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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

George Geraghty lost his buddy Hank a month ago, but he knows that he's still sporting his cap and pulling for the Cards.

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I_medium I told this story on air earlier this week, so I might as well put it in writing, even though I'm not sure if I'm supposed to.

A lot of people raised a fuss during the early part of the season when they started seeing some NFL and college players sporting adidas' "Yeezy" cleats, but no Louisville Cardinals wearing them.

What actually went down is that before the Florida State game, adidas came to U of L and said they wanted Lamar Jackson -- who was in the midst of his full-on star turn -- to sport the Yeezys for the big game against the 'Noles. U of L signed off on it, but Lamar did not. He said matter of factly that if the whole team couldn't wear them, then he wasn't going to. Hence, no Cardinals wearing Yeezy cleats this season.

Pretty cool.

I_medium Andrea Adelson's behind-the-scenes look at Lamar Jackson's big week is a must-read.


In the morning, Jackson doesn't even make it to the buffet before a mother with a baby girl stops him.

"She's your youngest fan!" she says. The mom gives Jackson the baby to hold. The girl just stares at him. Jackson waves at her, prompting a smile. They smile together for a photo. Jackson is relieved because he says the last baby he held cried.

Jackson spends breakfast fending off people who can't believe the Heisman winner is at the same buffet they are. One woman blurts out she just has to call her father-in-law, a Louisville grad ... before wondering aloud, 'How do I call him?' She had forgotten how to dial the phone in her hand.

Jackson finally sits down to his stack of pancakes and orange juice and bows his head to pray before eating. The events of the past 24 hours have yet to sink in.

"It's still crazy, man," he says.

I_medium Lamar Jackson can now add CBS Sports All-American to his resume.

I_medium Washington basketball seems perfectly content to keep fielding bad teams that have cool players, which is something that I just don't understand. At some point, doesn't it have to be at least a little bit about winning games and competing for championships?

I_medium At Army, every week is Army-Navy week, which is why the Cadets' first win over the Midshipmen in 15 years was so special.

Offensive and defensive lines have to prepare and behave differently in Army-Navy, almost reversing roles: defensive players trained to create havoc have to maintain assignment discipline, while offensive linemen have to explode rather than contain.

"It's almost caring too much," Bodine said. "It's ‘I wanna win so bad that I don't know if you're gonna do your job in addition to mine.' But what almost always happens in football is that if I do your job, my responsibility creates the play. That's what we've had to overcome, more so than any kind of physical inadequacies."

Navy prep never really starts or ends. Plays and formations are held all year for this game. Every week during the season, the Army coaches watch Navy's game from the previous week. The offensive staff will even watch both rival academies' offense and defense.

"It's weird that you'd watch both sides of the ball for your two rivals, but we do. Football coaches are notorious thieves, so we're always looking to see if we can steal something of theirs," Bodine said.

"I tried to downplay it to our offense my first year: ‘Ah, it's just another game,'" Davis said. "But the first time I walked out on the field, it's electric. I've been to the Iron Bowl, I've been to The Swamp ... it doesn't compare. The pressure these kids feel, they're aware of how much bigger it is than them. What it means to so many people around the world who are watching the game at 3 a.m. in Afghanistan, or wherever.

"When I was downplaying it, they looked at me like, ‘Yeah Coach ... you don't know.' So when I walked out there on the field I told them, ‘God, you guys are right. You guys need to calm me down.'"

"It's hard on the sideline because every play sounds like a touchdown," Bateman said. "You hand it off for seven yards, half the stadium erupts. Run the same play for one yard, the other half the stadium erupts. You have to calm them all down a bit."

I_medium Louisville is still No. 9 in Gary Parrish's daily rankings for CBS.

I_medium Western Kentucky has officially named Mike Sanford Jr. as its new head coach.

I_medium Louisville recruit C.J. Avery will announce his college decision tonight. The Cards are a finalist for the consensus 4-star prospect.

I_medium Blogger So Dear examines what comes next in the WakeyLeaks saga.

I_medium We now know why former UK standout and current (former?) Morehead State head coach Sean Woods has been suspended for the last month ... he hit and shoved two of his players during halftime of the team's game against Evansville and is now being charged with battery. A second report now alleges that he head-butted a player last season.

After all the crap he got for being rough with his players on national television a few years back, you'd think Woods would have been the last guy to put himself in this position. Instead, he's probably never going to coach again.

I_medium If you want to win free tickets to the Citrus Bowl, hit up a B-Dubs in town tomorrow.

Buffalo Wild Wings, entering its third year as the title sponsor of the historic Citrus Bowl, today unveiled a series of activations leading up to and during the New Year's Eve game that will help Louisville fans "wing in" the New Year while enjoying the game in stadium, in restaurant or online.

To kick off the excitement, nine Louisville-area Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants will give fans the chance to win tickets to this year's bowl game. Tomorrow (Thursday, Dec. 15), fans can stop by participating Buffalo Wild Wings from 6 -€” 8 p.m. to register for ticket drawings. See the full list of participating restaurants below.

