clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

New, 47 comments

All Tripp Miller does is flash Ls. It's all he knows.

I_medium Louisville baseball will play its final home game of the 2016 regular season tonight at 6 p.m. again pseudo-rival Indiana. You can listen to all the action on 93.9 The Ville.

I_medium Rick Pitino has promoted video coordinator Michael Bowden to the director of basketball operations position formerly held by David Padgett.

I'm just going to go ahead and guess that the description of the ops position reads just a tad differently than it did, say, four years ago. This might be the first time in history that I haven't been jealous of Louisville basketball staff member who just received a promotion.

I_medium Sam Vecenie of CBS examines Chinanu Onuaku's combine performance and says it sounds like he's close to declaring that he plans to stay in the draft.

Chinanu Onuaku | C | Louisville (No. 39): Onuaku had a good combine performance, measuring well at 6-10 in shoes to pair with a near 7-3 wingspan. In the game settings, he also showed well, scoring in double figures in each outing and providing the type of defensive and rebounding presence that teams will be looking for from him if they are to select him. Onuaku said he'd "like to know" if he's a first round pick before declaring while in Chicago, but that basically stands for everyone in his position at this point. He'd have a solid chance of being selected there, but by no means would be a sure thing. He seemed to be genuinely pretty torn in regard to his decision at this stage at the combine, although his coach has a different view on the matter. On the radio on Monday, Louisville's Rick Pitino announced that Onuaku will undergo a minor heart procedure -- likely something that was uncovered during the NBA's extensive medical testing -- but that he is likely to stay in the draft at this point. This is something Pitino has done in the past in that he'll announce what players' intentions are before the player. Sometimes he's right (like in the case of Terry Rozierlast year), sometimes he's wrong (like in the case of Montrezl Harrell as a sophomore). Given the Pitino statement, I'd say this one is probably almost done in favor of him leaving, but I wouldn't discount the potential that something arises in the surgery and brings him back.

I_medium The NBA Draft lottery selection is tonight and it's still silly and important and kind of awesome.

I_medium Former U of L ace Chad Green made his Major League Debut last night when he got the start for the New York Yankees. It wasn't an ideal start to his life in the show.

I_medium In related news, the contract of former Card Zak Wasserman has been purchased by the Yankees.

I_medium U of L lacrosse's Kaylin Morissette, Cortnee Daley and Hannah Koloski were all named Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Association All-West/Midwest Region selections. Morissette and Daley earned first team honors while Koloski earned second team honors.

I_medium The AP focuses on Louisville baseball, which is playing its best at the perfect time.

The Cardinals (42-10, 19-8) have won 12 of their last 13, lead the ACC's Atlantic Division and are poised to break through the postseason frustration that has marked McDonnell's tenure.

Louisville ranks among the national leaders in batting (.323), scoring (7.7-run average), doubles (119) and steals (81). Outfielder Corey Ray, projected to be among the first 10 draft picks, is batting .320 with a team-leading 13 homers and 52 RBIs.

The pitchers have combined for a 2.72 ERA, .216 opponent batting average and 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Left-handers Brendan McKay (10-2, 2.02 ERA) and Drew Harrington (10-1, 1.80) are formidable Nos. 1 and 2 starters, and Kyle Funkhouser (7-3, 4.24) has been showing his old form after struggling early. Zack Burdi, with nine saves, continues to be one of the best closers in the game.

This past weekend's sweep of a top 10-ranked North Carolina State should lock up a national seeding for the NCAA Tournament. The eight national seeds are assured of home field through super regionals — a very good thing for a team that's 32-1 at Jim Patterson Stadium.

I_medium Louisville isn't playing in one of the marquee games this year, but college football's opening weekend is going to be loaded.

I_medium Former Michigan State basketball stars continue to have a very rough 2016.

I_medium This story of the North Carolina and NC State baseballs coaches discussing the latter's recent encounter with a copperhead snake is quite humorous.

I_medium Kirk Herbstreit spoke in Louisville Monday and raved about the growth of U of L's facilities.

The evolution of Louisville's athletic facilities -€” since the Cards played in that old minor league baseball stadium at the fairgrounds -€” has been one of the most impressive transformations by an athletic department anywhere, said Herbstreit, who's now a famed college football analyst for ESPN. When he comes in town each year for the Kentucky Derby, the relatively new facilities for football, baseball, softball, track and basketball always catch his eye while he's driving.

