for the game. From day one he’ll have the potential to be the best player for the Cards along with Samuell Williamson (assuming he’s not a one-and-done player).

Earlier this spring when speaking about his recruitment, Scrubb talked about the importance of a college coach presenting a plan that allowed him to showcase his talent and quickly get to the NBA. Clearly Mack has made Scrubb feel that he offers the best chance to showcase his NBA talent.

Speaking of which… Louisville isn’t necessarily out of the woods yet with Scrubb.

Though he has now committed to Louisville, the 2020 NBA Draft will still loom large over this recruiting class.

Scrubb and his dad have both expressed interest in testing the waters once his sophomore season at John Logan is over. While JUCO players traditionally haven’t been able to make the jump from junior college to the NBA, scouts and GM’s have been flocking to watch Scrubb and get a better feel for his game.

Speaking with Evan Daniels of 247 Sports, Scrubb’s dad emphasized the commitment and what the future holds and it sounded extremely encouraging.

"“He is going to play a year and it’s important that he’s able to benefit from that year, and we want to build something and be a pillar in the community of Louisville. We want to build something strong.”"

Until the deadline passes, there likely won’t be a final word on whether Scrubb will actually wear the red and black for Louisville.

This commitment is still a momentum-changing announcement for Louisville but we won’t know anything for quite some time.

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Regardless of the outcome, now Louisville has landed their top target and can begin focusing on filling other needs.