#34 Louisville Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Louisville Cardinals
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #9 ACC
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After a distraction-filled 2017-18, Louisville will begin this season on a fresh note with Chris Mack stepping in as head coach. The Cardinals missed the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time (in a year that they were eligible) since 2006. Mack stepping in will help stabilize things, but Louisville will still be without four starters from last season. The Cardinals have brought in some transfers and have a group of returning underclassmen that have potential to break out and get Louisville back on track.
2017-18 Record: 22-14, 9-9
2017-18 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Chris Mack
Coach Record: 0-0 at Louisville, 215-97 overall
Key Departed Players:
Deng Adel, Forward, 15.0 ppg
Raymond Spalding, Forward, 12.3 ppg
Quentin Snider, Guard, 11.8 ppg
Anas Mahmoud, Center, 6.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
V.J. King, Junior, Forward, 8.6 ppg
Ryan McMahon, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg

Jordan Nwora, Sophomore, Forward, 5.7 ppg
Dwayne Sutton, Junior, Forward, 4.3 ppg
Darius Perry, Sophomore, Guard, 3.9 ppg
Malik Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg

Key New Players:
Akoy Agau, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from SMU

Christen Cunningham, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Samford
Steven Enoch, Junior, Center, Transfer from Connecticut
Khwan Fore, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Richmond
The lone starter returning for Louisville is junior V.J. King. King started all 36 games as a sophomore, averaging 8.6 points and 3.3 rebounds. With Deng Adel gone, King could be relied on to be the Cardinals’ go-to scorer this season. Louisville will have five returning bench players from last season to provide some stability from a year ago. Ryan McMahon is a sharpshooting guard who averaged 6.1 points in 15.6 minutes while shooting 40.8% from three. Jordan Nwora, Darius Perry and Malik Williams were part of a talented freshman class a year ago and are all back. Nwora was the best scorer of the three, averaging 5.7 points in only 12 minutes per game. Williams started 12 games but was inconsistent and only saw 10.6 minutes per game. Perry averaged 3.9 points and 1.5 assists and could take over the starting point guard spot after Quentin Snider’s graduation. Dwayne Sutton is also back after averaging 4.3 points and 4.0 rebounds as a sophomore last year. Louisville will have four experienced transfers join the roster this season, three of which are graduate transfers. This will actually be Akoy Agau’s second stint with the Cardinals after he was on the team from 2013-15. Agau spent one season at Georgetown and then played at SMU last year where he averaged 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Christen Cunningham spent four seasons at Samford, starting all 110 games he appeared in there. An illness limited him to only nine games last season, but Cunningham averaged 11.4 points as a junior and 14.4 points as a sophomore. Khwan Fore spent four seasons at Richmond, starting 61 games the past two seasons. Fore averaged over 11 points in each of his last two years at Richmond. Lastly, Steven Enoch will be eligible this season after sitting out last year. Enoch is a transfer from Connecticut, where he averaged 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds as a sophomore. Enoch is a former four-star, top-100 recruit so Louisville will hope he finds his full potential with the Cardinals. Chris Mack steps into an elite job with a bit of rebuilding to do. This year’s team has a lot of inexperience and new faces, but Mack has proven himself as a top coach and should have Louisville back in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.6 (121st in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.3 (121, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.3 (147, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (41, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (161, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.1 (77, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.6 (90, 7)
Rebound Margin: -0.4 (215, 13)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (173, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (74, 4)