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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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When Bobby Petrino needs advice on how to beat Auburn, he always turns to young Zach Brown.

I_medium YEAR OF THE HAT SWITCH.

I_medium Safe to say this has been a decent 8 day stretch for U of L recruiting.

I_medium Some interesting comments from Rick Pitino today on recruiting. According to Pitino, the U of L staff is spending "60 percent" of its time on the 2017 class, because they "don't need a whole lot" from the 2016 class.

I_medium If you want to know why the Louisville-adidas partnership isn't ending any time soon, here's your answer.

I_medium Louisville is 44th in the first ESPN college football power index of 2015. I disagree.

I_medium Lyndell Wilson, the No. 1 linebacker in the country and the No. 14 overall player in the class of 2016 according to Rivals, has confirmed that he will be visiting Louisville this weekend.

I_medium Here's part 1 of Jeff Greer's sit down with Rick Pitino yesterday in Toronto.

What was the main reason why you took this Puerto Rico job?

Three reasons ... I've been a head coach since 24. And although I've had brief stints of learning under Jim Boeheim, with zone work, and learning a tremendous amount from Hubie Brown in the pros, I've been a head coach since I was 24. That's a long time. This is -- I wanted to learn more. You don't do it by just watching tape. I'm so familiar with the coaches in America, so I want to learn international basketball and see if there is anything we can improve on. It just opens up a lot of different things style-wise and what they do with their bigs ... You know, how they use the 24-second shot clock is just different than the NBA, so it's a good learning experience for me.

The second thing is, I was really worried about (Louisville's 2015-16) schedule.

The conference schedule?

Yeah, and I'm worried about at Michigan State and at Kentucky. In order to prepare these guys, going to the Bahamas and playing against poor competition -- it actually hurts you because it gives you a false sense of who you are. We're going to really get it -- this national team has got to qualify for the Olympics, so these games are going to be ... Basically, we're going to play six road games. That's the second reason I took the job. We are playing six games, three doubleheaders, against a team that is going to try to qualify for the Olympics. Are they going to be good? It's not like the team (at the Pan Am Games). My (U of L) team could beat this team. We would beat this team by 10, 15 points, just because they have no frontcourt. There are no 3, 4 and 5 men. It's going to be great from that experience.

The third thing, which is the ultimate challenge, is they haven't made the Olympics since 2004, so can we put together a team? The only disadvantage Puerto Rico has is they have a pro summer league. Argentina and all the other countries have a winter pro league. This is just the opposite -- they have a summer pro league. So, all the good players, the ones who got knocked out of the pro league, don't want to play in the Pan Am Games because they're tired. They want to get ready for (the winter). Then the other guys are playing in the finals, and you have five guys who will make the national team playing in the (Puerto Rican league) finals.

Pitino's Puerto Rico squad fell to 0-2 at the Pan Am Games with a 102-70 loss to the United States Wednesday night. They'll wrap up pool play this afternoon at 1:30 against Venezuela.

I_medium According to Scout.com's Evan Daniels, Louisville extended a scholarship to class of 2016 combo guard Brandon Robinson Wednesday night. Robinson is a four-star recruit out of Douglasville, Ga.

I_medium Donovan Mitchell continues to make new friends in Louisville at every turn.

I_medium NFL Draft Blitz has Jaquay Williams and Stacy Thomas on its list of the best positional players for the 2018 NFL Draft (yes, someone actually does that).

I_medium If you're interested, I wrote about some old basketball friends in the AAC earlier today.

I_medium A Miami website says Louisville's best case scenario this season is a 9-3 record, and goes on to predict that the Cards will finish the year 8-4.

Worst-case scenario: 5-7 (4-4)

Things do not start off easy for Louisville; the Cards see Auburn in the opener, an upstart Houston team in Week 2, Clemson on a short week just five days later, and then Samford before facing both N.C. State and Florida State on the road. With a carousel at quarterback and inexperience in many other areas, there's a chance UL could start the year 1-4.

Early prediction: 8-4 (5-3)

Louisville lost 10 players to the NFL draft this offseason, including the likes star wide receiver DeVante Parker, offensive tackle Jamon Brown, and safety Gerod Holliman. There's still talent across the board, but it might take another season—and a step back—before the Cardinals can be considered a true threat to compete for the ACC.

I_medium Sorry again, 'Bama.

I_medium Speaking of Bama, our friends over at Roll Bama Roll have Louisville in the "just missed" portion of their preseason top 25.

I_medium ESPN has Teddy Bridgewater as a third tier NFL quarterback. I disagree.

I_medium Congratulations to Angel McCoughtry, who just became the 25th player in WNBA history to eclipse the 4,000-point mark for her career.

I_medium Starting next Monday, Mark Hebert will be joining the 93.9 The Ville team with a new weekly radio show focused entirely on news pertaining to University of Louisville faculty, staff and students.

I_medium Butt. Heh.

I_mediumGorgui Dieng is doing some good work to help the people in Senegal have better access to health care.

I_medium The Louisville baseball team's fall practice schedule will have a new, international look this year as the Cardinals will visit the Dominican Republic on Oct. 2-6.

I_medium Saturday Blitz has Auburn's game against Louisville at No. 4 on its list of the Tigers' "can't miss" tilts for 2015.

Auburn and Louisville open the season against each other in the Chick-fil-a kickoff game in the Georgia Dome. The last time Auburn played in the Georgia Dome, they defeated the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship game two years ago.

The last, and only, time Auburn played Louisville was back in 1974, when the Tigers opened their season with the Cardinals and defeated them, 16-3. A lot has changed since then, but I expect the result will likely be the same, except there will be more scoring.

Auburn and Louisville are two similar teams. They are both well coached, and they both have a shot at winning this game. This game is important because it's the first one. It's the first chance for Jeremy Johnson to assert himself against a good team and begin to take the big leap he's expected to take in his first year as the full-time starter.

I think the Auburn beats Louisville but will be a back-and-forth battle for 3.5 quarters before Will Muschamp's defense makes a crucial stop on third down to preserve the win for the Tigers.

I_medium The Montgomery Adviser kicks off its "Auburn 12 opponents in 12 days" series with a look at Louisville.

I_medium Eric Crawford looks at the successful summers of Cardinal big men Chinanu Onuaku and Mangok Mathiang.

I_medium And finally, John Ramsey and I are coming to you live from WINDOW WORLD this afternoon from 3-6. We will be talking about cool stuff and giving away even cooler stuff. That's all I can say. Tune in.