The transfer portal hasn’t been the avenue that Kenny Payne has landed most of the prospects Louisville has coming in next season. Skyy Clark, who previously played at Illinois, is the only one who is transferring here. But, it’s certainly not for the lack of trying that Kenny Payne hasn’t landed any highly-coveted transfers.
But, it is nerve-wracking knowing that he is reaching out to several players and none of them come to campus on a visit. That could have been partly due to the time he spent in Saly, Senegal for the NBA Academy Showcase.
However, now he is back state-side and there is ‘seemingly’ no reason why he cannot host talented players on campus. Obviously, only a certain select people know what is going on behind the scenes, so it’s unhelpful to be too critical of something we don’t know all the facts about. But, it does leave a basketball-crazed fanbase antsy.
Especially, when news continues to break that he is reaching out to players. And the latest one is Montana State Guard RaeQuan Battle. Coming out of high school, he was a consensus four-star prospect and the No. 3 overall player in the state of Washington for the Class of 2019.
Battle actually committed to his local team, the University of Washington Huskies as a high schooler, but decided to leave the program after two seasons. During his time there, he played in a total of 34 games and averaged 4.8 points per game, 1.7 rebounds per game, and 0.3 assists per game.
His play regressed from his freshman season to his sophomore season, which ultimately could have led him to enter the transfer portal. Following his departure from the Huskies, the 6-foot-5 guard decided to take his talents to Montana State University, joining then-Head Coach Danny Sprinkle.
Sprinkle had some high praise for the former four-star recruit when he joined the Bobcats:
"“In my conversations with RaeQuan, what sold me was that he always talked about the team. That showed me he is committed to winning and being a great teammate, which is what we are all about. His coaches at Washington absolutely loved him as a player and as a person. He has a lot to learn about the game and he’s motivated in that aspect to become the best he can be. I can’t wait to get him here this summer and work with him!”"
However, the marriage between the two came to an end after two seasons, as Danny Sprinkle left the Bobcats to accept the Head Men’s Basketball Coach position at Utah State University. Once that announcement was made, then RaeQuan Battle decided to enter the transfer portal a second time.
During his time in Bozeman, Montana, he averaged 12.6 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, and 0.9 assists per game, an increase in every category from his time with the Huskies. Now, he has higher-tier Division I programs pursuing him in the transfer portal this time, according to Jon Rothstein.
It’s possible he will join his former Head Coach, now at Utah State, but the amount of programs who have reached out to him is lengthy. One would think he would at least consider all of his options. But, only time will tell. If Kenny Payne is serious about pursuing Battle, then it he will have to make up some ground in his recruitment.