Louisville freshman Mike James to miss 2021-22 basketball season with torn Achilles tendon

Louisville freshman Mike James will miss the 2021-22 basketball season after tearing the Achilles tendon in his left leg in practice Wednesday.

James will undergo surgery Friday.

"First and foremost, I feel for Mike," coach Chris Mack said. "He's a phenomenal young man and was poised to have a stellar freshman season. Secondly, I feel for his teammates, coaches, family and friends that have supported him daily. Lastly, I feel for Louisville fans, who will miss seeing a terrific addition to our program. I have no doubt, however, that Mike will be back better than ever next season."

James, a 6-foot-6 wing from Florida, was ranked No. 79 in the ESPN 100 for the 2021 class. He was the highest-ranked player in Louisville's recruiting class and was expected to provide depth on the perimeter for the Cardinals. James averaged 19.4 points en route to winning Class 7A Player of the Year in Florida as a senior.

Without James, Mack is still well-stocked with perimeter talent. Three transfers -- Noah Locke (Florida), Mason Faulkner (Western Carolina) and Jarrod West (Marshall) -- join the fold, as does junior college guard El Ellis. Sophomore guard Dre Davis returns after starting 17 games last season, and starter Samuell Williamson can also play on the wing in bigger lineups.

Louisville opens its season Nov. 9 against Southern.