As the 2016-2017 Men’s Basketball season draws closer, it is time for all you Louisville basketball fans to get familiar with some new additions to the Cards squad. Since Damion Lee and Trey Lewis both graduated and Chinanu Onuaku left early for the NBA Draft, a few additions were made to the young Louisville basketball team. (Image from thecrunchzone.com)
5-Star SF (Fairfax, VA)
In this year’s recruiting rankings, V.J. King was considered the top recruit coming out of Virginia, and was ranked #23 on the 2016 ESPN100 Ranking Index. King is about average in height and weight for his position, measuring at 6’7” and 179 lbs, but the mental aspect of basketball he contains sets him apart from others at the small-forward position. With Damion Lee graduating and the lack of playmaking ability at the three spot for the Cards, V.J King will be heavily leaned upon by Rick Pitino and the entire Louisville Cardinal basketball team to create plays and deliver down the stretch. His numbers won’t blow you away, but he is responsible for every basket made for his team and will always trust his teammates abilities more than his own. Rick Pitino will definitely have V.J. King out on the floor opening night for the Cards and will count on him to bring Louisville back to the NCAA Tournament.
(G) Graduate Transfer Senior (University of Pennsylvania)
With Trey Lewis graduating and striking out on big name recruits, Rick Pitino decided to hit the transfer market again to try and find experienced, veteran players to add to his roster. As a result, Pitino found Tony Hicks from The University of Pennsylvania. Hicks is 6’2” 180 lbs, and sat out all of last season due to complications with his new coach at Penn. In all three seasons that he played at Penn, he averaged more than 10.4 PPG each season, and saw his field goal and three-point percentage rise over the three year span. Hicks was all set on going to Oregon after graduating from Penn, but after visiting the campus of Louisville, he said quote, “It was too good to pass up, especially after seeing the success Damion Lee and Trey Lewis had at Louisville this season.” Coach Pitino is very high on Tony Hicks and loves his work ethic based on what he has seen this summer, and it would not be a shocker to see him in the starting five opening day. Pitino is known for doing great things with graduate transfers. Every year, he brings in unknown players from low-tier schools, and brings out the best in them. He did it with Trey Lewis and Damion Lee, and now he is ready to do it with Tony Hicks.
(G) Walk-On Transfer Freshman (UNC-Asheville)
Don’t let the term “Walk-On” make you overlook Dwayne Sutton. After playing his freshman season last year at UNC-Asheville, Sutton is ready to become a cardinal. Sutton was a scholarship athlete at UNC-Asheville, but decided to join Louisville as a Preferred Walk-On, even though they still have one scholarship available. He averaged 12.7 PPG and 7.7 RPG last season as a 6’5”, 195 lbs guard. He was named the MVP of the Big South Tournament and led UNC-Asheville to the NCAA Tournament with a stellar Big South Championship Game where he posted 25 points and snagged 18 rebounds. As a hometown kid, Dwayne Sutton will be welcomed back to Louisville where he will look to make a difference for the Cards. With three years of eligibility, Coach Pitino will definitely develop Dwayne Sutton into a well-rounded basketball player that could end up becoming the face of the team some day!
With loads of talent returning to The Ville next season and key offseason additions, Louisville fans have a lot to look forwards to! Watch out ACC, the Cardinals are ready to strike!
The Ville ‘20