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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The only thing better than getting your picture taken with Quentin Snider is holding that picture while posing for another picture years later.

—Congrats to the U of L men’s basketball team for putting together a collective 3.083 grade-point average for the 2017 fall semester. Nine of the 14 players produced a GPA of 3.0 or better.

—The U of L women’s basketball team enjoyed practice and a tour of the U.S. Olympic Center today in Colorado Springs.

—Louisville athletes say happy holidays.

—USA Today ranks Jaire Alexander as the No. 1 cornerback for the 2018 NFL Draft.

—SB Nation’s Bill Connelly picks the winner of every bowl game and likes Louisville in a tight one over Mississippi State.

—I am pro these cleats.

—U of L recaps the 2017 men’s soccer season, which ended with the Cardinals ranked No. 7 in the country.

—Joe Boozell serves up 11 stats from college basketball’s opening month that will make you look twice.

—Trinity star wide receiver Rondale Moore has decommitted from Texas and will announce his new college choice during the U.S. Army All-American Game.

The smart money is now on Moore playing for Jeff Brohm at Purdue.

—Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs is going to make $564,000 per year in retirement, which is great work if you can get it.

—U of L tight end commit Nigel Kilby is a first team JuCo All-American.

—The Bellarmine Knights extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 49 games last night by slamming Patrick Beilein and Le Moyne as John Beilein watched helplessly from the stands.

—Jeff Greer lays out seven things we’ve learned about this Louisville basketball team.

5. Louisville struggles with defensive rebounding: As good as Louisville's field-goal defense and shot blocking have been, the defensive rebounding rate is down. Opponents are getting almost a third of the available offensive rebounds, which resulted in a lot of second-chance points. With some very good offensive rebounding teams (Duke, Kentucky, Syracuse, etc.) coming up on the schedule, Louisville needs to improve. Padgett acknowledged that multiple times over the past two months, stressing the need for wings and guards to help.

6. Spalding is a stat stuffer: It's hard to find another Louisville player in recent years who put together a stat line like the 6-10 Trinity High grad. Spalding impressed Rick Pitino as a freshman and sophomore with his ability to disrupt on defense. He is a deflections fiend, and he averaged 10.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.7 steals through 10 games. He ranks among the nation's best defensive and offensive rebounders, percentage-wise. And it somehow feels like Spalding has another level to reach.

—The C-J tells you everything you need to know about the early signing class Louisville football is expected to ink tomorrow.

—Nik Bonitto hasn’t signed yet but he already gets it.

—Rick Pitino’s old home in Louisville sold for $1.9 million to a Yum executive.

—Louisville recruits outside of its home state more than just about any other major program in America.

—This is how you fly.

—Indiana followed up Archie Miller’s first signature win over Notre Dame by ... losing at home to Fort Wayne by 20. The Hoosiers have issues.

—I enjoyed this. Maybe you will too. Maybe not. Whatever.

—South Carolina is the latest program that we know was subpoena’d by the Feds in September as part of their probe into college basketball.

—A very official ranking of holiday party foods.

—This Fort Wayne News-Sentinel column on Caleb Swanigan is, well, it’s bad.

Many of the 18,680 fans in attendance at the Crossroads Classic had to have been thinking the same thing as me: How great is this Purdue team?

But in addition to that thought, I was also curious as to just how special would Purdue be if it actually had its best player from last season still in uniform?

Last spring, Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan chose to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft as opposed to returning and being THE key piece in what looks like COULD be the Boilers’ first Final Four team in nearly 40 years.

Was it worth it? That is for Swanigan to decide. However, you do have to wonder (as I did) what is going through his mind – truthfully, not what he would say publicly – as he watches Purdue chase history and he rarely gets out of his warm-ups while sitting at the end of the bench for the Portland Trailblazers.

First, Purdue is a very solid team, but this is treating the Boilermakers like they’re the 1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. Second, Caleb Swanigan spent a chunk of his childhood homeless and living in a shelter. This year he’s making $1.5 million to “rarely get out of his warm-up.” I’m pretty sure he’s ok with that choice.

I get the “you can’t put a price on the college experience” argument, but there’s certainly a limit.

—The Crunch Zone has a preview of tomorrow’s early signing day for Louisville.

—Quentin Snider has turned an early slump into a recent hot streak.

"He's making shots, which gives him a big confidence boost," said fellow captain Anas Mahmoud, also a senior. "That's all there is. The first couple games, he wasn't making shots, and that's why he was hesitating to take shots when he was open, which hurt us. But now he's getting back to his old self."

That Snider is comfortable and confident again is promising for Louisville. Over the course of his three-plus seasons with the Cards, he shot 10 percentage points better in wins (41.4 percent) than losses (31.2). What's more, his December shooting percentage (44.1) is more than 11 points better than November (32.8).

Snider is the engine that makes Louisville go, his teammates say. When he is playing well, Louisville plays well. And there's no doubt he plays better in all facets when his shot consistently falls — it stretches defenses and gives defenders more to consider, and it opens the floor for his teammates.

"He's leading," junior wing Deng Adel said. "He's facilitating, which leads to a lot of open shots. ... He's just being aggressive."

—A thorough look at tonight’s college hoops slate.

—If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift, out friends over at Beaux Tied are offering Card Chronicle readers 25 percent off from today through Thursday with guaranteed delivery by Christmas.

Just use the promo code “cardchronicle2017” when checking out to get the 25% off.

—And finally, we’re on the air from 3-6 today talking Louisville sports and why every animated Christmas special made after 1994 has been awful. Listen here.