Jae’Lyn Withers is the latest current Cardinal to announce that he’s returning to U of L to be a part of the start of the Kenny Payne era.
After redshirting in 2019-20 and then having a productive redshirt freshman campaign as a starter in 2020-21, Withers never found his footing this past season. He had positive performances against Notre Dame, North Carolina and others late in the year, but still posted disappointing averages of 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for the season.
Still, it’s hard to imagine that Withers wouldn’t have had a host of high-profile programs coming after him in the portal. You have to assume more than a few coaches would have seen the ridiculous upside in the highlight videos of his best plays from the last two years and thought, “yeah, we can make that guy a consistent performer at this level.”
Now, thankfully, it’s Payne who will be assigned this task.
So here’s an updated look at the decision-making from the players on last year’s team with eligibility remaining:
El Ellis — Staying
Sydney Curry - Staying
Jae’Lyn Withers — Staying
Mike James — Staying
Samuell Williamson — Leaving
Matt Cross — Leaving
Gabe Wiznitzer — Leaving
Dre Davis — Leaving
Noah Locke — Leaving
JJ Traynor — ??
Roosevelt Wheeler — ??
I would expect that we will hear decisions from Wheeler and Traynor in the days immediately ahead, and I would also expect that those decisions will be similar to the one we just got from Withers.