Louisville basketball: Four star forward JJ Traynor commits to Cards

Louisville basketball received its third commitment in the 2020 class with the pledge of four-star legacy recruit JJ Traynor.

After a win on the court, last night against Bellarmine in the first and only preseason game of the season, Chris Mack and the Louisville basketball program picked up another huge win – this time on the recruiting trail.

Louisville’s had its fair share of struggles with recruiting in the class of 2020, but recently Mack and his staff have refocused their attention to new targets and have started to see some success, mostly in the commitment of top 100 wing D’Andre Davis.

With a depleted recruiting big board, landing commitments from players that are seen as priority targets will be huge – probably none more so than the newest Louisville Cardinal, JJ Traynor.

Just about everyone around the program has become familiar with Traynor over the last month and a half as Mack and company have been hot in pursuit for the top 100 forward and son of former Cardinal Jason Osborne.


Traynor visited officially back in September, scrimmaging with the team after Louisville Live, and has met with Coach Mack on multiple occasions in Louisville and in Bardstown.

The 6’8, 195-pound big man saw his recruiting stock soar after a breakout summer playing for the first time on the AAU circuit. Playing for the Louisville Legends, Traynor quickly caught the attention of multiple big-time college program coaches and offers began to come one after another.

Xavier, Cincinnati, Missouri, DePaul, Western Kentucky and plenty of others offered Traynor after his big summer, but once Louisville showed interest and offered Traynor it seemed like a done deal for Louisville. That’s exactly what happened, although it took a little time.

Now the Cards have their third commitment in the class of 2020 as Traynor joins the aforementioned Davis, and number one JUCO player, Jay Scrubb.

While his body still has a way to go, recruiting experts and coaches saw the potential from Traynor who boasts a 7’2 wingspan, including Evan Daniels of 247 Sports. Daniels wrote:

“I think he’s one of the biggest sleepers in the country, certainly the biggest sleeper I saw all July. I think he’s got tremendous physical tools. He was just measured in at 6-8.5, a 7-2 wingspan, has a 32-inch standing vertical. All the physical tools are there, and the game is coming. He’s just taking big strides. He just turned 17 (in September), so he’s still pretty young, and his game is starting to develop.”

Louisville may have a few other guys on the board ranked higher than Traynor, who 247 Sports ranks as the79th best player in the country and 14th best power forward, the local ties and “oozing potential” make Traynor too good to pass up.

Traynor will need time to develop into an impact player at the college level and likely won’t play a big role in 2020-2021 for Chris Mack. But time and time again at Xavier Mack was able to help players with potential turn into three and four-year starters who are pivotal to the program’s success.

When you watch Traynor’s tape you can tell why coaches were excited about his potential.

Traynor shows signs of great potential. He has great length and the tools to become a special player, especially defensively.

In Traynor, the Cards have a solid fit at the forward spot. With the loss of Dwayne Sutton and Steven Enoch in the coming offseason, Louisville will be thin upfront.

Traynor has the chance to compete for playing time with younger forwards Jae’Lyn Withers, Aidan Igiehon, and Quinn Slazinski who all bring different skillsets to the table.

Next: Louisville basketball preseason power rankings

Louisville is reloading at positions of need in the coming years and though its 2020 class won’t rank nearly as high is 2019’s “Super Six,” the Cards may have just as many players that will make just as significant of an impact down the line.

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