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(WDRB) LOUISVILLE, KY Kenny Payne, the men’s basketball coach of the University of Louisville, frequently uses the word “animal” to characterize a crucial ability he looks for in his players.

The foundations of shooting, passing, grabbing rebounds, and defending are excellent. even necessary. However, many men possess those attributes.

But are you a player who needs to be prodded to work out more, or are you a man who has to be told to leave the gym because you’ve already had 500 shots?

Payne and his coaching staff have added seven new players to the squad for the next season; one of their best traits should be an unwavering work ethic.

Expect a significant boost in talent as well. According to 247Sports, the current class of recruits for the Cardinals is the fifth-best in the country, behind Kentucky, Duke, Connecticut, and Michigan State.
By using the recruiting class formula on that website, if Payne also signs Mackenzie Mgbako, a five-star forward from New Jersey who is thinking over U of L, St. John’s, Kansas, and Indiana, the ranking will rise to second, behind only Kentucky. D.J. Wagner’s AAU teammate Mgbako is expected in Louisville this weekend; Wagner decommitted from Duke.
Six scholarship players were Payne recruits during the terrible mess of a season last year, in which the Cardinals won four of thirty-two games.

The only two remaining members of the former coaching staff will be Mike James and J.J. Traynor in the upcoming season.

This spring, the Cardinals have had greater success in the transfer portal than they did the previous spring, when rumors of possible NCAA probation held them back.

With Tre White (USC) and Skyy Clark (Illinois), who were both listed in the Top 35 by 247Sports for the prep class of 2022, they struck gold. The Miami forward Danilo Jovanovich is regarded by some as a real sleeper as a stretch four shooting prospect.

Four high school athletes who are among the Top 76 incoming recruits according to 247Sports have joined the team.

hese are all guys that Payne and his staff scouted, analyzed, vetted and endorsed. They will come to school next month with a legitimate understanding of what is expected. They are expected to be animals.

The five returning Louisville players were all encouraged to return.

Expect Mike James to become a team leader as well as a more productive player as he is another year removed from Achilles’ surgery. Traynor played his best basketball down the stretch, averaging nearly a dozen points and 5.5 rebounds over the last six games.

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