Montrezl Harrell is coming back for his junior season. This is huge news for the Louisville Cardinals who had a lot of questions for the 2014-15 season heading into the ACC. Now instead of being a top 25 team, Louisville is a top 10 team.
The biggest questions that most had without Harrell was the lack of depth at the four spot. Akoy Agua would likely be the next in line, although Louisville does have Jaylen Johnson and some other freshman in that could fill that spot, but in Pitino’s system the power forward position can be difficult to learn right away.
Louisville may pickup another player for their roster, I would expect a good wing. There are some rumors the Chris Jones is wavering on if he should come back or go overseas to play pro. He didn’t help rumors Monday after tweeting this:
Thinking about a lot smh tough decisions coming soon I just have to do what’s right mite hurt some feelings mite not they yal will understan
— Chris Jones (@iAM_UNGUARDABLE) April 14, 2014
So now that Harrell is staying and Louisville fans have exhausted the paper bags they were breathing in, let’s take a look at what the Louisville Cardinals will look like for the 2014-15 season.
Point guard: Terry Rozier and Quentin Snider (if Jones returns you can add him to this list) will be leading the team from the point. Rozier will likely start, if Jones doesn’t return, since he has experience and knows Pitino’s system. Snider will get plenty of playing time. He has great length and can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor.
Shooting Guard: I would expect it will be Wayne Blackshear, Anton Gill and Rozier taking turns at this position. Shaqquan Aaron also has the ability to play SG. Blackshear would get a chance to show a lot more of his abilities if Pitino chooses to make him the shooting guard.
Small Forward: Shaqquan Aaron and Blackshear will likely takes turns at this position. Aaron is very athletic and can get to the rim quickly. Aaron is also an amazing passer.
Power Forward: Montrezl Harrell, Akoy Agua and Jaylen Johnson will be the options for Pitino at the four spot. This looks a lot more promising of a position now that Trezl is staying.
Center: Mangkok Mathiang is the likely starter, with freshman Chinanu Onuaku, Anas Osama Mahmoud and Matz Stockman adding depth. One or two of the freshman will likely red-shirt. Pitino really doesn’t know how good Stockman and Mahmoud will be. They both have talent, but not sure how they will fit in the system.
What was the one thing that hurt Louisville the most in the 2013-14 season? I would have to say it was size. When playing the likes of Kentucky, Louisville could not compete with their size and depth at the four and five spot. Pitino seems to have fixed that issues with size and length at every position.
Who will step up on offense and lead the Cards in scoring without Russ Smith? Shaqquan Aaron is the real deal, he will give Louisville a spurt of energy whether he is starting or coming off the bench. Harrell will most likely average 4-5 dunks per game, so you can count on him to add a ton of offense. Also with Blackshear being a captain and having the fire under his butt I would look to him to be a top contributor on offense.
What are your thoughts? Comment below.