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Four-star 2021 wing Michael James commits to Louisville basketball

Louisville’s recruiting class of 2021 is now back to four players.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 18 Louisville at Duke Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Louisville basketball’s recruiting class of 2021 is back to four players.

Chris Mack and company have replaced the recently decommitted Bryce Hopkins with 6’6 wing Michael James out of Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. James announced his commitment on Twitter.

A four-star prospect, James is currently rated by 247 Sports as the No. 85 overall player in the class of 2021, and No. 70 by Rivals. He picked Louisville over scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Alabama, Arkansas, NC State and Oklahoma State, among others.

James explained his decision to roll with U of L in a blog post on the SI All-American website.

I would have to say that the biggest factor in my decision was my relationship with Coach (Chris) Mack. Coach (Mike) Pegues did a great job recruiting me too.

As the head man Coach Mack really zeroed in on me and he made it clear that he didn’t just want me, he needed me to help him win.

He really almost took over my recruitment. That doesn’t happen a lot with head coaches and that’s what really stood out to me.

I wanted to go to a school where there was an opportunity to make an impact early and it turned out that it just happened to be at a school like Louisville.

The crazy thing is that I’ve never been to Louisville. Haha!

This pandemic has stopped everything, as you all know, and I never thought I would commit to a school I’ve never been to, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

My coach has been there, and I’ve talked to other people who have been there, and they all say the same thing: It’s great!

I only took two visits, one to Wake Forest and one to Texas A&M.

Their plan is to use me at the two and the three, mainly the two. They’ll be losing a lot and it will be a great opportunity for me to step in and contribute.

They’re confident that I’ll be able to help them right away.

I’m definitely gonna do everything that I can to get whoever we can to join us now. I know we’re gonna be looking for a big now, so as soon as coach tells me who we want I’ll be on it!

I’m just glad it’s all over.

As a junior last season, James averaged 18.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game for an Oak Ridge squad that advanced to the semifinals of the Florida 7A tournament. In that 59-55 semifinal loss to Miramar High School, James scored 27 points but injured his leg on one of the final plays of regulation.

Congrats to Michael on joining the Cardinal family.