After losing Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell to the NBA Draft, Wayne Blackshear to graduation and two more to transfer, Louisville was left with Quentin Snider as the team’s top returning scorer at 4.1 points per game.
However, Rick Pitino was able to bolster the 2015-16 lineup in the spring with the additions of two highly-sought after graduate transfers: Drexel swingman Damion Lee and Cleveland State guard Trey Lewis. Both joined the program in April, and on the heels of the Cardinals’ trip to Puerto Rico, the two graduate transfers have locked up starting spots for this upcoming season, according to Jonathan Lintner, of the Courier-Journal.
“In a fast style of play, he’s lethal because of how he scores,” Pitino told reporters during a press conference on Thursday. “He’s not selfish by any means, but he has the ability to put points on the board, and that’s something that’s so needed for this basketball team.
“Trey Lewis is also a young man that just gives incredible leadership — tough physically, gets in the lane, shoots it, does a lot of good things as well.”
Lee was the CAA’s leading scorer at 21.4 points per game, but his season was cut short after breaking his right hand in late February. He had missed most of the 2013-14 campaign with a torn ACL. The 6-foot-1 Lewis averaged 16.3 points per game, shooting 42 percent for three as a junior. Pitino lauded him for his maturity during Thursday’s press conference.
The two additions joined a heralded recruiting class that includes Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Ray Spalding and Ryan McMahon, who will redshirt this season.
It’s no secret that Louisville has struggled with its 3-point shooting this season. The Cardinals are shooting a tick above 30 percent from beyond the arc this season, but Rick Pitino’s latest commit should help in that department when he arrives on campus this fall.
Ryan McMahon, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High (Florida), gave his verbal commitment to Louisville on Friday, a day after receiving an offer, according to Jody Demling of CardinalAuthority.com.
“It’s all happened so fast,” McMahon told Scout.com.
“Louisville was great when I went up there. I just loved everything about it.”
McMahon had a relatively quiet recruitment for someone averaging around 30 points per game. He didn’t even have a rating from Rivals, and Scout had him as a two-star prospect. He was considered a four-star recruit, according to ESPN as Paul Biancardi discussed the addition with Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal later on Friday.
McMahon joins one of the best recruiting classes in the country. Pitino had secured three commitments prior to McMahon’s pledge, as combo guard Donovan Mitchell, power forward Raymond Spalding and small forward Deng Adel are all rated in the Rivals150 top 50.