Analyzing Jordan Nwora

May 6, 2019

by Alan Lu

Recently, I took the time to watch Louisville’s Jordan Nwora play in a regular season basketball game against Miami, as he is an early entrant in the 2019 NBA Draft, and could potentially be selected in the second round this year.  I was able to watch Louisville play against Miami in a January 6th game, with thanks to YouTube via B2B Sports.  Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as how they may stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Louisville’s sophomore forward, Jordan Nwora is an offensive-minded player that can shoot and score the basketball.  He is a very good shooter that has a lot of range on his shot, and he excelled at knocking down spot-up threes off the catch.  He can run off the ball to get open, and he also was able to make a deep trail three from way out.  Nwora also was able to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper, and he showed a knack for making jumpers in this game.

He also showed off an adequate ability to score on patient drives to the basket.  He can use either hand to get to the hoop, and he was also able to score on a floater on a baseline drive.  Nwora also would use ball fakes to create separation, which would allow him to get his shot off.  He doesn’t possess an elite first step off the dribble, but he can maneuver in the paint to garner scores.  Sometimes he would miss on floaters though, and he had some trouble scoring off of offensive rebounds.

Nwora also did a good job of scoring in the post, and he also can score in transition.  He was able to score on a fadeaway, turnaround jump hook, and he also has good strength to draw an extra free throw on the play.  He also ran the floor to catch a lob pass, as he managed to score on a one-handed, alley-oop dunk in transition, but sometimes, he can tend to overtly force the issue too much, and there was one possession where he did not pass to the open man and instead missed on a contested drive on the break.  He also went up to catch a lob off of an inbounds pass, but ended up missing on a tip shot.  He also would look to cut to the hoop at times, but he had some trouble getting open in those instances.

He also seemed to be fairly average as a playmaker.  Nwora did not seem to make many noteworthy passes, but he can find the open man out on the perimeter to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He also will set screens for his teammates, as he will usually pop off of them.  Though he did not get many assists, he also did not commit many turnovers.  His lone turnover came when he drove right towards the baseline, but he ended up committing a charging foul as he ended up colliding into a defender.  He also showed an adequate ability to rebound the basketball.  Nwora was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also can get rebounds off of tap outs.  However, sometimes he may not always corral balls to get them, and he also had some trouble getting rebounds, as he would tip balls that would go to his opponents.

On the other hand, he will likely need to improve his defensive skills.  For the positives, Nwora is an active help defender that will play passing lanes, as he was able to tip a ball to a teammate to help his team get a steal due to possessing good anticipation skills, and he also will deflect passes.  Nwora also ran in to trap an opposing ball handler, and he was able to poke a ball away to help force a shot clock violation another time.  He also will use his length to close out on shooters, as he was able to contest a pull-up three to force a miss.  However, he tended to get beat off the dribble, as he had trouble defending quicker players out on the perimeter, and this would cause his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would have lapses defensively, as he would sometimes be late on his rotations, and he would not always hustle back on defense.

In general, Jordan Nwora is a skilled basketball player that shoots the ball well, and he also may be a better than advertised athlete, as he also managed to score on a stunning, one-handed, alley-oop jam on the break.  He will need to improve his playmaking and defensive skills, but his jump shot and athleticism could allow him to be a second round pick in the upcoming draft, as he could be a similar player to former Houston Rockets’ swingman, Chase Budinger in the association.

Other Notes:

Louisville’s 6-10 junior center, Steven Enoch is also an early entrant in the 2019 draft, as he could be a potential second round pick if he decides to stay in.  He has not put up gaudy statistics this season, but he is a versatile scorer that can rebound, as he may have the skill set to be a backup center in the NBA.  With that in mind, I set out to watch him play to assess his skills as an overall player.

Enoch is a mobile big man that can score on rolls to the rim.  He has good hands to catch lob passes, and he was able to score on an alley-oop dunk late in this game.  He also can shoot the basketball, and he also used a jab step to knock down a mid-range jumper from the baseline.   Plus, he also has decent low post scoring skills.  Enoch has good strength to back down his man, and he was able to score on a quick, right-handed turnaround jump hook once.  On the downside, he did miss on a left-handed jump hook on a separate play, as he had left it short on the front end of the rim that time.

He also will likely need to improve his playmaking skills.  Enoch didn’t look to pass often, but he can pass out of the post when he opts to move the basketball.  He also will set plenty of on-ball screens, as he can roll or pop off of them to get open on offense.  However, he did commit a clear out foul with his left arm when he was trying to get post position before catching the basketball, which led to an offensive foul and turnover on that possession.  He didn’t get many rebounds in this game, but he can leap up to get defensive boards when he is on the floor.  He also will tip balls to himself and his teammates to help his team get boards.  However, he also committed an over the back foul when going for a defensive rebound once, as he ended up colliding into an opponent.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average in this game.  Enoch was able to rotate to alter a shot off of a drive to help force a miss, and he also was able to guard against a drive on a switch as well as defend in the post to get stops for his team.  But sometimes he can struggle to guard quicker players.  He rotated to hedge out on an opposing ball handler on a drive, but then got beat off the dribble that time.  He also gave up a bit too much space to a shooter, as his opponent ended up scoring on a long two-point shot.  He also didn’t hustle back on defense early on, as the other team was able to score on the break.

In summary, Steven Enoch is a mobile big man that showed off some scoring and rebounding skills, and he also can challenge shots in the paint to provide some interior defense.  However, he will need to be a more assertive player on offense, and he will need to be a more active player on the defensive end.  He probably needs another year in school to hone his skills, but if he stays in this draft, he may be a borderline second round candidate this year.  If he can continue to improve as an overall player, he could perhaps be like a poor man’s version of Marreese Speights in the NBA.