Chris Mack addressing roster needs with graduate transfers

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Adding graduate transfers has become a springtime tradition for Louisville men’s basketball with head coach Chris Mack, which he attributed to roster volatility.

After being hired in March 2018, Mack brought in graduate transfers Christen Cunningham and Khwan Fore during his first offseason. Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble and Keith Oddo, a walk-on, joined Louisville last offseason as graduate transfers.

Carlik Jones, who averaged 20.0 points at Radford last season, announced his commitment to Louisville as a graduate transfer April 5. The 6-foot-1 guard earned Big South Player of the Year honors as a redshirt junior in the 2019-20 season.

With rosters changing on a year-to-year basis, Louisville has been able to capitalize on graduate transfers seeking to finish their collegiate careers at different schools.

“When I first got in this 20 years ago, you traditionally had your four classes, seniors graduated, incoming freshmen came in, you may have a kid here or there transfer,” Mack said. “With the advent of the graduate transfer rule, with kids opting to transfer more than ever before as either underclassmen or graduates, with kids reclassifying either up or down a level, your roster is more volatile than it was.”

Louisville currently has one remaining scholarship left for next year’s team. Mack said the intent is to add a front court player, particularly a center, with the 12 and final scholarship.

Mack doesn’t see Louisville necessarily tied to using graduate transfers every year. He said the coaching staff addresses particular roster needs each year.

“Our job to put the best team on the floor,” Mack said. “I don’t think it is one size fits all, I think there are some years where we may take a grad transfer. I would hope we aren’t in that situation every year, but it’s our job to put the best team on the floor as we can.”

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