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Thursday Morning Cardinal News and Notes

It may be early October, but Gary Crain is still letting the folks in Budapest know that Dan McDonnell and company are heading back to Omaha in 2016.

I_medium Bye week spread check: Having an actual football discussion by 71.

I_medium Perhaps the biggest news from Wednesday was the report that the NCAA interviewed for Louisville recruit/commit Jaquan Lyle on Tuesday. Lyle, who is set to play his freshman season at Ohio State, is one of the few recruits referenced by name in the book.

Wallenberg said the school is not concerned about Lyle's eligibility.

"It does not affect us or JaQuan at all," Wallenberg said. "We've been told, and are pretty confident, this is not something we need to worry about."

Lyle is at least the second non-Cardinal the NCAA has interviewed about being recruited by Louisville. LSU freshman Antonio Blakeney has been interviewed as well, according to multiple reports.

Well, at least we know the NCAA is doing stuff, which means the likelihood of this being resolved one way or the other before the season starts is greater than it would have been otherwise.

I_medium This is about a week overdue (buncha stuff happened), but a major thank you to any and all who voted for the site or for me in the LEO Reader's Choice awards. "Four-time defending third-best writer in Louisville" shirts should be avaiable for purchase by the end of next week.

I_medium Elisha Justice chimes in and says it's hard for him to believe that all this could have been going down without him catching any whiff of it.

"It just totally caught me off guard" says former University of Louisville basketball player, Elisha Justice regarding a new book, Breaking Cardinal Rules.

Katina Powell has made headlines nationwide since the release of her book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen, a book written about Powell's life.

The book, which both Powell and co-author Dick Cady say is true, accuses former Graduate Assistant, Andre McGee of paying prostitutes to strip and have sex with players to bring in recruits from 2010 to 2014.

"You've got study halls, workouts, practices, class and film sessions. I mean you're together all the time, literally, I just feel like if this was going on someone would have slipped up and said something" says Justice.

Pike County native, Elisha Justice played for the Cardinals for two seasons starting in 2010.

He says he was not a part of anything mentioned in the book and doesn't believe his teammates we're either.

"For me to have never heard anything about it just makes me believe it's made up. I just think it's crazy someone just trying to get someone else in trouble" says Justice.

I_medium The U of L Foundation voted Thursday morning in favor of approving funding for legal services related to the review of allegations against the men's basketball team. The contract with law firm Stites & Harbison is separate from the deal with investigator Chuck Smrt.

I_medium Speaking of Smrt, Jeff Greer broke down just how much U of L has already invested in the man and the investigation itself.

I_medium Louisville jumps all the way to No. 6 in the latest ACC power rankings from ESPN.

6. Louisville Cardinals (2-3, 1-1). After a horrendous start, Bobby Petrino seems to have his team settled down behind quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Cardinals have won two in a row and picked up a critical win against Atlantic foe NC State. For as bad as the season started, the Cardinals can still be a factor in the ACC race.

I_medium When "Watch Me" comes on around youth football players, you can expect the game to dissolve quickly.

I_medium James Burgess is hyped.

I_medium The Heat/Magic game at the KFC Yum Center drew just 6,123 fans last night, but beforehand, Dwyane Wade said that Freedom Hall is still the loudest place he's ever played basketball.

I_medium Defending national baseball champion Virginia released its 2016 schedule on Wednesday and revealed that they'll be playing a three-game set at Jim Patterson on March 25-27. The Cards swept the Cavs in Charlottesville last season.

I_medium Cool basketball news is cool.

I_medium The 11th-ranked Louisville field hockey team will be hosting the No. 1 team in the land, Syracuse, on Friday.

I_medium Not to be outdone, the Louisville women's soccer team is hosting No. 1 North Carolina tonight at 7. This will be the first time the Cards have hosted a top-ranked opponent at Lynn Stadium.

I_medium If you're interested in making the trip to Bloomington for the U of L men's soccer team's border battle with Indiana, there's a way to make that happen.

I_medium The parents of U of L recruits Andrew Jones and T.J. Leaf, who were both on campus last weekend, say that the current investigation will not impact their sons' decisions.

I_medium Papa Siva joins the growing list of Louisville folks who have come out and said publicly that they don't believe the story of Katina Powell.

I_medium I've watched this like 15 times.

I_medium Lamar Jackson's touchdown run was the fourth-best play from the weekend that was in the ACC.

I_medium Cannot wait.

I_medium LEO editor Aaron Yarmuth, an IU grad and admitted U of L fan, says that after the investigation of Louisville wraps, there needs to be an investigation into Indiana and how it works with its boosters.

I_medium Fox Sports says Tom Jurich is running a rogue athletic program, which seems just a tad over the top.

I_medium Russ Smith was one of the standouts of the Memphis Grizzlies' first preseason game.

Russ Smith - I shocked when I looked at the box score and saw that Russ Smith finished 2/8 from the field. It certainly felt like he played and shot much better than that. And it does help that he was 8/9 from the foul line, which is indicative of how aggressively he attacked the rim.

Russ added three rebounds, two assists and a steal to go along with his team-high 12 points, but he did turn the ball over four times in just 21 minutes.

But, hey, it's preseason. He will get better.

The most important thing is that he flashed the potential that everyone loves about him.

Russ looks like he's going to carve out some type of role, if only by virtue of the number of players, or lack thereof, at his position currently on the roster.

One thing that was evident was the fact the Russ can blow past virtually any defender put in front of him. He got to the paint and created opportunities for himself and his teammates seemingly at will.

I_medium The Louisville volleyball team remains undefeated in ACC play heading into its match Friday at Georgia Tech.

I_medium The Cardinal baseball team will be holding three more open scrimmages over the next week at Jim Patterson. Here's the schedule:

Sunday - 12:30 pm
Monday - 3 pm
Tuesday - 3 pm

I_medium We have all had our fill of the phrase "battle tested" this fall, but there's a reason it's been tossed around so much.

I_medium Like Kansas' Cheick Diallo, Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere has still not been cleared by the NCAA. When asked for their reaction to this news, every Kentucky fan on the planet said "SHUT THE DOOR" as they continued to yank it to the latest news from the Louisville basketball story.

I_medium In related news, this story about Labissiere's guardian essentially getting rid of a fellow Haitian refugee who wasn't as good at basketball as the guardian had hoped is pretty disgusting.

I_medium This might have been the highlight of my trip to Raleigh and I didn't even see it with my own eyes.

I_medium Via stat god Kelly Dickey, Florida State is the only FBS team with more wins than Louisville in their past 20 away games. The 'Noles are 18-2, while U of L, Alabama and Oregon are all 17-3.

I_medium And finally, if you missed our interview with Dick Cady from yesterday, you can listen to it here.