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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Cardinal fan Alan Rowe spent a few hours back in September participating in a modern day cannonball run for vintage cars using his 1979 Thunderbird. He made the trip from New York (seen here) to Los Angeles non stop in 36 hours 4 minutes.

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—Spread check: Boston College by 13.5.

—According to a report from Rivals’ Woody Wommack, Louisville is one of the schools involved in the recruitment of former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant. Read into that what you will.

—AJ Dillon remains a “game-time decision” for Saturday, but most who cover Boston College seem to believe that the star running back will stay on the sidelines.

—If Dillon is out, expect capable backup Ben Glines to be the new centerpiece of the BC offense.

—Top 10 in something.

—CBS’ Matt Norlander has all the details from Thursday at the college hoops trial, which include an NC State assistant allegedly paying Dennis Smith’s handler 40K, Billy Preston’s mom scheming to fake a relationship with the man who paid her 90K, Preston’s Dodge Charger being claimed to be passed down from his great grandmother, and the details of payments to DeAndre Ayton and Silvio De Sousa.

—Dan Wetzel tries to decide what was the most absurd part of an absurd day in New York.

—Jeff Greer has a solid Q&A with Chris Mack over at The Athletic.

How much time does it take for you to be happy with the progress your team is making in learning your way?

I don’t know the answer to that. Every group is different. Every group has different personalities and different learning rates. The challenge is the consistency of it. I feel like, so far with this group, we’ll have a few really good days followed by a couple clunkers. The effort and attitude have to be constant. That hasn’t been the case yet. It varies from group to group. That’s certainly what you’re striving for, for your guys to know a practice should feel like every single day.

I want us to improve. That’s why you’re out there. That’s the point of practice, to get better daily. Players have to fight that urge to just get through practice. I think that’s what average teams do, just get through practice and look forward to the games. That won’t win many games. That won’t win championships.


Last player I’ll ask about is V.J. King, your junior wing and captain. What have you learned about him since getting to Louisville?

V.J. is maybe one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around. He’s very, very mature. He’s one of the more mature players I’ve ever been around. He’s always prepared for practice. He’s always giving great effort. He’s just really, really solid in his approach.

When we got here early on, he really settled for a lot of pull-ups and jumpers and, as I told him, played pretty. With his added strength, he’s gained a little bit of confidence in his body and is a little more powerful than he has been in the past. He’s had times in practice where he’s been really aggressive and played the way we want him to play. Now it’s just a matter of getting it to show all the time and not just in spurts.

—Greer also has a really good Q&A covering almost every conceivable question about Louisville basketball.

—October is for familiarizing yourself with the roster.

—WKRD has a booth at the Great Chili Cook-Off in Clifton on Sunday. I’ll be there from 3-4:30.

—Rick Bozich takes a by the numbers look at Louisville football’s slide.

—Remember that time we were talking about the definition of irony?

So we good now? No blood? Don’t make us come for that agency of the year banner.

—DeVante Parker is “not really sure” of his availability for Sunday’s Miami Dolphins game, which seems bad.

—Updated college football national championship odds from Bovada:

Team 10/1/18 Current Odds (10/8/18)

Alabama 4/5 5/7

Clemson 11/2 15/2

Ohio State 11/2 15/2

Georgia 15/2 15/2

Notre Dame 15/1 12/1

Michigan 25/1 16/1

Washington 25/1 30/1

Oklahoma 20/1 33/1

Texas 85/1 33/1

Penn State 50/1 35/1

Wisconsin 50/1 40/1

Florida 200/1 50/1

Miami (FL) 200/1 50/1

West Virginia 50/1 50/1

LSU 40/1 66/1

Central Florida 80/1 70/1

NC State 500/1 80/1

Auburn 50/1 100/1

Kentucky 200/1 150/1

Mississippi State 500/1 175/1

TCU 1000/1 175/1

Texas Tech 1000/1 275/1

Iowa 300/1 275/1

Michigan State 100/1 275/1

Stanford 100/1 275/1

Oregon 200/1 375/1

South Florida 1000/1 500/1

—The New York Times says that despite what you’ve been hearing during the trial, the only real victims in this college basketball trial appear to be Brian Bowen II and the other players affected.

—Brian VanGorder does not want to talk about the Georgia Tech game.

