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Roosevelt Wheeler returning to Louisville basketball

The Cards have another frontcourt player back in the fold.

Wake Forest v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Freshman big man Roosevelt Wheeler is the latest active Louisville men’s basketball player to announce that he’ll be sticking with the Cardinals for the beginning of the Kenny Payne era.

Wheeler made the announcement on his Instagram Friday morning.

A highly-skilled 6’10 big man out of Richmond, Rivals ranked Wheeler as the 7th-best center in the class of 2021, and the No. 42 overall player in the country.

“Big Rose” earned First Team All-State honors in Virginia after averaging 15.8 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game last season as a junior at John Marshall High School. He helped lead the Justices to the Virginia 2A state championship, scoring 11 points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking three shots in the championship game. Unfortunately, he missed his entire senior season due to injury.

Wheeler saw limited minutes as a true freshman this past season, but did show flashes of big time potential when he was on the floor. With Malik Williams sidelined by COVID, Wheeler played 20 minutes in U of L’s December loss at Western Kentucky, and finished with 8 points and 3 rebounds to go along with an assist and a block.

There’s no doubt that Wheeler is skilled, and hopefully the combination of having a completely healthy offseason for the first time in three years and Kenny Payne will wind up bringing the best out of him. I’m happy that we’re going to have the opportunity to find out.

And with that, we now know every decision from every player on the 2021-22 U of L basketball team who had eligibility remaining. Six players will be back for next season, five are headed elsewhere, and three had no eligibility left.