2018-19 record: 20-14, 10-8 in the ACC
Head coach: Chris Mack
Tenure at Louisville: 2nd season
Career coaching record: 235-111
Home court: KFC Yum! Center
Starters: G Darius Perry, G Samuell Williamson, F Jordan Nwora, F Dwayne Sutton, C Steven Enoch
Bench: G Lamarr Kimble, G Ryan McMahon, F Aidan Igiehon, F/C Malik Williams
Overview: The Cardinals exceeded expectations last year, finishing sixth in the ACC after being picked to finish 11th, and once again found their way once again into the NCAA tournament. Louisville's time in the tournament was short-lived, however, as it fell in the first round to Minnesota.
This year, Chris Mack is looking to further improve on his record as a head coach as the Cardinals are projected to finish third in the ACC—behind only Duke and North Carolina—and are ranked fifth in the national AP preseason poll. Junior forward Jordan Nwora is primed to have a big year and improve on his title of 2019 ACC Most Improved Player; this year he was chosen as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year and is listed in the top ten of many 2019-20 National Player of the Year rankings.
The Cardinals are returning six of their seven leading scorers from last year, including Nwora, and have a top-10 recruiting class coming in as well that includes seven players—four of which are coming from the national top 100.
One thing that needs to go right: Nwora lives up to the high expectations built up around him and serves as both a leader and scorer for the Cardinals. The young talent is integrated alongside the multitude of returning scorers and Louisville rolls through the ACC.
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One thing that could go wrong: The hype is too much for Nwora and he slides from the heights of last year’s season. The Cardinals don’t build up any momentum before the start of conference play and struggle in the ACC.