Tuesday morning, Louisville forward Ray Spalding announced via his Instagram account that he has decided to forego his final season of collegiate eligibility and remain in the 2018 NBA Draft. The decision comes less than two weeks after Spalding originally entered the draft, at the time doing so without an agent.
Wow . That’s the only word that can be used to describe my 3 years at the University of Louisville. It’s been a journey like none other that allowed me to grow in areas I didn’t even know were possible. I’d like to thank my hardworking mother, god our savior and my close family members, for their unwavering support through it all. I’d like to thank my teammates for giving their blood sweat and tears alongside of me. I’d like to thank Coach Pitino, David Padgett, Assistant coaching staff, video coordinating staff and I’d like to thank the fans for their continued support as well. Most importantly I want to thank The City of Louisville for allowing me to live out my childhood dream and represent my city. At this time I have decided to leave my name in the draft and hire an agent.
After serving as a reserve in each of his first two seasons at Louisville, the 6-foot-10 Spalding moved into the starting lineup in 2017-18. Playing an average of 27.7 minutes per game, Spalding contributed 12.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per night for a Louisville team that finished the season 22-14 and reached the quarterfinals of the Postseason NIT.
Spalding’s departure means that new head coach Chris Mack will have at least three spots in the starting lineup to fill, with point guard Quentin Snider and center Anas Mahmoud both having exhausted their eligibility. Junior wing Deng Adel, who led the team in scoring with an average of 14.9 points per game, has also entered the 2018 NBA Draft but is going through the process without an agent.