Rick Pitino expects Chinanu Onuaku to stay in NBA Draft

The Louisville Cardinals seemed to be on the right track to make a run in the NCAA Tournament last season before a self-imposed postseason ban. They will get the chance to exact some revenge during the 2016-17 season, but they may be without key big man Chinanu Onuaku.

Onuaku has already declared for the NBA Draft, but he has until mid-June to decide if he wants to withdraw his name from the field and return to school this year. Head coach Rick Pitino does not seem to think that is going to happen.

“There are certain players who waffle and come back because they’re not sure,” Pitino said of Onuaku, who recently underwent a minor heart surgery. “(Onuaku’s) desire has been to go forth 100 percent and try and go to the league this year. That’s been his family’s and his mindset. I’m behind it 100 percent, and our staff is, too.”

“From the day he left school (to begin preparing for the combine), I’d resigned myself saying he was going. Everything I’ve been planning is that he’s staying in the draft.”

During his sophomore season, Chinanu Onuaku averaged 9.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Cardinals. He is currently projected as a borderline first-round selection and he could sneak in with a good performance in pre-draft workouts.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

ESPN releases kickoff times for opening weekend
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