Carlik Jones to Enter NBA Draft Process, Open For Return to Louisville

The graduate transfer guard will be testing the NBA Draft waters, but is open to coming back for one final year with the Cardinals.
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(Photo of Carlik Jones: Scott Utterback/Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

LOUISVILLE, Ky - Louisville men's basketball graduate guard Carlik Jones will be entering his name for consideration for the 2021 NBA Draft, but "take the necessary measures" to leave open for a return for the 2021-22 season, the program announced Saturday.

"Throughout all of the ups and downs this season, the one constant was the love shown by the Cardinal Nation," Jones said in the release. "I'm so appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing program."

"I fully support Carlik's decision," head coach Chris Mack said. "While we would like to see him return in a Cardinal uniform next season, this is a great opportunity for him to assess where he stands. He will be evaluated by the NBA and have direct input on where he is viewed so he can make the most informed decision on his future."

Coming over from Radford during the previous offseason, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound point guard quickly established himself as one of the best players in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He averaged 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, and was named a First Team All-ACC selection.

Jones is the third Cardinal to be named First Team All-ACC, joining Jordan Nwora in 2020 and Donovan Mitchell in 2017. He received the third-highest votes and finished tied for second in the conference player of the year vote.

Prior to joining Louisville, the Cincinnati native was regarded as the top graduate transfer during the 2020 offseason. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game in his redshirt junior year at Radford, winning Big South Player of the Year.

Including his time at Radford, Jones is 17th nationally among active career scorers with 1,871 points and has 101 career double-figure scoring efforts, including 41 of his last 42 games and 18 of 19 at Louisville.

Louisville opened up the 2020-21 season at 9-1 and were ranked as high as the No. 16 team in the nation, but went 4-6 in the second half of the season to finish 13-7 and miss the NCAA Tournament.

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