New Louisville basketball signee brings needed element

Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals talks to Malik Williams #5 (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals talks to Malik Williams #5 (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Louisville basketball team received a new signature from 2021 Top-100 center Roosevelt Wheeler on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, the Louisville basketball program announced that class of 2021 big man Roosevelt Wheeler had signed his national letter of intent to play for the Cardinals.

After the Cardinals signed four other prospects earlier in the week, they added one more key piece to round out the class of five.

Wheeler is a 6’10” 220-pound center from Richmond, Virginia. He attends John Marshall High School.

As a prospect, Wheeler is ranked as the No. 60 overall player and the No. 11 center in the country, according to 247 Sports Composite Rankings.

Wheeler is a big-bodied imposing center that loves to occupy the paint. He already has a large frame for his age and he has even more room to put muscle on once he gets to college.

As a junior, Wheeler averaged 15.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 4.3 (!!) blocks per game. Those stats replicate exactly who Wheeler is as a high school prospect. He lives around the rim and does all the dirty work.

Wheeler is also a good athlete who finishes at the rim with force. Additionally, it looks like he has put in some work to improve his touch around the basket with baby hooks and soft finish around the rim. Wheeler wants to get his work done in the low post and he seems to trust himself with his back to the basket in that situation.

Wheeler joins Aidan Igiehon as players on the team who have that true “paint beast” mentality. While Malik Williams and Gabe Winitzer are centers, they are much more comfortable with playing outside of the paint. They might be even more comfortable outside than inside.

If Wheeler can develop a mid-range game and continue to improve on his post offense, he can be an even better version of former Cardinal Steven Enoch. Enoch was a solid player on both ends of the floor, but I believe Wheeler will be a better defender and even better on the glass than Enoch was.

Wheeler is the kind of player that can come in right away and be a defensive presence for the Cardinals at the minimum. Even if he scores very little early on, but comes in to affect shots at the rim, he will be an extremely valuable piece as a shot blocker.

According to reports, Wheeler will miss his senior year with an apparent injury. However, it is probably a good sign that the staff feels comfortable with Wheeler’s recovery now that they have allowed him to commit and sign with the program.

Louisville fans, this was the one missing piece in the class. The Cardinals have now signed a point guard, combo guard, small forward, combo forward, and a true center. This has been a very strong Chris Mack recruiting class.

Louisville’s class now ranks No. 10 nationally and No. 2 in the ACC after the commitment of Roosevelt, according to 247 Sports.