Malik Williams ready for his fifth year with the Cards Wednesday, Mar 24 2021 

By Hannah Walker —

After having multiple injuries this season, forward/center senior Malik Williams announced in a media interview, his decision to stay on Louisville’s men’s basketball team for a fifth year.

Williams has had problems with his right foot throughout most of his time playing college basketball. He started getting injuries during the 2019 season, and he hasn’t seemed to be able to recover since. During the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, Williams had surgery on his right foot and had to miss 15 games.

After recovering from the surgery to his foot, Williams made the decision to play in the Duke game. He seemed to be strong and scoring just as well as he had prior to the injury. However, he had another injury to his ankle during the middle of the game while landing on a Duke player’s foot.

Doctors estimated that he would be sidelined for another 4-6 weeks after his second injury. Now, he is getting ready to start practice again for the 2021-2022 season.

“My right ankle is doing fine. On the injury with my left ankle, I went in to get a scope and some shaving done to the bone,” Williams said in an interview March 24. “Now I am just ready to start strengthening my foot to get back out [on the court].”

Williams went on to talk about how it was a rough season for him. He felt as if he was letting down a lot of his teammates for not being able to play like he has in the past.

He also said that he felt as if he had let himself down. These reasons are why he wants to stay with Louisville for another year before going pro.

“You come into college basketball wanting to be a future one-and-done, and then end up turning into a fifth-year player. That’s not easy for anyone to cope with,” he said. “I think it was just about exploring my options. That’s all it really was.”

Williams said he looks forward to being able to bring next year’s freshman to the NCAA championship during the 2021-2022 season. He also hopes to have a good season next year, so he can prove to the pro-level teams that he can play without having consistent injuries.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Boulton // U of L Athletics 

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KFC Yum! Center will host Wade Houston Tipoff Classic Monday, Nov 23 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team had to hurdle many obstacles to host the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alas, the schedule for the season-opening event at the KFC Yum! Center is on.

U of L will begin their season on Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. against Evansville University. Prairie View A & M vs. Little Rock University will follow.

But Louisville’s season opener on the 25th is only the beginning of the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic. U of L will face off against Seton Hall on Nov. 27. Prairie View A & M will challenge the Cardinals on Nov. 29. Western Kentucky University will come into town to face U of L on Dec. 1. To wrap up the event, UNC Greensboro will come to Louisville to face the Cardinals on Dec. 4.

Nine schools will enter the Wade Houston Classic, playing 16 games in total. The KFC Yum! Center will host all of the games for the Wade Houston Classic, which will stretch over a ten-day span. Louisville, Duquesne, Evansville, Little Rock, Prairie View A&M, Seton Hall, UNC Greensboro, Western Kentucky and Winthrop will all be participating in the event.

Winthrop University was a late entry into the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Southern Illinois University was originally slated to be apart of the event but withdrew because of safety concerns.

The Cardinals will look to tackle Evansville on Nov. 25. U of L will be starting their season without senior captain Malik Williams. Louisville will look to fellow senior captain Carlik Jones to lead the way at home against Evansville.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Men’s basketball captain out 12 weeks with foot injury Tuesday, Nov 10 2020 

By John McCarthy–

University of Louisville men’s basketball forward/center Malik Williams is out 12 weeks with an apparent foot injury. The senior captain will miss the beginning of the 2020-2021 season with the Cardinals.

Williams returns to Louisville’s men’s basketball program as the most experienced player on the roster. His foot injury resides from a fracture found on his fifth metatarsal in the right foot. Williams will be undergoing foot surgery this week to repair the fracture.

This is the second season in a row that Williams was named team captain. Throughout his career with the Cardinals, Williams has collected 604 points and 444 rebounds. In the 2019-2020 season, Williams had 15+ points in his last 22 games.

“I feel for Malik. He is everything a coach could ask for in a person, player, and captain, so my heart aches for him. Our team will miss his presence on the court during his time away. I feel for our fans as well who love watching and supporting Malik’s play,” Louisville Head Coach Chris Mack said.

Williams finished as the runner-up in the 2019-2020 ACC Sixth Man of the Year award voting. He scored double figures ten times as a junior and 23 times total throughout his collegiate career at U of L. Last season Williams finished 19th in the ACC in rebounding.

This the second consecutive season that the Cardinals will have to begin the season with Williams on the sideline. Last year Williams had the same fifth metatarsal injury in his right foot that caused him to miss U of L’s season opener. Williams’ Cardinal teammates, coaches, and fans wish him a healthy recovery ahead of the 2020-2021 season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Men’s basketball will take on Wisconsin in Big Ten-ACC Challenge Tuesday, Nov 3 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The Wisconsin Badgers will host the Louisville Cardinals for the 2020 Big Ten-ACC Challenge. This the 22nd annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge since the two conferences coincided in 1998. The bout between the University of Louisville men’s basketball team and the Badgers will take place Dec. 9 in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Badgers finished their 2019-2020 season 17th in the country. They also claimed a piece of the 2019-2020 Big Ten championship for the first time since 2015. Before COVID-19 caused last season’s cancellation the Badgers were on an eight-game winning streak to close out the year.

