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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Our guy Twanee is letting Iceland know all about Devin Hairston and how we really feel about Wolf "The Dentist" Stannson.

I_medium After being the only team ranked in the top 10 to produce an undefeated week, Louisville baseball remains at No. 2 in this week's Baseball America and top 25 polls.

The Cards take on Kentucky Tuesday night in Lexington.

I_medium The national love is continuing to build for Brendan McKay.

I_medium If there was a breakout star at Saturday's spring game, it was Dez Fitzpatrick. The ACC Digital Network pieced together his biggest highlights from the afternoon.

I_medium Richard Pitino earns one of the coaching efficiency awards handed out by Sports Illustrated.

Biggest One-Year Turnaround, Non-Debut Coach: Richard Pitino, Minnesota

To set himself up for this, Pitino had to endure a miserable 2015-€”16, when the Gophers went 8-€”23 and finished 192nd in efficiency. Externally, little was expected of Minnesota this season—SI had the Gophers 97th in its preseason projections—and thus their run to a No. 5 seed in the NCAAs and a No. 37 kenpom ranking was a major surprise. Pitino's 155-spot jump in the adjusted efficiency rankings, as well as his 18.7 P/100P improvement in efficiency margin, were the best of any D-I coach.

I_medium Kelsi Worrell won the 200-Meter butterfly at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Ariz. over the weekend.

I_medium Former U of L recruit turned South Carolina star P.J. Dozier is done with college basketball.

I_medium U of L mic'd up a number of the former players who attended Saturday's Spring Game. These were the results:

I_medium This site keeps track of NFL Draft prospects meetings with teams. Here's what they got for the draft-eligible crop of Cardinals at the moment:

Devonte Fields: Bengals (WOR)
Cole Hikutini: Lions (COM)
Colin Holba: Bears (SR) Browns (SR) Titans (SR)
Tobijah Hughley: Rams (EW)
Keith Kelsey: Falcons (LOC)
Jamari Staples: Panthers (SR) Bears (SR) Broncos (SR) Rams (SR)

I_medium Jordan Nwora scored 19 points in 18 minutes at the Jordan Brand Classic regional game.

I_medium *Giggles uncontrollably*

I_medium If we're all being honest here, I think we can agree that spring games, for the most part, kinda suck. There is one exception, however: The 1996 Rutgers spring game, in which the current crop of Scarlet Knights played a bunch of old alumni and lost.

I_medium Waggener High School hoops standout DeVon Cooper has committed to Morehead State.

I_medium The results of this poll are a bit difficult to understand.

Are South Carolina fans really like, "nah, we're good." I don't believe that.

I_medium Oregon junior Jordan Bell will join teammates Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks by declaring for the draft and signing with an agent.

I_medium Kentucky's cheerleaders used to dress like the Guilty Remnant from "The Leftovers."

The Leftovers is so good, you guys.

I_medium Local news apparently wasn't allowed to capture video from Saturday's spring game, so WLKY got creative.

I_medium Updated 2017 college football national championship odds from Las Vegas Super Book:

Alabama 7/2
FSU 7/1
Ohio St 7/1
USC 7/1
OU 10/1
Mich 12/1
Louisville 15/1
LSU 15/1

I_medium Texas Tech transfer Breiden Fehoko, who had been pursued by Louisville, will transfer to LSU.

I_medium New highlights of 2018 hoops commit Anfernee Simons are here:

I_medium Sports Illustrated has an oral history of the basketball scene from The Wire.

I_medium Miles Bridges coming back to Michigan State is obviously a great thing for the Spartans, but it's a good thing for all of college basketball too.

I_medium Close enough.

I_medium Rod Carew being alive because of an organ donation from former NFL tight end Konrad Reuland is a cool story.

I_medium The Courier-Journal's All-State basketball team is here.

I_medium The Louisville lacrosse team fell to No. 15 Virginia over the weekend.

I_medium Sports on Earth says Louisville football finds itself in a weird place heading into the 2017 season.

Jackson is the 15th Heisman winner to return the season after winning the award. Of the 14 who have done it before him, 10 have finished in the top six of the Heisman vote again (Archie Griffin is the only one to repeat) and four ended up out of the running altogether. Meanwhile, 13 of the 14 returning winners were on teams that were in the top 10 of the first AP poll the next season (preseason polls began in 1950), according to Sports Reference. The only Heisman winner to start the next season outside the top 10 was BYU's Ty Detmer, whose Cougars opened ranked No. 19 in 1991 and finished 8-3-2. While only three returning Heisman winners (Matt Leinart, Mark Ingram and Jameis Winston) have been on a team ranked as the preseason No. 1, it's not surprising that nearly all have had high expectations.


This chart shows Heisman winners who returned the next season, their finish in the next Heisman vote, their teams' preseason AP rankings and their teams' final AP rankings

Louisville will surely end up on the lower end of those teams, perhaps joining BYU as the only ones with the returning Heisman winner to start outside the top 10. Sports on Earth's early 2017 rankings in January placed Louisville No. 11. An SB Nation composite ranking of various outlets' January rankings had the Cardinals 16th. SportsBook's national championship odds place Louisville tied for eighth, and the Cardinals are not included in Phil Steele's typically accurate projection of what the AP preseason top 10 will look like.

Thus, the Cardinals enter their spring scrimmage on Saturday in a somewhat unusual position. This will be the first public glimpse of the 2017 version of the team that dazzled us as a playoff contender for much of last season, only for it to fall flat on its face at the end of the season. While a presumed top-20 preseason ranking means that Louisville will have some of the highest expectations in school history -- it has appeared in the preseason AP poll only seven times, never higher than No. 9 -- it is unlikely to be viewed as the national championship contender that most teams with reigning Heisman winners are.

I_medium The San Antonio Spurs have passed the Louisville Cardinals as the ultimate sports villains in the city of Memphis.

I_medium Northern Illinois has already offered Kyle Bolin a scholarship.

I_medium And finally, Lamar Jackson's Heisman triumph has motivated him to be an even more valuable player for Louisville in 2017.