Friday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

Happy long weekend, kids.

I_medium UConn spread check: Louisville by 1.

I_medium Husky guard Ryan Boatright played with a heavy heart Thursday night in the team's win over Memphis after learning earlier in the week that his cousin had been shot to death in Chicago. Despite the funeral taking place back home, he's expected to play again tomorrow night against the Cards.

I_medium A very happy 72nd birthday to The Greatest.

I_medium Bobby Petrino completed his first (new) staff at Louisville with the official hirings of Lamar Thomas and Terrell Buckley on Friday.

I_medium Jeff Greer of the C-J spoke with Chicken Knowles on Friday about the reception he received inside The Bucket on Thursday night.

I've never seen an opposing fan base root so hard for a player. What do you make of it?
I love it. It's really funny. They're really into it.

Did you hear the fans chanting your name and cheering for you?
I did. It was awesome. They were doing the Chicken Dance.

It seems like a lot of Louisville fans follow you on Twitter.
They make up most of my followers, actually. They're great.

It's tough on road trips to spend much time exploring a city. Did you get a chance to see Louisville at all?
We arrived on Wednesday and had practices, so not really. I would've loved to walk around, though. It's a nice city.

When was the last time you had KFC?
Oh, man, that's tough ... Um, I think it's been a while. I love the chicken pot pie, though.

Once you've finished playing, what will you tell your kids and grandkids about this experience?
They'll probably laugh at me. It's a moment I'll cherish for the rest of my life. It was awesome.

It was awesome.

I_medium The folks over at Cardinal Sports Zone also have an interview up with young Danrad.

I_medium The CBS college hoops crew has deemed Louisville/Connecticut as one of the three best games on Saturday.

No. 18 Louisville at Connecticut (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

This game got a little more interesting after Thursday night, when Connecticut went into Memphis and came out with a 10-point victory. Meanwhile, Louisville obliterated Houston despite playing without injured point guard Chris Jones. Jones will also miss Saturday's game, but the Cardinals have reinforcements in the form of freshman guard Terry Rozier. The battle on the perimeter will be terrific, as Russ Smith and Shabazz Napier will go head-to-head. The key for the Huskies will be taking care of the ball offensively, and limiting Louisville to one shot at the other end. DeAndre Daniels proving to be a matchup problem would be another huge plus for Kevin Ollie's squad.

I_medium If you ever doubted just how important U of L getting into the ACC was, just look at the latest news from the NCAA Convention in San Diego, where all the talk is surrounding the desire of the big five conferences to create their own division within the NCAA.

I_medium ESPN's way too early top 25 for the 2014 college football season features Louisville sneaking in at No. 25.

25. Louisville Cardinals

Say what you want about new Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, but the guy usually puts a winning team on the field. His first season back at Louisville shouldn't be any different in the Cardinals' first season in the ACC. The Cardinals have to find a replacement for departing junior Teddy Bridgewater, who might be the first quarterback taken in the NFL draft. Rising sophomores Will Gardner and Kyle Bolin will battle for the job, and they'll be surrounded by a lot of proven playmakers. Tailback Dominique Brown is coming back after running for 825 yards this past season, and Auburn transfer Michael Dyer might get new life under Petrino. The Cardinals also bring back seven players who caught at least 15 passes in 2013. Defensively, the Cardinals might bring back only four starters, after losing junior safetyCalvin Pryor to the NFL draft. The ACC schedule makers gave the Cardinals a break; they'll play conference road games at Boston College, Clemson, Syracuse and Virginia.

ACC squads Florida State (1), North Carolina (16) and Clemson (18) also made appearances, as did 2014 opponent Notre Dame (19).

I_medium Four-star running back Marlon Mack, who recently decommitted from UCLA and just picked up a schoalrship offer from Michigan, is visiting Louisville this weekend. He's good.

I_medium The Cards are still an 11 seed in the latest CBS Bracketology, BUT I LOVE THE MATCHUP WITH XAVIER.

I_medium Rick Pitino ranks fifth among active college hoops coaches when it comes to outperforming NCAA Tournament expectations based on seed. Michigan's John Beilein is No. 1.

I_medium Some national love from yesterday.

Also, I didn't hear it, but I saw several tweets about Pete Gillen claiming during last night's game that Chicken was "heavily recruited" by Louisville. Technically he wasn't wrong, I guess.

I_medium C.L. Brown debates the college hoops fanaticism of Kentucky versus the college hoops fanaticism of the North Carolina triangle, but it's mostly about his new place getting broken into, which is not cool.

I_medium Here's a pretty neat interactive look at what part of the country college football players hail from.

I_medium Edgar Sosa done went off and hit seven threes last night. There's video evidence:


I_medium Louisville makes two appearances in Bill Connelly's list of the top 100 college football games of 2013. The overtime win over Cincinnati is No. 96, while the other game you probably expected to be named checks in at No. 8.

I_medium A trio of high school basketball players in Sheboygan were suspended because the school district thought "three goggles" was a gang sign.

I_medium To date, Louisville has not dominated the AAC in basketball, which makes many of the powers that be at the top of the conference very happy.

The Cardinals' presence and brand undoubtedly provided valued inventory for a television deal with ESPN and CBS that runs through 2019-2020. Everyone in the league, starting with commissioner Mike Aresco, appreciates that reality. But Louisville will leave behind any NCAA tournament units, which represent revenue delivered to the participating conferences and are calculated based on the number of teams in the tournament and number of games played over a six-year span. And the defending national champions are not running away with the American before they ditch it, at least not yet, a circumstance that would create all sorts of perception issues that theoretically could trickle into recruiting and beyond. The Cardinals are good but not too good, which is the best thing that could happen to this conference.

"I want to be careful how I phrase it, but let me put it this way: It's good to have no one team dominating," Aresco said in a phone interview. "It's good to have a group of really good teams that are obviously going to create a very competitive race. And we want teams that are staying to play well so people feel the league has a good future. That is important."

Or as even Cronin conceded about a program run by his "main man" Rick Pitino: "It wouldn't be healthy for one team to dominate for one year and leave. That would be a fair statement."

That goaltend and foul call though...

I_medium Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby blasted Louisville's hiring of Bobby Petrino Thursday at the NCAA Convention in San Diego.

I_medium Louisville is all the way down at No. 25 in Luke Winn's latest power rankings.

I_medium "...An attempt of God to make a dirty world look clean..."

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Beautiful.

I_medium Hatin' Ass Spurrier isn't sure whether or not Kentucky should be a state.

I_medium Former Card Roy Philon will be doing an autograph signing on Saturday, Jan. 25th at the Cardboard Heroes inside Mall St. Matthews from 1-2:30 p.m. All signings are five bucks.

Five best autograph signers at the Mall St. Matthews on Jan. 25? Philon, Philon, Philon, Philon and Philon.

I_medium CCBM's been feeling musical this week.

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I_medium U of L announced Friday that it has purchased the Cardinal Club golf course in Simpsonville, which will be rebranded as the University of Louisville Golf Club.

I_medium A huge congratulations to Richard Pitino, whose Minnesota squad knocked off No. 11 Ohio State Thursday night. Yeah, but he's doing all this with Tubby's players...

I_medium Seth Greenberg says Louisville isn't a lock to make the tournament.

I_medium Just in case you needed a reminder of what life with Bobby Petrino was like the first go-round...

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I_medium Athlon predicts that Louisville will finish fourth in the ACC's Atlantic Division next season behind Florida State, Clemson and Syracuse.

Change is the buzzword surrounding Louisville for 2014. The Cardinals are set to play their first season in the ACC, and there's a new quarterback (Will Gardner) and coaching staff. Bobby Petrino returns to Louisville after leaving for the NFL in 2007. Petrino comes with baggage, but he also wins a lot of games (83-30 college record). His first assignment will be the development of Gardner at quarterback. Gardner does have a strong supporting cast, including former Auburn running back Michael Dyer. Receiver DeVante Parker turned down the NFL for one more season at Louisville. Charlie Strong's departure will be felt on defense in 2014. New coordinator Todd Grantham plans to switch to a 3-4 scheme, and the Cardinals have a few big losses, including defensive end Marcus Smith and safeties Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor. The schedule is more demanding in the ACC, but Louisville is a program on solid ground.

I_mediumpreview capsule on tomorrow night's game from the Hartford Courant.

I_medium News that Chane Behanan would be visiting Colorado State broke earlier this week and prompted Doug Gottlieb to go all Doug Gottlieb and tweet something ridiculous. Chane did not like it.

I_medium ESPN examines tomorrow night's big game.

I_medium I don't know who you are, but you don't want this problem.

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I_medium Rick Bozich says counting out Louisville in March because of some pre-February struggles is an unwise thing to do.

I_medium An Athens newspaper discusses Todd Grantham's move from Georgia to Louisville.

I_medium And finally, beat UConn.

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