What Eric Van Der Heijden brings to the table for Louisville

MatthewMcGavic

Head coach Chris Mack is quickly building a very impressive 2021 recruiting class.

Small forward Bryce Hopkins was the lone commitment in the Cardinals' class for seven months after giving his verbal pledge last November, but the recruiting trail has picked up immensely during the summer. Point guards Bobby Pettiford Jr. & Elbert "El" Ellis committed to the Cards in June, and on Friday the University of Louisville men's basketball program landed commitment No. 4 in forward Eric Van Der Heijden.

Van Der Heijden's recruitment to Louisville escalated quickly, and it's not hard to see why. In his junior year for Millbrook (NC), the 6-foot-9 & 205-pound prospect averaged 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists. 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game over 24 games played. He also shot 46% from the field, 45% on three-point shots and 75% from the free throw line.

But beyond his stat line, what else does Van Der Heijden bring to the table for the Cards? Here is the analysis of his game from SI All-American's Director of Basketball Recruiting Jason Jordan:

"I really like Van Der Heijden's upside as a versatile wing who can score on all three levels. At 6-foot-9, he's a mismatch for smaller perimeter players, and he’s got a variety of skills that can exploit the matchups. Van Der Heijden is a marksman with pro range on his 3-point shot and he’s a capable rebounder on both ends of the floor. He moves well without the ball and can slide down and play a stretch four effectively. Also, his size and length allow him to guard multiple positions effectively. Chris Mack will be able to utilize Van Der Heijden in a variety of different lineups."

This commitment perfectly encapsulates the kind of players that Chris Mack wants to bring in. Van Der Heijden not only has great defensive length out on the wing but down low as well. He can also go from playing through contact in the post to bringing it out to the perimeter and raining three pointers. Mack likes to recruit players that not only have good size but are also position versatile. Van Der Heijden checks both boxes, and he will be a great additional to Mack's system.

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