The 2021-22 roster for the Louisville men’s basketball program is now complete. The program announced Monday that former Western Carolina guard Mason Faulkner has signed a financial aid agreement to continue his collegiate playing career with the Cardinals, filling the final available scholarship spot.

"We are excited to have a player of Mason's caliber and experience in our program," head coach Chris Mack said in a statement. "He has the ability to play both guard positions in the backcourt, has experience playing in high-level collegiate environments, and is effective both scoring the ball and setting up his teammates as a playmaker. We are glad to welcome him to our team and back to his home state of Kentucky."

He entered the transfer portal on Mar. 16, and originally enrolled with Colorado back in April. He had surgery in late June to repair a lingering right ankle issue, then announced Tuesday on Instagram he would be moving back to Kentucky to be closer to his daughter and family.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound point guard averaged a team-best 16.9 points, accompanied by 5.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He also shot 45.5% from the field, 35.5% on three point attempts, and 76.2% at the free throw line. Injury limited him to just 22 of WCU's 37 games, but was still named Third Team All-SoCon.

During the 2019-20 season as a redshirt junior, and his only full season as a Catamount, the Glasgow, Ky. native put up 17.7 points, 6.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game. He posted not one, but two triple-doubles that season, and was named a First Team All-SoCon.

He spent the first two years of his career at North Kentucky, sitting out the 2018-19 season at Western Carolina due to transfer rules. In 65 total games with the Norse, he averaged 6.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Prior to beginning his college career, Faulkner was one of the most prolific scorers in the state of Kentucky. He led the state in scoring as a senior at Caverna, averaging 35.9 points per game, while also chipping in 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals. He was named a finalist for Kentucky Mr. Basketball.

Louisville has been deep into roster management mode since the end of last season. Guards Carlik Jones and David Johnson declared for the 2021 NBA Draft; guard Josh Nickelberry, forward Quinn Slazinski and forward Aidan Igiehon entered the portal; and guard Charles Minlend graduated.

On the other side of that coin, eight newcomers are joining the fold, including Faulkner. The program is welcome D1 transfers forward Matt Cross, guards Jarrod West and Noah Locke; high school prospects center Roosevelt Wheeler and guard/forward Mike James; and JUCO products guard El Ellis and forward Sydney Curry.

Fortunately, Louisville won’t consist of exclusively newcomers. Forward/center Malik Williams after he opted to stay for a fifth year with the program; starters forwards Samuel Williamson, Jae’Lyn Withers and Dre Davis return; as do role players forward JJ Traynor and center Gabe Wiznitzer.

This article first appeared on FanNation Louisville Report and was syndicated with permission.

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