Louisville basketball: Three forwards who could replace Bryce Hopkins

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These three players could be who Chris Mack targets with latest Louisville basketball opening.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Louisville basketball identified, offered, and landed a commitment from a top prospect only months later to see the recruitment fall apart and said player decommit.

Over the years this has become a pretty familiar narrative as Louisville has had experienced a number of decommitments- each one a little more heartbreaking than the rest.

Bryce Hopkins, by all metrics, appeared to be the star of the 2021 class for Louisville coach Chris Mack, after committing in November and rising nearly 40 spots in the class rankings. Hopkins was a player who many believed could have the biggest impact of any freshman right away thanks to his ability to stretch the floor with his shooting and use his size to create mismatches.

Unfortunately, after being committed for nearly nine months Hopkins unexpectedly backed away from his pledge to Louisville last week, citing the ongoing case open with the NCAA as his primary reason. Hopkins told 247 Sports Brian Snow:

“I opened up my recruitment because there were a lot of uncertainties on what is going on with the sanctions. They also keep appealing (the sanctions) which is only making it harder on me.”

The elephant in the room got a little bit bigger after the comments of Hopkins, and now with a huge void to fill in the class of 2021, Mack will have to pick up the program by its bootstraps and keep moving.

There are still plenty of promising players available and even a few on Louisville basketball’s big board could be in play. Here are three names I expect Mack to target to replace Hopkins.

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