Now that we know who is coming back and who is leaving Louisville Basketball it is time to map out, what scholarships the Cards have available for 2015-16 and what the Depth Chart might look like.
Before we go too far, let’s look at the scholarships available. Louisville loses Wayne Blackshear to graduation, Terry Rozier & Montrezl Harrell to the NBA, Chris Jones to dismissal, and Akoy Agau & Anton Gill to transfer. Also walk-on Trent Gilbert left earlier in the season.
With that, Louisville has signed Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, and Raymond Spalding to play for the Cards in 2015-16. Ryan McMahon has committed to UofL and will sign with the school on April 15th.
That leaves UofL with TWO scholarships to fill in 2015-16 and we’re hearing all of the names that the coaches are pursuing. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the CURRENT Depth Chart before any more change happens to try and find a rationale. (below the chart)
|1||Quentin Snider||1||Terry Rozier|
|2||Matz Stockman||2||Anton Gill|
|3||Jaylen Johnson||3||Quentin Snider|
|4||Mangok Mathiang||4||Chris Jones|
|5||Anas Mahmoud||5||Matz Stockman|
|6||Shaqquan Aaron||6||Jaylen Johnson|
|7||Chinanu Onuaku||7||Mangok Mathiang|
|8||Donovan Mitchell||8||Anas Mahmoud|
|9||Deng Adel||9||Shaqquan Aaron|
|10||Raymond Spalding||10||Akoy Agau|
|11||Ryan McMahon||11||Montrezl Harrell|
|Dillon Avare||Dillon Avare|
|David Levitch||David Levitch|
1) Quentin Snider 6’2, 180, Soph. – 16.4 mins, 4.1 pts, 1.3 ast
2) Ryan McMahon 5-11, 165, Fr.
3) Dillon Avare 6’0, 150, Soph. – 0.5 mins, 0.5 pts, 0 ast, 0.5 rebs
1) Donovan Mitchell 6’3, 180, Fr.
2) David Levitch 6’3, 180, Jr.
1) Shaqquan Aaron 6’7, 170, Soph. – 7.2 mins, 1.3 pts, 0.7 rebs OR
1) Deng Adel 6’7, 185, Fr.
1) Jaylen Johnson 6’9, 215, Soph. – 4.6 mins, 1.3 pts, 1.2 rebs OR
1) Anas Mahmoud 7’0, 200, Soph. – 7.9 mins, 1.2 pts, 1.4 rebs
3) Raymond Spalding 6’9, 200, Fr.
1) Mangok Mathiang 6-10, 220, Jr. – 18.7 mins, 2.6 pts, 4.7 rebs, 1.4 blocks OR
1) Chinanu Onuaku 6-10, 230, Soph. – 17.8 mins, 3.0, 4.6 rebs, 1.2 blocks
3) Matz Stockman 7-0, 240, Soph- 3.4 mins, 0.5 pts, 2.8 rebs, 1.0 blocks
The Cards have bodies and potential at the 3, 4, and 5 spots. But Louisville Basketball is desperate for experience. Who is the captain? Mangok Mathiang? Quentin Snider?
But more than anything, Louisville needs guards. Point Guard or Combo guard along with a solid 2-guard. The Cards have 2 ships available and looking at the roster it’s easy to see what type of player Rick Pitino & Company will be going for.
At Point Guard the only option is Quentin Snider who definitely showed potential late in the Spring of 2015. But It would behoove the staff to buy a little insurance, injuries & the sophomore bounce happen. At the 2 spot, it’s Donovan Mitchell or bust…..or Pitino must hedge with trying to play either Deng Adel or Shaqquan Aaron at the 2 in relief. It’s possible, but it is probably better to find a combo (like Trey Lewis) who can play both point & shooting guard and solve a depth, experience, and leadership issue.
At the Small Forward, Deng Adel & Shaqquan Aaron will push each other. Something has to shake out. Aaron would do well to gain 10-15 and find some confidence. And the summer Caribbean trips will do wonders for Adel (and all the freshman). If neither works out or is ready, Louisville could elect to play small with Donovan Mitchell OR play BIG with Anas Mahmoud at the 3. There are enough options here to feel good about this spot.
Power Forward has 3 very bright spots. Jaylen Johnson has drawn rave reviews and his limited minutes left fans wanting more late during 2014-15 season. A summer here (Jaylen arrived to campus late this year with an eligibility issue) will do Johnson WONDERS. Great attitude, great potential. The problem at Power Forward is finding time between two high potential players…..Anas Mahmoud flashed a GREAT DEAL of game when given the opportunity and his skill set suggest that he would be best suited at the Power Forward spot. He also could play Center if necessary. Incoming freshman Raymond Spalding also could play Center if needed and many believe that Raymond will come in right away and make an impact. If that is the case, Louisville has 3 extremely solid 4-men that also could play in other positions. Development to this group is the key.
The Center spot is a little more tricky. Louisville has gotten very little offensively out of the Center spot since Gorgui Dieng’s departure at the end of 2013. At one point during the 2014-15 season, Louisville was 350th (out of 351) in Center Offensive Production. That MUST change. Mangok Mathiang gives the program everything he has and plays with great energy. Mangok needs to work on his ball-handling and finishing around the rim. Mathiang can shoot 50% from the foul line and be acceptable if he is finishing lay-ups…something he didn’t do this year. Chinanu Onuaku is more gifted, but plays basketball with two limitations: Focus & Conditioning. Onuaku isn’t suited to be an offensive juggernaut, but his rebounding, ball-handling, and passing make him a more dangerous offensive player. But Nanu would mentally check out at times and others it would seem that he was playing on an empty tank. This is a HUGE off-season for Nanu. The big question mark is Matz Stockman. Rick Pitino reports that Stockman’s game is going to be tremendous, but he didn’t play Matz because of the language barrier with the scouting report. When given the opportunity Matz played well. I’m very much interested in seeing how he develops in a year.