(Photo of Jarrod West: Orlando Ramirez - USA TODAY Sports)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville men's basketball program is one of the most successful programs in the history of college basketball. The Cardinals have amassed 1,882 victories, 10 Final Four appearances and three National Championships not counted vacated games, all of which rank in the top 10 in NCAA history.
This winning tradition played a huge role in guard Jarrod West joining Louisville over the current offseason, coming over as a graduate transfer from Marshall. In fact, it was the driving force for him.
"At the end of the day, man, I just want to win. I want to compete at the highest level," West said Thursday. "I've watched them play in Final Fours and national title games growing up. At the end of the day, that's the ultimate goal, man.
During his four years with the Thundering Herd, from 2017 to 2021, Marshall collected a winning record of 80-47, but made the NCAA Tournament just once. It came during the 2017-18 season as a No. 13 seed, his freshman year, in which they won the Conference-USA Tournament.
After completing a four-year career in which he started 124 of Marshall's 127 games, it was his desire to win and compete at the highest level that droive him to enter the transfer portal. Five minutes after putting his name in the portal, Louisville head coach Chris Mack was the first to call, and everything got rolling from there.
"(Mack) was very upfront, open and transparent from the beginning. Him being honest with me, really explaining the team, the dynamic, what was going on within the team, where I fit and everything like that, that all made me comfortable," he said. "(The coaching staff) all made it very comfortable for me, because they were all very open and honest from the beginning."
Jumping from Conference-USA to the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is arguably the best college basketball conference in the NCAA, West admits there will be an adjustment period - ranging from much biggest crowds to much bigger players. That being said, he has put unwavering faith in both himself and Louisville's coaching staff.
"I'm very confident in my abilities," he said. "I'm confident in what I can do, and also the coaches do a really good job of putting me in good positions to succeed, grow, learn and get better. I know it's going to be adjustment, there's going to be a learning curve. But I'm very confident in my abilities, and I'm confident that the coaches are going to do everything they can to help me."
Thanks in part to his leadership abilities, work ethic, efficiency running the pick & roll and defensive prowess, couple with his faith he has in the coaches, West believes he can help the Cardinals return to the NCAA Tournament and make some noise.
"I want to compete for an ACC regular season title, ACC championship and I want to make a deep run and NCAA Tournament," he said. "That's the most important thing for me. I want to win big, I want to make a deep run and I want to maintain that standard of Louisville basketball."
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