Sat. Dec 7th, 2019

Key players to watch in men’s basketball

By Luke Graham —

Last year, there were no expectations for the Cards. Head coach Chris Mack impressed during his first year and seems like he will get the best out of his players.

Mack has real talent now and players are expected to perform.

Forward Jordan Nwora is the most talked-about Card and will be the scoring leader. He shot 45 percent from the field last year and 38 percent from behind the arc.

In his first game against Miami, he picked up right where he left off with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

His biggest issue last year was his defensive abilities. If he can improve his defense and ball-handling abilities, he has first-round NBA potential.

Freshman and McDonalds All-American Samuell Williamson looks like he will play a big role as well. He has the ability to be an infamous one-and-done, but if that’s the case, Cards fans hope to remember that one year as spectacular.

It seems that after the first game, he will get every opportunity to play and be a big player in Mack’s second year. He has already shown flashes of good offensive talent with an eye for the court and good defensive abilities.

Junior Malik Williams and senior Steven Enoch look to protect the basket and cause damage to it on the other. If Williams can come back from a broken foot, and Enoch can stay healthy and out of foul trouble, then they could be the key to advancing deep in “The Big Dance” in March.

This can only happen if they both stay healthy and aggressive.  They are forces down low and can determine a game by their defensive presence and offensive capabilities to finish and score.

The Cards need the McDonalds All-American to live up to the hype, Nwora to be the leader of the team and the big men in the paint and Williams and Enoch to stay healthy and on the court.

If all goes well, Cardinal fans could be in for an exciting year. The country has already taken notice of a No. 5 national ranking.

With teams like Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky on the schedule, Louisville’s key players will have to step up and play like some of the best guys in the country.  North Carolina top recruit Cole Anthony versus Williamson will be fun to watch this year.

Freshmen Matthew Hunt and Vernon Casey from Duke will be show stoppers too. This is the game that Enoch and Williams must show their experience and lockdown both young freshmen and show the country why Louisville should be on high alert.

The Cards look to face off against Youngstown State in their next game on Nov. 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Yum Center.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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