U of L has a Big Ten-ACC challenge record of 4-2 since joining the ACC. Last year the Cardinals took down No. 4 Michigan 58-43 at the KFC Yum! Center.

The last time the Cardinals played the Badgers was 42 years ago. U of L defeated Wisconsin 70-53 in that matchup. Derek Smith led U of L with 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Louisville held a record of 24-7 last season with a 15-5 record in the ACC. They finished at No. 8 in the polls to end the season. U of L has three of its top nine scorers returning. All eyes will be on Senior captain Malik Williams and star sophomore David Johnson.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Malik Williams and Carlik Jones named 2020 men’s basketball captains Thursday, Oct 15 2020 

By John McCarthy–

Senior Malik Williams and graduate transfer Carlik Jones have been chosen as captains for the 2020 Louisville men’s basketball season.

“As voted on by their teammates, seniors Malik Williams and Carlik Jones have been named captains for this year’s team,” Louisville head coach Chris Mack said.

Williams comes into his senior season with the Cardinals showing an impressive collegiate resume. He was the runner-up for the ACC Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2019-2020 season. Williams hit double-digit scoring totals ten times in his junior season. He averaged eight points and six rebounds per game in his junior year.

Jones will come into the Louisville men’s basketball as one of the nation’s more highly-scouted graduate transfers. Jones comes from Radford University, where he averaged 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and one steal per game. He helped lead Radford to their second-straight conference championship with a 21-11 record. Jones is the only Division-I player to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists last season.

The Cardinals will look to Williams and Jones to help lead them toward the top of the ACC standings. “Our team is fortunate to have terrific leadership and it starts with these two. Their experience, ability to lead, and toughness have been evident throughout the offseason and preseason,” said Mack.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville men’s basketball team protests through Belknap campus for equality Tuesday, Sep 29 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team marched through Belknap campus Sept. 25, calling for racial equality.

Many members of the community surrounding U of L and students walked alongside the men’s basketball team to help promote equality peacefully. “The turnout was greater than we could have imagined. This is exactly what we envisioned, getting our message out about inequality, discrimination, racism, and hate,” said senior Malik Williams.

Multiple players from the men’s basketball team talked to the crowd before beginning the march. They urged everyone to protest peacefully as they marched. Louisville Metro Police Department was present during the march to help provide barricades along the march path.

The march started at the Thortons Academic Center and toured through U of L’s Belknap Campus. The march lasted for about an hour. Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack attended the march with his players.

“I understand as a white guy, a 50-year old, that Black America is hurting,” said Mack.

The team did not discuss any matters relating to the upcoming 2020-2021 basketball season. Instead, they encourage listeners to register to vote. The Cardinals asked everyone to join them at Shawnee Park Oct. 3 for a voter registration event. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Men’s basketball holds off Virginia Tech Monday, Mar 2 2020 

By Cole Emery —

The No. 11 Louisville Cardinals defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 68-52 in their final home game of the regular season March 1.

The Hokies controlled the pace early on, but neither team scored well to start the game. Only one shot was made for the first 13 attempts of the game.

Despite a poor offensive performance from junior Jordan Nwora in their previous game against Florida State, he scored 11 points in the first half which matched his total from the previous game.

The first half finished in a tie at 27.

With junior Malik Williams on the sideline in a boot, the Cardinals relied on seniors Steven Enoch, Dwayne Sutton and Nwora to control the boards. The three of them combined for 32 rebounds which amounted to more rebounds than the entire Virgina Tech team who finished with 26 for the game.

Louisville also forced 16 turnovers during the game that led to 19 points for the Cards. This strong defensive ability helped the Cards go on a 15-2 run during the second half to secure the victory. Graduate Fresh Kimble led the team on the night in steals with three.

Nwora finished the game with 20 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and a steal. Freshman David Johnson played an important role off the bench with eight points, six assists, four rebounds and a steal for the game.

Enoch scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Sutton scored eight points and secured nine rebounds. Four of Sutton’s rebounds came from the offensive end.

Louisville will play their final game of the season against Virginia at the John Paul Jones Arena March 7 at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

The Cards are looking to break Virginia’s six-game winning streak which began after they lost to Louisville 80-73 at the KFC Yum! Center Feb. 8.

Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal

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Men’s basketball blow out the Tar Heels Sunday, Feb 23 2020 

The No. 11 Cardinals defeated North Carolina 72-55 Feb. 19 at the KFC Yum! Center.

The contest had a sloppy start as both teams accumulated seven turnovers collectively in the first four minutes of the game. 

Freshman David Johnson made the first basket of the game with an open three-pointer from the left wing.

After a three minute scoring drought for both teams, junior Jordan Nwora got the Cards (23-5, 14-3) back on track with a mid-range jumper. Johnson suffered three turnovers early in the game and senior Ryan McMahon, who drained his first shot from behind the three-point line, subbed him out. 