Other highlights for the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl include: a halftime performance by country music star Cole Swindell; a panoramic end zone selfie station; an exclusive fan-sourced Twitter QA with team coaches; a custom Snapchat filter at BWW restaurants and in the stadium; and a record-breaking $3.1 million donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Who the f--k is Cole Swindell? Sounds made up.

I_medium The Louisville women host South Dakota State tonight at 7. Here's your preview.

I_medium You can probably guess who headlines Campus Insiders' All-Sophomore Team.

I_medium Lamar rules.

I_medium U of L QB commit Malik Cunningham is the Montgomery Country Club Player of the Year.

I_medium Our old friend Adam Himmelsbach writes about how Terry Rozier has maintained a relationship with Patrick McSweeney, the young man who has been fighting cancer for the past decade and who suited up for Bellarmine a couple seasons ago.

After the Celtics' completed their 107-106 win, Rozier went to the court and saw McSweeney with his father, holding the Bellarmine jersey he'd worn on that memorable day two years ago. Rozier signed the jersey. The two reminisced about the game and talked about McSweeney's health.

"It was just really good to talk to him and see how he was doing," Rozier said. "And it doesn't go unnoticed by me that he came out here to support me, too, with all he has going on. Everything's not a perfect world. So it puts it in perspective, just to see how strong of a kid he is. It's big just to see him fight."

McSweeney is scheduled to return home from this round of treatments on Dec. 20. Soon after, he said, he will begin playing in an intramural basketball league with his friends. He understands this fight will probably continue, but he is ready, and he wants to be an inspiration.

"It's really neat to see a kid that's so impacted by these basketball teams and the Terry Roziers of the world," Mike McSweeney said. "But it's also neat to see the impact Patrick has on them, and how it's about bringing everything down to a common level, about caring for each other."

I_medium Clemson is going to have a slide in its new football facility because Dabo.

I_medium Warrick Dunn is a pretty awesome dude who has now helped 153 different families -- including, ironically enough, Deshaun Watson's -- own homes.

I_medium This shirt is pretty bad ass.

I_medium The leading scorer in college basketball is a 5'9 guard from Central Michigan who's looking to be the first player in 20 years to average at least 30 ppg in a season.

I_medium Lamar Jackson is Athlon's Offensive Player of the Year.

I_medium looks at where Lamar needs to improve if he wants to become a franchise QB one day.

Jackson has completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes in both of his seasons at Louisville. To be considered a high-level passer, he needs to be completing at least 60-65 percent of his passes in a challenging offense where he's asked to push the ball down the field.

I think he's a better playmaker than quarterback at this point in his career. He's streaky when it comes to his passing ability, but he delivers plenty of "wow" plays. His big challenge is to become a more complete passer so that he can use all areas of the field in an efficient manner.

Pocket poise
He has to be able to understand how defenses are attacking him and use different options within passing concepts to defeat the defense. For instance, when teams are electing to blitz, does he have the ability to find a hot receiver? Does he have the ability to make checks at the line of scrimmage? Can he counter what the defense is doing with his knowledge and awareness within their system?

Scouts want to see experienced quarterbacks have ownership of the offense. They'll be watching to see if the coaching staff entrusts Jackson to make sure Louisville is always in the best play possible. He needs to own and master that offense to the point where scouts see him as a field general.

I_medium The graduate transfer rule is resulting in more college basketball players getting degrees than ever before. So why in the world do people keep referring to it as an epidemic?

I_medium Big fan of this.

I_medium Chicago gun violence is having a major impact on many of the lives of the city's top basketball recruits.

I_medium Southern Pigskin says the Citrus Bowl has the most fascinating matchup of all the bowls.

1. LSU v. Louisville: For those that question how well Lamar Jackson projects at the next level, this is a can't-miss football game. The Heisman Trophy winner will have his hands full, lining up across from about the closest non-Alabama thing you can get to a NFL defense, within the collegiate ranks. Plus, this may be the last opportunity to watch Leonard Fournette suit up for the Tigers, although it's yet to be confirmed that he will, in fact, play in the Citrus Bowl.

I_medium Future Louisville point guard Darius Perry can get up a little bit.

I_medium Lamar rules again.

I_medium ESPN's ACC experts discuss what will be the biggest topics for the league in 2017. Lamar Jackson is one of them.

I_medium Bob Huggins had a lot to get off his chest earlier this week about the AAU culture.

I_medium Still pretty surreal.

I_medium Eric Crawford writes about Lamar Jackson's mother.

I_medium A Lamar Heisman tree ornament? Yep.

I_medium Love that Angel includes a Jeff Walz quote in a video of her buzzer-beater for the Atlanta Dream.

I_medium Dan McHale and EKU are gearing up for their trip to the Yum Center this weekend.

I_medium CBS' Matt Norlander says that Louisville currently has the sixth-best NCAA Tournament resume in college basketball.

I_medium And finally, 36 current or former U of L student athletes will participate in the school's fall graduation ceremonies on Thursday. Congratulations to them.