Rick Pitino expects Chinanu Onuaku to go to the NBA

AP
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Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku is undergoing a surgical procedure on his heart, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, which sounds like a much bigger deal than it appears to be.

He’s not even going to be out for a week.

What’s more telling from that story, however, is that head coach Rick Pitino fully expects Onuaku to remain in the draft. Here’s the money quote:

“There are certain players who waffle and come back because they’re not sure,” Pitino said. “(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.”

Many have expected Onuaku to head to the professional ranks this season, and this seems to all-but confirm that fact. Onuaku is a borderline first round pick, and while it would significantly help Louisville if he opted to return to school, that does not appear to be in the cards.

The Cards will have to make do with the likes of Mangok Mathiang, Anas Mahmoud, Matz Stockman and Jaylen Johnson next season.