What a year a difference makes, in more ways than one.
Jordan Nwora announced his decision to return to Louisville men’s basketball for his junior year May 29, 2019. Almost a year later, Nwora has some experience in the NBA Draft evaluation process while facing some uncertainty as well.
With all things considered, the 6-foot-7 forward says he is in a better position this year compared to last.
“Taking all the advice and feedback I got last year, improving my game,” Nwora said. “Our team was really good, it really set me up a lot better position this year, I know what to expect.”
After averaging 17.0 points and 7.6 rebounds as a sophomore, Nwora was one of the top returning players in college basketball for the 2019-20 season. He was named preseason ACC Player of the Year and selected as first-team preseason All-America by the Associated Press, The Sporting News and CBS Sports, among other media entities.
With a breakout sophomore year that ended as the most improved scorer in the ACC, rising 11.3 points from his freshman year, Nwora was well-known during his junior year.
“My sophomore year, not a lot of people knew me, I was just coming in and I broke out,” Nwora said. “My junior year some people don’t want to say I got better, but there aren’t a lot of kids in the ACC getting box-and-1 or doubled teamed, face guarded all game, averaging 18 points and eight rebounds being on a team that was in the top 10 of the country.”
Although Nwora said his game was under a microscope, which he believes helped him mature and work harder, he continued to increase his production during his junior year.
Nwora averaged 18.0 points and 7.7 rebounds, becoming Louisville’s first All-America selection since 2014. He was the only player to rank in the ACC’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, free throw percentage, field goal percentage and 3-pointers made per game.
In his final season at Louisville, Nwora said he was most proud of the team and individual success. Louisville spent two weeks as the nation’s top-ranked team in the AP and USA Today polls and spent most of the year ranked inside the top 15.
Along with his on-court accomplishments, Nwora was named to the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America second team.
Nwora is now spending time preparing for a professional career, a year after his first opportunity to do so.
“I am in a better position than I was last year,” Nwora said. “Once things get back to being a little more normal, I’m sure that being able to go through that process will definitely help me this year.”