—Spread check: A whole lotta dumb by 14.5.
—The U of L women’s basketball team will look to remain perfect on the season when it hosts Nebraska tonight at 7 in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. Here’s a preview.
—Once upon a time, Jeff Walz was an assistant at Nebraska.
—Yahoo’s Pete Thamel lists his top 10 post-Jeff Brohm candidates for Louisville, with what he says is a clearcut No. 1.
1. Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State
Sources have told Pat Forde and I that he’s the top choice. Can’t argue with the winning. He’s 39-11 the past four years, including three bowl victories. There’s a tricky timing issue here with Appalachian State playing in the Sun Belt title game this weekend. He’s considered a top target, but not the only one.
2. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
Coming off a 10-win season, it’d be interesting to see if he gets in the mix. Fickell is a lifelong Ohio guy and projects more as a Big Ten coach. His defensive background and discipline would be a drastic shift from the Petrino era. He could cut into Kentucky coach Mark Stoops’ success recruiting Ohio.
3. Ryan Day, Ohio State OC
A program that has always had an identity tied to big offensive numbers would be attractive to Day in the wake of a record-setting season at Ohio State. There will be plenty of interest in Day elsewhere, including at Maryland. So Louisville would need to pounce after the Big Ten title game this weekend.
—Vince Tyra appeared on Louisville First with Howie Lindsey this morning and seemed to confirm (without officially confirming) that Satterfield is the guy he now has his eyes on. He also said that Jeff Brohm’s decision was not based on financials, and that he got the sense early on in his meeting with Jeff that he wasn’t as enthusiastic as Tyra thought he’d be about potentially coming home.
You can listen to the interview here:
—Congrats to Jaylen Smith, who has accepted an invitation to play in the 2019 Senior Bowl.
—Apparently his team’s record-breaking performance against Louisville and Brian VanGorder was enough for Paul Johnson to call it a career.
I’ll miss the swag.
—Now Georgia Tech’s coaching search may now have some overlap with Louisville’s.
There are a few logical options with this one, starting with three rising star Group of 5 head coaches.
Temple’s Geoff Collins, from Conyers, Ga., checks a lot of boxes. He’s had two stints on the Tech staff, is a terrific recruiter/evaluator, learned under Nick Saban and George O’Leary, is charismatic and has done a very nice job in two seasons at Temple. The Owls are 8-4 this season. Because of Collins’ connections in the area and Tech, I think he’s a really intriguing option.
Appalachian State’s Scott Satterfield, who surprisingly got passed over by North Carolina, is still available and an excellent option. The 45-year-old North Carolina native is 39-11 over the past four years and 28-4 in Sun Belt play. He’s regarded as a terrific X’s and O’s guy and a proven program builder.
Troy’s Neal Brown, another Sun Belt guy, also is very high on Power 5 ADs’ radars. Staffers at all levels rave about Brown’s attention to detail and ability to develop everyone around him. He has Air Raid roots, but his teams have proved to be very physical and relied on a power running game to beat LSU last year in Baton Rouge. The previous season, his team took eventual national champ Clemson to the wire. He’s 30-8 over the past three seasons at a program that had gone 9-15 the two years before he showed up.
—Mike Krzyzewski keeps calling out the Duke fan base for putting too much pressure on his young team, which seems dumb.
—The ACC-Big 10 Challenge ended in a 7-7 tie. The Big Ten had a chance to secure the title in the last game, but Florida State scored a last-second bucket to nip Purdue by one.
You hate to see that.
—No. 1 Bellarmine extended the longest home court winning streak in college basketball to 59 last night.
—Can’t get enough of these.
"The sensation of March is here in Louisville."— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) November 29, 2018
About last night... pic.twitter.com/8Z5voLMN4g
—No one should ever tweet. For fear of criminal charges, that’s all I am going to say about that.
—Congrats to David Levitch on defeating Iroquois in his first game as North Oldham’s head coach. He also passed the little kid from The Blind Side as the youngest looking person ever to lead a high school team to victory.
—I am so glad these days are back.
—Clemson running back Travis Etienne has been named the ACC Player of the Year for 2018, beating out teammate Christian Wilkins for the honor. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, unsurprisingly, is the league’s Coach of the Year.
