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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Janak clearly has some concerns about the Louisville basketball team, but he’s still enjoying the ride.

—Spread check (TaxSlayer Bowl): Louisville by 6.5.

—Bleacher Report’s David Gardner writes about Donovan Mitchell, how he almost came back to college, and how he’s going to be a force in the NBA for a long time.

Before he arrived in California for his predraft training, he had been told he was a lottery long shot. He was a likely first-rounder, but his projections ranged from mid-20s to the second round. Coaching him in California was Don MacLean, a former first-round pick and the all-time leading scorer at UCLA and in the Pac-12. And competing against him were Duke's Luke Kennard, Oregon's Jordan Bell and Wake Forest's John Collins.

A few days in, MacLean asked Mitchell if he was still considering going back to school. Mitchell said he was. MacLean eyed him skeptically. "That's absurd," he said.

After a week, Mitchell admitted to himself that he'd prefer to go pro, but he still needed proof he could do it. During the second week, Paul George, Chris Paul and Julius Randle dropped in to run scrimmages with them. Like many players, Mitchell is more likely to remember his misses than his makes, but he felt like he hardly missed a shot against NBA stars. Paul pulled Mitchell aside at the end of the day and told him it was time to go pro.

"Sometimes you can just see it in a person," Paul says. "You can see how much he loves the game. He's going to be good for a long time."

When Mitchell called his mother later that night to tell her the news, she said: "Finally."

—Louisville is bad at defensive rebounding. This much has been established.


Has Outside the Lines done a story that hasn’t involved Louisville since 2015? The two entities are more entangled than E! and the Kardashians.

—Jeff Greer has some takeaways from the Louisville-Albany game.

—247 Sports looks at the players who signed with ACC schools on the first day of the early signing period, and points to a U of L signee as the conference’s top sleeper recruit.

SLEEPER RECRUITJared Goldwire’s long road from Western Washington is taking him to Louisville. Having watched Goldwire since he was a freshman in high school, first at Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes, where he was a member of the Scout 2016 Watch List, then to Seattle (Wash.) O’Dea before finally settling at Kent (Wash.) Kentwood, he never lived up to the early attention. After signing with UTEP out of high school, he instead went the JUCO route and blossomed into one of the top JUCO defensive lineman nationally. When he wants to be, he can be as good as any player. He has the size, athleticism and skill set. Peter Sirmon and Cort Dennison, who coached at Washington and Cort Dennison, who played at Washington, were well aware of Goldwire. Playing at Fort Scott CC has been huge for his development and Bobby Petrino has a player that is finally realizing that potential.

—Forty Louisville football players were named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll for achieving at least a 3.0 grade-point average during the fall semester. Two players posted 4.0 GPAs in the fall.

—I only play on senior night at UCLA. I’m just happy to be on the team though. I enjoy the weather.

—If you’re still feeling bad about Louisville’s close call with Albany last night, remember that Wofford beat North Carolina at home. The Terriers had previously never beaten a top 25 opponent.

—I think Chris nailed this.

—Welcome to the world, Harper. You’re a Gotham Classic champion.

—Members of the U of L football team handed out 100 new bikes to students in west Louisville today. Lamar Jackson also showcased off proper helmet safety.

—Free pub for Shively Sporting Goods.

—Via Kelly Dickey, Darius Perry set a new U of L record last night for consecutive made free-throws to begin a Cardinal career. His 21st in a row last night broke the previous record held by Will Scott. We won’t talk about the 22nd.

—Emily and Paul: Both champions of Gotham.

—The C-J continues to run the most passive aggressive cyber bullying account on Twitter.

Although this is a perfect mocking response picture.

—Here’s the U of L recap of last night’s win.

—Jaire would prefer it if opposing quarterbacks did not throw to the other side of the field.

—The Colorado Springs Gazette recaps the U of L women’s team’s tougher than it should have been win over Air Force yesterday.

—Happy birthday, basketball.

—A critical analysis of Bob Dylan’s 2017 Christmas lights.

—CBS lists the top 10 NBA Draft risers.

—This made me happy.

—Louisville Business First lays out its favorite news photos from 2017.

—U of L had a successful first day of the early signing period. So what’s next?

—This is like a real life editorial cartoon.

—Happy Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl day. Here’s the story behind the name.

—And finally, R&R is back in our usual time slot from 3-6 this afternoon. We’ll talk about last night’s game and dive deeper into the class that Louisville football has put together. You can listen here.