Now that the 2008-2009 college basketball season is over, let us take a peek at what the 2009-2010 version of the Louisville Cardinals will look like.
Louisville did everything this year, but reach the Final Four and win a National Championship. That turned what could have been the greatest season in Cardinal history, into a disappointment. Louisville still accomplished things no other Cardinal team has (Big East regular season and tournament championship, schools first ever No. 1 ranking), and should be proud of these accomplishments.
Coming off a 31-6 season and a second straight Elite Eight appearance, the Cardinals will be losing three starters. They will once again need to discover a new personality as their top two scorers and leaders, Twill and Earl, are gone and their senior defensive leader McGee departs as well.
Louisville’s recruiting class is currently ranked among the top 12 teams by ESPN.com, 12th in the nation by Rivals.com and 19th by Scout.com.
My starting five for next year is Sosa, Smith, Swopshire, Samuels, and Jennings, with Siva eventually replacing Sosa.
No. Player Pos Ht Wt Yr Hometown
11 Brickley, Chris G 6′ 4″ 175 Jr Manchester, NH (Southern New Hampshire U)
12 Delk, Reginald G 6′ 4″ 200 Sr Jackson, TN (Mississippi State University)
22 Goode, George F 6′ 8″ 230 So Raytown, MO (Raytown South HS)
23 Jennings, Terrence F 6′ 9″ 220 So Sacramento, CA (Notre Dame Prep)
2 Knowles, Preston G 6′ 1″ 190 Jr Winchester, KY (George Rogers Clark HS)
14 Kuric, Kyle G 6′ 4″ 195 So Evansville, IN (Memorial HS)
24 Samuels, Samardo F 6′ 9″ 260 So Trelawny, Jamaica (St. Benedict Prep)
34 Smith, Jerry G 6′ 2″ 202 Sr Wauwatosa, WI (Wauwatosa East HS)
10 Sosa, Edgar G 6′ 2″ 175 Sr New York, NY (Rice HS)
25 Steiden, Lee F 6′ 4″ 190 Jr Louisville, KY (St. Xavier HS)
21 Swopshire, Jared F 6′ 8″ 205 So St. Louis, MO (IMG Academy)
1 Williams, Terrence F 6′ 6″ 220 Sr Seattle, WA (Rainier Beach HS)
5 Clark, Earl F 6′ 9″ 225 Jr Plainfield, NJ (Rahway HS)
33 McGee, Andre G 5′ 10″ 180 Sr Moreno Valley, CA (Canyon Springs HS)
20 Scott, Will G 6′ 4″ 185 Sr New York, NY (Cornell University)
Rakeem Buckles F 6′ 8″ 200 Fr Miami, FL (Monsignor Pace HS)
Mike Marra G 6′ 4″ 200 Fr Smithfield, RI (Northfield (Mass.) Mt. Hermon)
Peyton Siva G 5′ 11″ 165 Fr Seattle, WA (Franklin HS)
Stephan Van Treese F 6′ 9″ 220 Fr Indianapolis, IN (Lawrence North HS)
A quick look at the newcomers:
Averaged 12.6 points and 9.7 rebounds in leading team to second strait Florida 4-A championship. More of an Earl Clark type forward, he has the ability to create his own shot and score off the dribble with ease. He can take on larger defenders off the dribble and post up smaller ones, scoring easily. The same goes for Rakeem on the defensive end though, as that is where the majority of his improvement needs to happen.
Mike has nearly unlimited range and does a great job of curling off screens for jumpers, effectively squaring his body to the rim and making good use of his lightning quick release. He averaged 19.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals and is ranked in Top 50 shooting guards by ESPN.com. In the 2008 National Prep Showcase, he went 9-for-17 from deep. “He’s the best high school shooter I have seen in my life,” said Rick Pitino. “I know that’s quite a statement.”
The biggest name of the group and a pure point guard with unbelievable speed and quickness. Siva averaged 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals this year and is ranked as the 8th PG in the nation by Rivals.com. He had six points and nine assists in the McDonald’s All-American game.
Stephan Van Treese
Van Treese is a strong and physical power forward. He averaged 11.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He also runs the floor well and is a monster on the offensive glass. He will need to improve his post game and footwork to score consistently deep in the post with his back to the basket.