Kenny Payne has completed his second roster as the Louisville men’s basketball team’s head coach with a commitment from class of 2023 point guard Ty-Laur Johnson.
A 4-star prospect, Johnson is ranked as the No. 65 overall player in the class of 2023 by Rivals, No. 90 by ESPN and No. 110 by 247 Sports. The 6-foot, 160-pound guard from Our Saviour Lutheran in the Bronx initially chose Memphis over Seton Hall and NC State back in November, but he decommitted from the Tigers last month. Johnson also holds offers from Creighton, Ole Miss, DePaul and VCU, among others.
Johnson spent this past season playing in the Overtime Elite League, where he averaged 18.4 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.
Here’s 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein on Johnson’s game from last fall:
“Johnson is a volume scoring guard who put up over 30 points per game as a junior at St. Benedict’s (NJ) and averaged over 18 in the EYBL. He’s very talented and confident with the ball, but has a tendency to dominate it at times.
“While he struggled a bit early in the EYBL season, he hit his stride over the summer when some roster changes allowed him maximum volume and freedom as a playmaker.
“Johnson is very tight with his handle and plays with a lot of pace. He’s in constant attack mode, but changes speeds very well with a series of hesitation moves and is also very adept at getting into the lane and navigating tight spaces. He plays under-the-rim, but has a lot of touch as a lay-up maker.”
And here’s a little bit of Johnson in action:
I’m admittedly a bit surprised that if Payne and company were going to break their unspoken “no guard smaller than 6’5” rule that they’d do it for another incoming freshman and not a portal player like RayJ Dennis or Zyon Pullin, but Johnson certainly has game.
Not only does his addition give you a capable option at the point if Skyy Clark is injured or in foul trouble or just not playing well, but it gives you the opportunity at some point to toy with the idea of moving Clark off the ball if it looks like it might be in the best interest of the team. I don’t think that will happen, but now at least that safety net is in place.
The roster is set and it’s certainly one of the most intriguing I can remember.
Now, for four and-a-half more months of debate before we actually get to see them play.