Louisville basketball: 2021 recruiting big board 2.0

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Where Louisville basketball stands with top prospects.

We are hitting that time of year again where Louisville basketball will begin narrowing down its targets for the incoming recruiting class.

After a recruiting cycle that recruiting analyst, Corey Evans called “just bad luck” for the Cardinals, Louisville is starting to see the fruits of its labor pay off.

Head coach Chris Mack and the Cardinals secured a major commitment in November from stretch forward Bryce Hopkins before his recruitment really took off, and he has risen well up the recruiting rankings. Last week, point guard Bobby Pettiford Jr. pledged to the Cards right as he was beginning to see his recruitment take off.

Louisville basketball has proven that it has a knack for finding talent, and now, the current sixth-rated recruiting class in the country (via 247Sports) is looking to add three more commitments to the fold.

We go position by position and break down who the Cardinals are after and where they stand with each recruit.

Point guard / Combo guard

Already Committed: Bobby Pettiford Jr.

The speedy point guard is not of the traditional Chris Mack mold, but he adds a wrinkle to Louisville’s roster that we haven’t seen since Russ Smith.

Jalen Warley

6’4 175-pounds – Norristown, PA

Warley recently included Louisville in his top 10 schools along with Virginia, Oregon, Ohio State, Memphis, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Maryland, and Florida State.

Louisville is likely to lose David Johnson after this season, and if there’s a guy who would be a solid plug-and-play option for the Cardinals, perhaps it’s Warley. Their builds and game are quite similar, and Mack would have the option to play him at point or at the two-guard.

Here’s what 247Sports analysts had to say about Warley:

Jalen Warley is a big guard with size, skill, and solid athleticism. At right around 6-foot-4, Warley has the size to play off the ball and also the ability to be a primary ball-handler who makes others better. He doesn’t possess elite athleticism, but his size, basketball intelligence, and feel for the game show on both ends of the court. On defensive, he is capable of switching and guarding multiple positions, while on offense he can run a team or be a primary scorer if that is asked of him. Warley needs to continue to be more assertive so that his natural ability shines through, but all of the tools are there for him to make an impact and college, and potentially even in the NBA.

Warley is going to be a hotly contested recruit, but he has one or two and done potential- That’s the talent level that Louisville needs to find to keep the ball rolling in 2021 and beyond.

Hunter Sallis

6’4 165-pounds – Omaha, NE

If you want to talk about a recruit who is just the absolute epitome of a bucket, it’s Hunter Sallis. He plays much larger than his frame, and his stroke is pure as the driven snow.

Sallis may be the most fun guard to watch in the 2021 class and his talent will make whoever lands him a contender at the next level.


Sallis is a Nebraska guy, so naturally, the Cornhuskers are in the conversation. Kansas was considered the favorite for a while this winter, but his recruitment is really up in the air right now. Gonzaga is gaining traction, and Louisville, Alabama, and Creighton are right there as well.

Wherever Sallis lands, he will be so much fun to watch. Fingers are crossed that it could be in Louisville.

El Ellis

6’3 175-pounds- Durham, NC

If you follow recruiting closely, this is a name that most Louisville basketball fans will remember that the Cardinals have been in on for a long time.

After landing one of the best JUCO players ever, Jay Scrubb, in the 2020 class, the Cardinals are trying to dip into the JUCO market once more for Tallahassee CC point guard Elbert “El” Ellis.

Related: Who will be the next commit for Louisville basketball?

Ellis is the perfect example of why Louisville basketball is underrated in the scouting department. The Cardinals have been finding diamonds in the rough since the new staff arrived on campus, and Ellis was an early find when people thought extending an offer was a reach for the Cards. Now, Ellis has Louisville in his top 8 that includes Oregon, Texas Tech, and UConn.

Louisville will be in on Ellis until the end, and as we pointed out this week, he could be viewed as the next Trevion Blueitt or Edmond Sumner for Chris Mack, and he would play well alongside Pettiford and Josh Nickelberry.

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