(Photo of Roosevelt Wheeler: Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bobby Pettiford: The Butner-Creedmoor News)
NEW YORK - After compiling several months worth of data in addition to cycling back for a closer look at the tape from the 2019-20 high school basketballl season, SI All-American has finally released their inaugural SI99 - which ranks the top 99 college basketball prospects in the Class of 2021.
Among those listed are Louisville men's basketball commits center Roosevelt Wheeler and point guard Bobby Pettiford. Wheeler is ranked as the No. 77 prospect in the class, while Pettiford comes in at No. 84.
"The prevailing theme in the inaugural SI99 hoops rankings is size and versatility," writes SI All-American basketball recruiting director Jason Jordan. "The vast majority of the top-tier players are truly position-less, with a wide variety of skills that will translate immediately at the next level and, ultimately, in the NBA."
Length and position versatility is something the Louisville head coach Chris Mack puts a premium on in his pack line system, both of which that Wheeler & Pettiford bring to the Cardinals.
Wheeler, a 6-foot-10 & 240-pound forward/center from Richmond (Va.) John Marshall HS, averaged 15.8 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.3 blocks during his junior campaign. He was named First-Team All-State & All-Region, and helped John Marshall win two state titles in three years.
"Roosevelt is a load," Mack said last month when Wheeler committed. "He has ability, but the one thing that sticks out about Rose is his motor and his toughness. He is not afraid to put his nose in a scrum. His agility for his size will be an asset in the ACC. He has an ability to score, command a double-team and rebound the ball. We look forward to adding Big Rose to the roster in 2021-22."
Pettiford, a 6-foot-1 & 175-pound point guard from Creedmore (N.C.) South Granville HS, averaged 21.8 points, 7.4 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.9 steals in his junior year. He was named to the MaxPreps 2019-20 Junior All-America honorable mention team, and is the first player in South Granville history to sign with a D1 program.
"Bobby Pettiford is an explosive athlete," Mack said during the first day of the Early Signing Period. "His ability to get into the lane will make the game easier for his teammates. Bobby plays with no fear and a lot of toughness. It never hurts to add that to your program. Bobby will no doubt bring an energy to the KFC Yum! Center during his time here."
Louisville boasts a five-man 2021 recruiting class consisting of Wheeler & Pettiford, as well as El Ellis, a 6-3, 175-pound guard from Durham, N.C. and Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College; Mike James, a 6-6, 195-pound guard/forward from Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge High School; and Eric Van der Heijden, a 6-8, 205-pound guard/forward from Raleigh (N.C) Millbrook High School.
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