Louisville basketball one step closer to fifth engagement?
Things have been relatively calm on the Louisville basketball scouting front since he secured a surprising entry from four-star winger Michael James, especially with Chris Mack and the Cards ultimately taking the ground in preparation for the 2020-21 season.
Mack and the staff got off to a good start in the 2021 class, despite some significant failures. They hold no commitments. 1 JUCO El Ellis player, four-star Bobby Pettiford Jr. and the aforementioned James, as well as three-star combo striker Eric Van Der Hejiden, giving them the 20th best class nationally according to 247 Sports.
With two guards, one wing and one front already in the crease, there remains a glaring need in the 21-class for Mack and company, and it’s in the center.
Since the 2021 class started to take shape, there have been two names on the board for Louisville that could easily be ranked as the first target, both in the middle position. The one Mack clearly focused on as “his” guy was four-star Roosevelt Wheeler from Richmond, Va.
If you’ve read recruiting articles from Louisville to Big Red Louie in the past six months or so, you’re probably with the tall 6’11, 220 pounds who ranks 247 Sports as the 61st best player nationally and the 11th best center. .
The Cards have been looking for Wheeler for some time, offering him shortly after closing following a campus visit (yes, that actually happened in 2020). It was during this visit that Wheeler saw one of the most electric KFC Yums! Center the crowds in a game where Louisville would put their Virginia demons to sleep, bringing down the Cavaliers. After the game he said: “I could definitely see myself play later.”
Wheeler officially released its top five schools on Saturday morning, with a list including LSU, North Carolina State, VCU, Hampton and, of course, the Louisville basketball program.
There is still a lot of work to be done in the final race for Wheeler, especially when it comes to retaining the bag man / LSU and the growing trend to play through the ranks of the HBCU. While Mack and the staff managed to get a good point with the four-star center and by all accounts put in tons of work, Louisville needs to get the winner away from this race.
This is by far the most important year when it comes to landing a big man for Mack, as he will lose starting center and team captain Malik Williams at the end of the 2020-21 season, leaving him with a duo that can be ranked. as less experienced at Aidan Igiehon and Gabe Wiznitzer.
What Louisville would get is simple – a tall, dynamic, athletic man who would match the recruiting class to a t. Here’s what I wrote about his game in July when I ranked him as one of the most intriguing rookies on the Louisville board:
“Wheeler is a man among the boys who plays at John Marshall High School in Richmond, Va. And it shows in the numbers he put together as a junior. Average of 15.8 points and 11.9 rebounds per game, Wheeler dominated and garnered a lot of attention from the big schools.
At 6’10, 220 pounds, Wheeler has a college-ready size and has the framework to add even more muscle in a strength and conditioning program, making his potential very high. He’s a tall athlete who moves very well for his size, and in the modern, fast-paced style of college basketball he is a burgeoning rim runner capable of dominating games.
Scratching only the surface of his potential, Wheeler doesn’t quite have Efton Reid’s offensive repertoire and will need the help of a seasoned low-post teacher like assistant coach Mike Pegues to develop his potential. of goal. However, he will likely thrive as an offensive rebounder and a guy capable of explosive folds, lanes, and other scoring games around the rim.
Where he’ll thrive right away is on the defensive side, where he translates into an elite rim protector thanks to his incredibly long arms as well as a strong defensive rebounder. His athleticism and quick feet make him an excellent choice in the defense of the peloton line, especially as a defender who is able to protect against smaller guards in ball screen situations.
There is no timeline or wait for a decision from Wheeler, but it looks like Louisville basketball will have as good a chance as any.