(Photo of Josh Nickelberry: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Another member of the Louisville men’s basketball program has entered the transfer portal, and this time it is sophomore guard Josh Nickelberry, the program announced Thursday.
"I want to thank Josh for his contributions to our program these past two years," head coach Chris Mack said in the release. "He has been a terrific representative of our program and unfortunately has had some hard luck with injuries during his time. I understand and support his decision to get a fresh start in college basketball and wish him all the best moving forward."
He is the second Cardinal to depart the program following the end of the 2020-21 season. Sophomore forward Aidan Igiehon entered his name in the portal the day after Selection Sunday.
Like Igiehon, Nickelberry also dealt with numerous injuries over his two-year Louisville career. He missed the first five games of this past season due to offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, then missed four more games down the stretch due to illness and a write injury. As a freshman, he also missed seven late season games due to an ankle injury.
"Thank you to Coach Mack, my teammates and all of Card Nation of these past two years," Nickelberry also said. Louisville will always have a special place in my heart and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for me."
The past season, he averaged just 2.8 points in just nine games and shot 22.2% from the floor and 21.9% on three point attempts. As a freshman, he only saw the court 15 times, averaging 0.8 points while shooting 20.0% and 28.6%.
Nickelberry was Mack's first recruit upon taking the head coaching position at Louisville, joining as part of the 'Super Six' Class of 2019. As a senior for Northwood Temple Academy, he averaged 26.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game leading them a 20-14 record and a runner-up position in the 2019 1A NCISAA North Carolina state championship.
Despite finishing with 2,904 career points in high school, Nickelberry departs Louisville having only scored 37 career points as a Cardinal.
Louisville has been deep into roster management mode since the end of the season. On top of the transfers, Class of 2021 signees Bobby Pettiford and Eric Van Der Heijden were both released from their National Letter of Intent, and graduate transfer guard Charles Minlend confirmed he would not be returning for another year.
Fortunately, the Cardinals are still welcoming five newcomers next year. Wing Michael James and center Roosevelt Wheeler are signees from the high school ranks, point guard El Ellis is coming from JUCO, and forward Matt Cross & guard Jarrod West are transferring from Miami & Marshall, respectively.
The program is still awaiting decisions from both sophomore guard David Johnson and graduate transfer guard Carlik Jones on their respective futures. Both are anticipated to at least test the 2021 NBA Draft waters, but neither have made a decision yet. Senior forward/center Malik Williams already stated that he will return for a final season with Louisville
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