By Matt Bradshaw —
Jordan Nwora and Steven Enoch have announced they will enter the 2019 NBA Draft. The pair will test their professional stock since the men’s basketball season ended in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The professional move was not unexpected, especially for a talent like Nwora and upperclassman like Enoch. In addition, it is important to note a crucial detail. Nwora and Enoch are not hiring agents for the drafting process, so they both remain eligible to return to Louisville (if they so desire) upon receiving feedback from the NBA.
“The NBA and the NCAA continue to shape the undergraduate process of determining draft prospects in a more refined way,” head coach Chris Mack said. “I fully support Jordan and Steven as they test the draft waters on where they stand in their basketball futures. When the time comes to make their decision, it will be with feedback straight from the source: the NBA.”
Nwora announced the move first. He averaged 17 points per game, scored 20 or more points on 13 different occasions and posted nine double-doubles this past season.
For his breakout sophomore performance, Nwora earned the ACC’s Most Improved Player of the Year award.
“Because of the ability to test the waters without losing eligibility, it seems like the perfect opportunity for me to try out with NBA teams and get feedback from them directly regarding my strengths and weaknesses,” Nwora said.
Enoch, who played at Connecticut from 2015-17, became a crucial big man for Louisville in his junior season. He averaged 10 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in his final 20 appearances, shooting 52 percent from the field.
The center has one season of collegiate eligibility remaining if he chooses to return.
“The NBA has always been a long-term goal, and this is a wonderful way for me to evaluate myself and find out where I stand,” Enoch said. “I will not be hiring an agent at this time. I am grateful for the continued support I have received since coming to Louisville and I am a Cardinal forever.”
Luckily for head coach Mack, the Cardinals have extremely talented incoming players to fill the roster if Nwora or Enoch leaves. The 2019 class is currently ranked No. 8 in the nation and No. 1 in the ACC, including McDonald’s All-American Samuell Williamson and the “Irish Hulk” Aidan Igiehon.
Still, Louisville would be much better off if Nwora and Enoch remain as Cardinal veterans. Combining experience with talent is always a potent mix, and if the incoming talent is added to the 2018-19 squad with little turnover, it is easier to expect an improvement in overall play.
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File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal