Wednesday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

One-month old Addalyn Pennington has lived a tortured life that includes precisely zero U of L national championships. She's hoping all that changes over the next couple of weeks in Omaha.

I_medium If you're fortunate enough to be heading out to Omaha this week, the Omaha World-Herald has all the College World Series visitor information you need to know.

I_medium The Cards decided to bump up their travel plans and are actually en route to Omaha this evening.

Bring it home, fellas.

I_medium For Cardinal first baseman Grant Kay, this trip to Omaha is a trip back home.

I_medium ESPN says Louisville is one of the 25 teams most likely (insider) to make the first college football playoff.

Fremeau's Projection

Projected finish: 9-3 (6-2)
Chance to make playoff: 6 percent
Chance to win ACC: 7 percent
Toughest games: Oct. 11 at Clemson (38 percent chance of winning), Oct. 30 vs. Florida State (26 percent), Nov. 22 at Notre Dame (35 percent)

Why they'll make the playoff

1. Bobby's back!

Forget about the Bobby Petrino punch lines for a moment (just for a moment, though; we'll discuss those shortly). Instead, for now, try to focus on what athletic director Tom Jurich said about Petrino when Charlie Strong left for Texas: Petrino wasn't just a candidate to get his old job back, he was the candidate for the job. In other words, Jurich longed for Louisville's glory days -- 2003-06 -- when the Cardinals finished with 41 wins in four years, two top-10 berths, an Orange Bowl victory and never trailed Kentucky for as much as a single minute in four contests. When Louisville played with swagger, it routinely hung 40-plus points on opponents (emphasis on the "plus").

I_medium The Tennesseean breaks down the side of the CWS bracket that features both Vandy and Louisville.

I_medium Calvin Pryor has already generated multiple headlines this summer before the New York Jets have even started camp. First there was taking on his own fan base after some objected to his support of the Miami Heat on Twitter, and now there are these comments about Tom Brady, the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.

The first-round pick expressed his displeasure for Gang Green's rivals in an appearance on SNY this week.

"We don't like Tom (Brady) at all," Pryor said, via The New York Post. "When I first came here, that was one of the first things I heard about: We hate the Patriots and we hate the Giants. ... So we hate those guys and I look forward to playing them this season."

If there's a rookie in the league with the chops to back up his words, it's Pryor.

I_medium Point guard Bryant Crawford, one of the two elite hoops recruits who spent Wednesday on U of L's campus (Deng Adel being the other), got some nice ink from CBS earlier this week.

"He's the ultimate pass-first point guard," said Steve Turner, head coach at Gonzaga (D.C.). "He's a throwback to the point guards in the era I grew up in. Some of the guys now can score 30 points, but no one else gets a touch. He would rather have 15 assists than 30 points. But he's multi-dimensional, showing folks he can score the ball."

On the EYBL circuit with Team Takeover, Crawford is averaging 11.8 points and 3.9 assists.

"He has the ability to see a couple plays ahead," Turner said. "You keep running, he's going to make sure you get it. Bigs like playing with him. He's so unselfish, making the pass."

Ranked No. 76 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2015, Crawford is being pursued by a long list of schools. The recruiting process hasn't become too serious for him yet, though, as he is just beginning to hit the visit circuit.

"He hasn't really been on a lot of campuses," Turner said. "He hasn't been to all the places recruiting him. He wants to build stronger relationships, see where the head coaches stand, see where he fits in. Information he can have on paper."

I_medium Trinity big man Raymond Spalding (2015) was also on U of L's campus today, and according to the C-J's Steve Jones, he left with a scholarship offer.

I_medium Jones also breaks down the decision of Kareem Ali, who will be picking between Louisville, Maryland and Pittsburgh on Thursday.

I_medium Louisville is the only CWS participant that is back for a second straight year.

I_medium You can only assume that Raymond temporarily lost a right hand.

I_medium Keep voting Shoni Schimmel for WNBA All-Star.

I_medium This video for the Kosair Children's Hospital's Bourbon and Bowties fundraiser is worth your time.

I_medium Howard Schnellenberger talks with "The Audible" (Fox Sports podcast) about Louisville, Miami and why he's not in the Hall of Fame despite having the resume for it.

I_medium We're less than 24 hours away from the start of the World Cup, and SB Nation's World Cup preview is as good a place to prepare as any.

I_medium In honor of Louisville's trip to the CSWS, Louisville Slugger will be holding a "bat hunt" in Omaha. "Operation Omaha" will be a scavenger hunt in which fans use social media clues on Slugger's Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find mini home plates placed around CWS events in the city.

Here's a portion of the press release:

Louisville Slugger will be all over Omaha during the 11 days of the NCAA® College World Series® as the innovative baseball company reveals its 2015 performance bat line and gives away 15 of those bats in a social media bat hunt. And that's just part of the excitement Louisville Slugger is bringing to town with its Operation Omaha!

"Outside of our elite college programs, Omaha is the first place in the world where baseball players and fans will be able to see and demo our new 2015 performance bats, the Prime 915, Select 715 and Omaha 515," said Rob Partin, Louisville Slugger Business Manager - Amateur Baseball & Grassroots.  Partin will lead the company's efforts in Omaha. "We'll be in Council Bluffs at the Triple Crown SlumpBuster® Tournament with our batting cage on Festival Nights. And on Father's Day we're going to give away some of those great new performance bats to fans in Omaha through one of our famous bat hunts."

The storied baseball brand, known by fans for its scavenger-hunt-style social media bat hunts across the country, will give away bat combo prizes to 15 lucky people on Father's Day, June 15. But the Operation Omaha bat hunt will have a twist. Rather than search for bats, fans will look for miniature home plates placed in various spots in the festival area around TD Ameritrade Park, including the Omaha Baseball Village. Each mini home plate will be emblazoned with Operation Omaha and the hashtag #omahabathunt.

Clues for finding Operation Omaha miniature home plates will be posted on sluggerbathunt.com and Louisville Slugger's social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Fans who find one can take it to the Louisville Slugger brand store in Omaha Baseball Village to claim their prize. They'll have their choice of one of the new Prime 915, Select 715 or Omaha 515 bats, and they'll get a personalized Louisville Slugger bat, too.

I_medium The C-J examines how Louisville stacks up against Vandy.

I_medium And finally, Jeff Goodman interviewed a handful of NBA executives, and they said Rick Pitino was the ninth-best coach in college basketball when it comes to preparing his players for the league. The full rankings are a bit surprising...

The coaches NBA execs feel best prepare their players for the next level
1. Billy Donovan, Florida 
2. Ben Howland 
3. John Beilein, Michigan 
4. Tom Izzo, Michigan State 
5. Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State 
6. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke 
7. Bill Self, Kansas 
8. Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech 
9. Rick Pitino, Louisville 
10. John Calipari, Kentucky 
11. Sean Miller, Arizona 
12. Tony Bennett, Virginia

Crazy that Ben Howland is still churning out NBA-ready talent while rolling through the new season of "Orange is the New Black" in his basement.

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