NBA Draft decision day might have seemed uneventful for Syracuse Orange fans once Oshae Brissett decided he was remaining in the Draft. That doesn’t mean that Syracuse won’t be impacted by the decisions made yesterday by several players from other ACC schools.
The Louisville Cardinals were the biggest winners as Jordan Nwora announced that he’ll be returning to school. The reigning ACC Most Improved Player averaged 17.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last year. Even with V.J. King staying in the draft, Nwora’s return will make the Cardinals one of the ACC’s favorites and means it’s another year for Nwora to be considered the “one who got away” from Syracuse. The Orange will travel to Louisville for their only regular-season meeting next season.
Mamadi Diakite also announced he’s returning to the Virginia Cavaliers which is good news for the National Champions. Diakite’s interior defense will be important for a Virginia team losing De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, and Kyle Guy. Syracuse will see Virginia twice including the home opener in November.
News wasn’t as good for the Virginia Tech Hokies as Kerry Blackshear, Jr. withdrew from the Draft but announced that he hasn’t decided if he’ll be back in Blacksburg next season.
Blackshear averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last year and his departure would make new Head Coach Mike Young’s first year a lot more difficult. Syracuse will face the Hokies twice next season.
The Orange will host the NC State Wolfpack next year and they won’t be seeing top incoming recruit Jalen Lecque who played last year at Brewster Academy. Lecque has petitioned to be considered for the Draft due to his completion of high school graduation requirements during the 2017-18 year. The Wolfpack will be getting Markell Johnson back next season as they look to return to the NCAA Tournament.
In other ACC draft decisions, Javin DeLaurier is returning to the Duke Blue Devils while Marques Bolden will not. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will welcome back James Banks and T.J. Gibbs will return for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
We’ll keep an eye out for updates on Blackshear’s decision as he has become the top graduate transfer option in the country this summer.