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Kelsey adds another Charleston transfer in guard Kobe Rodgers

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - The 2024-25 Louisville basketball team is going to look at lot like Charleston's 2023-24 squad.

That's because Charleston junior guard Kobe Rodgers on Friday became the third player off U of L coach Pat Kelsey's former team to commit to the Cardinals, following junior guard Reyne Smith and freshman forward James Scott.

However, the 6-foot-3 Rodgers said he plans to redshirt next season to fully recover from a leg injury suffered during the Cougars' loss to No. 4 Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Rodgers started 18 of the 31 games he played in last season, averaging 21.7 minutes. He contributed 9.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals while shooting 50%, including 18-of-40 (45%) from three-point range, with a season high of 24 points against Towson. The Cincinnati native had a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. He was named to the all-Coastal Athletic Association team after averaging 10.6 points in three games.

Rodgers played just one season at Charleston after transferring from Division III Nova Southeastern, where he helped the Sharks win the DIII national championship and a 36-0 record by averaging 13.2 ppg.

On signing Rodgers at Charleston, Kelsey had this to say in a statement:

"His athleticism and length combined with a diverse skill set allows him to play on or off the ball offensively and to guard multiple positions defensively. The coaching fraternity in Cincinnati raves about Kobe as a player, competitor and person."

Rodgers lost his father to cancer at age seven and Kelsey called his perseverance throught adversity "very inspiring," adding, "In meeting his mother, sister and others in his support circle it is easy to see why (he prevailed). Kobe has a chip on his shoulder that we covet here at Charleston."

Rodgers is Kelsey's ninth transfer addition, but only seven will play next season, with 6-11 Aly Khalifa from BYU also planning to redshirt due to an injury.

All 13 of Louisville's scholarship players from last season entered the portal, which closed on Wednesday. Nine have announced their next destination, with six landing with Power 5 programs: Skyy Clark (UCLA); Dennis Evans (Grand Canyon); Kaleb Glenn (Florida Atlantic); Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Mike James (NC State); Danilo Jovanovich (Milwaukee); JJ Traynor (DePaul); Tre White (Illinois ) and Curtis Williams (Georgetown).

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