Two months after accepting the head coach position at Louisville, Chris Mack landed his first top-flight recruit. On Wednesday, 4-star shooting guard Josh Nickelberry — a top-60 prospect — committed to Louisville.
247 Sports rates Nickelberry, who plays his prep basketball at in North Carolina, as the No. 6 shooting guard in the 2019 class. In the 2017-18 season, Nickelberry averaged 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville.
It’s a transition period for Louisville basketball; the program has no incoming recruits in the 2018 class. In late April, the Cardinals did, however, add graduate transfer Christen Cunningham from Samford.
Louisville missed out on other grad transfer targets, like MaCio Teague, who committed to Baylor.
Dozens of schools offered Nickelberry a scholarship: North Carolina, NC State, Florida State, Wake Forest and Clemson — among others. In fact, a week ago the 6-foot-4 guard took an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech. That occurred two weeks after an unofficial visit to Louisville, too.
A sea change for Mack and Louisville?
This commitment could be a serious program-booster for Chris Mack and Louisville. Over the last 8-10 weeks, Louisville has had issues sticking the landing on several recruits; long-time target Courtney Ramey picked Texas over Louisville.
A pick-up like this, though, could certainly change things. Mack is one of the top coaches in America, and his addition to the ACC is a notable one. (It was an expensive one, too.)
Nickelberry’s recruitment to Louisville was led by assistant coach Mike Pegues, per 247 Sports. Pegues was on Mack’s staff at Xavier, and is a tireless recruiter.