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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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This is how Easton arrives at school every morning because he knows he has to set the proper vibe right from the get-go.

—Spread check (football): Louisville by 13.5.

—In 2012, we wrote about 9-year-old Blake, who was born with a serious heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) with Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE). Blake was a massive U of L fan whose spirits were lifted enormously when he got to go to a Cardinal basketball game and hang out with the team afterward.

Despite always fighting valiantly, Blake passed away last week at the far, far too young age of 14 due to complications after undergoing a heart transplant. The family is now facing massive medical bills and funeral expenses, and so a Go Fund Me page has been set up to try and help them out. It also includes an anecdote about how Blake’s only fear when he was preparing for the transplant was that he’d get one from Lexington and wake up a UK fan.

Also relevant: The “Heart of a Lion 5K” in Blake’s honor will go on as planned on Nov. 24. If you’d like to participate, here’s how you can do so.

Our thoughts are with Blake’s friends and his family.

—Lorenzo Mauldin also expressed his feelings earlier today.

—A major congratulations to Louisville City FC, which made Louisville the pro sports capital of the world (I stand by it) with a 1-0 win in last night’s USL Cup.

Advanced statistic: Lou City has never not won the USL Cup in a season where they’ve invited me to do the pregame coin flip. Not saying I’m a hero or anything. Just happy to do my part for the city.

—David Padgett sat down with the C-J’s Jeff Greer for a candid conversation.

JG: How do you, as a staff, and especially you as a head coach, talk to the younger guys about, 'Hey, stick with it here. We don't know what's going to happen' — basically preventing a mass exodus (of transfers) after this season?

DP: It's not set in stone that all the sudden, once the season is over, the (NCAA's) death penalty will be assessed or anything like that. We have no clue how this thing is going to play out, so why should we spend time worrying about it?

... Obviously (seniors Quentin Snider and Anas Mahmoud) aren't going to be worried about the future of Louisville basketball because they won't be here, but it affects all the other guys. I just said, 'Look, we have no idea what's going to happen, so let's just focus on this year. If things go well, then hopefully the future will be good moving forward. But there are so many variables. It's not only the coaching situation, but it's also what ramifications does the NCAA segment have, if any? You just don't know. All that stuff will work itself out. But in the interim, we just have to focus on this season. If you take care of the present, then the future will take care of itself.

—The U of L women are back in action tonight against Toledo in the second round of the WNIT. Here’s a preview.

—If Lamar Jackson isn’t a Heisman finalist then it’s going to be really dumb because he’s been even better in 2017 than he was a year ago.

He has lower interception, fumble, and sack rates and a higher completion rate, and he’s once again going to rush for more than 1,600 yards.

In the offseason, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino made a point of making Jackson more of a pro-style quarterback, whatever that means. We were all a hair worried that it would neuter the electric quarterback. It hasn’t. Jackson has sacrificed a little bit of rushing and gotten definitively better through the air.

Again, he’s doing this on a team with a new receiving corps and, because of the horrid defense, a lot more scoring deficits.

The guy won the Heisman and then improved.

And we’ve nearly forgotten all about him. That’s a damn shame, considering we might only get to watch him three more times in a Louisville uniform.

You know, Week 12’s slate is pretty light, and Louisville hosts Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. How about we set aside some time to watch a guy who is maybe only the second-best player in college football this year? Might be worth your time.

—Minnesota took down Providence last night in front of a hostile crowd at The Dunk that chanted “Who’s Your Daddy” at Richard Pitino despite the fact that, you know, Richard’s dad took Providence to the 1987 Final Four.

The younger Pitino was pretty fired up afterward.

The Gophers are legit.

—In other college hoops news, the Champions Classic is tonight and it’s going to be pretty awesome and I hope Kentucky loses.

—Three-star JUCO defensive tackle Antar Thompson has decommitted from Louisville.

Not sure that’s the type of announcement that should end with a “go Cards” and two exclamation points, but hey that’s just me.

—In (perhaps) related news, elite JUCO defensive tackle Charles Cameron is expected to visit U of L this weekend.

—The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed former U of L long snapper Colin Holba to their active roster.

—Mike Balado notched his first career win as a head coach last night for Arkansas State.

—I talked with Sports Radio PD about the madness of the last few months and how the timing of everything impacted our return to radio.

—Deng Adel is one of 50 players on the initial Wooden Award watch list.

—Grayson Allen wrote about his experience at Duke for The Player’s Tribune.

—Lancaster is forever the man.

—The Louisville Cardinal says that the U of L men’s basketball team’s toughness starts with Quentin Snider.

—A look at the rest of the week ahead for Cardinal athletics.

—”Fake Nunes” takes a look at Louisville-Syracuse.

—Two more Auburn staffers have left the basketball program and Bruce Pearl is still refusing to cooperate with the school’s internal investigation.

—Gobbler Country (Virginia Tech) has Louisville at No. 4 in the Atlantic in its ACC power rankings.

4. Louisville Cardinals: I seriously doubt the Cardinals thought they would be playing for a bowl this deep into the season, but they earned it with a 38-21 win over UVA. Lamar Jacksondetonated for 195 yards in the air, 147 yards on the ground, and four total TDs. This weekend they face Syracuse in what will likely be quite the offensive shootout.

—As you might expect after her record-setting 47-point performance, Asia Durr was named the ACC Player of the Week.

—And finally, R&R is back this afternoon talking Lou City, potential bowl landing spots for Cardinal football, and some other ridiculous stuff. Mayor Greg Fisher will join the show at 4:30. Listen here.