Khani Rooths is a Cardinal -

Khani Rooths is a Cardinal

by Mike Rutherford

Posted: 5/16/2024 6:53:13 AM

The fun rolls on.

Syndication: The News-Press Andrew West/The News-Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

A day after landing prized big man transfer Kasean Pryor, Pat Kelsey has added the first “traditional” recruit of his tenure at Louisville.

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy forward Khani Rooths, a consensus 4-star recruit, announced Wednesday afternoon that he will play for the Cardinals. Rooths, who had previously signed with Michigan before the school parted ways with head coach Juwan Howard, visited U of L last weekend.

“I felt 100% after actually meeting the staff and Coach Pat Kelsey that I wanted to play for them and they would get the best out of me,” Rooths told On3’s Joe Tipton. “I loved the way they play and felt like I would thrive in that way. Louisville being Louisville was the icing on the cake.”

A 6’8, 200-pound small/power forward, Rooths had been the top-rated uncommitted prospect in the class of 2024. He currently sits at No. 31 in the class in the 247 Sports composite rankings.

Here’s what On3’s Jamie Shaw had to say about his game:

Khani Rooths has a great frame and great length with real positional size (measured 6-foot-8, or so). The ball skills are developing; however, he is getting more confident with the ball in his hands. His mid-post/mid-range game is getting more dangerous. He will knock down some spot threes, and he can get downhill off the bounce. Defensively, Rooths is really intriguing. He can slide his feet with guards at the point of attack, disrupt the passing lanes, and he has the length and size to switch down to guard forwards. As you project Rooths forward, the archetype and physical tools are clear. There is an upward trajectory that he has continued to take over the past 12 or so months.

Khani Rooths has a lengthy basketball player’s looking frame; very projectable. He is very good in the iso-mid range. He has footwork and touch and an assortment of go-to moves at his disposal. Next up will be continuing to develop the counters. He will need to continue adding strength, which will help him finish more consistently in the paint. The jump shot is inconsistent, but the release isn’t bad. There are a lot of tools there and an athletic, projectable frame that creates a very high ceiling.

We’ve learned over the last six weeks that Kelsey knows how to use his NIL war chest to land some of the best transfer portal talent in the country. Now we know he can do a little traditional recruiting as hell. That’s an extremely positive sign for the future, and not just the immediate version, of the program.

Louisville now has used 11 of its 13 scholarships for next season, with two of those players set to redshirt. It’s a pretty comforting feeling knowing that all nine of those guys can play.

You don’t get anything in the win column for all of this, but these first seven weeks couldn’t have gone much better for Kelsey and company.

This feels fun again.


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