LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Another day, another acknowledgment of how much respect University of Louisville forward Jordan Nwora earned last season.
Like every college basketball addict, NCAA.com correspondent Andy Katz is eager for next season. Katz demonstrated his enthusiasm by posting his list of the Top 25 players for the 2019-20 season. (The link.)
Two local players made the list: Kentucky point guard Ashton Hagans (No. 23) and Nwora, who ranked sixth.
According to Katz, Nwora will start the season as the top-ranked junior nationally as well as the second-best player in the Atlantic Coast Conference (behind North Carolina freshman point guard Cole Anthony).
Nwora led the Cards in scoring last season at 17 points per game. He made nearly 37% of his shots from distance and 76.% of his free throws. Nwora also led the Cards in rebounding.
After entering his name in the 2019 NBA Draft, Nwora withdrew hours before the deadline. An injury limited his availability to work out for NBA teams in May. Uncertain that he would be selected in the first round, Nwora returned for his third season.
He’ll be one of the frontrunners for ACC Player of the Year, and Louisville will be the pick of many to win the league. No Duke or Virginia players made the list.
These are the five guys that Katz ranked ahead of Nwora:
- 5. Anthony
- 4. Memphis freshman center James Wiseman
- 3. Seton Hall senior guard Myles Powell
- 2. Marquette senior guard Markus Howard
- 1. Michigan State senior guard Cassius Winston
Nwora and Anthony were the only two ACC players in the Top 25.
Hagans was one of four guys recognized from the Southeastern Conference. An elite defender and leader, Hagans led Kentucky with 160 assists, 4.3 per game. He also averaged 7.7 points and a team-high 1.6 steals.
Hagans will be the leader of a dynamic UK backcourt that will also feature sophomore Immanuel Quickley and freshman Tyrese Maxey.
The Big Ten led Katz’s list with eight players, including Purdue forward Trevion Williams, No. 19. No players from Indiana or Western Kentucky were selected.
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