Cardinal Basketball

Christen Cunningham Isn’t Just Serviceable. He’s Valuable.

In the world of college basketball you truly never know what to expect with graduate transfers.

There are plenty of examples of players that transferred to a higher level and their success carried over. There are also examples of guys that couldn’t produce similar results when playing against tougher competition.

With grad-transfer Christen Cunningham’s Cardinal career halfway through I think it’s safe to say that things have worked out for both sides.

Bob Donnan | USA Today Sports Images

Cunningham’s path to Louisville was much different than most. He played for an AAU team that featured guys like Quentin Snider and D’Angelo Russell, but he didn’t pick up the same type of scholarship offers that his teammates did.

Out of high school Cunningham chose Samford over offers from Morehead State, UMKC, IUPUI, Gardner Webb, Brown and Towson.

At Samford Cunningham became the program’s all time leader in assists and scored more than 1,200 career points in his first three years. His recruitment process was much different the second time around. He chose Louisville over offers from Arizona State, Ohio State and Oregon State.

Although Cunningham’s commitment to Louisville came out of nowhere, it’s hard to imagine what this team would look like without the Kentucky native.

Cunningham is averaging 16 points, 4.7 assists and shooting 61% from three-point range in Louisville’s last four games. As impressive as that stat-line is, you don’t need a box score to see just how valuable he is to the team.

“Everywhere I go hear from different people, from TV announcers and whatnot that he’s doing a serviceable job, but at what point are people going to realize he’s not just serviceable, he’s valuable,” Chris Mack said of Cunningham following Saturday’s win at North Carolina.

“He’s hard to guard, he’s got such a good hesitation game and he makes such good decisions for us,” Mack said. “He’s going against McDonald’s All American’s that are 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 yet he still generates so much offense for us and stabilizes our team.”

Mack is right.

C.C. has been huge for the Cards and it’s time folks start putting some respect on his name.

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