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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Sea Island, Georgia is the latest locale to be checked off on the Card Chronicle 2016 Summer Tour. They never knew what hit them.

I_medium The Louisville baseball team was one of just 29 NCAA Division I institutions to be selected for the 2015-16 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. U of L was among three ACC schools receiving the honor joining Duke and Georgia Tech.

I_medium Cardinal wide receiver Jaylen Smith plans to dedicate his sophomore season to the three high school teammates he's lost since graduation. He's changing his number this season from No. 87 to No. 9 to honor his friend Keith Joseph Jr., a Mississippi State player who was killed in a car crash last November, and hopes to improve on a solid freshman campaign.

"I want to have a better year as far as stats. I didn't have bad stats, but we're going to be throwing a lot more this year. I have an opportunity to better my stats and performance."

Smith is confident that quarterback Lamar Jackson, a fellow sophomore, will help the Cardinals improve on last year's average of 28.69 points a game.

"Me and Lamar, we've been clicking these past couple of weeks while throwing routes," Smith said. "We've been doing little stuff, getting better timing. Him as a quarterback, he's gotten a lot better as far as making reads. That's one of those things last year he wanted to work on. He can throw the ball into the tightest space possible.

"Our goal this year is to win the ACC, but you can't ignore the fact that we've got two powerhouses on the schedule in Clemson and Florida State."

I_medium Remember that ridiculously unsatisfying end to last year's season-opener against Auburn? Apparently it has sparked what should have been an obvious rule change.

I_medium Lamar Jackson doing The Carlton? Of course.

I_medium Duke coach David Cutcliffe said that U of L has "become a football power" yesterday at the ACC Kickoff.

I_medium Two Cardinal golfers have earned All-America Scholar accolades.

I_medium James Burgess' one-handed interception of DeShaun Watson was one of the top six ACC defensive plays of 2015.

I_medium The ACC Digital Network says Todd Grantham is one of the league's best "vice-presidents."

I_medium George Washington's basketball coach seems insane, and it's making lots of players transfer.

I_medium Tim Miles' shoe game seems to be superior to his coach game.

I_medium John Swofford's longtime work to solidify the ACC is finally paying off.

I_medium Jason Anderson had a really good interview with Trent Green earlier this week, who shed some light on what to expect from Teddy Bridgewater this season.

I_medium Shockers .... you have been Summer Chron'd (TM).

I_medium Randolph Childress' son is looking to make his own name at Wake Forest. Unless he makes an opposing defender fall down in the ACC championship game and then motions for him to stand up while making a three, that's going to be difficult.

I_medium Cool fact to come out of the ACC kickoff: Louisville, Florida State and Clemson are the only three teams in the conference to have a winning record in league play each of the last two seasons.

I_medium Meanwhile, Mark Stoops just can't catch a break.

I_medium Louisville is in the top 10 for the No. 1 tight end in the 2018 class.

I_medium If you missed it yesterday, here's John Swofford's opening address at the ACC Kickoff.

I_medium The Summer Tour never stops.

I_medium Awful news from Stillwater, where an Oklahoma State basketball player who'd only been on campus for a few weeks collapsed and died during workouts yesterday.

I_medium CBS says Pitt, and not Louisville, is the darkhorse candidate to win the ACC.

2. Pitt: If you're looking for a dark horse in the ACC, you have to look in the Coastal. No offense to Louisville or anything, but in the Atlantic it's Clemson, Florida State or bust. Things aren't as crystal clear in the Coastal, where North Carolina put together a dark horse season last year.

The reasons I'm going with Pitt are rather simple. I've long been a fan of Pat Narduzzi since his days putting together fantastic defenses at Michigan State, and I know that in his second year at the helm of the Panthers, this defense is going to take a significant step forward. That's going to keep Pitt in every game.

On offense, the Panthers have Nathan Peterman, who is a senior in 2016, and is coming off a junior season in which he played rather well, even if he didn't get much attention. Qadree Ollison did a fantastic job of stepping in for James Conner last year, and he's back as well. If the Panthers can find somebody to replace Tyler Boydin the passing game, this is a team that could easily win the Coastal.

Then, you know, it just has to beat Clemson or Florida State, but nobody said it's easy.


I_medium Today's U has Louisville at No. 19 in its preseason top 25 countdown.

I_medium Remember the name, Cardinal basketball fans: Matthew Hurt.

I_medium And finally, if you haven't yet, please check out Rick Bozich's story on Marques Maybin. He's gone from a player I grew up idolizing to a co-worker and person that I idolize for completely different reasons.