—To start with today, a huge thank you to everyone for their overwhelming response yesterday.
When I posted about the book being available for pre-order around 12:30 yesterday, 100 Things Louisville ranked 7 million something on Amazon. When I checked for the last time before going to sleep last night, it was the No. 1 basketball book and No. 553 overall book in the world. That’s incredible.
As I write this, the book is still No. 1 in basketball, No. 16 in Sports/Outdoors, and now No. 482 overall.
Louisville fans remain the absolute best, and I’m sorry you have to wait so long for the book to actually come out.
—Bill Connelly writes the best college football previews you can find anywhere. Here’s his take on the 2017 Louisville Cardinals.
Most of the reasons Louisville was good last year remain in place. The skill corps remains full of big, athletic dudes, the Cardinals should still be able to attack from the edges of the defense (be they lined up in a 3-4 or 4-3), and Lamar Jackson is still Lamar Jackson. In fact, he might be at least a little bit better.
That alone will be enough for at least seven or eight wins in and of itself. But the Cardinals have to travel to UNC, NC State, Florida State, Wake Forest, and Kentucky and of course welcome Clemson early in the year. And the reasons why Louisville collapsed late in the year — diminishing returns on defense, a letdown from Jackson’s supporting cast — haven’t really been fixed either.
We don’t know if his line can protect him any better when a good pass rush starts attacking. If he’s a bit more harried, we don’t know if his skill guys will help him out. And in terms of known on-paper results, the Cardinals just underwent a clear downgrade in the defensive coordinator department.
In his fourth year at Louisville the first time around, his Cardinals went 12-1 and finished sixth in the country. In his fourth year at Arkansas, the Hogs went 11-2 and finished fifth. Petrino has a knack for finding answers, so he probably gets the benefit of the doubt. But that offensive line and that coordinator hire scare me a bit.
—The SB Nation college football crew unveiled a huge project today that’s centered around a complete recap of the insane 2007 season. Louisville makes a couple of dubious appearances in the biggest upsets section.
—There have been a lot of questions in recent weeks about the status of four-star running back Colin Wilson. Wilson is still awaiting NCAA clearance, but his high school coach says the RB is on his way to U of L because they expect that clearance to come soon.
Hoekstra said Wilson got A's in his two summer classes and is waiting on a final transcript.
"(Wilson is) on the way today. Still waiting on NCAA to clear him," coach Josh Hoekstra of Clay High School in Green Cove Springs, Florida, wrote in a text message. "... He should be fine."
Wilson is the only member of U of L's 2017 recruiting class not to have arrived to school U of L coach Bobby Petrino said on July 13 at Atlantic Coast Conference media days that he was "optimistic (Wilson) will be there for the opening of camp."
U of L's players are reporting this week, and the Cards will start practice on Monday.
Wilson is listed at 6-foot-1, 221 pounds in U of L's media guide, and he has been assigned jersey No. 33.
Hoekstra wrote in a text that he thinks Wilson, who unlike most of his fellow 2017 signees hasn't been participating in U of L's summer conditioning program, will have some work to do to get in "college football shape."
If Wilson does wind up being cleared, it will mean that every member of Louisville’s 2017 recruiting class will have joined the program on time and as expected. That’s a rarity for any college football program.
—Zion Williamson might be the best dunker of his generation. Please don’t go to Kentucky.
—When you come to at the dentist and all you can think of is how Donovan Mitchell doesn’t play for Louisville anymore.
—Michigan State’s Miles Bridges continues to spend his summer throwing down ridiculous dunks in local summer leagues.
—Three U of L men’s tennis players have been named ITA Scholar Athletes.
—For those wondering if Teddy Bridgewater was still the best, Teddy Bridgewater is still the best.
Today we hit the Pork N Bean Projects(Da Beans), Edison Projects, and the new Scott Projects to being Christmas in July.— Teddy Bridgewater (@teddyb_h2o) July 25, 2017
Liberty City, FL. pic.twitter.com/TzdEITtBq7
The Miami they forget to mention. The other side of the bridge. Not South Beach. To the city that made me, thank you. See y'all soon . pic.twitter.com/H3lOD9lreB— Teddy Bridgewater (@teddyb_h2o) July 25, 2017
—If you’re interested in purchasing tickets for the 2017-18 U of L men’s basketball season, there is a Select-A-Seat event coming on Aug. 3.
