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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Vivian Tronzo has had enough of 2017.

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—Spread check: Louisville by 21.5.

—David Padgett visited former U of L commit Courtney Ramey and his father in St. Louis Tuesday night. Anfernee Simons says he has heard from 27 schools since his decommitment from Louisville, but would listen to Padgett if he wanted to talk.

—Padgett will announce an addition to the Louisville basketball staff today at 2 p.m. Former Stanford/TCU head coach Trent Johnson has been the word and he has reportedly been spotted on campus today. More to come following the announcement.

—Former Louisville commits/recruits comment about the state of the Cardinal program in the wake of the FBI investigation.

"As soon as I found out that Coach P got fired, that was really it," Simons said at the USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, over the weekend. "He's the one I trusted. I trust all the coaches, but he's the one that made me go there. He had a vision for me, and I trusted him with that vision. When he got fired, that was it."

Assistant coaches Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair were also placed on paid administrative leave on Friday, with David Padgett taking over as the interim head coach last month.

"I was going to take my time and see what happened with Coach P," Simons said. "If he didn't get fired and nothing happened, I was going to stay with it."

The scandal and subsequent firing has also ended Louisville's chances with their top two remaining targets in 2018: five-stars Romeo Langford (No. 5) and Moses Brown (No. 17).

Langford dropped the Cardinals from his list the night Pitino was fired.

"It was a family decision," Langford said. "My dad and my mom, we just sat down and talked, and we felt like, we don't want to be part of anything like that. So we made a decision just to cut them off the list."

Brown also told ESPN on Saturday that Louisville was no longer on his list.

"I didn't want to be associated with anything negative," Brown said. "I really don't need that right now."


"If their punishment affects me playing there, that'll obviously change my decision," said David Johnson, the 2019 Louisville native who decommitted from the Cardinals.

—Mel Kiper has Lamar Jackson as the No. 4 QB on his big board (subscription).

—The U.S. isn’t going to the World Cup for the first time since 1986 because sports are dumb and nothing good ever comes from them.

—Donovan Mitchell’s 26 points and clutch play late lifted Utah to a win over the Lakers in their preseason finale.

—I have heard the phrase “tip of the iceberg” more times in the last two weeks than in my previous 30 years.

Two people involved in the case, who spoke on the condition they not be identified because of the ongoing legal proceedings, said they expect more college coaches and others involved with grassroots basketball programs to be charged later this month.

“This is the tip of the iceberg,” one of them said.

One former high-major college coach who retains deep connections in the business said he believes the case will lead to 40 to 50 job openings for head and assistant coaches by the spring.

Already, some coaches at schools not linked to the first round of charges have retained attorneys. A sense of unease permeates the sport during a time usually filled with optimism because the season opens next month.

Five of the men charged — Bland, Arizona’s Book Richardson, Auburn’s Chuck Person, Adidas employee Merl Code and clothing manufacturer Rashan Michel — made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in New York on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans, the fourth coach charged, is scheduled to appear on Thursday.

Give me “head of the pimple,” “eye of the mole,” something, anything else.

—The days of reckoning for college athletics have begun.

—The crew at CBS Sports Net spared no expense last night.

Matz is so good that he’s starting for two teams this season.

—The college hoops staff over at NBC Sports makes some preseason predictions.

—For all those in the ACC saying that Louisville has done more bad than good for the conference, NC State is negotiating a contract extension with Dave Doeren. You’re welcome.

—Wake Up College Football hands out midseason awards.

—Their contracts would allow U of L assistants Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair to be formally fired at next Monday’s ULAA meeting, which is what I expect will happen.

—CBS ranks the nine best point guards in college basketball.

—This is the best thing you’ll see today:

—Brad Stevens offers some praise for Terry Rozier’s growth as a defender.

—Louisville baseball’s Pizza Bowl kicks off Wednesday afternoon.

—Asia Durr has been named a College Sports Madness preseason All-American.

