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Thursday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

The CCBM 2014 Summer Tour rolls on to the Panama Canal, where Wes Napper is keeping a bird's eye view I'm so sorry about that I just couldn't stop myself plus he used the same joke in his email.

I_medium The Louisville men's soccer team will begin the 2014 season ranked No. 14 in the country. It's the fifth straight preseason top 15 ranking for Ken Lolla's program. The Cards will make their debut inside the incredible Lynn Stadium on Aug. 29 against No. 2 Maryland.

I_medium's latest mock draft for 2015 has both Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell being taken in the lottery. The site has Rozier going to the Knicks with the 11th pick, and Trez to the Timberwolves two picks later. They also have Chris Jones being selected by the Washington Wizards in the second round.

I_medium Grantland's ACC preview features this blurb on Louisville.

By the Time You Swear You're His. After adding Pitt and Syracuse in 2013, the ACC has absorbed one more program to offset losing Maryland to the Big Ten, and that new team also happens to have a new coach. You might have heard of him. Bobby Petrino's Louisville squad opens 2014 in a plum spot, hosting Miami on Labor Day in prime time, and ticket sales are breaking records. Anything could happen in that Monday opener; following that, the Cardinals get Murray State, Virginia, Florida International, and Wake Forest to round out September, fertile time in which Petrino can mold his latest quarterbacking project4 (more on him in a bit). The Cardinals' first really scary game doesn't come around until their October 11 trip to Clemson, and they get Florida State at home. You Coastal partisans aching to see the Atlantic Division suffer from the nigh-unbreakable parity you're experiencing now? The next couple of years could please you!

I_medium CBS' 7-man college football team offers up their ACC predictions, and just one has Louisville finishing better than third in the Atlantic Division.

I_medium Long live the pen.

I_medium Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback on the Vikings' first depth chart, but head coach Norv Turner reiterated this week that Teddy Bridgewater is playing at an "awfully high level."

I_medium While Teddy won't start in the Vikes' preseason opener on Friday, he will get some field time with Minnesota's starting unit.

I_mediumday two practice recap from U of L.

I_medium Pretty impressive:

I_medium The American Athletic Conference recognized 248 University of Louisville student-athletes on the conference's all-academic team on Wednesday for completing at least 18 credit hours and maintaining a 3.0 grade-point average or higher for the 2013-14 academic year.

I_medium Texas AD Steve Patterson is not a cool dude.

I_medium Tumbleweed will be the host for both the Bobby Petrino and Rick Pitino radio shows this year. Pitino's show had previously been held at various Buffalo Wild Wing locations.

I_medium WIll Gardner makes ESPN's list (insider) of the top 50 breakout players for 2014.

I_medium Terrific execution here:

I_medium Reggie Bonnafon has made the move from practicing with the newcomers to practicing with the veterans. That and more Wednesday practice notes from Jeff Greer.

I_medium ACC coaches give their anonymous thoughts on Louisville (and the rest of the conference).

"Louisville will miss Teddy Bridgewater and their success will depend on the play of his replacement, but they are established with high-caliber players at every position and will immediately be thrust into the upper half of the ACC talent wise."...

"If you had to pick one problematic area for them, elite defensive back coverage was one of the only weaknesses. Pass rush was too good to get exposed except in crucial situations like in the UCF game. They allowed UCF to get back in that game after it didn't get enough pressure and it didn't allow Louisville to blow other teams out like they probably should have."...

"Their running offense was talented but was never as productive and dynamic as it could have been. Maybe they will develop that more now that the quarterback is gone."...

"You can't understate the loss of Bridgewater. He was great at the line of scrimmage checking into plays and could make every throw. It's hard to just roll a new guy in there and expect the same without a few mistakes early, but Bobby Petrino is known for his quarterback track record. His system is quarterback-friendly."...

"Will Gardner, who's got the momentum to start, has a strong arm, but I hear he'll be pushed by Reggie Bonnafon, the incoming freshman."...

"Overall, they are pretty stout in all areas. They are very deep after a handful of Charlie Strong recruiting classes."...

"Bobby walks into a nice situation. The guy they'll really miss is Calvin Pryor, though. Huge hitter and difference-maker."

I_medium The Crunch Zone fellas talk fall camp and interview Howard Schnellenberger.

I_medium The Seattle Storm will honor Shoni Schimmel before tonight's game against Schimmel's Atlanta Dream.

I_medium Louisville is a dark horse team in the mix for wide receiver Tavin Richardson.

I_medium Russ Smith's hometown paper gives him some ink.

"I don't know why people always doubt it," he said. "I seem to always do well and I am consistently doubted."

None of that has changed. The former Archbishop Molloy star left a lasting impression in his first foray into professional basketball.

The 6-foot Smith averaged 16 points and a league-leading 6.4 assists to go along with five rebounds while playing point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans in the recent NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The rookie's efforts earned him a selection to the All-League second team. Despite needing to cut down on turnovers and improve his free throw shooting, Smith thought he showed people he could do the things required to be an NBA point guard.

"I think that's great for that to happen to me," he said. "It showed I could run a pick and roll, get guys involved. It brought out some elements of my game."

I_medium The ACC is looking for even more respect a season after Florida State won the national championship.

I_medium And finally, another national writer looks at how teams taking a step up in conference have struggled in their debut seasons.