—The U of L women’s basketball team has a tricky game at 8-1 Central Michigan Thursday night. The Chippewas were a Sweet 16 squad a year ago. Here’s a game preview.
—Louisville is a No. 6 seed in the latest Bracketology from CBS.
—U of L has officially announced Stu Holt as its new tight ends and special teams coach. I will mistakenly refer to him as “Steve” approximately one billion times.
—Home attendance for Louisville’s two major sports has been down significantly over the past two years.
“You can drive sales, but what you really have to drive is attendance,” Tyra said in an interview with WDRB on Tuesday. “. . . Having fans there is good, for the support yes, but you lose in other ways if they aren’t, with concessions and things like that.”
And last season for Louisville football, they weren’t there. The actual number of scanned tickets for Louisville games this season was 32,235 per game – though that number isn’t entirely reliable, because of fans who get in without being scanned, or scanner malfunction.
Louisville announced an average of 50,251 at home games this season – with a high of 54,923 for a win over Western Kentucky in the second game of the season. Few would accept that average as completely accurate, either. The truth is probably somewhere between the scanned total and the announced figure, but the challenge for Tyra lies in getting people into the seats, and engaged with the programs – and not just football.
The Louisville men’s basketball team – a fixture in the national Top 5 in attendance for most of 40 years – is averaging 15,140 through seven home games this season. That’s a drop of more than 3,000 per game from the 18,213 the Cards drew through the first seven games just one year ago, which itself was a drop from the 19,197 that attended the first seven games in 2016.
—For the first time this season, Louisville has entered Gary Parrish’s daily top 25 and one rankings. The Cards are the “and one” at No. 26.
—Sheldon Rankins continues to be a beast.
One of the coldest spin moves in the @NFL belongs to a Defensive Tackle...?— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 18, 2018
Sheldon Rankins is a MONSTER. pic.twitter.com/bDwTJVYiIx
—U of L baseball is No. 9 in the first preseason poll for the 2019 season.
—Yahoo’s Pete Thamel breaks down the situations of the highest-profile quarterback transfers in college football, and lists Louisville as one of the primary schools in desperate need of a signal caller.
What other Power Five programs are in the market?
With the usual flurry of quarterback transfers, there are always a handful of programs in the market. Louisville is one that stands out, as they finished last in the ACC in offense and offensive efficiency last season and missed on Neal.
“We only have two quarterbacks right now,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield told Yahoo Sports this week. “We’re looking to add some more at that position, for sure.”
Who else could be in the market? We’ve already covered Ohio State. Minnesota, Maryland, UCLA, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Miami, Auburn, TCU, Florida State and Arkansas were other Power Five programs that came up calling around as potentially adding a transfer quarterback. They certainly aren’t the only ones, as just about everyone can use a competent quarterback or some depth. The market is robust.
Both Indiana and Iowa State are among the schools who’ve already added transfers. Another intriguing option remaining is SMU’s Ben Hicks (there’s heavy Arkansas speculation as he played for Chad Morris). TCU’s Shawn Robinson is also on the move and will reportedly land at Missouri, where he’ll sit for a year while incoming graduate transfer Kelly Bryant is at the helm.
—Thrilled that, at least in some way, David Padgett is going to be involved in major college basketball this season.
Great to see this guy in the crowd at Bellarmine tonight. “My first college basketball game since the last one I coached.” David Padgett says he’ll begin work for ESPN in 2 weeks, as an analyst for Rhode Island-Saint Louis. “I’ll probably be a nervous wreck.” pic.twitter.com/WAsu5CvoaD— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) December 19, 2018
—The CJ is the latest news outlet to take an inside look at Chris Vaughn and Aspirations Gym.
—Swish Appeal looks at this week in ACC women’s basketball.
—I love this.
Cooper Dawson picks Syracuse by telling his close friend first and letting him announce it ❤️— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) December 19, 2018
—Scott Davenport and the No. 1 Bellarmine Knights extended the longest home court winning streak in all of college basketball to 61 with a 23-point beatdown of 12th-ranked Barry Tuesday night.
—The Knights were inspired by the second-best honorary team captain in program history.
Grateful for the opportunity to speak to @Bellarminehoops team today. Special group of young men they have. Good luck to the #1 in the country Knights tonight! pic.twitter.com/jnCM1pJlXI— Eric Wood (@EWood70) December 18, 2018
—Last night in ACC basketball:
No. 2 Duke 101, Princeton 50
No. 14 Buffalo 71, Syracuse 59 (first back-to-back non-con home losses for Cuse since 1975)
Clemson 78, Charleston Southern 51
Notre Dame 69, Binghamton 56
—Tonight in ACC basketball:
No. 5 Virginia At South Carolina (7 p.m./SEC Network)
No. 7 Auburn At NC State (7 p.m./ESPN2)
North Florida At No. 11 Florida State (7 p.m./ACCNE)
North Carolina A&T At No. 13 Virginia Tech (7 p.m./ACCNE)
Houston Baptist At Miami (7 p.m./ACCNE)
Georgia Tech At Arkansas (9 p.m/SEC Network)
—Trinity standout and current U of L signee David Johnson talks about Chris Mack’s first season at Louisville thus far.
Trinity guard and 2019 U of L Basketball commit David Johnson on Louisville's 8-3 start in year one under Head Coach Chris Mack, widely seen by most as a likely rebuilding season. @trinitysports @WLKY pic.twitter.com/U7xk9XITB4— Fred Cowgill WLKY (@FredCowgillWLKY) December 18, 2018
—The U of L women’s basketball team has produced its ninth-straight semester with a team GPA above 3.0. They are also very good at basketball.
—Katie George talks about how growing up in Louisville laid the foundation for her professional success.
—Mekhi Becton is excited about the addition of Dwayne Ledford.
Let’s work!!!! https://t.co/5TroVnVKxr— (@BigTicket73) December 18, 2018
—The CJ looks at how Chris Mack’s team has defended some of the biggest stars in college hoops so far this season.
—With big J journalist Jeff Greer in the house, Murray State superstar Ja Morant hit a buzzer-beater to lift the Racers past Evansville.
—It was not the best buzzer-beater of the night.
Check out this 75 foot three-pointer by Preston Parks at the buzzer to give @SkyhawkHoops a #SCTop10 winner over Chattanooga! pic.twitter.com/7LNQLPDbro— UT Martin Athletics (@UTMSports) December 19, 2018
—Two more Appalachian assistants are joining Scott Satterfield’s staff at Louisville.
—U of L track and field signee Presley Kiser is “head over heels” in love with U of L.
—Streaking the Lawn has Louisville at No. 7 in its weekly ACC power rankings.
—And finally, John and I are back on the radio today talking about today’s signees, the additions to the football staff, and also breaking down our top 10 stories from the year that was in Cardinal athletics. You can listen here.