Freshman Cole Anthony for North Carolina (10-17, 3-13) displayed his ability to score inside with his first six points coming from inside the paint.

Graduate Fresh Kimble stole the ball and scored the transition layup to give the Cardinals a double digit lead with less than a minute left in the first half. 

The Cardinals took a 36-23 lead into halftime.

Nwora led the charge for the Cardinals with nine points and five rebounds. Junior Malik Williams scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds and dished an assist. Johnson scored five points and assisted three baskets, but did not suffer another turnover for the rest of the half. 

Senior Dwayne Sutton scored the first basket of the second with a two-handed slam. 

Louisville noticeably slowed the game down to start the second half. They scored eight points in the first four and a half minutes without allowing the Tar Heels to score a single point.

Nwora achieved a double-double in points and rebounds early in the second half as the Cardinals started the half on a 14-3 run. 

The Cardinals went to the free-throw line more often in the second half after they shot only two free-throws in the first half and found themselves in the bonus with nine minutes left in the contest.

The Cardinals cruised to the victory and maintained a double digit lead the entire second half. 

Nwora finished the game with 18 points, 11 rebounds and two steals. Williams finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a block. 

Regarding Louisville’s team, future Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams said after the game, “They have the one of the chances of those teams that could win the whole blessed thing.”

The Cards travel to Florida State in their next contest Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Photo by Jessica Abell // The Louisville Cardinal

 

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Men’s basketball squashes the Orange Sunday, Feb 23 2020 

No. 11 Louisville defeated the Syracuse Orange 90-66 Feb. 19 at the KFC Yum! Center, putting their two-game losing streak behind them. 

The Cards immediately showed their dominance from behind the arc when senior Dwayne Sutton drained a three-pointer assisted by freshman David Johnson on the first play of the game. Senior Ryan McMahon matched the energy with a couple of three-pointers to a quick 11-5 lead to begin the game.

Freshman Quincy Guerrier helped keep Syracuse in the game early on with his ability to grab rebounds and make shots. 

McMahon finished the half with two more three-pointers which ended up being the last shots he made from the field. This help allowed the Cards to take a 41-34 lead into half-time. 

To begin the second half, junior Malik Williams fired on all cylinders, scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds in the first five minutes of play. This momentum allowed the Cards to develop a double digit lead.

The Orange found difficulty scoring in the second half. Two minutes of scoreless basketball from Syracuse allowed the Cards to go on a 13-0 run and brought their lead to 25 points with nine minutes left in the game.

The Cardinals ability to move the ball helped them tremendously in this game as they racked up 23 assists as a team, the most they accumulated for a game this year. Their ability to grab offensive rebounds greatly helped them as they had four more than Syracuse and outrebounded them 45-36 as a team.

Sophomore Buddy Boeheim had 15 points and Guerrier had 14 for Syracuse in their loss.

Williams matched his career high in rebounds with 13 in his first start of the year while scoring 14 points as well. Sutton helped the team with 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Nwora only shot 5-18 but still put together 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists to end the game.

Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal

 

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Men’s basketball stung by the Yellow Jackets Thursday, Feb 20 2020 

By John McCarthy —

The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team fell 64-58 to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Feb. 12.

This loss in Atlanta marked the end of the Cardinals 10-game winning streak.

The Yellow Jackets played Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center Jan. 22, only losing by four points in a game where Georgia Tech led for half of the game.

Louisville struggled in the first half, shooting a lackluster 34.8 percent. They only sank one of their seven three-pointers.

Both the Cardinals and Yellow Jackets turned the ball over nine times in the first half. The rebound and assist totals were close. The Yellow Jackets just had the hotter hand from the field, shooting 45 percent.

Junior Malik Williams led the way for the Cardinals in the first half off the bench, contributing nine points and four rebounds. Freshman Samuell Williamson had five points and three rebounds in the first half off the bench.

Yellow Jackets junior Jose Alvarado bottomed 11 points and grabbed a pair of rebounds. Senior James Banks III bucketed eight points and brought down two rebounds.

The Cardinals shot better in the second half and ended the game shooting 41 percent from the field. Although Louisville struggled from three in the first half, they swished five three-pointers in the second half that kept them within striking distance of the Yellow Jackets.

The Cardinals went cold from the free-throw line in the second half. They ended the game shooting 61 percent from the free-throw line. This score was close the entire way and the largest lead the Yellow Jackets had was eight points.

The main difference between the two teams was Georgia Tech’s plus-six margin on the defensive glass, which turned into extra offensive possessions. Georgia Tech ended the game with five players scoring double digits.

Senior Dwayne Sutton ended the game with nine points and ten rebounds. Freshman David Johnson came off the bench to score 16 points, dish two assists and hustle for five rebounds. Williams totaled 16 points and eight rebounds.

Inside the last minute of the game, the Cardinals came within one point of Georgia Tech three times, but could not overcome the deficit.

Louisville will look to start another winning streak when they visit Clemson Feb. 14. The Tigers are 9-5 this season at home and are on a one-game winning streak.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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