Louisville G Carlik Jones to test NBA draft waters

Louisville guard Carlik Jones declared for the 2021 NBA Draft on Saturday but left open the possibility of returning to the Cardinals for his final season of eligibility.

The 6-foot-1 senior from Cincinnati made the All-ACC first team in his lone season at Louisville in 2020-21, posting 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 19 games (all starts).

“It has always been my dream to be in the NBA and play on the biggest stage possible. After talking to my parents and loved ones, I have decided to enter my name into the 2021 NBA draft process and see where this road takes me,” Jones posted on social media, in part. “While still maintaining my eligibility as a Cardinal, I want to keep all of my options open. Thank you again, Cardinal Nation, for all of your unyielding support this past year. Cardinal for life!”

Jones transferred to Louisville after three seasons at Radford. He was named the Big South Player of the Year in 2019-20 after averaging 20.0 points, 5.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 32 games (31 starts).

“I fully support Carlik’s decision,” Cardinals coach Chris Mack said in a school release. “While we would like to see him return in a Cardinal uniform next season, this is a great opportunity for him to assess where he stands. He will be evaluated by the NBA and have direct input on where he is viewed so he can make the most informed decision on his future.”

The NBA draft is scheduled for July 29.