Question 3: What will the Louisville Basketball starting lineup look like?
Entering the 2020-21 college basketball season, I would fully expect the Louisville basketball starting lineup to be:
G Carlik Jones – 2019-20 Stats: 20.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, 5.1 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 40.9 3P%
G David Johnson – 2019-20 Stats: 6.3 PPG, 2.8 APG, 2.8 RPG, 0.7 SPG, 49.3 FG%
F Sam Williamson – 2019-20 Stats: 4.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 47.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%
F Jae’Lyn Withers – *Redshirt 2019-20 season*
C Malik Williams – 2019-20 Stats: 8.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.6 BPG, 49.7 FG%, 29.0 3P%
Both Sam Williamson and Malik Williams have been on-and-off in practice due to some minor injuries per Louisville assistant coach, Dino Gaudio, on ‘The V-Show with Bob Valvano.’
Gaudio spoke with ESPN 680 host, Bob Valvano, and had this to say on the status of Williamson and Williams:
"“Sam has had a little bit of a knee injury and he’s been out, he has not practiced yet and Malik has a little bit of a foot injury. Malik has not practiced since we started on October 14th and those are two really big pieces of the puzzle. We are hoping to get those guys back sooner than later because they know the system and everything…”"
Malik Williams gave an update the other day on the ‘Floyd Street’s Finest: A Louisville basketball podcast’ hosted by Jeff Greer and stated that his foot injury is not major and they are keeping him out of practice just as precaution since he had the screw put in his foot last year after he broke it in practice.
Sam Williamson’s injury does not seem to be a major concern either, but there have been no updates on the status of his injury and if he may be expected to miss some games. If Williamson is unable to go at the start of the season, grad-transfer Charles Minlend or freshman D’Andre Davis could be given the start for the Cards.
Potential first-round pick David Johnson has a lot of expectations entering his sophomore season after showing flashes of his brilliance a season ago. His best game of his young college career surely came in Louisville’s biggest game and win of the season against Duke in Durham. Johnson finished with 19 points on 8-12 shooting in that game and helped the Cards pull off the 79-73 upset in Cameron Indoor.
We discussed Carlik Jones a little earlier, but he will be the “security blanket” for this year’s Louisville team. Much like grad-transfer Christian Cunningham was a few years ago for the Cards, expect to see Carlik Jones with the ball in his hands late in the shot clock and likely be the leading scorer for Louisville this season.
Lastly, Jae’Lyn Withers is set for a breakout season. After spending a lot of time with him last season as a manager on staff and assisting him in workouts and training, I am very excited to finally see him on the court in a Louisville jersey. The athleticism that Withers possesses is as good as anybody in the country and he should be a key factor for the success of this year’s Louisville squad.
Louisville is set to begin their season on November 22 against Southern Illinois in the KFC Yum! Center a part of the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic. The Cards are set to play five games in ten days in this event that they host and are set to play SIU, Seton Hall, Prairie View A&M, Western Kentucky and UNC-Greensboro.
This year’s Louisville squad may not have the hype and Final Four expectations that last year’s team had, but if this team is able to mold well together to start the season, they can easily meet the expectation Louisville fans put on last year’s team. In a season where nobody knows what will happen in terms of player health and travel, the Louisville Cardinals could easily finish at the top of the ACC rankings when all is said and done.