—Bye Week Spread Check: Working around the house and re-connecting with family by 35.
—The big news in the basketball world today is that the G League is going to offer $125K to elite prospects as an alternative to the college one-and-done route. Credit Adam Silver for once again that makes himself look like the hero and makes the NCAA look like it’s doing nothing to quash the issue at the core of most of its biggest problems.
—Here’s NCAA president Mark Emmert’s statement on the matter:
“We appreciate the NBA’s decision to provide additional opportunities for those who would like to pursue their dream of playing professionally. The NCAA recently implemented significant reforms to support student-athlete success, including more flexibility when deciding whether to play professionally. Obtaining a college education continues to provide unmatched preparation for success in life for the majority of student-athletes and remains an excellent path to professional sports for many. However, this change provides another option for those who would prefer not to attend college but want to directly pursue professional basketball.”
Nice to know that he can still make statements when there’s major news affecting one of his biggest sports. I was getting worried.
—In his closing statement, the attorney for Jim Gatto argued that Bill Self and Rick Pitino knew about payments to players and his client was acting on their behalf to help Adidas and their schools, not to defraud them. The jury is expected to deliberate and return a verdict on Monday.
—On Wednesday’s ACC coaches teleconference, Bobby Petrino seemed to say that despite yanking him for the third time in five games, Jawon Pass is still his quarterback moving forward.
“Puma is our starting quarterback,” Petrino said. “We were working hard at trying to see if Jordan could come in and give us a spark. We were in a situation where we needed to score fast, we needed to get the ball down the field, and we were hoping that Jordan could give us that spark.”
Pass completed 17 of 31 passes for 170 yards and one interception. He was sacked five times in the contest.
Petrino said the staff and players are back working to try and correct the problems with the quarterback position and offense in general.
“You hit it right on the nail when you said consistency,” he said. “That’s been the problem for us. There’s been times when we’ve looked good and moved the ball and got it in the end zone and executed the way you want to, but not on a consistent basis, and sometimes it’s been negative yardage and setbacks on 1st and 10. Sometimes it’s been not being able to convert on 3rd down. And it’s not just the quarterback.
—Based on some intel (INTERNET SCOOOOOP), here’s what your starting lineup would be if the season began today:
Obviously, there’s a lot of time between now and Nov. 8, but that’s a snapshot of where we are at the moment.
—The 10th-ranked Louisville field hockey team has a pair of games against ranked opponents next up on the docket.
—I would not have guessed that men’s ice hockey is No. 3.
—Kemari Averett has been put on home incarceration.
—This Twitter thread on college basketball fashion icon Bob Huggins is wonderful.
—Donovan Mitchell is the latest guest on the “Pull Up Podcast” with CJ McCollum. Here’s a clip:
Really enjoyed having Donovan Mitchell on @PullUpPod with @CJMcCollum. We talked about @spidadmitchell being compared to @DwyaneWade, why @kobebryant is the one guy he wants to work and why defense is a top focus entering year two. @utahjazz #jazz pic.twitter.com/lCq4v4gmjc— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) October 18, 2018
—A source close to the North Oldham basketball program has informed me that former U of L guard Terry Howard has been added to David Levitch’s first staff.
—Ray Spalding made his NBA debut for the Dallas Mavericks last night. Per Kelly Dickey, he became the 55th Louisville Cardinal to appear in an NBA game.
—Is Alabama’s offense more talented than the Buffalo Bills’?
—Jeff Goodman lists the 30 players he believes are the best shooters in college basketball.
—This is awesome.
—Louisville is No. 12 in From the Rumble Seat’s ACC uniform power rankings.
—SB Nation’s Richard Johnson lists four pros and two cons when it comes to Jeff Brohm potentially replacing Bobby Petrino at Louisville.
Pro number two: Brohm’s offensive ingenuity, eye for talent, and local recruiting inroads.
Petrino has long been a brilliant offensive mind, no matter how bad Louisville is this season.
But in addition to having an acumen similar to Petrino’s, Brohm’s also got a big bag of tricks that he pulls from often to stun defenses.
He’s showed creative ways to get his best player, Rondale Moore, the ball. The Boilermakers’ leading receiver also leads the team in yards per carry by a wide margin.
And the fact that Moore is at Purdue is an issue for Petrino.
Moore played high school football in Louisville, at Brohm’s alma mater. Moore was the highest-rated player in the state of Kentucky, but didn’t even have the Cardinals in his top six schools (he did include the Kentucky Wildcats). The Cardinals struggling at home is a much broader issue, but Moore leaving the city was a blow.
“For me, my position coach (at Louisville) and I just didn’t have that relationship,” Moore said prior to committing to Texas. “I camped twice, and I just felt like I hadn’t got that respect that I believed I deserved. ... I felt like they just recruited out-of-state guys more than the guys 10 minutes away from their home. That was just kind of disrespectful to me. Louisville was always kind of like a dream school of mine, you’d say, if I had one.”
Purdue flipped the four-star from Texas and swiped him right from the Cardinals’ backyard. He’s the highest-rated player Purdue ever signed in the 247Sports Composite era, and he’s playing to that potential under Brohm.
Brohm’s Purdue signed five of Kentucky’s top 11 recruits in 2018, while Louisville signed one, who played high school football in the city.
—U of L swimming has landed a highly-touted commit out of Texas.
—Jeff Greer’s latest piece for The Athletic dives into Chris Mack’s old Xavier newsletters, which provide some insight into the head coach’s philosophies.
It’s clear, after reading the Xavier newsletters (and the player bios in Louisville’s newest media guide), that attention to detail is meaningful to Mack.
A 2014-15 newsletter features an equation that looks like algebra to determine how efficient Mack’s teams are. There are a lot of parentheses and a few plus signs. But it doesn’t end there: The notes then explain what’s a good score and what’s a bad score — for both ends of the floor.
Another note lays out how Xavier’s staff breaks down games into 10 four-minute “mini-games.” That allows the coaches to re-emphasize their focus on intensity. The goal is to win each four-minute segment.
“At Xavier, we want our players to play with great passion,” the newsletter reads. “We are constantly looking for ways to motivate our players to commit to our system and reach their maximum potential. One way in which we have challenged them is with the concept of the four-minute war.”
In another edition, Xavier’s pregame schedule is laid out down to the minute, starting two hours before tipoff. At the top of the first page, the newsletter says Mack and his staff believe “it is important for guys to develop a routine and embrace it.”
The details get so specific that, 29 minutes before the game, as the players run through the “four-corner passing” drill, everyone on the team is encouraged to participate in “BIG chatter” to pump up the players.
—The final day of the U of L baseball team’s annual Pizza Bowl is today at Jim Patterson Stadium. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. and admission is free.
—The CJ makes its high school football picks on the penultimate week of the regular season.
—And finally, John’s out so Greer is joining me on the radio this afternoon from 3-6 to talk about everything going on with Louisville basketball and football. You can listen here.