(Photo of Noah Locke, Davion Mintz: Arden Barnes - USA TODAY Sports)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville men's basketball program recently big time commitment from out of the transfer portal, as former Florida guard Noah Locke announced on Sunday his verbal pledge to the Cardinals.
It's a massive get considering the need he helps address. Louisville shot just 30.8% on three-point attempts for the 2020-21 season, and Locke connected on 40.4% of his attempts. He also shot 42.5% from the field and averaged 10.6 points in 25 games for the Gators.
Because of his acumen shooting the three ball, Locke was utilized primarily as a stand-up shooter during his time at Florida. He would sometimes come off screens or off the dribble to take his shots, or even penetrate the lane, but the Gators mainly used him to stand at the perimeter and rain threes.
While he undoubtedly will carry aspects of this play style to Louisville considering how deadly of a shooter he is, he won't be exclusively used this way like at Florida. That is because in an interview with ESPN 680's Andy Sweeney on Monday, Locke said that part of the reason he chose Louisville was not only their ability to develop and expand his game, but he would be able to play as a combo guard like he was in high school.
"Just becoming a better overall player, better guard," Locke said when asked what Louisville can do for him. "Coming out of high school, I played a lot of the combo position - playing on and off the ball - just giving me more of an ability and opportunity to be able to play on the ball, make plays for my teammates and make plays for myself."
Locke had a previous relationship with Louisville head coach Chris Mack, as Mack recruited him out of high school when he was still at Xavier. As part of his second recruitment, Locke informed Mack of his desire to be in more of a combo guard role, and Mack obliged.
"He basically told me that I would have a big opportunity, and it would be something I would be able to do," Locke said. "He saw me out of high school, he saw the things I'm capable of, he knows the things I need to get better at - we've talked about that a lot. He's willing to put me in a position to be great and make great things happen at Louisville."
Of course, Locke added that he will still be bringing his sharpshooting skills to the Cardinals, saying that "he's got a little sniper rifle".
The Baltimore, Md. native also brings a lot of experience to a young Cardinals team, as he has started in 79 times in 92 career games as a Gator. He shot 43.2% on three pointers during his sophomore season, and set Florida’s freshman record with 81 made three the year before. Locke has scored 933 career points and connected on 217 career three-pointers.
Coming out of high school, Locke was a consensus four-star prospect in the Class of 2018, and ranked as high as the No. 64 player in the nation according to Rivals. He is the McDonough School's all-time leading scorer with 2,350 career points.
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