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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

When you’ve got a Polar Express class project and you’re supposed to decorate your car with things that describe who you are ...

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—It’s game day for the Louisville women’s basketball team, which will face yet another significant road test at Central Michigan.

—Updated Louisville men’s basketball rankings update:

NET: No. 17

Ken Pom: No. 37

Sagarin: No. 20

—Pat Forde writes about why he believes Scott Satterfield can eventually resurrect Louisville football.

“I just want to get going,” the 45-year-old Satterfield said. “We just want to go. But this will be a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll go crazy if you’re not patient. We’re in a business where a sense of urgency is key, but you always need to keep the big picture in mind. We know where we’re headed, but it’s going to take a little time to get there.”

That’s because Bobby Petrino left behind a mess at Louisville. A program propped up by the brilliance of 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson abruptly collapsed when he went pro, exposing glaring deficiencies in talent, toughness and leadership. The rebuild is substantial enough that Satterfield envisions winter conditioning and spring practice being devoted more to building culture and coaching effort than implementing schemes and strategy.

The Petrino shortcomings expand from there — he was lousy with the media and disconnected from local high school coaches, two of the reasons he had virtually no advocates when the going got tough this past season. When Satterfield made a point of visiting several local high schools during his first week on the job, inviting the coaches to attend spring practice, the reaction was giddy surprise.

“They were pumped and excited that I was actually in the schools,” Satterfield said. “They were very receptive. It’s not my fault what happened in the past.”

—Montrezl Harrell’s brand is outworking every other player in the NBA. It’s working out pretty well for him.

—SI says that Harrell is one of five players in the NBA flying below the radar.

—I’m here with a college basketball stock report that includes serious shots at the Pac-12 and less serious shots at Zion Williamson.

—Jody Demling has a nice Q&A with Pete Nochta, the only member of the previous regime who’s joining Scott Satterfield’s staff.

Cardinal Authority: During the time of uncertainty, how did you try and keep selling the program?

Nochta: “For me it was a little bit easier how to play here. It’s a place that I have so much passion towards. It was a constant batch of mixed emotions on that part but once we hired coach Satterfield it’s been awesome. It really doesn’t even seem like real life because he’s been so great to be around. He’s welcomed me with open arms. He’s really listened to my opinion on things.”

Cardinal Authority: I know there were a few days you were in limbo and I know this program means a lot to you. What was it like when you found out that he was going to retain you on the staff?

Nochta: “When I initially found out, I was extremely grateful that I had a job. But obviously this is my favorite school and it’s where I grew up wanting to play and this is the place I love. For me, just to be able to stick around and be able to coach here at the place I love is something I am extremely grateful for and it just shows if you trust in God then he will provide.”

Cardinal Authority: OK, recruiting wise you have four guys in the class now and you only need 10 more. I don’t want to say it’s going to be easy, but it’s not a large number to manage. How do you look at the next month or so?

Nochta: “Yes and the other thing is a lot of these classes are full. So, a lot of the people you would normally be competing against, they don’t have any spots. So that allows you to focus on the guy you want and the fact we don’t have to sign a ton of them, we can still be selective and we can still narrow in and give some personal attention to the main guys.”

—Louisville baseball is hosting a pair of winter camps next month on Jan. 19th and 20th. You can reserve your spot here.

—The amount of chirping that Kentucky football does at the slightest hint of success is truly astounding. Here’s Vince Marrow with the latest dose:

I can’t wait to see the billboard we put up in response.

—This is a great story on how the IUPUI basketball team wrapped its arms around a freshman guard whose brother committed suicide in September. Sports can still be very good.

—Rivals lists new Louisville QB signee Evan Conley as one of the 10 biggest flips on the first day of the early signing period.

8. Three-star QB Evan Conley flips to Louisville from Appalachian State

Generally a flip from a program like Appalachian State to a Power Five program isn’t considered a significant recruiting coup but it is clear that new Cardinals head coach Scott Satterfield knows who he wants running his offense. Satterfield recruited Conley to Appalachian State and now he is bringing him to Louisville.

—The U of L men’s basketball team produced a collective 3.52 GPA for the fall semester.

—North Carolina has signed Roy Williams to an 8-year contract extension.

—Love this.

—Last night in the ACC, where the league embarrassed the SEC and posted a perfect night overall:

No. 5 Virginia 69, South Carolina 52

NC State 78, No. 7 Auburn 71

Georgia Tech 69, Arkansas 65

No. 11 Florida State 95, North Florida 81

No. 13 Virginia Tech 82, North Carolina A&T 60

Miami 80, Houston Baptist 73

—Tonight in the ACC:

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 12 Texas Tech (at Madison Square Garden) (7 p.m./ESPN2)

Pittsburgh vs. New Orleans (7 p.m./ACCNE)

Notre Dame vs. Jacksonville (7 p.m./ACCNE)

—U of L signee Josh Nickelberry, who is currently the No. 1 scorer in the state of North Carolina, gives his best explanation for why he plummeted in the national rankings over the summer and is now setting the world on fire.

—Manual High product Aidan Robbins could have a big role with Louisville football right out of the gate.

—NC State’s upset of Auburn cost Louisville its spot in CBS’ daily rankings.

—Rick Pitino appears to be on the verge of taking a coaching job in Greece.

Former Florida star Nick Calathes is the current captain of this team. Maryland product James Gist is also on the squad.

—I don’t know how you determine something like this, but apparently San Francisco is the best city in America when it comes to keeping New Year’s resolutions.

—These are the 13 best sports bloopers and blunders from the year 2018.

—Thursday Irrelevance:

—The common theme from every member of the new Louisville football staff so far has been taking the “family approach.”

Three keys to a Cardinal victory over Robert Morris.

—Shoutout to U of L on being the No. 4 community service program in Division-I.

—And finally, we’ve got U of L assistant Dino Gaudio on R&R today. You can listen to the show here.