Friday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

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Young Oscar is surviving the final days of the dead period the same way everyone should: with Card Chronicle and without pants.

Not sure I could love this picture more.


Quick reminder that Louisville will begin its fall camp with an open practice today at 5:45 p.m.

It's going to feel so good to type this...Cardinal football is here.

The Louisville football Twitter account tweeted the following picture of the locker room just before the players reported for camp Thursday night.

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The calm before the storm.

A belated happy birthday to Mr. Charlie Strong, who turned 52-years-young on Thursday.

August birthday men unite.

He's since deleted it, but Tom Crean sent out the following tweet earlier today:

I am doing great. I have been thinking about you alot since last weekend. A whole lot. How are you doing?

He later explained that he had meant to send that as a message to a new recruit and that his wife and kids were making fun of him for the mistake.

Ok.

I don't know anyone who talks to a friend, acquaintance, prospective employee, etc. like that. Either Tom Crean just got caught publicly flirting with someone or he's the creepiest recruiter ever. I really hope it's the former.

Wayne Blackshear is among Sports Illustrated's difference makers for the 2012-13 season.

Wayne Blackshear, Louisville: Blackshear is one of the guys that everyone is expecting to have a big year in 2012-13. After battling a shoulder injury for much of his freshman campaign, the former top 30 recruit rebounded and put together a couple of impressive performances once he returned -- 13 points in his debut against West Virginia, nine points in 14 minutes in the Final Four against Kentucky. Blackshear could end up being the difference between Louisville having a good year and Louisville being a national title favorite. The Cardinals are tough defensively, they have perimeter playmakers (Peyton Siva, Russ Smith, Luke Hancock) and they have talent and size up front (Gorgui Dieng, Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell). What they don't have is a consistent, big-time scorer on the perimeter, a guy that can ensure the floor is spread with his ability to shoot. That's Blackshear when he's at his best.

C.L. Brown appeared on Bob Valvano's radio show and caused a bit of a stir when he said he thought Charlie Strong would "consider leaving" Louisville if U of L doesn't end up making the move to the Big 12.

I know none of us want to hear it, but let's not act like this revelation is surprising or worthy of outrage. Strong and company have been under the assumption for a while that Louisville would eventually be joining the Big 12. With that no longer seeming like such a sure thing, they're having a more difficult time on the recruiting trail, something which isn't likely to change unless the dreaded conference realignment wheels start turning once again.

The climate changes more quickly in college football than just about any other American sport. You can literally go from being one of the hottest coaching prospects in the country to being in danger of keeping your own job in the span of a three or four weeks. With this being the case, it'd be hard to get angry at Strong if he guides Louisville to the BCS and then bolts for greener pastures after this year, next year or any other year.

The long and short of my point is this: there's no way to know how any of his is going to shake out, but let's not act like staying in the Big East doesn't hurt our chances of keeping Charlie Strong here for a long time. It does.

Tank Top Gorgui kickin' it (see what I did there?) once again at Mockingbird Valley.

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via Eric Belmonte

A follow-up to my previous post on Clint Hurtt.

The word from those in the know is pretty much that nothing has changed since the NCAA first spoke with Hurtt, which happened last October. U of L is waiting around like the rest of us, and they've been given no indication by the NCAA or anyone else that Hurtt's situation has changed or is about to change.

Basically, there's no reason to take anything away from the fact that he'll definitely be around for the start of fall camp.

Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva and Wayne Blackshear are among the elite college hoops starts who have been enlisted as counselors for this week's Adidas Nations camp. That's good news for us considering the wealth of talent that is out there.

It's been a great training camp thus far for Bilal Powell, who is battling to win the 3rd down back job in New York.

"He's competing for the third-down job," running backs coach Anthony Lynn said, "and he's competing to go in and work behind Shonn."

Shonn Greene, the veteran among the Jets' running backs at age 26, is the lead ball-carrier. Behind him is a competition for the third-down back, held last year by future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.

