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Thursday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

Jake Clifford describes himself as the biggest Louisville fan in California. Lego Hulk describes him as the kindest and most thoughtful friend he's ever had.

I_medium Spread Check: Louisville by 3.

I_medium Your mandatory read of the day (assuming you've already digested the Patrick McSweeney stuff) comes from C.L. Brown on Rick and Richard Pitino.

Losses used to hit the old man hard. There was no smiling or laughing in the aftermath, only misery while he wrestled with what went wrong. Hubie Brown tried to tell him differently. There were too many games to obsess over one loss and, frankly, in most cases the players' ire could never match the coach's. And that strategy worked for Rick while he toiled through the 82-game NBA season. That changed once he returned to campus.

Richard Pitino: He is the worst loser on the planet. He's not one of those guys who can shut it down when he gets home. I mean, you basically had to hide from him. The one thing that he does great more than anything is he makes it so bad when you lose that everybody -- top to bottom -- wants to win.

Rick Pitino: I wasn't a terrible loser in the pros; at Kentucky, I was primarily. Here's why: There was one time when we lost to Louisville and I was working out downstairs and there was a knock on the door. This woman said she needed to see me. And she said, your dad is going to need this ... it was [a copy of] the movie "The Bodyguard." We called the police and they found her. She snuck out of a mental institution and was looking for me because we lost. She was off her medication. So only at Kentucky did we take losing really, really terribly.

The two Pitinos will be holding a joint press conference next Wednesday.

I_medium Jeff Greer continues his preseason player profile series with a look at Anas Mahmoud, whose intelligence and charisma is quickly going to make him a fan favorite here.

I_medium Two of CBS' seven college hoops writers believe Louisville will make the Final Four, and those same two also predict that Montrezl Harrell will be the national Player of the Year.

I_medium The Sporting News has Trez as the fifth-best dunker in college basketball.

Bio: 6-8. Harrell is arguably the top power forward in the country, a Sporting News preseason All-American, and one of the most highly-touted NBA prospects in the country. On top of being an elite basketball player, he's also a physical freak.

Upside: Freakish athleticism. Harrell is a monster. If he wasn't so damn good at basketball, you could see him becoming a NFL tight end. He's built like a mythological beast, runs the court like a small forward and has a scary vertical for a guy his size. In short, Montrezl Harrell may be a superhero.

Area of Expertise: Power. He is a freight train who moves like a Ferrari. He will dump-truck you in the paint or catch a half-court alley-oop. Two hands, one hand, it really doesn't matter. He is not the guy to try and take a charge from.

Portfolio: 60-foot alley-oopEvery Harrell dunk of 2013-14 seasonNational Championship game alley-oop

I_medium In the rarest of rare recruiting occurrences, a U of L commit actually got bumped up a star following his pledge. Darius "Dee" Smith is now a four-star recruit who is rated as the 18th best safety in the country by Scout.com, and one of the 250 best players overall.

I_medium This is interesting.

I_medium Steve Addazio's work at Boston College is one of the more impressive revival jobs in recent college football memory.

I_medium BC Interruption's Dan Rubin does some film work on Louisville.

This is going to be arguably the best defense BC has faced all year. They scare the ever-living daylights out of me. They're the one team who can line up with a simple, basic, 4-3 system and say, "Go ahead and beat us." The worst part is that you might not, and more than likely that's the case. With a strong defensive line, a better-than-average secondary, and a beast linebacking corps, the Eagles are in for a challenge and a treat.

Beat them, and your offense all of a sudden becomes on par with the Clemsons and Florida States of the world. Lose, and Louisville becomes the class of the Atlantic Division's second tier. This is a win that can go a long way for Boston College. Problem is, it's not going to be easy against one of the best pound-for-pound defenses in the nation.

I_medium Donnie Tyndall has had better days.

I_medium Luke Hancock is off to begin his pro career in Greece.

You've only got about six weeks to get your shots in, Greek haterzzz.

I_medium Matt Norlander of CBS says Louisville has the seventh-best set of guards in college hoops.

7. Louisville
Guards: Terry Rozier, Chris Jones, Quentin Snider, Shaqquan Aaro, Anton Gil.

Rozier has about as much pressure to "break out" this year as any guard in the country. In reality, Chris Jones wasn't the stud last season many expected him to be. With Russ Smith and his super-high usage rate leaving the team, both guards will now be forced to step up and contribute. They'll benefit from the attention big man Montrezl Harrell will command in the color. Quentin Snider, who will come off the bench, was last year's Mr. Basketball in Kentucky. Shaqquan Aaro stands 6-7 yet is listed as a guard. Alrighty then. Anton Gill's minutes should jump this season. More than any other group here, I think this group could go either way.

Shaqquan "Broken" Aaro.

I_medium Gorgs.

I_medium The Boston Globe notes that Louisville is preparing for a different kind of test in Boston College QB Tyler Murphy.

I_medium Cardinal Authority shines its preseason spotlight on DJ Matz.

I_medium The kid is just a sophomore, but he's one to keep an eye on.

I_medium Three out of ESPN's four ACC writers like Louisville over BC Saturday night.

Adelson: Tyler Murphy might present some matchup problems, but the Louisville offense will be even more difficult to contain for the BC defense. Teams have been unable to slow downDeVante Parker and Michael Dyer, who have accounted for 77 percent of the Cardinals' offense over the past two games. Their return from injury means Louisville has been able to get more explosive plays and work the play-action more than it has all season. While BC has had some good wins, it also has run out of gas in the fourth quarter in a few of its games, failing to close out Colorado State and Clemson, then hanging on to beat Wake Forest and Virginia Tech late. This will be yet another close game, but Louisville will win behind Parker and Dyer in the end.Louisville 30, BC 21.

Hale: Louisville's defense is good despite last week's troubles against Florida State, but this is far from an ideal matchup. The strength of the Cardinals' defense has been the pass rush, but Tyler Murphy's mobility negates much of that aggressiveness. Murphy has had a run of at least 30 yards in seven of BC's nine games, and if Louisville goes after him routinely, he's bound to break off a few more big plays. Louisville simply hasn't seen a quarterback this season who brings the same type of weapons as Murphy does. The other problem the Cardinals now face is one of emotion. Did blowing a 21-0 lead against the defending champs crush their spirits? Bobby Petrino says this will be a gut-check game for his team, and Boston College is the type of team that always plays on guts. BC 24, Louisville 21.

I_medium Pretty cool:


I_medium SNY is doing a pretty interesting documentary on class of 2016 star Tyus Battle, who recently cut his list to 11 and included Louisville.

I_medium The Sports Xchangre predicts a 24-23 Cardinal victory in Chestnut Hill.

I_medium Duke Basketball Report previews Louisville.

I_medium And finally, the Louisville field hockey team saw its first ACC Tournament run this afternoon with a 2-1 loss to No. 4 Wake Forest. The eight-ranked Cardinals will find out their NCAA Tournament fate during Sunday night's selection show.