Kamari Lands is the first member of the 2022-23 Louisville men’s basketball team to announce his intentions to play elsewhere next season.
Lands on Friday told On3.com he and the staff “have come to the mutual decision to part way.” He plans to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal when it opens Monday.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, and teammates for all the support they have given me throughout my decision,” Lands said in a statement to On3.com. “I would also like to thank the Louisville staff and fan base for everything they have done for me and my season here at Louisville. I have nothing but love for you guys. With that being said the staff and I have come to the mutual decision to part way, and I plan on putting my name in the transfer portal to further my journey.”
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A 6-foot-8 forward from Indianapolis, Lands averaged 5.9 points on 32% shooting and grabbed 1.9 rebounds in 21 minutes per game for U of L this season. He appeared in every game (six starts) for the Cardinals during their 4-28 (2-19 ACC) campaign, tallying a career-high 15 points on three occasions. Four of his seven double-digit scoring efforts came during the final 11 games.
“I feel like the game slowed down for me eventually,” Lands said Feb. 14. “I felt like, at first, I was kind of rushing my shot, especially on my catch-and-shoot (attempts). I just kept putting in time, kept getting reps in the gym, and now when I shoot, it feels like my natural shot. It feels way more fluid. Now, I’m just very comfortable and confident with it.”
After his first season at the helm of his alma mater came to an end Tuesday with a first-round exit in the ACC Tournament, Louisville head coach Kenny Payne said he planned to sit down with each player on his inaugural roster and discuss their futures with the program — “what they’re looking for and what I’m looking for.”
“Some of it, to be honest, is not gonna be what they want to hear,” Payne said during his postgame interview with the Cardinal Sports Network after losing to Boston College in Greensboro, North Carolina. “Some of it, I may not hear what I want to hear.”
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The goal, the coach said after a year of evaluating his inaugural roster, is to see who “deserves” to don a Louisville uniform with the Cardinals primed to target more experienced players in the portal.
“If you don’t deserve to be in that jersey, as much as I love you, I can’t have you in that jersey,” Payne said.
A former four-star prospect out of Hillcrest Prep, Lands originally committed to Syracuse in 2021 but reopened his recruitment and eventually pledged to Louisville on Jan. 1, 2022, just weeks before it parted ways with former head coach Chris Mack. He, four-star forward Devin Ree and three-star guard Fabio Basili composed the Cardinals’ 2022 class of high school signees.
Reach Louisville men’s basketball reporter Brooks Holton at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @brooksHolton.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville basketball’s Kamari Lands to enter transfer portal: Report