—I haven’t received any U of L pumpkin submissions yet this month, so I’m hitting you with this because I think it’s funny.

—ACC Basketball report says the problem with college basketball is the NCAA.

100 Things Louisville Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die is 31 percent off today on Amazon.

—Love everyone busting out their old David Padgett memorabilia.

—Good story on former Cardinal center Tobijah Hughley, who has joined John L. Smith’s coaching staff at Kentucky State.

Hughley’s door to coaching didn’t open until another door was closed.

“I didn’t get signed an NFL contract. You know, I went to rookie mini-camp with the New York Giants. Had a good time there, good practices there, but unfortunately it didn’t go my way, so I wanted to be connected with game and through that aspect I wanted to coach,” Hughley said.

The former Card was able to fill a void on the Thorobreds’ staff

“We needed someone to spend time with the tight ends, you know? So, he’s taken over our tight ends and our H-backs,” Coach Smith explained. “Playing in the offensive line- that’s not a stranger to him. He’s well aware of, you know, blocking techniques and the things that they have to do so he’s given them- and each position group, you know, they want a father and our offensive tight ends have not really had a father, they’ve kind of been step children, but now they have a father and it’s big for them. They love it.”

The advice Coach John L. Smith gave Coach Hughley was simple.

“Take the guys under your wing, kick them in the tail, love them after you kick them, but the biggest thing is- I try to make sure that all the young coaches that have been with me is don’t think you have to coach like we do. Okay? Be yourself.”

—As he tends to do, Eric Crawford has written the most thorough and well thought-out piece on the complicated situation with Tom Jurich that’s out there.

—Cardinal RB Dae Williams is healthy and anxious to get back on the field.

—NBC says Louisville, Villanova and West Virginia are all flawed Final Four contenders.

1. Who get better? After a freshman season that went to ruin because of injury, Deng Adel quietly had a good sophomore year that was particularly impressive down the stretch of the season. Will he take another step forward this year? Will V.J. King, a former five-star prospect that Rick Pitino has said is in line for a Mitchell-esque jump as a sophomore this season? What about Ray Spalding and Anas Mahmoud? Both front court players have NBA measureables and unique skillsets, but neither have been able to put together consistent performances.

2. Just how good are the freshmen? The star of this class was Brian Bowen, a five-star recruit that fell into Pitino’s lap after stars at Arizona and Michigan State opted not to enter the NBA Draft. But he will likely end up ineligible as fallout from the FBI complaints last month. The next name to know, then, is Malik Williams, who was something of a late-bloomer and, like Spalding and Mahmoud, has some intriguing longterm potential. Jordan Nwora is a floor-spacing forward and Lance Thomas is another big body up front, but the most interesting guy here may be Darius Perry because …

3.… point guard is still a problem position. Quentin Snider has had moments of brilliance for the Cardinals. He was sensational in last year’s win over Kentucky and, after returning from injury, was really good for U of L down the stretch of last season. But he also put together a disastrous performance in the upset loss against Michigan in the second round of the Big Dance and, frankly, he’s not exactly what you think of when you think of a Rick Pitino point guard. Perry, however, is. He’s quick, he’s athletic, he’s a pest defensively and he’s aggressive going towards the rim. It will be good for Louisville if Perry pushes Snider for playing time, even if Snider remains the starter.

—Seedy K’s weekend picks are here.

—Your 5th-ranked U of L men’s soccer team destroyed FAU 5-0 last night. Mo Thiaw finished with a hat trick. The Cards are once again right in the thick of the national championship race as we enter the heart of fall.

—Big Mouth on Netflix is hilarious. We all need to laugh more.

—I watched this too many times.

—Ricky O’Donnell spent last weekend with the future of USA Basketball.

—The folks over at BC Interruption are already done with Steve Addazio. It doesn’t sound like an upset of Louisville would change that.

—And finally, R&R is live from the Sports & Social Club from 3-6 today. We will discuss dumb things and I will remain angry about everything. Tune in.