While the Elite 8 loss to Sparty was a heartbreaker, the 2014-15 campaign was a success. The Cards finished at 27-9, 4th in the ACC, and gave their fans an exciting March run in the tournament. As is generally the case with UofL basketball, this off-season figures to be rather newsworthy. The ball got rolling today with Pitino announcing that Terry will turn pro and re-confirming that Trez is taking his talent to the NBA. Who else will be brought in for the 2015 class? Who will transfer? Let’s take a look….
PG Quentin Snider headlines the cast of guys returning. The front court will see a slew of players coming back including Mangok, Chinanu, and Matz at the 5. It’s easy to see that Mathiang can be a solid player off the bench, but he’s not the answer as far as starting. Onuaku has shown flashes, but his motor and consistency have been questioned. Stockman played so sparingly that we don’t know just how good he really is. Jaylen Johnson is someone who will figure heavily into the rotation for the foreseeable future at the 4. Anas Mahmoud will get a lot of clock at the 4 – and 5 – as well.
Potential Transfers Out
The two players who have generated the most buzz as far as leaving the program are Shaqquan Aaron and Anton Gill. It’s no secret that Aaron hasn’t been very happy, all you have to do as look at him on the bench. Plus, he’s been in and out of Pitino’s doghouse the entire year. After putting up 11 points against Wake Forest in early January, he has done little with the opportunities given to him since. The next candidate is Anton Gill. The 6’4 guard was projected to be the team’s 6th man who would provide some offensive punch. He did help secure the Sweet 16 win over NC State by scoring 7 points in the second half, but had just two games before that where he was able to put the ball in the basket with any regularity (FIU – 15 points; FSU – 14).
To date, Louisville has a Top 5 class coming in, led by 5-star guard Donovan Mitchell. He’s joined by 5/4star- Deng Adel and 5/4-star Ray Spalding. UofL has a commitment from 3-star shooter Ryan McMahon as well. Adel and Mitchell will play significant minutes right away, while Spalding and McMahon must add more muscle and weight to be a factor at this level. Coach P must be willing to play Spalding and McMahon in the non-conference to get them seasoned for the second half of the year.
Potential New Additions
Coach Pitino has said numerous times that he wants to bring in a couple of transfers who would be eligible right away. Those prospects are likely to come from two sources – JUCO and/or D-1 graduates.
Here are some names that are out there:
The 5 spot is a logjam and the numbers will have to work themselves out. Mahmoud is ideally a 4, so he could slide to that spot. Will Mathiang, Onuaku, and Stockman still all be here along with highly touted freshman Ray Spalding? We’ll soon find out.
Way-too-early Starting Lineup Projection
G-Quentin Snider (Soph.)
G-Incoming Transfer or Donovan Mitchell (Fr.)
C/F-Anas Mahmoud (Soph.)
F-Jaylen Johnson (Soph.)
F-Deng Adel (Fr.)