When Carlik Jones entered the transfer portal following his final season at Radford, he started to learn about Louisville men’s basketball.
The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 20.0 points, 5.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds in his final season at Radford in 2019-20, earning Big South Player of the Year honors.
As the recruiting process went along, the relationship Jones developed with head coach Chris Mack and the level of trust they established led to his commitment in April.
Jones and Mack spoke daily during the recruiting process.
Jones says the main reason he chose Louisville is because of the trust he developed with Mack.
“That stuck out to me,” Jones said. “Him showing the effort, showing how much he was interested in me. I am a big about trust.”
Jones, a Cincinnati native, wasn’t recruited by Mack when the coach was at Xavier. Jones said he participate in team camps, but never had any serious interactions with Mack.
The more Jones learned about Louisville, the more he liked it as a potential landing spot.
He arrived on campus in June and began to bond with his teammates.
“My first impression with meeting the guys was great,” Jones said. “Being able to hang out with the team. I think that all of them are good guys.”
Jones, who sees his role as a leader for Louisville this season, thinks the roster has plenty of talent.
During the recruitment process, Jones was impressed with David Johnson.
The graduate transfer called the sophomore “tough” because of the injuries he overcame last season.
Jones sees similarities in himself and the 6-foot-5 guard, who will be backcourt teammates this year.
“I wanted to have somebody that has a game similar to me,” Jones said. “Someone that can pass well, who likes to get the team involved, someone who works hard. I see a lot of those traits that I have in David.”
Jones, who was listed by ESPN as the top graduate transfer this season, likes the team in place at Louisville in his final year of collegiate basketball.
“I like the situation I am in and I like everything about the program,” Jones said.