Danilo Jovanovich: What you don’t know about Louisville basketball’s newest commit

Mar 31, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Hurricanes forward Danilo Jovanovich (23) during a practice session the day before the Final Four of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 31, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Hurricanes forward Danilo Jovanovich (23) during a practice session the day before the Final Four of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

Head Coach Kenny Payne and the University of Louisville basketball program landed a surprising commitment this afternoon from former Miami forward Danilo Jovanovich. Jovanovich played his high school basketball at Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wisconsin. Graduating as a member of the Class of 2022, the 6-foot-7, 200-pound prospect committed to the University of Miami as a consensus-three star prospect.

He was the No. 43 overall small forward prospect out of a possible 66 players, according to 247Sports. Jovanovich had an impressive career at the AAU level, but once he arrived in the Division I collegiate ranks, he got injured and only played in two minutes of a game early last season on November 23, 2022, against St. Francis Brooklyn.

Jovanovich has a quietly impressive resume that includes honors such as being named the Player of the Year in the Woodland East Conference during his junior season, First Team All-State following his senior season, and many more.

After committing to Miami, Danilo Jovanovich hit a growth spurt and grew from 6-foot-7 to 6-foot-8, and gained 19 pounds.

Heading into college, Danilo Jovanovich was 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds, but now he is 6-foot-8 and 219 pounds. He still maintains a relatively lean build, but he does have solid muscle mass and a decent frame to be able to handle defenders either in the paint or on his way to the basket.

According to Wisconsin Sports Network, Jovanovich is versatile and can score with his back to the basket and from the perimeter. For a big man who is left-handed, he can create mismatches on the baseline or perimeter with his lengthy wingspan and ability to knock down the three-ball.

Over the course of his high school career, he slowly increased his points per game average each year. As a freshman, he averaged 13.4 points per game. As a sophomore, 20.6 points per game. As a junior, 22.0 points per game. And as a senior, 28.7 points per game. In his senior season, he averaged 11.8 rebounds to go along with 28.7 points per game, which helped lead his team to an impressive 24-4 overall record, including an 11-0 conference record.

He shared the floor in high school with Tyler Herro’s two younger brothers, Austin and Myles.

Whitnall High School is also the same high school that Tyler Herro attended before committing to the University of Kentucky and being drafted by the Miami Heat in the 2019 NBA Draft. As a way to help young athletes in the state of Wisconsin reach their full potential, Tyler Herro launched Team Herro, an AAU team in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that would go on to compete against the best AAU teams in the nation.

Danilo Jovanovich played for Team Herro and was the leading scorer in the 2021 Circuit with 15.5 points per game. He also led his team in rebounds with 6.8 rebounds per game. Danilo Jovanovich can put the ball in the basket and fill it up when given the chance to do so. During his senior season, he scored a game-high 42 points against Kimberly High School and had two separate 40-point outings against New Berlin Eisenhower and Greenfield. All of which were wins for Whitnall.

He has confidence in himself and his game, which explains his ability to score at will.

In an interview with Eric Bossi of 247Sports in 2021, Jovanovich had this to say about his game:

"“I just feel like I can do everything. I have a really high motor so whatever you need me to do; defend, shoot the three, get to the rim, rebound, I can do. I just feel like I’m getting to the basket and that my three-point shooting and post up are working really well.”"

His three-point shooting ability was showcased the most during his junior season when he was shooting at a 35% clip, and then it slightly decreased down to a 32% clip during his senior year. But, he also averaged a double-double in his final high school season, so not too much to be disappointed about there.

With his rise during his senior season, the Division I schools started to call him. He held offers from USC, DePaul, Penn State, Wake Forest, and Miami, among a few mid-major offers. He chose the Hurricanes because of the family atmosphere, but it also seems possible that he went to South Florida because Tyler Herro plays for the Miami Heat, and his favorite player, Dwyane Wade, is a Miami legend.

His freshman campaign with Miami got off to a rocky start with an ankle injury.

He committed to Head Coach Jim Larranaga on October 15, 2021. The regular season was slated to start with an exhibition game against Indiana University Pennsylvania (IUP) on October 30, 2021. According to 247Sports, Jovanovich didn’t even sign his National Letter of Intent until November 10, 2021, which was one game into the regular season already.

On November 23, 2022, Danilo Jovanovich made his college debut against St. Francis Brooklyn for two minutes. He sat out the previous five games due to a left ankle injury. So, it was not the ideal start to his college career that he had in mind.

After that performance, Head Coach Jim Larranaga wanted to redshirt Danilo but was unable to do so because he appeared in a game, even if it was for two minutes. The NCAA does not have the four-game maximum in basketball as it does in football. So, unfortunately for him, he did not see the floor for the rest of the season and decided to enter his name into the transfer portal on April 4, 2023.

To say his recruitment was hush-hush would be an understatement. Nobody knew where he was going or what was going on with him until he announced, via his Twitter page today, that he committed to the University of Louisville.

He is still young with tons of time to develop and will join a young roster where all of these young players can develop together. He is a very nice, under-the-radar pickup and can create mismatch problems for opponents.

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