Five men’s basketball players named to All-ACC Academic team Wednesday, May 27 2020 

By Cole Emery–

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team ranked among the top 10 percent in academic success in the most recent Academic Progress Rate data released by the NCAA on May 12. 

“We are extremely proud of the academic success our basketball program has achieved in the recent years,” Head Coach Chris Mack said. “The APR speaks to speaks to the achievement and retention of our student-athletes we are fortunate to coach.”

This marks the seventh time in the last eight years the men’s basketball team has received recognition from the NCAA Academic Performance Program. The only other school in the Power Five conferences to achieve this recognition in seven of the past eight seasons is Stanford. 

Collectively, the men’s basketball team attained a 3.0 GPA in 22 of the last 24 semesters. During the 2020 spring semester, the team achieved a 3.160 team GPA. Among the 16 players on the team, 10 of the student-athletes finished the semester with a 3.0 GPA or better. Junior Jordan Nwora and freshman Samuell Williamson successfully finished this past semester with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The Cardinals strive for academic success in the classroom and feels it will help them on the basketball court.

“We wholeheartedly believe the academic success has a direct correlation to athletic success,” Mack said. “Pushing oneself to do the best in every area speaks to character. You can’t win big if you don’t display character. We are extremely proud to have five All-Academic selections, and will continue to push our student-athletes in every way.”

Along with team success, the Cardinals also earned major individual academic awards over the past year. Nwora was named to the 2019 College Sports Information Directors of America, known as coSIDA, All-American second team. He is the fourth Louisville player to ever receive this honor. Nwora also earned his third straight All-ACC Academic Team honor.

Louisville and Pittsburgh were the only teams in the ACC to have five student-athletes named to the All-ACC Academic Team including Nwora, Williamson, Lamar “Fresh” Kimble, Ryan McMahon and Darius Perry. 

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 routed by Seminoles Friday, Feb 28 2020 

By John McCarthy —

The No. 11 Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team lost 82-67 to the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles Feb. 24 at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

The Cardinals (24-6. 14-4) played in front of an unwelcoming crowd, as the arena was at 100% capacity. With this loss, Louisville now sits a game half back from Florida State in the current ACC standings.

The Cardinals were strong defensively in the first half and held the Seminoles (24-4, 14-3) at 15 points through the first ten minutes of the game.

Louisville’s old-school scoring style to get to the rim proved effective. The Cardinals produced only two-point buckets and free-throws through the first 13 minutes of the game until senior Ryan McMahon bottomed a three-pointer from the left wing to put the Cardinals up 24-17.

The Cardinals kept their space from Florida State on the scoreboard during the first half, matching every jumper the Seminoles hit from the field. Headed into the locker room for halftime, Louisville led Florida State 40-32.

Early in the second half, the Cardinals sat comfortably in the driver’s seat with a ten-point lead and looked to have the obvious momentum. Louisville soon went through a nine-minute scoring drought.

Seminoles senior Trent Forrest scored 14 of his 16 total points in the second half during Louisville’s stretch without a basket. Florida State ended up rallying back for the home victory due to the Cardinals scoring drought, defeating Louisville 82-67.

McMahon finished with 14 points. Junior Jordan Nwora had 13 points and eight rebounds. Freshman David Johnson totaled 13 points, four points and four assists. Senior Dywane Sutton finished with eight points and five rebounds.

The Seminoles’ field goal percentage propelled them to victory, they shot 51% from the field and 31% from the three-point line. Head coach Chris Mack said, “We battled. I thought their pressure, although it might have not turned us over, kept us on our heels. We handled it the first 20 minutes. Just didn’t keep up the pace in the second half.”

Louisville will host Virginia Tech next at the KFC Yum! Center Mar. 1 at 6 p.m. on the ACC Network.

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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No. 5 Cardinals Men’s Basketball falls to Clemson Thursday, Feb 20 2020 

The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team lost to the Clemson Tigers 77-62 Feb. 15 at the Littlejohn Coliseum.

This is the Cardinals (21-5, 12-3) third road loss this season, and Louisville is now enduring a two game losing streak.

