I can only speak for myself, but I honestly don’t remember a true freshman in the last ten years that Louisville fans have been more excited about than Terry Rozier.
The Cleveland native’s unique path to Louisville made him an early fan favorite, but it’s not just his love and dedication to the Louisville basketball program that attracts praise from the fan base.
He’s also a pretty damn good player.
Rozier was rated as a five star prospect by Scout.com entering his freshman season with Louisville. He wasn’t expected to be an immediate star, that role was already occupied by consensus first team All American Russ Smith.
With Smith heading to the NBA, it’s Rozier’s turn to be the star.
“I think next year we’re going to see a lot more Terry Rozier asserting himself into a role that will be very, very nice,” Smith told Jason Anderson of ESPN 680.
“He’s able to push the ball and find people. He doesn’t turn the ball over at all.”
As a freshman, Rozier averaged 7.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists mostly off of the bench. He was named to the American Athletic Conference All Newcomer Team and was recently tabbed as a 2014-15 preseason honorable mention All American by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
With guys like Smith and Hancock gone, Rozier will be depended on heavily from a scoring perspective. His 7.5 points per game last season don’t truly indicate how good of a scorer he is. Losing a player as talented as Russ Smith is nearly impossible to replace, but having a guy like Terry Rozier around may make the transition a little less noticeable for Cardinal fans.