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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

That's TSGT Russell Shepherd, TSGT Mike Johnson and SSGT Ben Zeilman in the back of a C-130 Hercules currently deployed to the Middle East. The trio are crew chiefs in the Kentucky Air National Guard and love being able to follow the Cards abroad.

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I_medium The Louisville regional is officially underway over at Jim Paterson Stadium. Here's a reminder of the full schedule for this weekend:

NCAA Baseball Louisville Regional Schedule
Friday, May 29 | (ESPN3)
Game 1: No. 2 Bradley vs. No. 3 Michigan - 2 p.m.
Game 2: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 4 Morehead State - 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 30 | (ESPN3)
Game 3: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser - Noon
Game 4: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner - 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 31 | (ESPN3)
Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser - Noon
Game 6: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner - 4 p.m.

Monday, June 1 | (ESPN3) - If necessary
Game 7: Game 6 Loser vs. Game 6 Winner - 6 p.m.

I_medium All six of the writers like Louisville to advance out of its own regional this weekend, and one of them (Eric Sorenson) is picking the Cards to win the national championship.

I_medium Brendan McKay's Cardinal teammates knew the freshman was going to be a star, but not this fast.

I_medium A beautiful sight for this Friday afternoon.

I_medium Wayne Blackshear worked out for the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, and is doing the same for the Minnesota Timberwolves today.

I_medium Good stuff on Terry Rozier from The Indianapolis Star.

Where? That's the question. He's no sure thing to stick in the NBA, given his relative lack of size (6-1, 190), shooting (30.6 percent on 3-pointers this past season) and playmaking (just a 1.4 assist-turnover ratio). But Rozier has toughness and determination most guys don't, because most guys didn't have to overcome what he has. How many NBA players say they want to win to "make me forget about whatever happened in my past"?

This one says it, and means it. Rozier still hears that voice in his head, telling him to make the right decision, and along the way he picked up a movie to go with the soundtrack: "Through the Fire," the 2005 documentary on future NBA point guard Sebastian Telfair, who emerged from the Surfside Gardens housing projects in Coney Island. Rozier watches it repeatedly, most recently last month before a workout with the Miami Heat. Just to get his mind right. There are choices to be made every day.

"It's motivational for me," Rozier says. "His story, his background, his family, the type neighborhood he grew up in, to make the decisions to get out."

Everybody makes choices. Late in the second round, NBA teams needing a backup point guard will scan the names of college guards still available, guards with talent but flaws, and try to choose one with the mental makeup to succeed.

Choose wisely.

I_medium A long run deep into June is expected from the Louisville baseball team, but the Cards won't let themselves look at anything but Morehead State right now.

I_medium The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Gerod Holliman is a polarizing player.

"I don't know how many times we said this during our draft preparations, but 14 interceptions is no accident," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said. "This kid has great instincts and awareness. He's a film studier and you can just see him making breaks on the ball before the quarterback throws it. He's got the great hands to finish it. This kid is a ball-hawk and knows how to make interceptions."

Holliman, who is 6 feet and 218 pounds, could have an opportunity to make the team. Mike Mitchell is the starting free safety and Shamarko Thomas is the likely starter at strong safety. Top reserve Will Allen is entering his 12th season and Robert Golden, an ace special teamer, has not been a factor at safety in his first three seasons.

"He's got room for improvement [as a tackler], but none of these prospects are finished products," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "He does have a distinguishing characteristic and that is his ability to anticipate and find angles to the ball and to finish those plays. That is something that you can build his game around. We are excited about that. But he does have room for growth and development [as a tackler]."

Finding a starting safety in the later rounds of the draft is not without precedent for the Steelers. In 1992, they selected Darren Perry out of Penn State in the eighth round. All Perry did was start the opener as a rookie and 110 of the next 112 games for the Steelers, intercepting 32 passes and playing in a Super Bowl and three AFC championships in the process.

"Even if I was a first-rounder I'd come in with a chip on my shoulder," Holliman said. "I'm coming in to earn a spot whether I'm a first-rounder or seventh-rounder. This is something I have to do to be a good player here."

I_medium scouts the other three teams in Louisville's regional.

I_medium Kevin Ware finally did it.

I_medium Kyle Funkhouser is one of 15 prospects to watch on the road to the College World Series.

I_medium Baseball America previews the Louisville regional. Here's part of what they have to say about the Cards.

Season In A Sentence: Louisville dominated the ACC in 2015, posting a stellar 25-5 (.833) record on its way to hosting a regional for the third straight season, and fifth time in seven years.

Strengths: Despite recent struggles, the 6-foot-3 Funkhouser (7-5, 3.29) is one of the better draft prospects in the nation and he leads a solid staff. He is the best prospect in this regional and scouts will be flocking to the stands to try and get one last look at the righty before June's draft. Alongside Funkhouser in the rotation is freshman Brendan McKay (8-3, 1.76) who has been stellar for the Cardinals. Offensively, sophomore Corey Ray (.324/.390/.555, 11 HR) has been their anchor.

Question Marks: Funkhouser is in a recent funk, no pun intended, so it will be interesting to see how the draft prospect rebounds in front of the team's home crowd.

Outlook: Louisville is a stellar 15-4 all-time in regional and super regional games at their home ballpark, Jim Patterson Stadium. For one of the other three teams in their regional, the path will run though the Cardinals.

I_medium This is a new level of denial:

I_medium This Louisville regional preview says that on a scale of 1-10, the Cards are a 7 when it comes to their likelihood of advancing.

I_medium Trey Lewis puts in some face time with Stephen A.

I_medium If you head out to Jim Patterson this weekend to watch the Louisville baseball team, you can use your ticket stub for free admission to Churchill Downs. If you do this and there's a horse named Funkhouser running, empty your bank account.


I_medium There are fewer than 25 spots remaining for the U of L men's soccer summer youth camp.

I_medium And finally, John Ramsey and I are on 93.9 The Ville from 3 right up until first pitch over at Jim Patterson at 6. You can listen to the show (and the game) right here.