clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

New, 98 comments

Being a fan can be hard, but it doesn’t mean you stop hanging on.

—Spread check: Louisville by 2.5.

—It’s ACC men’s basketball media day today in Charlotte, and once again I am refusing to call it by the name “Operation Basketball” because it’s stupid. Chris Mack is set to speak at 3:45, and we should have transcripts of interviews with Christen Cunningham and VJ King on the site later today.

—Steven Enoch is your most valuable practice player for week three.

—The U of L women’s soccer team wraps up its regular season tomorrow night at 6 p.m. against Virginia Tech, and the first 300 fans to come through the gates will get a free Louisville soccer scarf. If the Cards win, they’ll host an ACC tournament quarterfinal match on Sunday. This would be the first time the program has made the league tournament since joining the conference.

—Both Brian Brohm and Chris Redman appear on the Max Preps list of the 50 greatest high school quarterbacks of all-time.

11. Brian Brohm, Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), 2003

High School: Brohm led Trinity to three state championships and a 39-5 record in three seasons ... He threw for 10,579 yards and 119 touchdowns ... Earned Parade Magazine All-American honors.College: A Heisman Trophy candidate in 2006, Brohm threw for 10,775 yards in four seasons with Louisville ... Threw for 4,024 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior. Professional: Drafted in the second round by the Green Bay Packers, only played three seasons in the NFL.

...

27. Chris Redman, Male (Louisville, Ky.), 1993

High School: Threw for 7,665 career yards while leading the team to a pair of state titles ... Named Parade’s National Player of the Year.College: Threw for 12,541 yards a Louisville ... Won the Johnny Unitas Award.Professional: Redman has thrown for 3,047 yards in his nine years in the NFL.

Peyton Manning is No. 1 on the list.

—Chris Mack is Evan Daniels’ guest on the newest episode of The Sidelines podcast.

—Pro Football Focus grades Louisville’s offensive line play as the second worst in the ACC so far this season.

—Will Leitch writes for New York Magazine about the college hoops trial and the state of the sport.

In the wake of the trial and the high-profile busts that led to it in the first place, a certain sort of college-basketball coach and fan has tried to argue that this trial will somehow “clean up” the sport. Here in Athens, Georgia, where I live, former Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox said, when indictments were handed down, that he welcomed it, that coaching should only be for people who “do this job in an honorable way.” But Fox drew a $1.7 million salary from Georgia as well as a deal with Nike itself, which paid Fox an undisclosed amount, in which he was “obligated to make up to three appearances a year on behalf of Nike up to 24 hours in duration,” and that Georgia “should be available to take part in Nike-sponsored tournaments once every three years.” It is difficult not to look at that and think that Fox thinks the “honorable way” is to make sure that no Nike money goes to the players because he’d like it all himself. It is worth noting that Fox has since been fired by Georgia and replaced by Tom Crean. Between the salary Georgia owes Fox and will be paying Crean, the university will be spending $5.35 million on basketball coaches during the 2018–19 season. But money that goes to the players is bad.

It’s hard, then, to look at this trial and see it as ridding college sports of any sort of corruption: Corruption is baked into the business model itself. And this is a tough fact to reconcile, I’ll confess. I am a season-ticket holder to Georgia men’s and women’s basketball here in Athens. I haven’t missed a men’s basketball game of my beloved alma mater Illinois Fighting Illini in about 20 years. The first four days of the NCAA Tournament are my four favorite days in sports. I love this game. But today, more and more players are making the perfectly rational decision to play overseas for a small pittance rather than attend college for the one-year minimum required by the NBA (and the one-and-done rule may be gone eventually anyway) or to just skip entirely and train for the NBA Draft, leaving the game populated by only players good enough for college but not nearly talented enough to play on the highest level. So college basketball has to ask itself: What even is this sport now?

—The Louisville swim team is headed to Tennessee for a top 15 matchup.

—Kansas is now holding Silvio De Sousa out of competition until it conducts a review of his eligibility. My guess is that he never suits up for the Jayhawks again, and that his presence on last year’s team is going to wind up causing KU to vacate that Final Four appearance.

—Terry Rozier welcomes Mo Bamba to the league.

—Samuell Williamson plans to sign his LOI to Louisville on Nov. 14, which is the first day of the early signing period.

—University Heights standout KyKy Tandy is headed to Xavier.

—The U of L basketball recruiting machine rolls on.

We really need a Thor. I don’t even care if he’s good.

—The U of L cross country squad is geared up for the ACC Championships.

—Five-star guard Aijha Blackwell, the No. 8 overall player in the class of 2019, picked Missouri over Louisville and Kansas on Tuesday.

—Congrats to the future Cardinal quarterback.

—Dave Leitao and Richard Pitino are among the coaches on Jeff Goodman’s hot seat list heading into the 2018-19 season. My DMs are always open, DePaul.

—If he didn’t love basketball so much, V.J. King could have had a career as an artist (WARNING Athletic subscription link WARNING).

By high school, V.J.’s artwork — some painting but much of it pencil drawing — impressed his teachers enough that they pulled aside his mother, Lo, and pleaded with her: We know your son is a great basketball player, they’d say, but is it possible to put him in some advanced programs to work on his art?

