Louisville basketball: Another big isn’t needed & a new star emerges

The BRL podcast is back for another episode: whatever ‘zoom bombing’ is, the G-league flexing its new deep pockets for the nation’s high school elite, and will Louisville basketball sophomore Sam Williamson make the jump?

We did it, you guys. Two consecutive remote podcasts in a row without technical issues. Honestly, we were more excited to finish two podcasts in the same week than the time I found a $20 in my jacket during the Louisville basketball vs Michigan game five minutes before the last call. Ok, maybe just as excited, but regardless it’s one step closer to our goal of transforming this baby into a well-oiled machine cranking out three podcasts a week.

Although the sad reality has set in of no current sports, the silver lining, at least for us, is all the weird headlines taking center stage that we get to discuss as well. Even during a pandemic, there is no shortage of strange headlines.

Exhibit A: The rise of ‘zoombombings’

Since the sudden mass-exodus of offices due to the rise of the Coronavirus, the use of virtual meeting platforms has surged. One of the most used free platforms for these virtual meetings is ZOOM. However, with all the good Zoom has done in helping companies stay connected remotely, there has been a growing concern over a security trend coined ‘Zoom bombing’.

Zoombombing is apparently when a virtual meeting gets hacked and taken over by an uninvited individual. These hacks have been on the rise and in the news, but it was the latest headline that caught our attention. An Indiana election commission zoom meeting was the latest victim:

Honestly, the best part of this story are the quotes, which you can read here, or just hear them in the podcast. Either way, they’re great. I mean I’m sorry it happened, but it’s great.

Listen to the podcast below.

High expectations

Speaking of rising stocks and unfortunate stories, I’m going to use this as a terrible transition into discussing former Louisville football star offensive tackle, Mekhi Becton, for a second.

It wasn’t discussed in this podcast, but I at least wanted to address it. Over the past few months, Mehki has emerged as one of the great highlights and storylines of this draft; garnering the attention of many. However, that same newfound stardom is now coming with a price, as the news broke that Becton had a flagged drug test at the NFL combine.

The good news is that multiple reports have reported that Becton has met with several teams about the failed test, which I hope will mitigate the damage to some degree. It’s truly unfortunate for Becton, who was surging up recent draft boards as one of the first tackles taken. Obviously this test puts all of that into jeopardy, but I truly believe with his history of being a phenomenal person, student, and teammate, Becton will still be drafted fairly high.

New sheriff in town

On his most recent teleconference, Chris Mack discussed his thoughts on one player in particular who will be a crucial piece to Louisville Basketball’s success next year, Sam Williamson.

In his statement, Mack said “Sam is poised to have a really big jump” from this year to next. BRL agrees. Not because we want him to make the jump, but because we know he has to for Louisville to be a top 25 team next season. Williamson will have to quickly realize the McDonald’s All-American potential and take a commanding star role on this team, becoming that ‘everyday guy’ that Mack can rely on.

With more minutes available, the conditions are there for Sam to make ‘that leap’ that we’ve seen previous greats make from year one to year two.

Help from the Hulk

Coach Mack also expanded his thoughts on Louisville’s last available scholarship. Yes, he still wants a big guy. However, the fact he said the Cards aren’t in a dire enough situation to take just anyone should give Louisville’s Irish hulk a boost of confidence for next season.

In order for Aiden Igiehon to grow and get better, he needs to get minutes. And he will. Louisville has seen their fair share of injuries, and fouls can rack up quickly in certain games, but Mack is just as confident in his team as is, stating:

“We feel like we have a good enough roster right now to be one of the better teams in the league and compete for a title like we did this past year.”

Mack is confident in his guys, and that includes Aiden just as much as anyone else on Louisville’s roster.

 

First 5-star heads to the G-League.. Does it impact Louisville?

We learned this week that for the first time since the league’s launch, that a high school player will forgo their college eligibility to play in the NBA’s G-League or Development League. That designation will belong to Jalen Green, a five star guard who was set to chose between a few colleges before deciding to follow the NBA’s new path to the league.

Michigan commit and fellow five-star 2020 prospect, Isaiah Todd, also announced his intentions to sign with the new G-League Academy team while others are expected to at least consider the new route and potential end around the one and done rule.

Chris Mack was asked about the move and how it would impact Louisville and college basketball and the Cards head coach didn’t seem too concerned.

As we discussed, the Louisville basketball program isn’t one to recruit the top five to 10 players year-to-year and shouldn’t be hurt on the recruiting trail by these players no longer wanting to consider colleges. Programs like Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina will without questioned be impacted, as their primary talent base will be gone (at least for the most part) just like that.

So how will that impact Louisville?

The biggest will be the top tier of players the Cards do go after having more competition. As we saw last season with guys like Jaemyn Brakefield, who were apart of the second-tier of players in the class, the big names get involved and it changes everything.

In the future, Chris Mack will have to deal more and more with the elite programs targeting the same group of players and it’ll be up to him to find the niche in landing talent good enough to win in the ACC.

The new G-League route will be interesting, and while it will certainly impact the top of college basketball rosters, the NCAA has survived this far and will continue to but will need to make adjustments to keep the next tier of players from considering professional routes earlier than necessary.

Next: 3 options for Louisville basketball's final scholarship

As always, thank you for reading the site and continuing to listen to the podcast. If you have a topic you’d like to hear discussed or have questions shoot us a DM or tweet us @TheBigRedLouie. You can listen to the show anywhere you get your podcasts. Be sure to subscribe & rate the show as well.