Mack Impressed Early by Grad Transfers Jones & Minlend

MatthewMcGavic

While the majority of the players in the Louisville men's basketball program have been on campus since early June for voluntary workouts, head coach Chris Mack and the rest of his coaching staff have only been with them for about a week.

Last Monday began the NCAA-permitted summer access period, where players could partake in up to eight hours per week for weight-training, conditioning & skill instruction, with not more than four hours of skill-related instruction per week.

While he has not been back around his guys for very long, two of the relative newcomers are already standing out to him in practice: grad transfers Carlik Jones & Charles Minlend.

"Carlik's really dynamic. He's a player that has a lot of swag, a lot of confidence," Mack told reporters in teleconference Thursday. "He really, really understands the game. He uses his body well, really changes speeds. He can really shoot the ball, as evidenced from his 40& three point shooting from a year ago.

The reigning Big South Player of the Year, Jones averaged 20.0 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game in his redshirt junior year for Radford University. The 6-foot-1 & 185-pound guard also shot 48.8% from the field and 40.9% on three point attempts.

The play out of the backcourt was one of Louisville's most criticized aspects during the 2019-20 season, and Mack believes having Jones at his disposal instantly changes that narrative.

"It's gonna be a lot different," he said. "He's gonna be one of the better guards that we've had here in my three years (at Louisville)."

The Cards might be losing forward Dwayne Sutton to graduation, but Mack sees a lot of him in Charles Minlend. The 6-foot-4 & 208-pound guard averaged 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in his final season for San Francisco.

"He's smaller than Dwayne Sutton but I think he gives us that type of mentality, that type of game," Mack said. He specifically points out the jack-of-all-trades nature that Sutton carried in his game.

"One skill doesn't necessarily separate him. It's just all the things that he brings to the table," he said. "He's a pretty good passer, he's a good finisher, he's a good rebounder. I wouldn't say he's elite or great at one thing - a little bit like Dwayne - but he's a competitor and has good size in the backcourt." 

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