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 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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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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Basketball takes down Bellarmine in exhibition game Monday, Nov 4 2019 

By Ben Goldberger —

Though closer than most fans would prefer, the Louisville Cardinals beat the Bellarmine Knights 75-65 in an exhibition game Oct. 29.

Junior Jordan Nwora recorded 28 points. Freshman Dwayne Sutton had 18 points with 13 rebounds, and freshman Samuell Williamson had 17 points with nine rebounds.

Redshirt sophomore Ryan McMahon had a disappointing night, missing all shot attempts and going 0-5 from three point range and 0-6 in total shots. 

First Half

The Cards started off slowly, going multiple plays missing shots. Sutton rose to life in the first half, grabbing practically everything that came off the board. 

Louisville could not control their fouls, leading to the Knights getting an abundance of free-throw opportunities.

No players off of the bench could score, with the only points the whole game coming from graduate student Fresh Kimble. 

The Cards went into halftime trailing the Knights 35-33. 

Second Half

While it remained close through most of the second half, U of L took control of the game. They played smarter basketball with patient defense and physical offense. 

Nwora caught on fire late in the second half, draining threes and driving to the basket left and right. The whole team fed off of this burst of momentum going on a late run, capped off by a fast break slam dunk by Williamson that shook the stadium. 

Bellarmine could neither produce much on offense nor stop the hyped up Cards on defense once the momentum had landed in Louisville’s hands, allowing the Cards to glide to a win by 10 points. 

With two starters and one star rookie sidelined, the Cardinals were able to fight through adversity and win the game. While fans expected this to be a blowout, a win is a win.

The Cards travel to Miami to start off the season Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m. 

Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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