Louisville basketball podcast: Cards thriving so far on recruiting trail

Talking Louisville basketball recruiting on the BRL Podcast.

We were joined by National Recruiting Analyst Corey Evans of Rivals.com on the Big Red Louie Podcast this past week following Louisville basketball’s latest commitment, to talk all things recruiting.

Louisville gained some serious momentum on the recruiting trail in the class of 2021 last week when they landed their second commitment in the class in rising four-star guard, Bobby Pettiford Jr. Corey provided first-hand analysis on Pettiford Jr., one of the summer’s biggest risers in the recruiting rankings, and what he would bring to Chris Mack and the Louisville basketball program.

“Can play both guard spots. Tough, fearless, has good size. Can play both on and off the basketball, a great athlete, definitely someone trending upward. They beat a few of the regional programs, but Pettiford could’ve been someone that say the travel circuit would’ve been in place this spring, his recruitment might’ve been a little more crowded with the ACC, AAC, and Big East programs.”

One of the most intriguing things to me about Pettiford is his speed and desire to get out in transition at any and every opportunity. Louisville’s offense hasn’t necessarily been “fast-paced” the last two seasons, finish 285th in total possessions in 2019-20 and 191st in 2018-19, and it would seem counterproductive to add a player who would be slowed down or held back playing only in a half-court offense.

 

Corey’s answer lined up with what I think we’ll see this season and that will be a much faster-paced offense.

“I think we will see an uptempo system it’s just been difficult because at the point guard spot it has been graduate transfer after graduate transfer and you don’t really have someone who’s been there done that for a couple of years. Moving forward with Pettiford, multi-guard lineups will become the norm and getting out in the open floor more often.”

Louisville’s class now ranks fifth overall and as Corey told us, there’s still a lot of talent on the board that likes the Cards. Will they pull the trigger and follow in Bryce Hopkins and Pettiford’s footsteps?

The 2021 big board is full of talent for Chris Mack, and the Cards seem to be sitting in a “good spot” with a lot of the targets on the board and could soon even pick up another commitment.

However, the elephant in the room still remains the impending NCAA punishment which should be served sometime in the next 60-90 days. Corey mentioned on several occasions that the punishment to Oklahoma State was just the floor of what could be coming for bigger programs, including Louisville. However, recruiting may not take quite the downturn we all have expected.

There are multiple programs that have recruited well during trying times, and the upcoming one-time transfer rule being enacted and the overall stage that recruits would have exposure to if they chose Louisville, could keep the Cards in a good spot.

Corey was more than complimentary of Chris Mack and his staff throughout the entirety of the podcast, even going as far to say that the recruiting woes from a year ago were the result of mostly “bad luck” and unfortunate circumstances.

From the commitment of Pettiford Jr. to landing Hopkins way before anyone got the chance to nab him before his rise in the rankings to even how they’ve handled this whole pandemic crisis with the team and recruiting.

Next: Player comparisons for each of Louisville's incoming players for 2020-21

There was a lot to come out of our conversation with Corey Evans from Rivals.com when it comes to Louisville basketball, for both the short-term and long-term.

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