Wednesday Morning Cardinal News And Notes

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Baby Calvin's a 'Cloid and he's proud. He's ready and hyped plus he's amped. Most of his heroes (Austin Montgomery) don't appear on no stamps.

Fight the power.


Lots of stuff to cover this morning, which is why I'm starting you off with this snappy lede...

Dammit.

Congratulations to Teddy Bridgewater, who was officially named to the Maxwell Award (top overall college player) watch list on Monday. Just 65 players were named to the list, and only two others from the Big East (Ray Graham of Pitt and Lyle McCombs of UConn) made the cut.

Equal congrats to Mario Benavides, who has been named to the Rimington Trophy (nation's top center) watch list for a third consecutive season.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach says the Louisville head coaching position is one of the most underrated in college football.

Louisville: The Cardinals found success under former coach Bobby Petrino, and they seem close to finding it again under third-year coach Charlie Strong, who went 14-12 during his first two seasons. With West Virginia leaving for the Big 12, and Pittsburgh and Syracuse about to bolt for the ACC, there's no reason the Cardinals shouldn't become a dominant program in the Big East. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich is committed to winning, and the school's fan base seems to care about football a little bit more than Kentucky fans.

Earl Rashad Clark would be shipped to the Brooklyn Nets in the latest Dwight Howard trade proposal. Here's hoping this whole things work out as well as possible for E5.

The President is a confident young man.

Marcus Smith shares his teammate's enthusiasm, but is a bit more even-keeled.

Louisville is a Big East program on the rise according to Athlon.

State of the Program: On the Rise

It’s no secret Louisville is an emerging Big East power. With West Virginia off to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse moving to the ACC, the door is open for the Cardinals to dominate in the Big East. Of course, that could quickly change with more realignment, as Louisville could be on the radar for future ACC or Big 12 expansion. Although Strong will be in the mix for offseason vacancies, there is no shortage of resources for this program to continue finishing near the top of the Big East in future seasons.

The Dominican Republic national team missed out on its shot at the Olympics when it dropped a qualifying game to Nigeria earlier this week.

The following picture accurately sums up my mixed emotions on this piece of news:

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I saved that picture as "Franipari," and I'm fairly certain it took a year off my life.

I actually caught a little bit of the game streaming online, and it featured the two most awful announcers since Bob Knight and Digger Phelps. At one point they were discussing former George Mason guard Tony Skinn - a member of the Nigerian team - and one of them said, "Of course I remember him because they played North Carolina in the first round that year. Yeah, he played for that coach. His name started with a C."

The coach they were talking about is Jim Larranaga. Although I guess technically he was right if he was thinking of him as "Coach Larranaga."

The Orlando Sentinel is the latest to project that Louisville will face Florida State in the Orange Bowl.

For the record, if we're all in Miami on the final day of the year then this will be the song played just before midnight at the CC New Year's Eve party...which, again, will be held at the Versace Mansion...and will run low on guacamole suspiciously fast.

The Dallas Morning News also likes Louisville and Florida State...to be the next two programs to join the Big 12.

You see what I did there? Just blogged your face off, son.

After talking to some folks and watching some extended action, I'm convinced that whatever team lands Andrew Wiggins is essentially landing a free pass to at least the 2014 Elite Eight. SI can write about Jabari Parker being "the best high school player since Lebron" all they want. Wiggins is better than Parker right now.

Yup.

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I'm aware that it's 53 days as you're reading this, but just know that it was 54 when I originally posted it.

I would never lie to you...I would never lie to you.

Are 2013 stars Cat Barber and Troy Williams a package deal? It seems very possible, and that could be great news for the Cards since U of L is currently the only school listed by both.

Charlotte big man Kennedy Meeks has become a prime recruiting target for Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana.

Meeks said he has a "really good relationship" with the U of L staff and also with Indiana but is just talking more now with UK assistant Kenny Payne.

"Rick Pitino one of the greatest coaches ever and he produces pros and gets it right, so I know that about Louisville," Meeks said. "Tom Crean is a good coach and Indiana is on the rise. Kentucky. The only one thing you can say is they are great. They produce pros, gets their bodies right and are just like an NBA team."

Ehrmahgerd! Cherler Strong Burrbern!

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Apparently the Kroger Wine and Spirits stores will be your best bet to land a bottle when they hit the shelves next Friday, although liquor stores throughout the Derby City will be carrying them. Also, Strong will apparently be signing bottles during the Aug. 1 media day at the Mellwood Art Center.

Kentucky released its 2012-13 non-conference schedule on Tuesday, and the most interesting aspect - outside of the fact that season ticket holders at Rupp will have to be really drunk to enjoy any home game before January - about it is that the Cats will not be playing a game at Freedom Hall this season. UK had played at least one game at Freedom Hall in every season since 1958, and for a long period of time played there twice every other season.

Non-traditional program. Deal with it.

ESPN says Peyton Siva is college basketball's third most indispensable player for next season.

