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Welcome back to the Hoos Place 2017 Offseason Refresh, where we review last season and this summer's personnel moves for all 15 ACC programs in alphabetical order. To read program capsules already complete, you can click here. Today we look at the...

Louisville Cardinals

(Updated 9/27 after the dismissal of coach Rick Pitino)

Louisville entered this offseason with high hopes. Quality returning veterans? Check. 5-star youngsters off the bench? Check. Proven coach? Check. Well, that was all well and good until the FBI revealed Top 10 freshman Brian Bowen was allegedly paid $100,000 to attend Louisville, and Rick Pitino was fired a day later. The veteran talent remains, but who will lead them? How will they respond?

Coach: ???

2016-17 Record: 25-9 (12-6); ACCT quarterfinals (3 seed); NCAAT 2nd round (2 seed)

2016-17 Efficiency:

National:

ORtg: 117.2 (22 of 351)

DRtg: 91.7 (8 of 351)

ACC:

ORtg: 113.1 (4 of 15)

DRtg: 100.9 (3 of 15)

 

Roster Roundup:

Key Departures:

PG Tony Hicks (Grad)

SG Donovan Mitchell (Pro)

PF Jaylen Johnson (Pro)

PF Mangok Mathiang (Grad) 

23 G, 10 mpg, 3.7 ppg, 0.8 apg, 0.9 topg, 25% 3p%

34 G, 32.3 mpg, 15.6 ppg, 2.7 apg, 1.6 topg, 35% 3p%

34 G, 20.5 mpg, 8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.5 blkpg, 59% fg%

33 G, 20.8 mpg, 7.8 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.1 blkpg, 53% fg%

Key Returnees:

PG Quentin Snyder (Sr)

SG Ryan McMahon (RS So)

SF Deng Adel (Jr)

SF VJ King (So)

PF Ray Spalding (Jr)

C Anas Mahmoud (Sr)

28 G, 31.3 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 4.1 apg, 1.5 topg, 37% 3p%

28 G, 6.3 mpg, 2.5 ppg, 0.6 apg, 0.4 topg, 37% 3p%

33 G, 30.1 mpg, 12.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.469 2p%, 35% 3p%

33 G, 13.5 mpg, 5.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.436 2p%, 42% 3p%

34 G, 19.2 mpg, 5.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.9 blkpg, 59% fg%

31 G, 18.7 mpg, 5.7 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.1 blkpg, 62% fg%

Key Additions:

PG Darius Perry (4* Fr)

SF Brian Bowen (5* Fr) **

SF Jordan Nwora (4* Fr)

PF Lance Thomas (3* Fr)

C Malik Williams (4* Fr) 

 

 Projected starters in bold

** Brian Bowen will likely be declared ineligible due to alleged payouts from an agent. 

2017/18 ACC Opponents:

Home & Away: Pittsburgh, Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech
Home Only: Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Syracuse 
Away Only: Miami, Clemson, Duke, NC State, Notre Dame 

 

Outlook:

The talent is certainly there. Snyder will have a bevy of weapons on his wings to get the ball to; Adel is primed to take that next step to elite wing scorer, and VJ King should look much better as a sophomore. A weak spot will be post depth, as quality starters Mahmoud and Spalding will give way to two freshmen (though Williams is highly regarded). But none of this may matter given the multitude of distractions and uncertainty underpinning the program. Pitino is gone. The NCAA is still considering penalties related to the escort scandal. The FBI is investigating the Bowen bribes. This team, on talent alone, is still going to win some games this year. But they're going to struggle against better teams, where they lack the steadying hand of a Hall of Fame coach to prepare them, and veteran upstarts like Georgia Tech and Wake Forest are going to be eying the Cards as a marquee opportunity to capitalize. We'll place them as a low-end NCAA Tournament team for now, assuming a solid interim coach is hired and the NCAA doesn't hit them with further penalties during the season, but we also wouldn't be surprised to see their season end in early March.

This article contains the tags:

Louisville, Offseason Refresh, Conference