Photo courtesy of Louisville athletics
The Louisville men’s basketball season, like many, has been called into question by the current pandemic.
With a roster that has been refilled with several recruits from the high school ranks as well as a couple grad transfers, the Cardinals will still look to contend for a spot in the top 25 this upcoming season — assuming there is one.
Head coach Chris Mack and staff haven’t gotten tunnel vision and forgotten the 2021 recruiting class. Recent events however, haven’t exactly played well in the Cardinals’ favor.
Top-40 prospect Bryce Hopkins, a star Midwestern power forward who was Louisville’s top recruit, has decommited from Mack’s class and all indicators point towards hated in-state rival Kentucky as his most likely landing spot. On the bright side, there have been rumors of a potential commitment coming soon for the Cardinals.
The word on South Floyd is that the recruit might be one, center Roosevelt Wheeler. That is by no means a set-in-stone story.
Three other commits remain in a class that is expected to welcome five or six members to replace turnover and transfers. They are as follows:
Elbert Ellis, G (****)
Ellis is considered one of the top junior college prospects in the borders of the United States. Coming in at No. 2 overall and the top combo guard, Ellis, in recent competition, has shown impressive athleticism and footwork. There was a little steam about Ellis potentially checking out the professional route. The bright side is that seems to have been either very quick and disregarded or completely wrong. It seems as of right now that Ellis is going nowhere. If Mack and company can hang on to Ellis, they’ll grab a good one.
Bobby Pettiford, G (***)
Pettiford is one of the higher-ranked prospects on Tobacco Road. Coming in as a 4-star point guard, according to 247Sports, from North Carolina, he is expected to take over at the one after David Johnson and Carlik Jones move on. At 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Jones will most likely bulk up a few pounds by the time his junior and senior year roll around. He can expected to be one of the top ball distributors in the conference when his time comes to shine.
Eric Van Der Heijden, F (***)
Now, to round out our current trio of Carolina Cardinals. Eric Van Der Heijden comes into the picture. As a small forward from Raleigh, Van Der Heijden claims the third overall spot regardless of position in the state of North Carolina. Van Der Heijden is expected to switch off at wing spots at Louisville, playing both forward positions. Who Louisville nabs to replace Hopkins could shape which position the North Carolina native plays most often.
On Commitment Watch
Roosevelt Wheeler, C
Hunter Sallis, CG
D’Marco Dunn, SG