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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Amanda James nailed the Halloween costume this year.

—Spread check: Clemson by 39.

—Shaking the Southland previews a “deflated” Louisville Cardinals team.

—STS also scouts the U of L defense and tries really, really hard to be nice.

—Trey Smith appears to be dead set on dressing like Mekhi Becton for Halloween next year.

—NBC has Louisville as one of the last eight teams left out of the field in its preseason Bracketology.

—The 2018-19 SB Nation college hoops preview dropped today. For your digestion:

Top 100 Players

Preseason top 25

50 must-watch non-conference games (Louisville appears twice)

Season predictions

—The first trick-or-treater at Loyola-Chicago head coach Porter Moser’s house was a fan of Michigan, the same team that knocked the Ramblers out of the Final Four last season.

—Chris Mack says that Louisville basketball will discover its identity through adversity.

—Just a day after he was released by the Rams, former Louisville offensive lineman Jamon Brown was signed by the New York Giants.

—Wood is the man.

—U of L men’s basketball posters for the 2018-19 season are now available.

—Shouts to Trumaine Washington for being named the Most Valuable Rookie on the Toronto Argonauts.

—Rubbing the Rock gives five storylines to be on the lookout for during Saturday’s Louisville-Clemson game.

—The only good news pertaining to the quarterback position at Louisville right now is that Jaden Johnson remains 100 percent committed to U of L.

—The two richest days of horse racing are coming up tomorrow and Saturday at Churchill Downs.

—Four Louisville field hockey players have been named All-ACC.

—Athlon likes Clemson to cover on Saturday.

Final Analysis

Complacency is the only thing that could slow down the Tigers this week, and I don’t know if that will matter. Not only is Louisville a bad team that may have given up the good fight, Clemson is also a horrible match-up personnel wise. Both lines should be dominated by Clemson, the Tigers have vastly better skill players, and Louisville is one of the worst teams in the land in turnover margin. Etienne will run, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence will pass, and the Cardinals will do virtually nothing offensively. And the Tigers will destroy Louisville.

Prediction: Clemson 56, Louisville 7

—Yahoo lists Charlie Strong as the top candidate to replace DJ Durkin at Maryland.

—With four games still to go, Louisville joins the “losers lounge” of teams that have already guaranteed that they’ll hit the under for their season win total.

—This is pretty high praise for Jaire Alexander.

—The 12th-ranked U of L field hockey team opens postseason play on Thursday with an ACC tournament quarterfinal match against No. 29 Wake Forest. Here’s a preview.

—Despite his injury, Jonathan Greenard has remained a major part of the Louisville football team.

—Very cool moment here. Everyone loves Teddy.

—Lindy’s serves up a preview of Louisville-Clemson.

—Asia Durr represented Louisville at women’s basketball national media day.

—Four weeks of practice, four different recipients of the coveted gold jersey.

—Wake Forest RB Matt Colburn reflects on his career day against Louisville.

—Louisville defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder spoke with the media on Wednesday.

While the Tigers have youth at the skill positions, the veteran offensive line keeps their pace. It’s a daunting task to slow down such a high-powered offense, but VanGorder put it simply: The Cards must prepare well.

”(We have) to be schematically sound,” VanGorder said. “They know Clemson is an awfully good team. Good players, good coaches. They demand our best.”

VanGorder is still proud of the way the team has fought this season despite going through the tough times.

”These guys have made me proud. I don’t have any regrets. They’ve been consistent in their approach, they’ve stuck together and supported one another,” VanGorder said.

—Chris Mack spoke earlier this week at a DEA Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness.

—Louisville is once again openly talking about pursuing an MLS franchise.

—Here’s Geno Auriemma implying that he won’t be UConn’s head coach in six years.

Not buying it.

—The National Association of Basketball Coaches has voted Bellarmine as the No. 1 team in Division-II in its 2018-19 preseason poll.

—Chris Mack’s defensive philosophy is much different than the one Louisville fans and players have been accustomed to.

Case in point: Jordan Nwora led the team with three steals in Sunday’s 71-60 exhibition win over Bellarmine. But when Mack was asked about that afterward, his answer was not the kind of thing heard around here for some time.

“The steals? I’d be interested to find out, for every steal that he got, how many that he didn’t get that caused us to be out of position,” Mack said. “That’s just the transition from one staff that really fed itself on getting turnovers and deflections. Not that we don’t want steals and deflections, but we don’t want those to put us out of position when we don’t get them.”

In many ways, this has been the toughest thing Mack has had to teach his new team heading into his first season in Louisville. It’s almost like trying to change a player’s DNA. Clearly, the players are working to grasp it.

“It’s a lot different,” guard Ryan McMahon said. “A lot different principles that regular watchers might not pick up on. But we’re slowly getting it. . . It’s difficult, Jordan and I especially get caught trying to cheat into passing lanes, and they have to keep reminding us, ‘That’s not how we do it.’ You can only go for steals when you truly can get it. If you’re whiffing on passing lanes, that’s not how we play. Breaking some of those habits that I’ve instilled in my game for three years has been difficult, but we’re getting it.”

—Virginia Tech has suspended power forward Chris Clarke indefinitely and removed his name from its online roster.

—Sports Illustrated ranks all 353 college basketball teams and has Louisville at No. 50.

—And finally, John and I are downtown at Fourth Street Live from 3-6 this afternoon talking about Louisville football’s no good day, the Clemson game, and a couple of hoops nuggets. You can listen here.