One major thread linking our March Impact Player Features is experience. While there are lots of talented freshman that are sure to make an appearance in the tournament, the players that so often dominate March are players with experience in the pressure of the tournament. In his third season with the Louisville Cardinals, Jordan Nwora has become one of those experienced players to watch for the Cardinals – who some view as the best team in the country.
After a freshman year playing 12 minutes a game off the bench for a team that didn’t make a postseason tournament, Nwora broke out last season, dropping 17 points per game and notching 7.6 rebounds. However, come March Madness, Nwora’s breakout season came to an unceremonious end in the first round of the tournament, as the 7th-seeded Cardinals were handled by Minnesota, and Nwora was held to just 10 points.
Nwora has entered his junior year playing at an extremely high level, replicating or improving most of his stats from his sophomore campaign. He’s up to 19.3 points per game, and he’s improved to 46% shooting including 42% from long range. Most impressively, Nwora has shown an ability to do whatever it takes to win, as he hasn’t always been the Cardinals’ leading scorer. Locked down at Duke, Nwora crashed the glass and snagged eight rebounds and distributed the ball, committing just one turnover. Three games later, when Boston College seemingly couldn’t miss a shot, Nwora drilled seven triples and scored a season-high 37 points.
Nwora’s ability to both dominate a game with scoring, and to play efficient low-turnover basketball has allowed him to control games and exhibits the potential to simply take over games when the Cardinals inevitably go dancing in March. Keep Nwora in mind when filling out your March Madness brackets.