Louisville basketball: Transfer portal update. Who’s trending to the Cardinals? Vol. 5

Kenny Payne's 2023 recruiting class for Louisville basketball is No. 5 in 247Sports' 2023 composite rankings.Syndication The Courier Journal
Kenny Payne's 2023 recruiting class for Louisville basketball is No. 5 in 247Sports' 2023 composite rankings.Syndication The Courier Journal /
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RJ Luis – Guard – 6’7 – UMass

So, technically, RJ Luis is not a new name to this list, as I spoke about him last week, but he is certainly the most interesting player in the portal for Louisville fans, as he’s the first player to officially take a visit.

After a desperate last few weeks, seeing dozens of other high-priority guards take visits to seemingly everywhere but Louisville, it’s nice to finally see a guard come visit the Louisville campus.

Luis averaged 11.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, & 1.3 APG on 46% FG last season for the Minutemen. He also shot 35% from the three-point line.

Those numbers were good enough to land him on the A-10 All-Freshman team. As Luis came on strong towards the end of the season, he scored in double figures in 13 of his last 15 games.

Here are a couple of highlights in a late-season game against the Dayton Flyers where Luis scored 21 points and had 9 rebounds.

After watching three full games of his, I’m a huge fan of Luis’ game. He’s listed as the 44th-best player in the portal, according to 247Sports. Here’s my breakdown of his pros and cons:


  • Strong mid-range jump shooter
  • Good handle for a SG/SF
  • Composed when driving to the basket
    • Oftentimes goes off two feet when driving, and he uses his length and strength well to get into defenders, and then shoot around and over them at the rim.
  • Aggressive attacking the basket
  • Good in ISO situations
  • Great elevation on his jump shot
    • He’s already 6’7, so he can shoot over a lot of guards, but his incredible elevation on his jumper just makes it even harder to contest his shots.
  • VERY strong offensive rebounder –>1.6 ORPG
    • Nearly 2 offensive rebounds per game. That’s incredible offensive rebounding for a guard.
    • For reference, Sydney Curry averaged fewer offensive rebounds per game, on a similar amount of minutes played per night.


  • Cannot play point guard
    • This isn’t a knock on Luis’ game. I just think this team needs another primary ball handler that can initiate the offense, and Luis is not that.
  • Somewhat slow feet on defense.
    • Struggles at times to quickly get around screens and oftentimes gets beat on backdoor cuts.
  • Not the strongest playmaker
    • Only 1.3 APG to 2.2 TOs per game. I don’t think he’s turnover prone or careless with the ball, but he could certainly work on his playmaking ability.
  • Not the strongest three-point shooter
    • This isn’t the biggest con, as Luis shot just under 35% from three last year, but that was on less than two attempts per game.
    • In the games I watched, three-point shooting was certainly not a strength of his, but that can always be improved.

All in all, I’d be a huge fan of Kenny Payne signing Luis. Despite what some say, this team still needs more guards. We’ve certainly brought in more talent, but it’s young talent, and most of it is a talent that will play the 3, 4, or 5 positions.

Luis would be a great player to fill our open two-guard position. Plus, he’s only going to be a sophomore next season, so we could end up getting a backcourt of Skyy Clark and RJ Luis for years to come.