Tracking every departure, arrival and roster change in Louisville basketball's 2022 offseason (2023)

The Kenny Payne-era isoff and running at the University of Louisville.And his first major job is to rebuild the current roster for the 2022-23 season. The former U

Jody Demling

The Kenny Payne-era isoff and running at the University of Louisville.

And his first major job is to rebuild the current roster for the 2022-23 season. The former U of L star is the first former player to lead the Cardinals' program and he'll be busy over the next few months trying to sort out the roster.

Lousiville is expected to have massive changes and that has already started.

Two players have announced they are leaving, while two players have announced they are returning. The biggest news so far has been the announcements from El Ellis and Sydney Curry that both will return for another season at Louisville. Former McDonald's All-American Samuell Williamson and little-used center Gabe Wiznitzer are the two players off the current roster that have entered their names in the transfer portal.

There are still six current players -Jae'Lyn Withers, Mike James, Roosevelt Wheeler, Dre Davis, JJ Traynor, Matt Cross - and U of L commitment Kamari Lands who have not made any kind of announcements about their futures.

Payne has not officially hired any members of his staff but is expected to make some movement on that front next week. The staff will be able to hit the road recruiting for a live evaluation period that begins next Friday, April 8.

The 55-year-old Payne, who had been the frontrunner for the job since the school announced it was parting ways with Chris Mack back on Jan. 26, became the23rd basketball coach in the history of the Louisville program when he was hired on March 18. Hebecame the school’s first black head basketball coach and also the first former alum to lead the program.

A member of the 1986 NCAA national championship team, Payne is tasked with trying to rebuild an elite program that has only played in one NCAA Tournament game since 2017 and just a total of three since the 2015 run to the Elite Eight when the Cardinals lost to Michigan State.

Here's a close look at each move. We will keep you posted on all of the latest:

The current Louisville roster

Updated: April 1

Announced returning (2):El Ellis, Sydney Curry

Still no announcement (5): Jae'Lyn Withers, Mike James, Roosevelt Wheeler, Dre Davis, JJ Traynor

Entered transfer portal (3): Matt Cross,Samuell Williamson, Gabe Wiznitzer

2021-22 Seniors not returning (4):*Noah Locke, Malik Williams, Mason Faulkner, Jarrod West

Incoming freshmen (1):Kamari Lands

De-committed recruits (2):Frederick King, Tae Davis

Spots on roster open (4):Even if all six who have not announced return there are four spots open on the roster

*Locke does have one year of eligibility left if he wanted to use it

Staying: Sydney Curry

One of the biggest 'keeps' to the roster for Kenny Payne was the first player to announce he was staying - Sydney Curry.

Curry tweeted on March 30 that he will return to Louisville. He sent out a Tweet with a photo of himself and the words: "Here to stay."

Curry came on during the season and in the end, was the best player on the roster.

A former junior-college transfer, Curry logged just 15 minutes of play during the first seven games of the season. But he emerged as the best player, scoring double figures in four of the last five games. He scored 20 points or more three times during the season.

Curry finished the season averaging 7.1 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Staying: El Ellis

One day after Curry announced he was returning, guard El Ellis made his announcement that he was staying on March 31.

Ellis announced his decision via Twitter, saying, "Card Nation my loyalty runs deep," with the attached image stating "3 is back."

A junior college All-American at Tallahassee Community College, Ellis quickly became a key figure for the Cardinals last season. He appeared in 32 games, starting nine, averaging 20 minutes of game-time per outing. He averaged 8.7 points, with 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Ellis scored in double figures 12 times, pouring in a season-high 25 points against North Carolina on Feb. 1. He also scored 22 points against Michigan State in early December.

The 6-foot-3 Ellis connected on 39.7 of his field-goal attempts, 36 percent from behind the three-point line and 69 percent from the charity stripe.

Transfer out: Gabe Wiznitzer

The first U of L player has hit the transfer portal was seldom-used big man Gabe Wiznitzer, who entered his name into the portal on March 14.

The 6-foot-11 Wiznitzer is a sophomore from Walhalla, S.C., who appeared in just five gamesthis season. He only played 6.2 minutes of action all season and only played in two games after Dec. 14, scoring one basket and grabbing four rebounds on the season.

During his freshman season, Wiznitzer played in 12 games and averaged 5.8 minutes, while scoring 1.1 points andgrabbing 1.3 rebounds a game.

After signing late with Louisville prior to last season, Wiznitzer had intended to redshirt last season but the opportunity for him to play without losing a season of eligibility allowed him to play immediately for the Cardinals.

Transfer out: Samuell Williamson

Former McDonald's All-American Samuell Williamsonentered the transfer portal on March 26.

The 6-foot-6 Williamson, a native of Rockwall, Tx., played three seasons for theUniversity of Louisville but is opting to end his career elsewhere after the coaching change within the Cardinals program. Williamson played in 79 career games and made 22 starts.Williamson came to Louisville after a stellar high school career with some lofty expectations. He played in 31 games - making one start - during the 2019-2020 season that was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. He averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds a game that season.

As a sophomore, Williamson started 15 of 18 games and averaged 9.6 points and 8.5 rebounds a game. He averaged 10.7 points and 10.9 rebounds over the last seven games.

Williamson was supposed to be one of the team's best players as a junior but only made six starts in 30 games and at one point found himself out of the main rotation of players. He finished by averaging 5.6 points and 3.7 rebounds a game in 16.8 minutes a game.

In 79 career games at U of L, Williamson had 477 points and 332 rebounds.

Transfer out: Matt Cross

U of L forward Matt Cross spent one season with the Cardinals but on April 1 entered the transfer portal.

Cross transferred to Louisville prior to the season after spending a portion of his freshman season at Miami. At Miami, Cross played in the Hurricanes' first 14 games, starting nine, and averaged 26.4 minutes a game. He did not play against Florida State in late January due to a coach's decision and was no longer on the team the next day.

Cross averaged6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists.He shot 44.9 percent from the floor and a team-best 40.0 percent from three-point range to go with 87.5-shooting from the free-throw line. In the game against Louisville, Cross hit 4 of 6 from three-point range and he made a three in eight of the games he played.

Cross struggled to make that impact at Louisville. He appeared in 28 games, starting nine for the 13-19 Cardinals. He averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for Louisville. His shooting woes peaked late in the season when he went scoreless in five of the last six contests that he played in. He connected on 38.4 percent from the floor and 28.4 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

Recruit de-commitments

Louisville had a three-player Class of 2022 recruiting class, but that is now down to just two.

On March 26, Indianapolis forward Tae Davis asked for a release from his letter of intent, and less than a week later Bahamian big man Frederick King requested his release.

Phoenix, Ariz., Hillcrest Prep guard Kamari Lands is the lone member of the '22 class at this point.

Davis played at Indianapolis Warren Central andis the brother of current U of L sophomore Dre Davis, who has not made any announcements on his future. The younger Davis verbally committed to U of L on December 5 of 2020 over scholarship offers from Indiana, Purdue, and Xavier.

As a junior, Davis was named an Indiana All-Star following a season that saw him average 13.5 points a game for a team that went 19-7 and lost by one point to Class 4A state finalist Lawrence North. As a senior, Davis was named to theIndiana Basketball Coaches Association named its “Supreme 15” all-state honors, and helped his team to a 15-8 record.

Davis is listed as the nation's No.139overall prospect by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.

The 6-foot-10 King, who is the No. 133 overall prospect in the 2022 class, is abig man out of Mexico City (Mexico) NBA Academy Latin America. He committed to Chris Mack on November 9th over offers from Creighton, Washington State, Georgetown, and Miami amongst others.

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