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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Reena Vermani was born on Oct. 3, and this was her reaction when she was shown the headline from the Courier-Journal that day, which her parents had kept as a keepsake. I'm not trying to be mean, her dad included that description in his email.

I_medium Spread check: Louisville by 14.

I_medium Sheldon Rankins is on track to play against Syracuse and the rest of your report from Wednesday's Louisville football practice.

I_medium For those who have asked, Kyle Kuric is in the middle of a 4-6 hour surgery as I type this. Here's a photo his wife passed along of him before he was taken back for the procedure.

That picture certainly puts a lot of things into perspective. I'll pass along an update when I can get one, but until then, please keep the Kurics in your thoughts and/or prayers.

I_medium Jeff Greer puts a bow on U of L hoops media day.

I_medium The Syrause.com sports staff makes its picks for Saturday's game.

Brent Axe

A good part of my Friday night last week was spent watching Louisville vs. Wake Forest. (I know. What a party animal I am). I kept thinking the whole time watching that game how Syracuse should beat the Cards and I think they will. Look for the Orange D to get the best of a weakened Louisville offensive line and give the offense a few more chances to score than usual. Orange wins an ugly one.SU 23, Louisville 21

Stephen Bailey

The Orange defense has been suspect at best at the end of games this year. And with Parris Bennett and Luke Arciniega banged up, a unit that already struggles to tackle could be without two of its most reliable players. SU should be able to hang with the Cardinals, but I haven't seen enough to believe it can win in crunch time.Louisville 31, SU 24

Nate Mink

Syracuse desperately needs a victory, and this is a Louisville team in transition with a young offensive line and quarterback situation. Syracuse hasn't lost six straight games since Greg Robinson's first season in 2005, when it lost nine straight. Dick MacPherson and Ben Schwartzwalder had six-game skids, too, though. SU 24, Louisville 23

Bud Poliquin

I don't know the square of a hypotenuse from a blocking sled, but I do know bad numbers when I see them. And here are some bad numbers: The four teams that have defeated the Cardinals have a cumulative record of 27-5; meanwhile, the three clubs that the Orange has beaten have combined to go 9-17. In sports, the players say, "Ball don't lie." Neither, in most cases, does arithmetic. Louisville 31, SU 20

I_medium USA Today has named Damion Lee as an honorable mention preseason All-American.

I_medium Here's what Syracuse will be sporting inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in two days:

I_medium It would appears as though Katina Powell's youngest daughter ("Shay") was arrested twice for prostitution in the summer of 2014. Once in Louisville and once in Indiana.

I_medium Speaking of Katina Powell's daughters, here's an update on the fanhood of her oldest one:

I'm not sure you have the proper credentials, Lindsay.

I_medium North Carolina star Marcus Paige will miss the first few weeks of the 2015-16 season after suffering a broken bone in his non-shooting hand.

I_medium U of L quarterback commit Jawon Pass is expected to be in town and at the Syracuse game this weekend. The four-star prospect remains "100% committed" to Louisville despite the Cardinals starting a true freshman QB for most of this season.

Pass said his brother, Khane, is having a "great time" at Louisville. Khane Pass is a true freshman safety who is redshirting for the Cardinals.

"I've been watching them and it's still a great fit for me," Jawon Pass said. "I'm still committed. I like it there a lot."

With freshman Lamar Jackson winning thw quarterback battle for U of L this season, there had been chatter about Pass and his future but he said he welcomes the competition with Jackson and the other U of L quarterbacks that will return.

"Every time I picture him out there, I just try and learn the offense better," Pass said. "He's really good but I think we're really different. I'm a good athlete but I think he's a better athlete and I might be able to pass it better.

"People think we're a like, but we're pretty different. It will be a lot of fun."

Pass joked about lookin forward to the time when he can join Jackson and quarterback Reggie Bonnafon in the backfield. Jackson and Bonnafon have played a lot together in recent weeks in the U of L offense.

"Now, that would be fun," Pass said with a smile.

I_medium After a two-year run, the AAU National Basketball Championships have announced that they will no longer be held in Louisville.

I_medium The lease on my car is about up and so I have to have it inspected. The guy doing the inspection let me know yesterday that he'll be at my house today at some point between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. I have never wanted to go Kramer on a person more. (Update: He was the nicest person ever).

I_medium U of L recruit Markell Johnson -- a 4-star point guard from the class of 2017 -- was pretty pumped to get a visit from Rick Pitino.

I_medium If you forget to take the raisins out of John Calipari's oatmeal, he's throwing that shit against the wall.

I_medium Chris Mullins' coaching debut at St. John's was a 32-point exhibition loss against a Division-II opponent.

I_medium Some impressive senior year highlights from U of L commit Chris Taylor-Yamanoha:

I_medium John Clay of the Herald-Leader has a disappointing update to one of the best stories from last weekend's Breeder's Cup.

I_medium South Carolina RB commit C.J. Freeman is one of the many recruits who will be in town this weekend.

I_medium Twenty-five years ago this week, a successful campaign on the dangers of caffeine pills was launched.

I_medium The U of L field hockey team opens play in the ACC Tournament today at 4 p.m. against perennial powerhouse North Carolina.

I_medium Corey Ray, who has the potential to be a very rich man this time next year, has emerged as a leader for the Louisville baseball team.

I_medium Here's an easy way to help out some folks in need this winter.

I_medium Harry Giles, the No. 1 basketball recruit in the country, tore the ACL in his right knee 2 minutes into the first game of his senior year. Giles tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee back in 2013.

I_medium Scott Shafer and Bobby Petrino both discussed Saturday's game during yesterday's ACC coaches' teleconference. Here's the transcript of what they said.

I_medium Louisville is projected as the 5th-best defensive team in college basketball this season according to Sports Illustrated.

5. Louisville (DE: 92.4)

This ranking is contingent on the continued employment of coach Rick Pitino, whose job could be in danger as a result of Louisville's prostitution scandal. Despite all the external chaos around his program, Pitino reliably produces elite defenses: Louisville has finished in the top five in adjusted defensive efficiency for five straight seasons. The strength of the Cardinals' D in ‘15-16 is its front line, as Chinanu OnuakuMangok Mathiang and Anas Mahmoud should provide plenty of rim protection, and give guards freedom to apply heavy pressure and gamble for steals.

I_medium Campus Insiders likes Louisville over Syracuse by a final score of 27-19.

I_medium Cardinal goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin has earned third team All-ACC honors.

I_medium And finally, Cards fan Jesse Korfhage supports Rick Pitino so much that he got this tattooed on his arm:

I'm not sure what to say about that, outside of the fact that he has one hell of a tattoo artist.