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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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It's always football season in baby Shreffler's eyes.

I_medium Louisville is the unquestioned favorite in this week's ACC Tournament, but Dan McDonnell still thinks any team can win.

I_medium The Raleigh News & Observer focuses some attention on Cardinal freshman star Brendan McKay.

I_medium CBS' Sam Vecenie says Terry Rozier is one of the three players who helped himself the most at the NBA Combine.

Three Up

Terry Rozier, PG/SG, Louisville: Rozier may have been the biggest winner this week, performing well in all facets of the process. His decision to play in the 5-on-5 portion paid off immensely, as Rozier was possibly the best player out there and he particularly showed some improvements in perceived weaknesses of his game. He got into the lane at will in Friday's game against Joe Young, and found open spot-up shooters in a way that he often did not at Louisville. He also showed an improving jump shot, and general defensive energy that will go a long way toward his carving out a niche in the NBA. Put his excellent play in the 5-on-5 in conjunction with his strong athletic testing numbers, solid measurements and good interviews, and this was basically a home run combine for Rozier. Maybe his confidence and success will convince others to participate in the 5-on-5 in the future.

I_medium Florida State baseball coach says Louisville's 25-5 ACC record "might be a record that will hold for many, many moons."

I_medium For the first time since February, Chris Jones has spoken on the record about the end of his Cardinal career and what he plans to do going forward.

OK, we have to go back to that night in February and the last three months. You've touched on this a bit, but what would you say is the lesson you learned from the last three months?

My biggest lesson was to just hang around people who have as much as you do to lose, people who would not make a bonehead mistake like drinking and driving or fighting in a bar ... People who stay away from all that. That's basically what I've been doing lately, basically just to myself, Miami or here. I don't go home all that much because of the trouble there. That was what I learned the most -- to keep people in my circle who are true to me.

How did you feel when it came down that you wouldn't be going to trial?

Tears fell -- from joy. I knew the whole time that my mom didn't raise her son to be a rapist. My dad didn't. People who know me know I don't do that. For someone to even say that, that really hurt me the most, for someone to just take my career like that ... Hearing it every time I turn on the TV, it was just ridiculous. Some people would've broken. My lawyer said the same thing: Some people would've broken. But I'm not a kid who will break. I played for Rick Pitino. If he didn't break you, nothing can break you. If you don't transfer, you're a tough guy. You know where I'm from, that didn't break me. It just taught me a lesson.

Knowing that a situation like that can ruin yourself is very scary. When I heard the verdict that they weren't going to indict me, that was just God. That was God working. Everybody was telling me to pray and pray and pray. I'm not a big praying guy, so I'm not going to start when stuff goes bad. I do pray, but not like people wanted me to. I call that fake. I really wasn't praying like that when good was happening, so why would I pray when bad was happening to me? Look, I believe in God. I do pray. But to only pray when a situation is bad, that's bad. I knew God made the right decision. It just brought me closer to the Lord now. I'm very mature now, level-headed. All I want to do is outwork the next man who a team thinks they'd pick over me. I'm going to go back to high school Chris or juco Chris and just bust everybody's ass.

...

What is it like for you watching your team play?

I felt like a fan, especially when Quentin did stuff well. I was going crazy for him. He's a Louisville kid. I know his situation, too. He's a Louisville kid. When he first got to Louisville we thought he would never make it. But Quentin started playing D, I was the biggest cheerleader for him. I knew the other guys could play. Quentin's confidence sometimes -- (Pitino) would be tough. But when he did well, I was the biggest cheerleader. Terry, I expected that from him. Same with Wayne and Trez. You see it so much. But when Quentin would do it, I'd be like, 'Yes, go Quentin!' Michigan State, though, I was going crazy.

...

Is there anything else you'd like to say at this point?

I just want to say to everyone who believed in me during the process, I want to say thank you. Louisville has a great fan base. I would tell any high school student-athlete who wants to play basketball to come to Louisville to learn how to be a man. (Pitino is) going to teach you things no other team will go through. I'm going to miss the Louisville fan base, but I have to go on to bigger and better things. I'm very sorry for how my senior year went for Louisville. I know they wanted a Final Four. If I was there, we would've had a Final Four. You never know. That's basically it.

I_medium Louisville has extended a scholarship offer to class of 2016 small forward Jonathan Isaac.

I_medium St. X standout JD Mundt announced on Twitter Tuesday that he will be playing his college baseball at Louisville.

I_medium ESPN's David Hale gives a brief preview of the 2015 Cardinal football team.