Greene has experience as a third-down back, but Lynn said he would prefer to rest him on that down. He'd like to use either Powell or Joe McKnight in that role, but is waiting to see who emerges during training camp.

"That job is wide open," Lynn said. "I'm trying to develop one right now. We'd like for one of the young guys to come out of this camp ready to go on third down."

Miss you, B.

I call him B.

Some notable number changes to be on the lookout for if you're headed out to practice today or tomorrow: B.J. Dubose is taking over Josh Chichester's No. 11, Marcus Smith is now No. 91, and Stephan Robinson is No. 12.

The Louisville basketball team will be taking on Western Kentucky in Nashville on Dec. 22, and tickets are now available for purchase.

Kyle Kuric sits down for a Q&A with a website from his hometown of Evansville.

New Courier-Journal columnist Tim Sullivan held a live chat earlier this week and the result was something which resembled a hazing.

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Russ had the chat up on one computer, Skype on another and then Instagram on his phone. Always on Instagram.

U of L target and Louisville Magic star D'Angelo Russell once again reiterated yesterday at the adidas Nations camp that he doesn't plan on making a college choice until his senior year of high school. You'd like to think that this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that Kentucky hasn't offered him a scholarship yet, but it probably does.

The Battle 4 Atlantis is going to be one of the most loaded early season college basketball tournaments in recent memory, and Rick Pitino loves it.

Louisville will play traditionally pesky Northern Iowa in the first round Nov. 22 at the resort hotel on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas. The Cardinals would then get Missouri or Stanford in the second game. Mizzou is likely to be picked third in the SEC behind Kentucky and Florida, while NIT champ Stanford could be picked third in the Pac-12 behind Arizona and UCLA.

The tournament is set up to get a Louisville-Duke final, but the Blue Devils are hardly a lock on their side. Duke plays Minnesota, which returns all-Big Ten forward Trevor Mbakwe after he missed most of last season with a torn ACL. The other game pits C-USA favorite Memphis against VCU, which will likely be picked third in its first season in the A-10 behind Saint Louis and Butler.

"It's probably the strongest opening field since the strong days of the Maui Invitational," Pitino said. "You will have six or seven ranked teams in the field."

There are so many incredible things right around the corner for Louisville fans. It's almost too much to take in.

Class of 2013 commit Marquis Haynes (DE form Jacksonville) is another player who has gone from a firm commitment to a soft verbal this summer. He's now stating that he is also considering North Carolina and Kentucky, and will make his choice on national signing day.

According to Evan Daniels of Fox Sports, the final five for five-star class of 2013 point guard Tyler Ennis is Louisville, Syracuse, Memphis, Illinois and UCLA. He's considered by many to currently be a 'Cuse lean.

Andrea Adelson of ESPN takes a quick look overview of Louisville on the day the Cardinals begin fall camp.

Biggest question marks: Running back. Strong reiterated once again during media day that he wants to find a workhorse back among the four players he has competing for the starting job -- Dominique Brown, Corvin Lamb, Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright. "You'd like to hopefully wish one guy would be that guy, because when we had Bilal (Powell), Bilal was the guy," Strong said. "I don't know if we have another Bilal there, but I'd like to say we have an every down back." Another concern is developing depth along the defensive line, and making sure everybody stays healthy. Louisville was plagued by injuries up front last season.

Yahoo previews the Big East and says that while Louisville is the favorite, the conference is wide open.

Congratulations to Adrian Bushell, who was named to the 2012 Paul Hornung Award watch list on Thursday. The Hornung award is given annually to the most versatile player in college football.

There are still a limited number of season tickets available for the 2012 football season. Call (502) 852-5151 or visit the ticket office website as soon as possible to change that.

The College Swimming Awards (real thing) has named U of L Swim and Dive as the Breakout Team for 2012. Congrats to Coach Albiero and the Cards.

CBS Sports breaks down U of L's 2012 football schedule.

And finally, Louisville football is here. Enjoy all the familiar sights and sounds over the next two days, and know that we're less than a month away from the real thing.

The final turn of the dead period track has been hit. The finish line's right there.

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