The Louisville basketball team took a hit this offseason following the decision of one of its five-star signees. The Cardinals will be without the services of guard Trentyn Flowers, who committed to the program back in March.
Flowers signed a month later, helping give head coach Kenny Payne the nation’s sixth-best recruiting class. Now, he says the relationship has soured.
As a recruit, he was rated as the top player in the state of North Carolina, as well as a top 30 prospect in the 2023 class according to 24/7 Sports.
He picked the Cardinals over a plethora of offers which included Alabama, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, UNC, Tennessee, and more.
Just a few short months later, though, he’s off to the professional ranks.
Making the decision to forego college basketball at Louisville, Flowers is planning to take his talents overseas. In what was an unexpected surprise to many in the program, the star point guard informed the coaching staff that he’d decided to play in the NBL just months before season’s start.
This coming after his enrollment to the university in June.
“Recently, I have been blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime – to play professional basketball in Australia and take another big step towards my NBA dreams,” the post read.
While he says the decision was not an easy one, he believes it provides the best path to the NBA.
The announcement shocked those around Louisville, and it appears his basketball coach is somewhat peeved at the timing of the news. With signing day having come and gone, the Cardinals will no longer be able to fill Flowers’ spot on the roster.
Trentyn Flowers explains his decision.
Flowers and his father spoke about the departure in an interview with Jeff Lightsy this week. They claim that they’ve yet to hear from the head coach days after the decision.
— Jeff Lightsy Jr. (@jlightsy7) August 16, 2023
“We tried to tell the coaches 36 hours before. It was like dang near two days,” Flowers said. “This opportunity came about recently, so this was new news to us.”
His father added on, saying “We had already informed [assistant coach] Nolan [Smith]. We met face to face with him. We tried to reach out to KP.”
“I still haven’t had a chance to speak with him,” Flowers interjected. “I’ve given him about seven or eight calls, and he still hasn’t returned one of them back.”
You can certainly sense animosity from both sides, though the guard insists that he did his best to keep the coaching staff in the loop.
Payne and Co. don’t see it that way, and many in the basketball world are on Louisville’s side.
This kid was recruited by Louisville for years. Commits. Shows up on campus. Goes through summer workouts.
Then quits the week everyone reports back for fall classes – and he wants to be the victim?
Have no problem with what Kenny Payne did here. At all. https://t.co/PDgwrsVcVQ
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) August 16, 2023
Trentyn Flowers is talented, but Louisville may have been saved from a bigger headache.
Less than 36 hrs after announcing he is leaving for Australia, Flowers talks about some of his discontent and says “I was the best player in the gym at all times”.
— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) August 16, 2023
The reaction is understandable given the timing of the decision, which Flowers and his father say they couldn’t control. For a program in search of talent, the need to keep him in the recruiting class was imperative.
Louisville went just 4-28 in Kenny Payne’s first year at the helm, including a 2-18 mark in the ACC. His star-studded freshman class is expected to contribute early and often, as are the incoming transfers.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals will be without one of those expected stars in the coming season. Payne hopes his three other Top 150 signees can pick up the slack.