“We’re focused on the next game,” VanGorder said on Wednesday night after pactice. “(The defense) has responded well. They’re a great group of guys.

“That game is over. We are thinking about Boston College now; next game.”

In his first season with the Cardinals, VanGorder said his message to the defense has been the same since he stepped foot on campus and he said he wasn’t changing anything up even after the disappointment against Georgia Tech.

The Cardinals are allowing 231 rushing yards a game and a total of 413.8 yards a contest.

“We’re focused on developing players and guys improving,” he said. “I keep saying that and that’s our focus this week. We just have to get better.

—Louisville is 13th *tosses confetti* in Streaking the Lawn’s ACC power rankings.

—Regardless of who’s in the backfield, Boston College appears poised for a big afternoon running the football on Saturday.

—I dig this.

—The U of L cross country squad is gearing up for the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals.

—In light of TJ Gassnola’s testimony that Rick Pitino knew nothing about the payments to Brian Bowen, Pitino was asked by the CJ’s Tim Sullivan if this changed his thoughts on coaching again. It apparently has not.

This does not absolve Pitino of the cumulative scandals that occurred on his watch. Nor does it justify his failure to look more skeptically at a McDonald’s All-America player falling into his lap so late in the game. Yet it does help explain Pitino’s melancholy response to testimony that has thus far vindicated his claims of personal innocence regarding Bowen’s recruitment.

“It’s over for me,” Pitino said via text message Thursday afternoon. “... My basketball life can never be repaired regardless of what’s come out.”

—A power outage forced U of L volleyball to move its match with Notre Dame to Sacred Heart’s gym, but that only added to the environment for the 5-set thriller.

—The Boston Herald lists three things to watch for tomorrow’s Louisville-BC game.

—Louisville baseball’s Pizza Bowl series is all square through two days.

—Dickie V’s blissful innocence is slowly slipping away, which means the FBI’s job is almost done.

—The first 300 fans at Lynn Stadium for tonight’s top 25 men’s soccer showdown between Louisville and Syracuse will be rewarded with a free U of L soccer scarf.

—Former Louisville golfer Denny Thompson lost his battle with pancreatic cancer earlier this week. Thompson had been a fixture in the local golf scene for decades.

—I have no idea who this guy is, but if he can make Gorgui this upset then I’m ready to fight him to the death.

—Former Card Drew Ellis is off to a hot start in the Arizona fall league.

—Louisville lacrosse is headed to Maryland for two fall tournaments this weekend.

—Musselman just keeps making all the right plays.

—Each member of the staff over at BC Interruption likes the Eagles to take care of Louisville tomorrow. All but one of them like BC by double digits.

—Joe Flacco’s wife is giving him shit for his unenthusiastic play whenever Lamar Jackson enters the game and the Ravens make him split out wide.

—Friday Irrelevance goes old school.

—Will Donovan Mitchell take the next step toward superstardom?

—David Hale, Andrea Adelson and Lauren Brownlow all like BC over Louisville. They also discuss the coaching situations at UNC vs. U of L.

Q. More salvageable situation without a coaching change: Louisville or UNC?

A. On paper, you’d think Louisville, because the Cardinals have recruited pretty well and Bobby Petrino has a track record of being good there before – and not all that long ago! North Carolina did win the Coastal Division and push Clemson in the ACC title game (hard to believe that was just three years ago), but Mitch Trubisky leaving a year earlier than expected and a few other quarterback transfers later, and the high-powered Larry Fedora offense is a shell of itself. There are issues that persist in the Fedora era at North Carolina, like penalties and subpar defensive play, but if you look closely at this North Carolina team, it’s shown some improvement from last year at every position except quarterback. But that’s a pretty important position.

When Petrino hired Brian VanGorder as his defensive coordinator, it left many scratching their heads. But rumblings in the college football universe seemed to indicate that VanGorder was the best Petrino could do. That’s…not a good sign for the future if you’re Louisville. Petrino is known for being a sharp offensive mind, but this year’s offense sure doesn’t show it. And that was after he spent the whole off-season talking up how much more “balanced” and better this offense would be without Lamar Jackson. (Blasphemy, sir.)

With the news that Kelly Bryant is visiting North Carolina, I tend to think that’s the more salvageable situation without a change right now. I think this offense might be a quarterback away from at least being a bowl team.

—And finally, beat Boston College.