Louisville shot poorly in the first half. The Cardinals shot 15.6 percent from the field as they managed to sink 3 of the 16 three-pointers.

The Tigers shot 46 percent from the field and flushed three three-pointers. Clemson (13-12, 7-8) had two players with double-digit scoring totals before the half.

Senior Dwayne Sutton led the Cardinals through their rough shooting streak. Sutton had eight points and six rebounds in the first half.

Louisville trailed Clemson 31-14 going into the half, the Cardinals lowest halftime score so far this season.

Clemson continued their excellent shooting performance with the help of the crowd. The Tigers ended the game shooting 51 percent from the field.

The Cardinals fouled Clemson 19 times, which led to 18 made free-throws for Clemson.

The Cardinals rebounded and assisted better than the Tigers, but Louisville’s 34.8 shooting percentage held them back.

At one point, Clemson led the Cardinals by a lopsided 21 points. Louisville came within 11 points at the 1:54 mark after Junior Jordan Nwora banged a three-pointer, but that was as close as the Cardinals came to tying the Tigers.

Clemson sealed the win at home with their second win against a top ten team in the nation.

Sutton shined in the Cardinals’ defeat. He had 18 points and seven rebounds. Freshman David Johnson contributed late in the game, ending with 12 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Junior Malik Williams had nine points and four rebounds.

Coach Chris Mack for Louisville said after the game, “It’s my fault. I have to figure it out. We as a coaching staff have to figure it out. It looks like we’re playing like we don’t have anything to play for. It’s frustrating. But it’s my job to figure it out, and I’ve failed so far.”

Louisille will look to redeem their play Feb. 19 at the KFC Yum! Center when they host the Syracuse Orange.

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Louisville defeated Wake Forest 86-76 Saturday, Feb 15 2020 

By John McCarthy —

The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team won against Wake Forest 86-76 in a tough match Feb. 5 at the KFC Yum! Center.

This extends the Cardinals’ winning streak to nine as they continue their ascent in the NCAA basketball rankings.

The Cardinals (20-3, 11-1) have accrued 16 wins in which they have defeated their opponent by 10 or more points this season.

The efficiency of the Demon Deacons (10-12, 3-9) stunned the Cardinals in the first half. Wake Forest busted out of the gates, shooting 60 percent from the field on 18 shots made. They also managed to out-rebound Louisville, heading into halftime plus five on the boards.

At one point, Wake Forest led the Cardinals by 16, but that would end up being their largest lead of the game. Louisville managed to keep the deficit within a dozen with their three-point shooting.

The Cardinals shot 50 percent  from three in the first half with nine three-pointers made.

Junior Jordan Nwora headed into the locker room with a dozen points and a pair of rebounds. Junior Malik Williams had eight points in the first half. Senior Ryan McMahon made two of Louisville’s nine first-half three-pointers.

The second half was all about the Cardinals’ monstrous comeback.

Without Louisville’s game-changing five minute run to open the second half, this game would have come down to the wire. With 14 minutes left to play, Nwora fooled a Wake Forest defender with a filthy crossover and followed up with an off-balance one-footed three-pointer.

Senior Dwayne Sutton carried the energy next for the Cardinals in the second half by grabbing a steal and taking it to the other end for a strong two-handed dunk.

Nwora finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and an assist. Sutton ended with a double-double, shooting for 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Seniors Steven Enoch and graduate Fresh Kimble came to life in the second half. Enoch collected two rebounds and shot for 11 points. Kimble dished four assists, grabbed 4 rebounds and scored 14 points. Collectively the Cardinals finished the game shooting 48 percent from the field.

Wake Forest had three players finishing with double-digit scoring, but the shooting of Louisville sought victory for the Cardinals.

Louisville will look to improve their winning streak to 17 when they host Virginia Feb. 8. The game will begin at 4 p.m. inside the KFC Yum! Center.

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Nwora propelled Cardinals past Golden Eagles Friday, Jan 31 2020 

By John McCarthy —

The No. 6 Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team defeated the Boston College Golden Eagles 86-69 Jan. 29 at the Silvio Conte Forum. 