"I don't know if anybody has done more in the last 15 years than what Louisville has done as far as facilities," Herbstreit said. "When you're an 18-year-old (recruit) and you see these facilities, that is a big deal, and it shows a commitment, shows a direction, and obviously they're in a new conference. ... I think the momentum for this school is going in a direction where there's a lot of excitement."

Herbstreit said that in the early and mid-2000s, U of L  had some talented football teams with good quarterbacks and felt like "the little engine that could." He called the rain-drenched 2002 upset of Florida State a high point that helped advance the program.

"You go back to like 2005 to where we are now, and I would argue that Louisville has made as much of a jump in the last decade as anybody in the country," Herbstreit said. "A lot of that has to do with Tom (Jurich's) leadership, the people he's been able to hire around him, the facilities, the uniforms, just everything, being in the ACC. All this stuff to an 18-year-old matters. When your brand becomes cool to an 18-year-old, that's 90 percent of the battle."

I_medium Thanks to some college basketball stars and the "Running Man Challenge," Ghost Town DJs are doing more press today than they did in 1996.

I_medium The sign of a young offensive team coming of age in 2015 ....

Here's hoping that trend continues this fall.

I_medium February was the most profitable month ever for the KFC Yum Center.

I_medium Well, they have won as many World Series titles as the Cubs in the last century.

I_medium Jeff Goodman says (insider) that he thinks Nanu is headed to the NBA, and that it's the right move for him.

I_medium Syracuse is finally installing a new roof at the Carrier Dome, and it actually looks like it's going to be pretty cool.

I_medium ESPN says Florida State is an overrated playoff contender.

I_medium Amobi Okoye is headed to the CFL to continue his comeback effort.

I_medium This is awesome.

I_medium Louisville baseball remains No. 2 in the latest RPI rankings, and they have nine wins over the current RPI top 10.

I_medium Former U of L women's hooper Taja Cole is transferring to Georgia.

I_medium U of L baseball has landed a commitment from class of 2018 Trinity High School catcher Ben Metzinger.

I_medium Louisville baseball sits at No. 2 in the latest ACC power rankings from Tomahawk Nation.

I_medium Campus Insiders has two Louisville football games in the rankings of its top 10 ACC clashes for 2016.

5. North Carolina at Florida State, Oct. 1

Florida State has a rough run of three road games in four weeks, and it'll be coming off dates at Louisville and South Florida with Miami coming up -€” it's the perfect time for UNC to come up with something amazing. On the flip side, this is UNC's lone road game in a four week run.

4. Florida State at Louisville, Sept. 17

The Cardinals start out the ACC football season at Syracuse, but this is it. This is the moment when they get a real shot at Florida State and a true chance at making a statement in the Atlantic race. If the Seminoles are back to their national title-level form of a few years ago, this is an opportunity they'll feast on.

3. Florida State at Miami, Oct. 8

Mark Richt will have several big moments throughout his first season with the Hurricanes, but if everything breaks the right way, this could be the preview of the ACC championship. If Miami get beat Georgia Tech on the road the week before, it'll be 4-0 and the hype will be rolling. 

Florida State will be finishing up a run of three road games in four weeks with games against Ole Miss, Louisville and North Carolina already under its belt.

2. Louisville at Clemson, Oct. 1

Clemson will have had time to prepare with the road game against Georgia Tech on the Thursday before -€” it'll have an extra few days -€” but will it be enough to handle the veteran and explosive Cardinals? Louisville, though, will be closing out a run of three road games in four weeks with the home date against Florida State in the midst of it all. If it's somehow 5-0 on October 2nd, it'll be national title talk time.

1. Clemson at Florida State, Oct. 29

Louisville is going to have its say. The Cardinals are loaded, talented, and good enough to beat both the Tigers and/or the Seminoles. 

But if that doesn't happen, and Florida State gets through a brutal first half of the season unscathed, and Clemson doesn't blow it against Auburn or Georgia Tech on the road, this will be for more than, effectively, the ACC championship. 

Both teams will have two weeks off to prepare, giving the game time to build up the momentum -€” again, if everything goes the right way.

I_medium And finally, it's Twitter Tuesday on R&R this afternoon from 3-6. Listen to all the ridiculousness right here.