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Carlik Jones will not return to Louisville

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The Cardinal star will instead start getting paid to play the game.

Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It always felt like a long-shot, but Louisville basketball fans now know for certain that Carlik Jones will not be back on Floyd Street for the 2021-22 season.

Cardinal head coach Chris Mack confirmed to the Courier Journal’s Shannon Russell that Jones has signed with an agent and will not be utilizing the extra year of eligibility granted to him by the NCAA. Jones had previously declared for the draft but left open the possibility of returning to U of L.

Jones was spectacular in his first and only season at Louisville. The graduate transfer from Radford earned First Team All-ACC honors and was the runner-up for the ACC Player of the Year award. He was the only player in the ACC to rank among the top six in scoring (16.8 ppg, 6th in the ACC), assists (4.5 apg, 4th), assists/turnovers ratio (2.18, 4th) and free throw percentage (.815, 3rd).

Congrats to Carlik on getting his professional career jump started. It’ll always feel cruel that you never got to perform in front of a packed KFC Yum Center or in the NCAA tournament (for Louisville), but the good certainly outweighed the bad during your brief stay here.