I remember reading a piece on the Internet about how the ninth ranked overall player—in 2008—according to Rivals.com signed with Rick Pitino and the Cardinals.
He was said to better than players like Ed Davis, Luke Babbitt, the Morris twins, and more.
That same year they added another player in Terrence Jennings, who was said to be an athletic shot blocker.
My first thoughts were, with Samuels, Jennings, Terrence Williams, and Edgar Sosa, Louisville might be a sleeper in the tournament this year.
In his first game, Louisville played Morehead St. Samuels went on to score 18 points, grabbing five rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting. That ranks amongst the best in Louisville history for single game scoring in a debut.
He continued his scoring throughout most of the games, scoring in double figures in 24 games in his freshman year. He also acquired a 13 rebound performance against Ole Miss.
His best game freshman season had to come in the NCAA Tournament when Louisville faced ninth-ranked Siena.
Samardo Samuels’s performance was overshadowed by Terrence Williams, and Earl Clark’s double-double, but Samuels’ defensive intensity helped Louisville to its second straight Sweet 16 berth. In the game Samuels scored 13 points, grabbed eight boards, and blocked five shots.
After an exit in the Elite Eight to Michigan State—scoreless performance—the Cardinals' offseason had officially started and Samardo Samuels looked to take on a bigger role in the offense after Terrence Williams declared for the NBA Draft.
At the beginning of next season, Samuels took a much bigger role in the scoring offense. He averaged around 15.3 points a game and scored in double-figures in every game this season but five.
His best game this season came in a rout of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he snatched down 15 rebounds and scored 29 points.
His domination in the post continued throughout the season, but his inconsistent leadership lead to an early exit, and disappointing season.
All was not bad—he became a more in-depth shot blocker and rebounder. His leadership skills grew, he just came to be too inconsistent. His game continued to grow throughout the season, and all Louisville expected to see Samardo Samuels in a Louisville uniform next year.
However, it did not work out that way and Samardo is off to the NBA draft.
His career numbers at Louisville looks like this: 942 points, 412 rebounds, and 86 blocks. This is our farewell to an once great Louisville player—goodbye Samardo Samuels and thanks for the memories.