Louisville basketball: Samuell Williamson starts the year with gold jersey

On the origins of Louisville basketball’s gold jersey.

Louisville basketball officially began practice on Thursday and social media posts revealed that Samuell Williamson began the year with the team’s gold jersey honor.

The sophomore out of Rockwall, Texas is expected to have a breakout season in 2020-21, and starting the year donning the gold jersey at practice suggests that he is on the right track.

But what is the gold jersey and what does it represent for Louisville basketball?

Former correspondent Ross Prophater did some digging in 2018 and left us with some tidbits based on a tradition that dates back to head coach Chris Mack’s days at Xavier and intel from inside the program.

“The gold jersey really shows our coaching staff who is the most productive player in practice for the week,” BRL was told. “They wear that gold trimmed jersey the entire week of practice until we have a gold jersey presentation the following week. It’s a way to keep our practices ultra competitive and single out that one player who produced more than all the others for the week.”

The source went on to credit former Xavier leader and All-American PG standout Tu Holloway mentioning “I’m not for sure, but Tu Holloway (I believe) had 22 gold jerseys in his four years at Xavier.”

The gold jersey is the kind of motivation that inspires the tough and competitive culture we as Cardinal fans have heard of Mack and his practices at Xavier. The players are graded and earn the right to wear the gold jersey based upon a myriad of factors.

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“The managerial staff keeps track of any and every possible statistic you can think of. From field goals to field goals missed to offensive rebounds to turnovers to getting beat off the dribble to getting an assist, you name it. At the end of the day when you add up all those statistics, a player will have a number that’s reflective of how many Cardinal Way points he accumulated for the day. At the end of the week, the player with the most Cardinal Way points wins the gold jersey.”

Here is an example of how the Xavier staff tracked the gold jersey recipient in the past.

Though seniors Malik Williams and Carlik Jones were named team captains this week, Williamson is one of the players upon which the 2020-21 season likely hinges.

Earning recognition for turning in some of the best practices on the team is a great start for team 107.

Next: Five most intriguing players in 2020