—Jeff Greer writes about (Athletic link ... I hate you all) how Louisville’s players are adapting to a completely different defensive philosophy under Chris Mack.
“In practice, they have to continue to remind us, ‘That’s not how we do it,’” McMahon said after an exhibition in October. “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. It’s like anything new that you’re learning in that it takes some time. But we’ll get there.”
What are the key points of Mack’s hybrid version of the pack-line defense?
—Every defender must keep his man in front of him and not let him blow by off the dribble. Mack wants his quicker, more dogged defenders to extend as far out as the halfcourt line if they’re guarding the ballhandler, with the goal of harrying him into tough decisions. That aggressiveness particularly suits Khwan Fore and Darius Perry.
—All off-ball defenders should stay inside the pack line, which is just inside the 3-point line and mirrors its arc, unless their man cuts or screens. Louisville’s big guys have been hedging off screens, stepping into the ballhandler’s path as he dribbles around his teammate setting the pick. The wings and guards are still encouraged to fill gaps of space within the compact defense, hoping to get deflections on passes, but they shouldn’t risk gambling for a steal if it means losing their positioning and putting their teammates in a four-on-five situation.
—By staying compact, the defense is designed to cut off access to the paint while also clogging passing and driving lanes. Off-ball defenders should then be in better position to turn, box out their man and pursue rebounds, a major point of emphasis for Mack.
To counter that kind of defense, Forrest said offenses must move the ball but in smart ways, not just for the sake of passing to pass.
“You have to penetrate the gaps and find the open guy,” Forrest said. “You can’t think too much because the adjustments are so fast. You have to keep your shoulders facing the hoop for the entire possession, and you really have to concentrate on it, because they’ll bump you off your spot or push you away from a shot if you aren’t square and ready for it.”
—Mack Brown is reportedly hiring Greg Robinson to be his defensive coordinator at North Carolina, which is hilarious.
—Congrats to Sister Jean.
A Final Four ring for Sister Jean! pic.twitter.com/k0A0slaC8i— Loyola Men's Basketball (@RamblersMBB) November 28, 2018
—Wisconsin’s “Buzzcut” Brad Davison is the new college basketball king of flop.
—Since 2002, Pitt football has played four top-two teams while unranked. The Panthers have won all four of those games, including one against Clemson’s title team.
Be afraid, Dabo. The Pitt machine is fully charged.
—”Respect the decision,” says Rick Bozich.
—If you forced me to make a prediction right now, I’d say Samuell Williamson is going to be the best college player to come out of Chris Mack’s 2019 recruiting class.
It could also be Aidan Igiehon.
Or maybe David Johnson.
But I’m sticking with Williamson. Probably.
—Gregg Doyel of the Indy Star gives his take on Jeff Brohm staying at Purdue.
—Hammer and Rails, as you would expect, is still celebrating.
—The Only Colors relives Michigan State’s loss to Louisville.
—Congrats to Phil.
Honoring the one & only @BondPhillip today celebrating 35 years w/@MetroUnited— Metro United Way (@MetroUnitedWay) November 28, 2018
Way as CFO. “Metro United Way is really responsible for my basketball career because of their partnership w/ @BGCKentuckiana - where I spent a lot of time as a kid growing up in Louisville.” ❤️ #L1C4 pic.twitter.com/vdbwBZOAsg
—It’s time for the Joe Flacco era in Baltimore to end and the Lamar Jackson era to commence.
—USA Today also says that the choice for Baltimore seems clear.
—I’ve loved seeing the reactions from some of the former players to Chris Mack’s first major victory at Louisville.
Congrats on the first of many big victories to come!! @CoachChrisMack— Larry O'Bannon Jr. (@LarryOBannon) November 28, 2018
This is Louisville team plays hard. Not as talented as some of the teams in the past, but are Just as exciting to watch. Love the grind.— Samaki Walker (@samaki_walker) November 28, 2018
—The full schedule for the 2019 U of L softball season has been released.
—And finally, here’s a good breakdown of the basic, need-to-know items pertaining to top Louisville target Scott Satterfield.