With 19 games left in Louisville’s regular season, the sights are slowly beginning to set on where this program is headed in the future. Known for his recruiting prowess as an assistant with the Kentucky Wildcats, Kenny Payne looks to put together a highly sought after recruiting class that could help take the Louisville program back to the success that the fanbase has been used to for so long.
Losing out on potential program-changers in five-star combo guard AJ Johnson, who was being recruited by Louisville but ultimately signed with the Texas Longhorns, and four-star center Isaiah Miranda, who was also being recruited by Louisville but ultimately signed and enrolled early at NC State, the potential for the program took a hard hit.
But, there are several other highly-touted recruits who are still on Louisville’s radar and are currently uncommitted to a collegiate program. Two of those players are five-star small forward Karter Knox and five-star point guard Elliot Cadeau.
Karter Knox, a 6-foot-5 small forward from Tampa, Florida, is the younger brother of Detroit Pistons forward Kevin Knox II. Kevin attended the University of Kentucky and was heavily influenced by the relationship he had with then-assistant coach Kenny Payne. The relationship between the Knox family and Kenny Payne has been confirmed by both A Sea of Blue’s Ethan DeWitt and On3’s Joe Tipton.
In Tipton’s recent article, which was published just two days ago, he details the relationship between Coach Kenny Payne and the Knox family. Karter noticed his clear intentions even from a young age, as he had this to say about him:
"“When I was a kid, I used to look up to him and he would always treat me well,” Karter said of Kenny Payne. “We would treat each other like family. He was close with Kevin (Knox) so he was close with me. (Kenny Payne) is a good coach and a good person, a hardworking coach. I’m really glad to see him with the head coaching job.”"
This previous relationship with Karter gives Coach Kenny Payne and staff a great advantage in recruiting an incredible talent like himself. Assistant Coach Nolan Smith wanted to continue to make it clear to him that he was a priority for the Cardinals by attending the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Florida to watch the Tampa native play.
A member of the 2024 recruiting class, Knox has plenty of time to decide which university he wants to attend after high school. Louisville is clearly making a heavy push for him, but his familial ties could land him at Kentucky. An opportunity to play for the same university as his brother could be a potential difference maker in where he decides to play.
Elliot Cadeau, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Oradell, New Jersey, currently attends Link Academy in Branson, Missouri. Cadeau is a fellow member of the Class of 2024, but has not ruled out the possibility of re-classifying.
The potential of adding Cadeau to this program would be exponential to the growth and the culture of Louisville basketball. In a recent interview with Joe Tipton, Cadeau had this to say about his visit to the Louisville campus:
"“The visit was good. (Kenny Payne) is really, really nice. He’s really smart and really wise. I feel like he knows a lot about basketball. He’s well-connected.”"
It appears Coach Payne is having an impact on both of these two players in so far as their abilities to notice his strengths. If he can land both of these two recruits, then that would help dispell some of the negative publicity surrounding him in the city at the moment. Granted, these two players are two years removed from joining the program, but according to Cadeau he is ready to “finish out” his recruiting process.
So, a decision for him could be coming sooner rather than later.