This is the sixth straight in-conference win for Louisville (18-3, 9-1). They have not lost a game since Jan. 4 when Florida State downed the Cardinals at home. Florida State and Duke both sit a game and a half back from Louisville in the ACC standings heading into February.

Junior Jordan Nwora chalked one up first for the Cardinals, hitting a mid-range jumper. Seconds later, Nwora sank another jump shot off an assist by graduate Fresh Kimble. Junior Darius Perry was next to mark the scoreboard with a contested layup in traffic. 

Freshman Jay Heath hit two three-pointers for Boston College (10-11, 4-6). Perry answered with a three-pointer of his own. After a 6-0 Boston College run beginning at the 16:34 mark, Louisville began to fire back. 

Perry bottomed another three-pointer to silence the Golden Eagles run. A minute later, Nwora sank a three-pointer off an assist by freshman David Johnson.

Johnson has been a much-needed spark of the Cardinals bench, providing vital assists to fuel Louisville’s offense. 

With 8:49 left in the first half, Nwora made a free-throw to tie the game 25-25. The Cardinals finished the half shooting 4-5 from deep, helping them take the lead at halftime 45-43.

In the second half, the seasoned dominance of Louisville took center stage. 

Senior Dwayne Sutton got the Cardinals started by converting both of his free-throws. A minute later, Nwora fought for two offensive rebounds in a single possession, on the second offensive rebound he tipped the ball in for two.

This momentum-swinging moment brought the Cardinals together. 

Senior Steven Enoch showed the same class of hustle soon after, grabbing an offensive board and tipping the ball in for two. 

At the 15:30 mark, Johnson stole the ball from the Boston College offense and made a timely pass to Nwora for the transition dunk. 

With five minutes left to play, freshman Samuell Williamson and Senior Ryan McMahon swished back to back three-pointers to solidify the lead for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals offense chemistry was too much for the Golden Eagles.

Nwora dazzled with 37 points and nine rebounds. Sutton had 10 points and three rebounds. Perry contributed 14 points and a pair of assists. Johnson dished out six assists and grabbed eight boards. 

The Cardinals will travel to North Carolina State Feb. 1 to play the Wolfpack at PNC Arena at 2 p.m. on ESPN. 

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Louisville wins overtime thriller against Pittsburgh Friday, Jan 17 2020 

By John McCarthy —

The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team won in overtime against the Pittsburgh Panthers 73-68 Jan. 14 at the Petersen Events Center.

With this win, the Cardinals swept the Panthers in their collective season series 2-0. The Cardinals beat the Panthers at the KFC Yum! Center on Dec. 6 by a wide margin of 64-46.

In the first half, the atmosphere was in favor of the Panthers. Two early three-pointers from Pittsburgh junior Ryan Murphy boosted the Panthers’ confidence. 

Pittsburgh sophomore Xavier Johnson helped grease the wheels for the Panthers by swishing a pair of mid-range jumpers. Panthers sophomore Trey McGowens was the paceman for the Panthers offense. McGowens finessed a nifty reverse layup at 8:01 in the first half to increase the Pittsburgh lead to nine, their largest lead of the game.

Louisville senior Dwayne Sutton ended the first half with 13 points and nine rebounds.

The Panther’s offense contained Cardinals junior Jordan Nwora in the first half. Nwora finished with 14 points, his second lowest scoring output so far this season.

Pittsburgh led going into the second half at 31-28.

The second half and overtime was close the whole way. It was a back and forth battle under the momentum solidified in Louisville’s favor after a free-throw by freshman David Johnson with a minute left in the game.

The Panthers had two opportunities to win and tie the game, but both times the baskets were reversed because of a foul. First was the go ahead tip shot by Pittsburgh junior Terrell Brown who was called for an offensive foul. Second was an over-the-back call on McGowens that would have tied the game in overtime. After a compilation of free-throws in the final 25 seconds, Louisville came away with the overtime win. 

Junior Malik Williams finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

The Cardinals next test will be against Duke at 6 p.m. on Jan. 18 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The winner of the game will have sole possession of first place in the ACC standings. 

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