—Oklahoma transfer PJ Mbanasor will join the Louisville football team Thursday.
—Former Card Drew Harrington is one of the Atlanta Braves’ top 30 minor league prospects.
—I love this scorching Card-on-Card crime from Robby Wine.
—While finding out when and where Louisville’s hearing with the NCAA took place was as easy as finding the Holy Grail, North Carolina has made it known that it will be meeting with the NCAA infractions board on Aug. 16.
—It will be very intriguing to see just how firm a stance UNC takes in the coming weeks. If this isn’t an NCAA issue at all, as Carolina claims, then they’re under no obligation to work with the NCAA.
Since this isn't a NCAA issue, I would double down and refuse to attend.— Keith Poynter (@Villesportslaw) July 25, 2017
If they don't have jurisdiction, what could go wrong? https://t.co/DSmOug6Q77
—Corey Ray belted his fifth home run of the season last night. You can watch it here.
—The news isn’t as great for Zack Burdi, who will have his Tommy John surgery at some point this week.
—We’re just trying to spread love.
—Bernard Tomic is making a ton of money playing a sport he admits he doesn’t love. That’s fine.
—Mid-Major Madness took a poll of which high major team its readers hated the most. Duke was No. 1, Kentucky was No. 2, and Louisville was No. 6.
—Your latest Russ Smith update from China.
Russ Smith had 76 points on 36 shots today in win 135-124 in Chinese NBL— Sportando (@Sportando) July 26, 2017
He is now averaging 59.7 per game
—Travis Diener has left his coaching gig at Marquette to play basketball professionally in Italy. I — and this might just be me talking — hope he sucks.
—Jeff Brohm rules.
Jeff Brohm is now talking -- and for the first time today, I don't feel like someone is trying to sell me a used minivan.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) July 25, 2017
I’ll pull for Purdue in every game but one this year.
—Rutgers coach Chris Ash says he’s excited about the addition of Kyle Bolin, who fits in well with the new scheme Jerry Kill is implementing.
—These numbers are still absurd.
—Eric Crawford writes about Ray Spalding, who is hoping to be the latest Cardinal to make a massive offseason leap.
—Will Leitch says the Mayweather-McGregor buildup is as depressing as anything he can remember in sports.
—A tremendous GIF is about to hit your electronic screen in 3.....2.......1.......
They wont miss just the one pic.twitter.com/PXXlCSqTNB— HUMOROUS ANIMALS (@CUTEFUNNYANIMAL) July 24, 2017
—Four-star cornerback Chandler Jones will announce his college decision tomorrow at 8 p.m. Louisville is a finalist.
—Louisville City FC is selling half-season tickets.
—Solid tweet from a Virginia Tech grad on ESPN saying Virginia’s quarterback is a Hokie.
This is the most upset I've ever been at ESPN, and they fired me three months ago. pic.twitter.com/pTi8AN40Ma— Josh Parcell (@JoshParcell) July 25, 2017
—The Petrino Family Foundation is hosting a tailgate in Indianapolis before the season-opener against Purdue.
—Tar Heel Blog (North Carolina) previews Louisville. The two teams square off in Chapel Hill in week two.
—U of L baseball picked up a commitment from Fern Creek sophomore Kaleb Corbett.
—Here’s an updated look at the north end zone expansion:
—TNIAAM remembers Syracuse’s historic upset of Louisville in 2007, also known as the day that left no doubt about whether or not something was horribly, horribly wrong.
—Jaire Alexander has found stardom at Louisville, but his tough upbringing in Charlotte still tugs at his heart.
—And finally, a reminder that “So Sharp,” the new documentary on Todd Sharp and the Ladybirds, premiers tonight at 10 p.m. on Lifetime. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m sure I’ll watch.