Ray Spalding

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Louisville forward Ray Spalding to enter 2018 NBA Draft

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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.

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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.

A post shared by Ace Boogie ✊🏽 (@rayspalding_) on

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.

No. 16 Louisville beats NC State 77-72 to go to 2-0 in ACC

Associated Press
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Quentin Snider scored a career-high 21 points to help No. 16 Louisville beat North Carolina State 77-72 on Thursday night.

Freshman Ray Spalding had 12 points off the bench for the Cardinals (13-2, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). They shot 51 percent and used a 9-0 run in the second half to build a double-digit lead before having to hang on against a frantic comeback by the Wolfpack.

The Cardinals led by 16 with 3:38 left only to see the Wolfpack (10-5, 0-2) crawl to 75-72 on Anthony “Cat” Barber’s three-point play with 16.8 seconds left.

But Damion Lee hit two free throws with 3.5 seconds left to seal it, holding on in a finish that was much tighter than expected.

Barber scored 20 points to lead N.C. State. The Wolfpack fell to 0-2 in the ACC for the first time under fifth-year coach Mark Gottfried.

N.C. State appeared headed to a blowout loss when Snider hit two free throws to make it 71-55 with 3:38 left, but the Wolfpack eventually got two 3-pointers from Caleb Martin followed by another off a turnover from Maverick Rowan that closed the gap to 71-67 with 40.4 seconds left.

Barber got the Wolfpack even closer with his three-point play and had a chance to tie when Lee missed two free throws.

But Barber collided with defender Chinanu Onuaku on a drive in the paint – the referees said Onuaku went straight up – and the ball went out of bounds. The call was originally for N.C. State with 7.5 seconds left, but referees reversed it after a replay and said it went off N.C. State.

Lee was fouled on the inbounds and hit the clinching free throws, finishing with 13 points on the night.

TIP-INS

Louisville: Onuaku had 12 points and 14 rebounds. … The Cardinals beat the Wolfpack in last year’s NCAA Sweet 16. … Louisville made 7 of 13 3-pointers.

N.C. State: Rowan scored 17 points, and Abdul-Malik Abu had 15 points and 12 rebounds. … The Wolfpack shot 36 percent. … N.C. State held a “blackout” with the home team wearing black uniforms.

UP NEXT

Louisville travels to Clemson on Sunday.

N.C. State travels to Wake Forest on Sunday.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP’s college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org