Louisville Ranked No. 4 in 247Sports' Way-Too-Early ACC Power Rankings

The Cardinals are welcoming 12 newcomers for year one under new head coach Pat Kelsey.
Mar 24, 2023; Seattle, WA, USA; Louisville Cardinals mascot Louie
Mar 24, 2023; Seattle, WA, USA; Louisville Cardinals mascot Louie / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Since being named the head coach of the Louisville men's basketball program back on Mar. 28, Pat Kelsey has done a masterful job on the roster management front.

In the days and weeks following the firing of former head coach Kenny Payne, all 12 of the Cardinals' scholarship players from the 2023-24 roster entered the transfer portal. With a massive rebuild in front of him, Kelsey and his staff attacked the portal decisively and with purpose.

As of this writing, Louisville has filled all but one of their 13 open scholarships, bringing in 11 transfers and one high school prospect to form a roster that very well seems like it will be competitive in year one of the Kelsey era. While the 2024-25 season is still months away, national outlets are beginning to agree with that sentiment.

On Tuesday, 247Sports released their way-too-early ACC Power Rankings with the majority of the transfer portal action across college basketball said and done. They ranked Louisville among the upper tier teams of the conference, placing them at No. 4. They trail only Duke, North Carolina and Miami.

"Have an offseason, Pat Kelsey. Louisville's facelift is real and wonderful," 247Sports' Isaac Trotter wrote. "Louisville's roster is filled with nasty two-way playmakers and skilled, shot-making frontcourt pieces. [Chucky] Hepburn, [J'Vonne] Hadley and [Terrence] Edwards should be a terrifying trio of multi-positional defenders who can take turns just nuking opposing perimeter weapons. Edwards and [Koren] Johnson are electric drivers and that skillset should be vital for a Louisville roster that has snipers all over the floor like [Reyne] Smith, [Noah] Waterman and [Kasean] Pryor. Hepburn should rediscover his jumper, too, and [Khani] Rooths (a prized top-35 recruit) adds another big wing who can create off the bounce to Kelsey's deck.

"Louisville has a little bit of everything, except that big-bodied thumper. But look around the ACC. There aren't many of those low-post monsters to worry about since Armando Bacot (finally) graduated and DJ Burns exited after taking NC State to the Final Four."

According to On3's team transfer portal rankings, which takes into account transfers both in and out, Louisville has the No. 1 transfer portal class in all of college basketball. Nine of their 11 transfer commits are regarded as four-star transfers - the most in college basketball - and four are top-100 transfers.

USF forward Kasean Pryor ranks as the No. 19 transfer, Colorado guard/forward J'Vonne Hadley comes in at No. 58, Wisconsin guard Chucky Hepburn is at No. 80 and Washington guard Koren Johnson place at No. 90.

James Scott and guard Reyne Smith are both following Kelsey from Charleston, with Long Beach State forward Aboubacar Traore and BYU forward Noah Waterman also joining the fold via the portal. BYU center Aly Khalifa and Charleston guard Kobe Rodgers also committed, but will redshirt the 2024-25 season. Rooths is Louisville's lone newcomer from the high school ranks.

(Photo of Louie: Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports)

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Matthew McGavic

MATTHEW MCGAVIC

McGavic is a 2016 Sport Administration graduate of the University of Louisville, and a native of the Derby City. He has been covering the Cardinals in various capacities since 2017, with a brief stop in Atlanta, Ga. on the Georgia Tech beat. He is also a co-host of the 'From The Pink Seats' podcast on the State of Louisville network. Video gamer, bourbon drinker and dog lover. Find him on Twitter at @Matt_McGavic