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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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When a bad March comes around once every 10 years, you go to Thailand.

I_medium For the first time since 2011, Louisville fans will have a future Cardinal to watch in the McDonald's All-American Game. V.J. King will give us all a glimpse into the future tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN.

I_medium Speaking of burger boys who will be citizens of the Commonwealth in a very short period of time...

Isn't it so crazy how obsessed Louisville is with Kentucky and how little Kentucky fans, players, coaches, recruits care about the rivalry because of the superiority of the program that's so obvious to the rest of the world?

Gonna be another fun year.

I_medium Rick Pitino called Jeff Greer earlier this week and gave an insightful breakdown of his 2016-17 roster.

--Pitino put a similar challenge to freshman Donovan Mitchell, who enjoyed a strong first campaign but struggled in one-on-one situations. Pitino said the former five-star prospect is at 207 pounds and is working his way toward 195, which will make him quicker.

"If you asked me what our biggest weakness was, it was the ability to go one-on-one like Russ Smith or Terry Rozier, and to defend one-and-one," Pitino said. "That's what Donovan needs to work on, on both ends of the floor. Outside of that, he's improved his shot, his passing. He's a freak jumper. You know he has a great attitude."

--Another talented freshman on the wing, Deng Adel, has been tasked with finishing better, Pitino said. He has already made significant progress with the arc on his jump shot after coming to school with a line-drive shot.

"I think he's going to be very, very special," Pitino said. "He makes great moves. He does some outstanding things. He's got to learn to finish. He's the kind of guy who will make an incredible move and miss the shot inside. I think he has a legitimate shot at being a Francisco Garcia-type player, if not better."

I_medium Jeff Goodman went to the Bahamas to get a better understanding of Buddy Hield's backstory, and wrote a really good piece about it.

I_medium Take this for what it's worth (which is nothing), but PredictionMachine.com ranks every college basketball champion and has none of the three Louisville champs ranked in the top 30.

I_medium I will consume this outside before spring/summer 2016 comes to an end.

I'm usually not ready for this spring, but after the month of salt .... I plan on being heavily intoxicated from April 7 or so through Derby.

I_medium North Carolina-Syracuse is a nightmare matchup for the NCAA.

I_medium The 5th-ranked U of L lacrosse team will play their first ever night game at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium Wednesday night at 7 against Brown. The Cards boast an 11-1 record and are currently riding a four-game winning streak after defeating Virginia Tech 15-9 in ACC action on Saturday afternoon.

I_medium Donovan McNabb being a sideline reporter for the Syracuse "Team Stream" Final Four coverage is .... interesting, I guess.

I_medium This is why you hire an unproven Internet writer with zero coaching track record.

It's not too late to right this wrong, whatever the name of DePaul's AD is.

I_medium A Louisville judge heard arguments on Wednesday about whether or not to dismiss the first of the multiple lawsuits that have been thrown at Breaking Cardinal Rules "author" Katina Powell.

I_medium Hall of Fame jockey and local favorite Calvin Borel has announced his retirement from the sport. Horse racing will miss him.

I_medium Good basketball game. Great basketball game.

I_medium Former U of L signee Frankie Hughes is visiting Missouri next weekend.

I_medium The Sporting News looks at the best teams that didn't win the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 31 years. I disagree with their 2009 selection of Pitt.

I_medium Kentucky's new offensive coordinator makes the list of 10 that should be watched this season, while Lonnie Galloway does not get a nod.

I_medium Boner Jams 2016.

I_medium Some U of L women's basketball recruiting nuggets from Scout.

I_medium Montrezl Harrell's ref shove (and hair) remain very bad.

I_medium I actually think you nailed it.

I_medium Evan Daniels of Scout.com goes 1-on-1 with VJ King.

I_medium Cool promo video for the city of Louisville here.

I_medium The CCBM Month of Salt adventures continue.

I_medium The U of L men's golf team is headed to the Clemson Invitational this weekend.

I_medium The Detroit Lions are still looking at Sheldon Rankins, which both delights and terrifies me as a Lions fan.

I_medium The Louisville softball team will look to repeat the baseball team's effort against WKU tonight.

I_medium Spike Albrecht is leaving Michigan for one last season of college basketball somewhere.

I_medium Bruce Feldman is all in on Louisville football for 2016.

From @IwillreptheVill: What is your ceiling for University of Louisville this year? Expected leap for Lamar Jackson? NY6 possibilities?

I'm buying Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals. Big. Jackson looked terrific against a very athletic Texas A&M defense in the Music City Bowl, rushing for 226 yards and passing for 227. The 6-3 sophomore definitely needs more polish as a passer and a firmer grasp of defenses, but he's in good hands with Bobby Petrino. Jackson's emergence creates an interesting dynamic with QB Reggie Bonnafon, another remarkable athlete with a 43.5-inch vertical who will become an X-factor of sorts at WR/RB and some QB, I suspect.

The Cards have 18 starters back — €”more than anyone in the ACC and tied for most in the country. They have a lot of speed, especially on defense. They'll miss DL Sheldon Rankins, but there's plenty of talent remaining.

When I look at dark horses for teams that could make a surprising run at a Playoff spot, Louisville is one I'm looking closely at. We'll know just about everything about this team by Oct. 2. They get FSU in Louisville this year in mid-September and then visit Marshall before a big trip to Clemson on Oct. 1. Later in the year, they do have to play a talented Houston team which could also be in the Playoff spot mix.

Clemson does have to visit Ga. Tech the week before the Louisville game, however, and playing a Paul Johnson team is never fun the week before going up against a very fast opponent.

I_medium And finally, Steve Jones recaps U of L's open practice from Tuesday. If you weren't able to make it out, you have another chance this afternoon starting at 3:50.