3. Peyton Siva (Louisville) -- Louisville's run to the Final Four was one of the great surprises of the 2011-12 season. The Cardinals had to overcome a season plagued by injuries to advance to the sport's final stage. Siva's leadership -- on and off the floor -- was a crucial element in that rally. He averaged 1.7 steals for the nation's No. 1 defense (per Ken Pomeroy's adjusted defensive efficiency ratings). He dished out 5.6 assists per game, too. The Cardinals, a top-5 squad entering next season, relied on him last season, and they'll need him again next season. He's vital.

And if you're wondering if writing this resulted in Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" getting stuck in my head, the answer is only the hook. Only the hook.

Congratulations to U of L swim coach Arthur Albiero, who is headed to London for the Olympics as a member of the coaching staff for Portugal's national team.

This season's Temple game just got a little tougher as the Owls have added transfer Montel Harris, Boston College's all-time leading rusher.

For those who were wondering about the absence of new walk-on Michael Baffour on yesterday's early roster, it appears (via GCA) that he will be wearing No. 32 for the Cards next season.

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Wheat. Garcia. Slime.

After a year of going back and forth, linebacker Mike Privott has made the decision to transfer back home and play for Norfolk State. It wasn't long ago when Privott was one of the most highly-touted recruits ever reeled in by Steve Kragthorpe.

There are apparently no hard feelings on either side, as Privott recently tweeted his appreciation for all of the support given to him by Louisville fans and then predicted that the Cards will go 12-0 this season.

WHAS has some video from the Charlie Strong Appreciation Day held in his Arkansas hometown last Saturday.

Four Louisville basketball players earned National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court accolades, the Kansas City-based organization announced Tuesday.

Senior Kyle Kuric and juniors Mike Marra, Peyton Siva and Stephan Van Treese made up Louisville's four honorees, which is the most in the BIG EAST and is tied with Creighton for the highest amount of award winners for a team that ranked in the ESPN/USA Today top 25 at the season's end. The Cardinals' total also ranks third best at the NCAA Division I level, as Louisville is just one of just nine schools to have at least four student-athletes make the prestigious list.

In order to be named to the NABC Honors Court, an athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria: be a junior or senior academically and a varsity player; possess a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2010-11 academic year; have matriculated at least for one year at their current institution; and be a member of an NCAA Division I, II, II or NAIA institution.

The Amobi Okoye Kickoff 4 Kids Gala will be held this Friday evening at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Here's everything you need to know as far as ticket information is concerned.

It's hard to believe he's only 17-years-old.

If you're a fan of Breaking Bad - which returns Sunday (girly scream) - check this out immediately.

Adrian Bushell has been named to the CFPA All-Purpose Trophy watch list.

Eric Crawford does his best to remind us all that Gorgui Dieng is the greatest human being alive by posting the full transcript of his interview with The Gorgster from back in March.

Q: WERE YOU A GOOD SOCCER PLAYER?

DIENG: Yeah. I was nice. I can show you some video. Midfield. Sometimes at forward.

DIENG ON BASKETBALL: You gotta understand how this game impacts my whole life. If I wasn't playing basketball, I couldn't meet a good person like Coach P. He's gonna teach you about everything in life, off the court and on the court. So I just feel blessed that I can play basketball, know different people in different countries, learn different cultures.

DIENG ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FATHER: My dad, he taught me a lot. Because where I am from, my dad taught me how to share. A lot of people are selfish in this world right now. I'm just gonna give you a little example. When he was younger, every month my dad had his salary, he'd just put the money on the table like this, and people gonna make a big line because we got, back home, a lot of people don't have enough money to take care of themselves. I'm always close to my dad. My brothers, they're not, but I am. I know a lot about my dad that my brothers don't. You know? He always talk like, I made this money. I'm not going to save it for you, I'm going to give it to people that need it. If you want to make your own money, just go work for it. That's what he always told me. If you want to make your own money, go work for it. Don't want anything from me. I'm going to give you food. I'm gonna feed you well, I'm gonna get you clothes, I'm gonna take you to school, but don't ever think that you're going to get my money one day. If you want to have your own money, go work for it. Then he would take that money, and he gave it to the poor. He would buy them food, clothes, take their kids to get school stuff. And I learned from that. I want to be like him one day. Why not? Make my own money, helping poor people. Make my own money, helping people that need it. I think he's a role model to me, you know? And he told me how important school is. He told me, in this day right now, if you don't have any degrees, if you don't have anything, nothing to do, you're not going to be successful in this life. You need to be smart to be successful in this life.

I don't like to cement all-time statuses until a player's career at U of L is over, but there aren't too many things Gorgs could do between now and the day he leaves Louisville that could push him out of my top ten favorite players ever list.

The day he runs for political office is the day I leave whatever job/personal responsibilities I have to work for Gorgui's campaign for free. The wife and young Russ Rutherford will both understand. "Titus Teague the Dog," however, will not adjust well to the change, and will voice his frustrations through the act of refusing to engage in the daily tug-of-war battles that little Russ had grown so fond of. All worth it.

And finally, a reminder that voting is open for approximately 29 more hours in the Least Cool Person Tournament championship. As I write this, Doug Gottlieb leads John Calipari by a mere seven votes.

This is easily the most competitive final we've ever seen. People are excited. I'm excited.

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