Los Angeles Lakers sign Nevada basketball’s Jordan Caroline

Tahoe Onstage

Jordan Caroline works his way inside on his way toward his 40th career double-double on Feb. 2.
Conrad Buedel / Tahoe Onstage

The Los Angeles Lakers signed former Nevada forward Jordan Caroline on Friday as an undrafted free agent, according to multiple sources.

A forceful competitor with strong hands, Caroline averaged 17 points per on 45.2 percent shooting from the field, 9.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last season with the Wolf Pack. He recorded 18 double-doubles last season and had 45 for his career, the most in Mountain West Conference history.

The versatile 6-foot-7 forward was utilized all over the court with Nevada. Caroline was slotted in as a small-ball center to speed up the pace and was primarily slotted in at the starting forward to generate a large chunk of the offense. Caroline played three seasons with the Pack. He ranks sixth in school history in career points and fifth in rebounds.

A native of Champagne, Illinois, Caroline transferred after one season at the University of Southern Illinois. His grandfather was a running back for the Chicago Bears and his father is Simeon Rice, a former All-Pro linebacker.

Wolf Pack fans at Lawlor Events Center played the Neil Diamond song “Sweet Caroline” when Caroline made a good play, something the 23-year-old has grown to appreciate.

“I hear it , but I just try to stay focused on the game,” he said last season. “It’s a bit hard not to hear it, but I like it.”

On the court, Caroline will be around any loose ball due to his relentless hustle and drive. His bulky 215-pound helped him drive to the paint and pick up second chance opportunities against 7-footers.

While Caroline battles for his points down low, he’s improved his 3-point range via the catch-and-shoot and off the dribble. He shot 36.8 percent from beyond the arc this season.

“He heard that was something he had to improve upon and he’s done that,” former Nevada head coach Eric Musselman said last season. “He shoots at all hours of the night.”

Caroline can potentially  join a Lakers squad with just six players on the active roster. Fellow teammate Cody Martin was picked 36th overall by the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday.

— Isaiah Burrows

Related story: Nevada’s Cody Martin drafted 36th overall by Charlotte Hornets.

Jordan Caroline cuts down the net after the Wolf Pack won the Mountain West Conference co-title.

Jordan Caroline

Tahoe Onstage

About Isaiah Burrows

Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he writes sports for the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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