Chris Mack lands next version of “Dwayne Sutton” for Louisville basketball

Louisville basketball landed their second commitment of the class of 2020 in four-star guard D’Andre Davis. We take a look at why Davis could be the next version of Dwayne Sutton.

Things haven’t gone the way anyone around the Louisville basketball program expected to with recruiting in the class of 2020 after putting together one of the best classes in 2019 in Chris Mack’s first season.

We’ve done our best to acknowledge the misses that Chris Mack and staff have had this time around after looking to be in places to land multiple high caliber four and five-star players in this year’s class. It’s not been what we expected – but there’s still plenty of reason for optimism.

Though Louisville has whiffed on just about every single target in the class, aside from four-star junior college star, Jay Scrubb, they still have the potential to put together a group of players that will continue to carry the program on to success over at least the next four years.

When you bring in a class like Chris Mack did last season that includes six players across every position on the floor, it makes the next year a little more difficult. Louisville will lose four guys for sure this offseason in seniors Fresh Kimble, Dwayne Sutton, Ryan McMahon, and Steven Enoch and more than likely  Jordan Nwora will depart for the NBA, leaving spots to fill but most of those will be secondary and territory (and even development) roles.

Sure, you’d like to land five-stars and even top 50 players to fill those spots, as we see with other programs like Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina – but for Mack, it doesn’t seem to be a legitimate option for the top-tier talent just yet. Which means with the 2020 “big board” just about empty, it’s up to Mack and his staff to identify what he classifies as the “right fit” for his system and players he can see playing a role short-term and long-term.

That starts with Louisville’s newest commit and the second member of the 2020 class – D’Andre Davis, who pulled the trigger on Sunday during his official visit to Louisville on the heels of de-committing from Nebraska.

Things started looking Louisville’s way shortly after the staff going involved with Davis early last week, as not only did the program land a coveted official visit but the crystal ball from 247 Sports started to turn their way.

Davis spent the weekend around Chris Mack, the staff, and the entire team and felt comfortable enough making his commitment official giving Louisville a commitment from a top-100 wing and one of the top players from the state of Indiana.

https://twitter.com/DAndreDavis14/status/1185986951188549633

With Davis emerging as a Louisville target seemingly overnight prior to his commitment, many fans who don’t follow the ins and outs of recruiting may not know much about the wing out of Indianapolis, IN.

What Louisville is getting in Davis is exactly what you’d expect for a Chris Mack player. In fact, I’d go as far as to say Mack will be getting a more versatile version of a current Cardinal and an extremely important part of their early success.

Davis is built and plays the same brand of basketball as senior Dwayne Sutton, who has proven to be a jack of all trades and the ultimate glue guy for the program over the last few seasons.

At 6’5, 170-pounds Davis could be considered “undersized” compared to what we see in college basketball now, but he plays very physical, tough-nosed basketball on both the offensive and defensive sides of the floor and is the perfect fit as the “glue guy” for Mack moving forward.

Davis can impact the game in a variety of different ways, whether it’s scoring, playmaking as a complementary guard, shutting down an opposing team’s best scorer, or taking over a game scoring on offense. This summer we saw that while Davis played for the Indy Heat on the Nike EYBL circuit, where we averaged a cool 17.8 points per game, coming off of his breakout junior season for Lawrence Central where he put up 17 points and 8 rebounds per game.

Bottom line, he’s a dog and for Chris Mack to continue to build the program he envisions that’s exactly what Louisville needs.

Watching Davis, not only do I see Sutton but I also am reminded of former Xavier guard and high school friend – Remy Abell. When Abell transferred to Xavier he brought to the floor what I would expect to see from Davis – versatility on defense (being able to guard multiple positions), ability to hit shots as needed, and somebody who was always going to give you physicality and play within themselves. As his career progressed with the help of Mack, Abell developed into a multi-year starter who helped Xavier a lot of great things, including multiple deep-runs in the NCAA Tournament.

Never was Abell the star of his team’s though and there was never a problem with that. He was a talented veteran who knew his limits and knew how to win playing the style of basketball that Chris Mack wanted. Much like Abell, you’re able to see what Davis brings to a team right away when watching his highlights.

When speaking about his recruitment and why he chose the Cardinals over other programs, Davis told 247 Sports Recruiting Expert, Evan Daniels:

“Coach Mack is a great coach who knows what he’s doing. He knows how to develop players and push them to reach every goal they want. The support is through the roof. They made me feel love and wanted and it’s somewhere I can see myself being for the next four years.”

If you need more proof that Davis is cut from the same cloth as Sutton, this should help. Davis said, “I see myself being able to be moved around in different positions on the offensive and defensive side of the ball because of my versatility and length. I feel as though I can be used to knock down threes get to the rim and have the between game. I can guard faster guards and bigger wings. I’m used to using off-ball screens and moving and cutting without the ball which I see is something they do a lot.”

While most recruits worry about scoring and how they can fit into the offensive plans of a program, Davis clearly understands what he brings to the floor and how he can grow under Mack.

As Mack works to build around the likes of Samuell Williamson, Josh Nickelberry, Jae’Lyn Withers, David Johnson, and Aidan Igiehon, he’s going to find players who provide non-negotiable intangibles (such as toughness, defense, etc.) who may not be household names. Instead, as young players, they’ll be role players who will be coached into difference-making starters at some point in their careers.

The 2020 class may not be what we thought it was going to be when it’s all said and done and I’m here to tell you that’s just fine Landing commitments from players who can complement the stars you already have on your team and help get the program back to where it should be and stay there.

Next: Ranking Louisville's incoming players impact in 2019-20

Paired with one of the top players in the class of 2020 in Jay Scrubb, D’Andre Davis is another big step towards the ultimate goal of winning a championship for Chris Mack and Louisville basketball.

 

 

 

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