—Despite Sunday’s loss to Florida State, U of L is still a No. 1 seed in the latest women’s NCAA tournament Bracketology from ESPN.
—The Cards fell from No. 2 to No. 4 in the new AP poll.
—ESPN has updated its class of 2018 player rankings and the top unsigned players in the class are Romeo Langford (5) and Anfernee Simons (7) which doesn’t make me sad one bit. Nope not at all.
—Thirty is a large number.
Some early Week 1 SEC lines from 5Dimes:— Christopher Smith (@csmithSEC) January 21, 2018
Alabama -30 vs. Louisville (Orlando)
Tennessee +8 vs. West Virginia (Charlotte)
Ole Miss pick 'em vs. Texas Tech (Houston)
LSU +1 vs. Miami (Arlington)
—Jordan Nwora is learning to have more fun at the college level. Getting more meaningful minutes and producing when given the chance is making that process easier.
Nwora’s game is not so far advanced as to take meaningful minutes away from Adel, and Ryan McMahon remains Padgett’s first option when he substitutes to upgrade his perimeter shooting.
Perhaps Sunday’s showing will lead to a larger role for Nwora. Perhaps it says something that Padgett sent him in at the point of Louisville’s largest deficit, and that U of L’s lead slipped from eight points to two in less than a minute after he left the game for good.
“Coach Padgett is trusting me a little more, putting me in in situations where we might be down and we need a lift,” Nwora said. “It’s definitely increasing my confidence, for sure. ...
“I can always produce if I have my opportunity. Or at least I should produce. If I’m not producing, I shouldn’t play. So I definitely think I can bring a lot to the table.”
—David Padgett extended a scholarship offer to four-star class of 2018 guard Jermaine Couisnard over the weekend. It’s the first offer Padgett has handed out since taking the reins of the program.
—Jeff Greer has Louisville at No. 4 in his latest ACC power rankings.
4. Louisville (15-4, 5-1): David Padgett’s group is winning with tightened-up defenseand much more efficient offense, which is now drawing fouls at a higher rate to make up for lower shooting percentages. The Cards, like the other four top-five teams in the ACC, won the games they were supposed to win and snuck in two surprise road victories. They are putting themselves in a great position for a double bye in the conference tournament.
—The U of L men’s swimming and diving team captured its 10th straight win over Kentucky over the weekend.
—Eat it, Michigan.
—Louisville is all the way up to No. 19 in Andy Katz’s Power 36 rankings.
19. Louisville (28)
The Cardinals are quietly having quite a season under David Padgett in the ACC. Louisville has won four in a row to move to 5-1, including a double overtime win at Notre Dame. Now let’s see how Louisville handles the next week. A road game at Miami on Wednesday and a home game against Wake Forest should be another good barometer. A split keeps Louisville on pace.
—U of L is all the way up to No. 15 in the current RPI rankings.
—If the defense has dropped off this season without Rick Pitino, it hasn’t dropped off much.
Haslametrics' top-10 defenses as of 1/22/2018 (points per possession in parentheses):— Erik Haslam (@haslametrics) January 22, 2018
1. Virginia (0.77)
2. Purdue (0.82)
3. Cincinnati (0.84)
4. West Virginia (0.85)
5. Ohio St. (0.85)
6. Texas Tech (0.86)
7. UCF (0.86)
8. Louisville (0.87)
9. Texas (0.87)
10. Boise St. (0.87)
—The U of L women’s tennis team swept Dayton 7-0 over the weekend.
—Former Cardinal Nick Solak has been tearing up the minor leagues in the New York Yankees organization, and is now the No. 5 second baseman product in baseball according to Baseball Pipeline.
—Kyle Kuric is still lighting it up.
—RSP Film Room compares Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen in the pocket.
—Athlon looks at the 10 biggest shoes to fill in the ACC next season, a list that is bookended by Louisville players.
Gone: Lamar Jackson, QB
The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and a finalist last season, Jackson is the first quarterback in NCAA history to post back-to-back 3,000-yard passing and 1,000-yard rushing seasons. In just three seasons, Jackson threw for more than 9,000 yards with 69 touchdown passes while running for more than 4,000 with another 50 scores.
In: Jawon Pass, rising redshirt sophomore
Not surprisingly, Pass played sparingly this past season. But when he was on the field, he was productive, throwing for 238 yards and two touchdowns while adding 62 on the ground with a score. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, and head coach Bobby Petrino’s system should be a good fit for his dual-threat skill set.
Gone: Jaire Alexander, CB
Alexander did not play up to his preseason billing as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation as injuries limited him to just six games. In 2016, he tied for second in the ACC with five interceptions and also returned a punt for a touchdown. In his six games this past season he did record a pick along with four pass breakups.
In: Russ Yeast, rising sophomore
Considered one of the top players from Indiana coming out of high school, Yeast took full advantage of an opportunity to play when Alexander got injured. The true freshman made 12 appearances, including seven starts. A pair of transfers – P.J. Mbansor (Oklahoma State) and Rodjay Burns (Ohio State) – also may get an opportunity to compete for Alexander’s spot.
—Brendan McKay is both the No. 1 first baseman and No. 5 left-handed pitcher prospect in all of baseball. Not bad.
—DeJuan Wheat was among those thrilled to see fellow Ballard product Quentin Snider join the 1,000-point club at U of L.
The achievement by the Ballard High grad drew praise from another former Ballard star who went on to have a bright career at Louisville.
DeJuan Wheat, now the head boys’ basketball coach at Valley High, said Snider’s career playing well at his hometown school was a “beautiful thing.”
”I think he’s had a great career,” Wheat said. “To come into a program, a historic program like what we have, he’s done a remarkable job. Sometimes he gets unfairly compared to previous guards, but his overall career has been stellar. He’s a great kid. He’s always under control. He runs the team. He’s just a really solid player who has had a solid career.”
—Congrats again to Q.
—ESPN looks at how Donovan Mitchell went from raw, energetic high school power dunker to shot-making NBA lead guard with star potential.
—D1Baseball.com takes a deep look at Louisville, its preseason No. 15 team.
—Clemson basketball fans — the few of them that who exist — are handling the Zion news well.
—The staff of The Louisville Cardinal takes a very early stab at predicting Louisville’s 2018 football record.
Wife, wearing a Louisville shirt, just had a ten-minute conversation about basketball at the Chicago airport. He casually mentions, “I used to coach at Kentucky.” Then introduces himself as Billy Gillespie. Funny.— jwafford (@jeff_wafford) January 21, 2018
—I’m not the only one surprised to see Alabama favored by 30 damn points over the Cards.
—Boston College gave Louisville a scare on Sunday, but ultimately the Eagles’ road woes continued.
—It’s a damn conspiracy.
A Louisville team with 15 or more wins through 19 games has not been left out of the AP poll since the Cards were unranked with a 16-4 record on Feb. 9, 1976. The AP poll included only 20 teams then.— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) January 22, 2018
—Louisville City FC’s 2018 season will kick off with four home games.
—And finally, R&R is back from 3-6 this afternoon to recap a loaded weekend. Listen here.