Offense

How the Cardinals beat you: While Petrino's offense relied heavily on the pass in '14 (252 ypg, No. 4 in the ACC) and lacked pop in the run game (3.6 ypc, No. 12 in the ACC), the strength of this season could very well be the backfield. Junior RB Brandon Radcliff, who returns after a breakout season in which he rushed for 737 yards (614 over the final nine games) and 12 TDs, will be complemented by 226-pound soph L.J. Scott and juco transfer Jeremy Smith. If the Cards can find replacements for three departing O-line starters, Petrino's scheme could be more balanced and more potent: Louisville kept defenses honest with 35 completions of 25-plus yards in '14 (No. 21 in the FBS).

How you beat the Cardinals: Even with one of the nation's most veteran O-lines last season, nearly 30 percent of Louisville's running plays went for a loss or no gain (No. 113 in the FBS). So change up front may be welcome; coordinator Garrick McGee knows his line must deliver, given that the wideouts lack an established playmaker (leading returning receiver James Quick had 566 yards in '14) and QB Will Gardner is coming off a late-season knee injury. His backups (soph Reggie Bonnafon will likely start the season) have proved inconsistent: 6 TDs and 7 INTs in the five games Gardner missed.

I_medium Louisville will see more of Everett Golson in the future, as the former Notre Dame quarterback is transferring to Florida State.

I_medium Sports Illustrated looks at the most disappointing college hoops teams of this past season.

I_medium Lamar Jackson is mildly athletic.

I_medium ESPN's Andrea Adelson takes a closer look at the "debate" surrounding the ACC Atlantic vs. the SEC West.

I_medium U of L freshman to be Ryan McMahon gets some good ink from the Bradenton Herald.

The rule was made for McMahon, the Herald All-Area Boys Basketball Player of yhe Year. The 6-foot combo guard has increased his value because he is a court savvy kid who can do more than just burn the nets from 3-point land.

The Cardinal Mooney senior has been described as an old school player with new wave skills, a deadly marksman who is not afraid to shoot but knows when to launch it and can get shots for others.

It's why Louisville's famed basketball coach, Rick Pitino, fell in love with McMahon and signed him to a scholarship. After losing in the Elite Eight last season, Pitino lamented about the team's poor long-range shooting and said it was a priority to bring in good shooters.

How about this: McMahon mostly sat on the bench for his travel ball team last summer, but Pitino fought to get him.

Pitino knew the value of the 3-point shot early on when he took Providence to the Final Four in 1987 thanks to a sharpshooter named Billy Donovan, who later coached Florida to two national titles, thanks in large part to the 3-pointer.

McMahon averaged 26.4 points per game this past season, but he is unselfish. You can only say that about 3-point shooters. They are invaluable, but you have to know how to use them. Pitino certainly does.

McMahon has had to battle image problems ever since he started playing basketball in elementary school and last summer, when he didn't get much playing time on his travel ball team.

There is a saying only good shooters can become great shooters, and McMahon was certainly good. But he worked hard at it. He shot 51 percent on treys last season (127 of 249) after shooting 35.8 percent his previous two years.

"Me being a late bloomer was an obstacle; I really didn't start maturing until high school," McMahon said. "Middle school was very tough. In AAU ball, I was a bench guy who didn't play much. In high school, I went through the ups and downs because of my size. But all of that got me back in the gym and made me work harder."

I_medium Louisville City FC is preparing to make a run in its first US Open Cup. Here's everything you need to know about the historic soccer tournament.

I_medium The Times-Picayune in New Orleans reported Tuesday that John Calipari had expressed interest in becoming the new head coach of the Pelicans, a report which Calipari quickly shot down.


I_medium D1Baseball.com has Louisville as the No. 3 team in the country heading into championship week.

I_medium Marques Maybin shared some old school classics on Twitter Monday night, including dunking on Kentucky:

And a vintage DePaul Day moment:

I_medium SB Nation's House of Sparky has Louisville as the No. 2 overall seed in its latest baseball bracketology.

I_medium U of L tennis star Sebastian Stiefelmeyer will start his pursuit of an individual national championship tomorrow at noon against California's Andre Goransson. Stiefelmeyer, who is 40-6 this season, is the No. 5 seed in the 64-player draw.

I_medium After controversially skipping the event last year, UK football coach Mark Stoops will be attending this year's annual Governor's Cup Luncheon in Louisville.

I_medium And finally, the talk in Buffalo is that former Card John Miller could be the Bills' starting guard right out of the gate.