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Friday morning Cardinal news and notes

Olivia Hawkins could not be more ready for a warm weather weekend in Louisville. Had her outfit planned all week.

I_medium As the Lexington Herald-Leader's Mark Story points out, unless there is a postseason meeting, Louisville is going to finish the 2014-15 athletics season 5-1 against Kentucky in men's sports. The Cards were less successful on the women's side of things, going 2-4 against their arch-rivals.

I_medium Your promotions for this weekend's enormous series against No. 7 Florida State:

And your preview.

I_medium The fourth-seeded Louisville softball team dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 5 NC State in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday. The Cards (30-17) now have to hope that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee awards them with an at-large bid when the brackets are released on Sunday.

I_medium says Louisville is one of four teams in the country with "secure" status when it comes to earning a national seed.

I_medium Five-star Nigerian center Abdulhakim Ado from the class of 2016 has been made a top priority by the Cardinal coaching staff.

"They told me one time I was the only (center) they were recruiting at that moment," he said. "I don't really know how they're doing their recruiting, but that's what they told me - that I was pretty much the big man in 2016 they'd offered at that moment."

U of L has offered and recruited a few other interior players in the 2016 class, but Ado has certainly been one of the Cards' most consistent, serious targets for many months. His trip to the UVA game was his second visit to U of L; he also was there last September.

He said the Cards' coaches contact him two or three times each week.

"I can see that everybody who comes over there (to play) is a hard worker, and (U of L coach Rick Pitino) loves kids who work hard every day, kids who are really appreciative for what they've got," Ado said. "So that's what he likes about me."

Pitino has had success recruiting African imports, notably Senegalese center Gorgui Dieng, who developed greatly at U of L and is now a productive NBA player.

Ado said Pitino has never compared him to Dieng, but Ado is familiar with Dieng's career and believes going to U of L served him well.

"You could really tell he improved when he got to Louisville," said Ado, who came to the United States in 2013. "He had a couple of things he worked on, his midrange, post moves and all that. It's also something I want to improve on - my midrange and offensive game."

I_medium Florida made the somewhat surprising decision to hire Louisiana Tech's Michael White as its new head coach on Thursday. White has a great deal of respect within college basketball circles (despite having never been to the NCAA Tournament), but it's still a little bit odd to hear that James Foley went after White without even reaching out to names like Dayton's Archie Miller or Xavier's Chris Mack.

White has a pedigree that's very similar to the one Billy Donovan had when he first came Gainesville, but with the SEC's recent run of high-profile coaching hires, the head man at Florida -- one of the top two programs in the league for what seems like forever now -- is going to rest somewhere in the middle of the league's coaching hierarchy. That feels strange, but White's the guy who can change all of that with a couple of stellar seasons.

I_medium Here's Dan McDonnell talking about the showdown series with Florida State.

I_medium After one round of play, the U of L women's golf team sits in 13th place at the South Bend NCAA Regional.

I_medium Former Cardinal men's golfer Derek Fathauer had a much better Thursday, and currently sits just one shot back of the leaders through one round of play at The Players Championship.

I_medium Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana's annual Big Event is happening May 30th at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, and there are going to be several items of note available for U of L fans. As a part of the event's live auction, the Boys & Girls Club will be auctioning off two bottles of Pappy Van Winkle (one 10 year and one 12 year) both signed by Julian P. Van Winkle III, the current President of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, in addition to ...

  • a basketball autographed by Rick Pitino
  • a hat autographed by Bobby Petrino
  • a football autographed by most of the Cardinal football team (including Bonnafon, Gardner, Bolin, Ferguson, Quick, Lamb, Rankins, and Petrino)
  • a game day hat signed by the Louisville baseball team
  • a behind the scenes experience at a home women's basketball game (access to shoot around, pregame meal with the team, Walz's pregame speech)
  • a volleyball signed by the team w/a free pass to U of L volleyball camp
  • a package of U of L gear and tickets (including men's basketball and football) worth more than $700.
  • 4 tickets to the UofL vs. Virginia football game on 11/14/15

For more information on both the event and how to purchase tickets, go here.

I_medium If you're graduating from U of L this weekend, congratulations, you're going to be walking with an NBA star.

If your last name starts with a D, it's time to start frantically figuring out if you're going to be sitting next to Gorgs ... and to tell your family not to freak out when the person announced before/after you gets way more applause. It's not a competition. But he's going to win.

I_medium TigerNet takes an early look at Louisville football and how the Cards and Clemson might match up in their early Thursday night Atlantic Division showdown.

I_medium Troy Brown, the No. 2 prospect in the class of 2017, says Louisville is very interested in him, and that the feeling is mutual.

U of L has been to his school several times, including head coach Rick Pitino to watch a game earlier in his high school season. The Cardinals offered him a scholarship in October.

"Louisville has been showing great interest in me," Brown said. "They have been to my school and stayed in contact. They're showing a lot of interest."

Brown said he "for sure" wanted to take a closer look at the Cardinals and noted Pitino's style with guard play something that he "really liked a lot."

"They're a great program and have a great history," he said. "I really like what they do and I like the history, especially I like how they came together after that Kevin Ware incident as a team and came back and played hard.

"That really showed me something. I liked Louisville a lot for that."

I_medium The ACC's Atlantic Division pretty much dominated the 2015 NFL Draft.

I_medium Lorenzo Mauldin is officially in New York and beginning his life as a Jet.

Mauldin's deal with the Jets is reportedly worth about $2.95 million.

I_medium Rising sophomore and All-American Mariya Moore and incoming freshman Asia Durr accepted invitations on Wednesday to attend the 2015 USA Basketball Women's U-19 World Championship Team trials.

I_medium The U of L men's tennis team relaxed in Champaign on Thursday, but is ready to go 0 to 100 against Drake in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Oh my God what did I just do? I thought about it but I didn't think I'd actually do it, and then the next thing you know it's done and .... and there's just no going back now. You can forgive, but I'd never expect you to forget.

I_medium DeVante Parker is such a homebody and family man that some are worried about how he is going to cope with life alone in Miami.

But when it came time for the ACC's media day, Parker didn't want any part of it. He simply isn't wired that way.

Bobby Petrino, who replaced Strong before Parker's senior season, knew it was important for his biggest star to be there. So he suggested Parker talk about his love for SpongeBob SquarePants, a cartoon he has loved since his childhood.

"He doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, doesn't party," said Louisville wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas, who played for the University of Miami and the Dolphins a generation ago. "He plays videos and watches ‘SpongeBob' and eats hamburgers."

Added Parker, who caught 43 passes for 855 yards as as senior despite missing half the season with a broken foot: "I don't like all the attention. I just don't, for some reason. I'm not that kind of guy. I don't like being famous and all that."

Parker is so shy, he agreed to a half-hour, sit-down interview for this story only after his family begged him to do so. And only if the most important people in his life — Willie and Yvonne, mother Raneca, aunt Tracy and daughter Nylah — were with him.

I already miss him so much.

I_medium Speaking of former Cardinals who signed professional contracts on Thursday, B.J. Dubose inked a four-year deal with the Vikings that will pay him $2.399 million total.

I_medium And finally, both Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell are on the list of 62 players headed to Chicago for the NBA Draft combine next week.