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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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The Dallas Mavericks front office is ready for (Louisville) basketball.

—Spread check (basketball): Louisville by 19.

—Spread check (football): Syracuse by 21.

—Eric Crawford looks at the most memorable of Jeff Walz’s 300 wins.

—Game day. Thank goodness.

—No matter how bad it gets for Louisville, Hassan Hall and Tutu Atwell seem intent on doing all they can to carry the team as freshmen.

—The Crunch Zone has a transcript of Dino Babers comments about Louisville.

—Christi Mack loves being back home in Louisville ... and Hallmark Christmas movies.

I also love how self-aware both of the Macks are.

Awesome.

—The U of L women’s basketball team is back on the road tomorrow night against UT-Chattanooga.

—Louisville is the early leader to land the services of Jamal Mashburn Jr., who posterized a 7-footer the other night.

—This is awesome.

So is this:

And this:

Who would have thought Salt Lake would become Louisville’s sister city?

—Syracuse site Inside the Loud House previews Louisville.

—In his weekly mail bag, Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples examines what the future may hold for Louisville and Jeff Brohm.

From Dan: It seems like a done deal that Jeff Brohm is going to Louisville. I’m holding out hope that a guy wouldn’t want to go put out a tire fire like UL right after spending two years fixing a tire fire at Purdue. Am I being unrealistic?

This is the opposite of all the tweets I got last year from Mississippi State fans guaranteeing Dan Mullen wouldn’t leave. Our Dan here has resigned himself to a Jeff Brohm departure to Brohm’s hometown/alma mater, and that’s probably a good baseline to keep in this situation.

But I’m not sure it’s a fait accompli quite yet for the reason Dan mentioned. Louisville is a messy situation right now because of all the upheaval in the athletic department after the basketball scandal(s), and Brohm has turned Purdue into a pretty good situation.

First, Louisville would need to do something with current coach Bobby Petrino. That should happen sooner rather than later, because Petrino’s buyout goes up next year and it seems the Cardinals have pretty much quit this season. There is no indication they’ll be any better next year or that the current staff will actually try to make them better. So unless Louisville is cash poor because it’s creating a war chest to deal with former basketball coach Rick Pitino’s lawsuit (which Louisville should prevail in anyway), then the Cardinals need to make a change.

The next logical question is whether Louisville is a better job. Not at this precise moment, but it would immediately become the better job with a coach like Brohm. The Cardinals are capable of recruiting the kind of players who can win the ACC. And if you can win the ACC, you can make the playoff. If you can make the playoff, you can win the national title. Two years ago, Louisville was six points away from eventual national champion Clemson. Had the Cardinals won that game, they probably would have won the ACC.

The ceiling is higher at Louisville. That’s a big deal. The ceiling at Purdue, however, is not as low as most people think. The Boilermakers are still mathematically alive for the Big Ten West title this year, and keeping a coach like Brohm probably would make them competitive for the West title every year. Would they be able to beat the beasts of the East? Maybe not every year, but this Purdue team did just beat Ohio State by 29.

If Louisville fires Petrino and can convince Brohm that the athletic department can stabilize going forward, he could live in his hometown, compete for titles and coach there as long as he wants. But if the department still seems shaky, he’s better off staying at Purdue, making the Boilermakers better and waiting for a job at a perennial national title contender to open.

—Chris Mack wants to see a packed house and a raucous environment at the KFC Yum Center this season.

—Shoutout to David Padgett for making sure Chris Mack is ready for the postgame Kleinarazzi.

—On Tuesday, Duke delivered what was probably the most impressive debut performance in the history of college basketball.

—Speaking of debuts, Cincinnati busted out the fully renovated Fifth Third Arena for the first time last night. Unfortunately, the Bearcats don’t appear to be able to shoot any better inside the building than they did before the renovation, and they lost to Ohio State.

—James Burgess sees last night’s soccer triumph as proof that U of L will be back on top soon.

—Notre Dame QB Ian Book is out for this weekend’s game against Florida State.

—Mark Schlabach’s latest ESPN report on the FBI madness once again mentions V.J. King, and also name-drops Ray Spalding for the first time.

• Dawkins proposed paying Louisville forward Spalding $2,000 per month from October 2017 to December 2017, then $3,000 per month until April 2018. He also planned to pay King $2,000 per month from October 2017 until April 2018, although he noted it “will be a messy situation in my opinion.”

Spalding left for the NBA draft following the 2017-18 season and was a second-round pick of the 76ers.

”Our university continually reviews the eligibility of all of its student-athletes,” a Louisville spokesman told ESPN. “We have reviewed information recently presented at the trial in New York and do not believe it affects any of our current student-athletes. We will continue to monitor any new information that becomes available.”

It’s hard for me to see the NCAA being able to do anything based solely off of one guy’s plan to pay a bunch of players, but who knows. Whatever.

—The LA Rams have signed Trevon Young to their practice squad. The Rams released Young from their active roster earlier this week.

—The latest TNIAAM podcast discusses Friday’s Louisville game.

—Obviously.

—It’s been a long, injury-filled road for Syracuse’s Eric Dungey, who is thriving for the Orange in his senior season.

—Lindy’s previews Louisville-Syracuse.

—Shoutout to the 1-0 Blue Demons, who took care of Bethune-Cookman in DOMINANT fashion last night.

—Dan McDonnell is the guest on the latest edition of the Baseball America college podcast.

—The man who took the “Breeders Cup joyride” has been ordered to have no contact with Churchill Downs.

—Jeff Walz’s 300th-career victory means discounted tickets for you.

—Clemson Sports Talk marvels at the distance the program has put between itself and Florida State and Louisville.

—Syracuse will wear its “classic” orange and blue uniforms Friday night.

—Each member of the staff over at Syracuse.com likes the Orange over Louisville BIG tomorrow night.

—Dimingus Stevens in the house tonight.

—Darrell Griffith and Donovan Mitchell are bros for life.

—Horse Racing Nation has an update on former U of L kicker Matt Nakatani, who has started a new career as a jockey agent.

—The U of L women’s soccer team is off to Knoxville to take on Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

—It’s USL Cup day, as Louisville City FC hosts Phoenix Rising FC at Lynn Stadium. Let’s keep the Cup home, boys.

—I’m solo on the radio today talking the start of college hoops season, football rumors and taking your calls at 571-7900. I’ll also have men’s soccer coach Ken Lolla on at 4:05 to talk about last night’s win over Wake Forest and Sunday’s championship game against North Carolina.

—And finally, beat Nicholls State.