The answer was no. Nothing could separate V.J. from his true love — the love he says is on his mind from the moment he wakes up until he goes to bed, the love that serves as the vehicle for seeing the world, the love he dedicates so much to that the only school dance he attended was his senior prom. Basketball stole V.J.’s heart, and in its own way provides a canvas on which he can draw his life. It’s not so attractive and neat, as his old drawings were. The last two years at Louisville produced more zigzags than he expected, slowing what everyone assumed would be a fast rise from young prospect to NBA player. But King wouldn’t have it any other way.

Three weeks before his junior season tips off, King, a McDonald’s All-American and celebrated recruit, is glad he stayed at Louisville. He is ready to use what he discovered about himself during the frustrating start to his college career to become the Louisville standout everyone — including himself — expected him to be. He is ready to sketch his best work yet.

“I’ve learned so much as a person and as a basketball player,” King says. “There’ve been some bad times, but there’ve been a lot of good times too. You develop an appreciation for everything, both bad and good, because it all ends up helping you.”

—Florida State standout Phil Cofer is out for an indefinite amount of time because of a right foot injury.

—Chris Mack’s attention to detail is next level.

—Blogger So Dear lists the Louisville players it has its eye on for Saturday’s game.

—BSD also gives a brief history of the Louisville-Wake Forest “rivalry.”

—Mike Krzyzewski tried to walk back his “blip” comment last night, and instead found himself swimming in an extended ramble that was beyond difficult to follow.

Getting a little warm under that pullover, Coach K?

—U of L makes an appearance in FanSided’s anti-college football playoff rankings.

—Awful news for Bilal Powell, who was in the middle of yet another really productive season.

—In honor of Halloween, check out these 10 spine-tinglingly scary sports stories. Job Bois’ is especially worth your time.

—The Louisville Orchestra will be performing Mozart’s Requiem this weekend at the Center for the Arts, which is cool.

—Montrezl Harrell’s hot start to the season continued last night.

—Four-star defensive end JJ Weaver out of Moore High School is set to take his official visit to U of L this weekend.

—John Swofford opened ACC media day by talking about the college hoops scandal and the problems facing the sport.

—Lamar loves the kids.

—A Speedway in Louisville on Fegenbush Ln. sold a million dollar Mega Millions ticket. It was not to me.

—Big Red Louie explains why Rondale Moore’s success is a bad look for Louisville.

—Happy birthday to Peyton Siva, who is still getting it done overseas.

—Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson previewed Louisville on Tuesday.

—Stewart Mandel believes (WARNING Athletic subscription link WARNING) that if Louisville comes calling for Jeff Brohm, he’ll be the next U of L head coach.

The first thing you need to know about Brohm is he’s a lot different personality-wise than recent fast-risers like P.J. Fleck, Tom Herman and Scott Frost. For one thing, he does not have a high-profile agent like Jimmy Sexton or Trace Armstrong. He uses a longtime friend from Louisville. When Tennessee reached out last year after firing Butch Jones, Brohm listened, but it never got as serious as media there reported at the time.

Last December, Brohm told me this about potential overtures, “I won’t close my ears, but it’s going to have to be something that just sweeps me off my feet. It’s nothing against any other team; I just like it where I’m at.” And I believe he’s being earnest. He would be perfectly content coaching at Purdue for many years and proving the program is capable of more big wins like Saturday’s.

But if Louisville comes open — he’s probably gone.

It’s not just that Louisville is his alma mater, it’s that the entire Brohm family is a Louisville football institution. His father, Oscar, was a record-setting high school quarterback in the city and went on to play for the Cardinals. He then had three sons play for Louisville — quarterbacks Jeff and Brian (a big-time recruit who could have played anywhere but opted to stay home) and wide receiver Greg. When Brian played for Bobby Petrino in the mid-2000s, Jeff was his position coach. Brian and Greg now work on Jeff’s staff at Purdue.

Frankly, it seems like the inevitable next chapter to their story is that one of the brothers would eventually wind up the head coach at the hometown university. (And the others would presumably come with him.)

The bigger question is whether Louisville can pull it off financially. In the last year, the scandal-ridden school has gone through a very expensive housecleaning. It paid a $7.2 million settlement to former AD Tom Jurich, is ensnared in a legal battle with Rick Pitino over the roughly $40 million he says the school owes him and had to buy out new basketball coach Chris Mack’s Xavier contract. Firing Petrino would cost about $14 million due to his insane contract, and hiring Brohm would require paying a few more million in buyout money to Purdue.

“The university is not in a position to buy (Petrino) out,” board member Tom Meeker recently told The Courier-Journal.

A lot can change obviously over the rest of the season. Petrino could turn around his 2-5 squad. Brohm’s 4-3 team could finish 5-7 (though I don’t know that his stock would be affected). But the general rule of thumb in college athletics is that if both parties want to get something done badly enough, the money usually surfaces.

—If you sign up for a voyage on Titanic II and it sinks, I’m not going to say I won’t feel sorry for you, but I won’t feel sorry for you.

—A mini ticket plan for the U of L men’s basketball season is now available.

—And finally, we’ve got live coverage from ACC media day including comments from Chris Mack, Christen Cunningham and V.J. King coming to you from 3-6 this afternoon on 790-KRD. You can listen here.