LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Yet another player has chosen to depart the Louisville men’s basketball program.
Sophomore forward Matt Cross has entered his name into the transfer portal, according to a report from On3‘s Matt Zenitz. He will have three years of eligibility at his next stop.
Cross is the third player to enter the portal for the Cardinals following the end of their season and subsequent hiring of Kenny Payne as their next head coach, joining sophomore center Wizntizer and junior forward Samuell Williamson.
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound wing’s entry into the portal is not all that surprising. Starting the 2021-22 season coming off the bench, he eventually worked his way into the starting rotation by midseason due to strong play. Over his first 13 games, he was averaging 8.3 points and 3.8 rebounds, and cracked double digits in scoring seven times.
But the Beverly, Mass. native struggled mightily in the second half of the season. Not only was he benched, he barely had any role on the team at all towards the end of the year. He scored zero points in five of his final six games with Louisville, averaging 13.8 minutes per game during that stretch. He ended the season with a stat line of 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds over 28 games and nine starts, while also shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 28.4 percent on threes.
Cross joined the program last offseason from Miami, committing to former head coach Chris Mack. In his freshman season with the Canes, he put up 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 14 games, and was also shooting 44.9 percent from the field and a team-best 40.0 percent on three-point attempts.
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Louisville has seen a fair amount of roster turnover since the end of their tumultuous 2021-22 season. On top of the three players transferring; Malik Williams, Jarrod West and Mason Faulkner are graduating; and class of 2022 signees Tae Davis and Fredrick King both requested releases from their NLI’s.
Fortunately, Payne is starting to get an idea of what his team will look like next season. Earlier this week, Sydney Curry and El Ellis both confirmed that they would be back for next season, and the Cards are in the mix for several uncommitted ’22 prospects and D1 transfers.
(Photo of Matt Cross: Jamie Rhodes – USA TODAY Sports)
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