—Spread check: Louisville by 23.
—Major congrats to Asia Durr on becoming just the fourth player in Louisville basketball history to join the 2,000-point club. The All-American dropped 31 last night to help the third-ranked Cards remain unbeaten.
—Your game day GIF:
—I can’t believe it’s already been eight years since the infamous near brawl at the 2010 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Dance-Off. Relive the magic, which includes the greatest bowl week quote of all-time, here.
—Weekday afternoon bowl games are finally back and here to stay for the next 10 days.
—The best news of 2018 (half joking) gets in just under the wire as I have received visual evidence that the restoration project to turn the Cardinal Stadium seats from pink back to red is officially underway.
I know it’s a little thing (in the grand scheme of things), but it’s still been embarrassing to see those seats for the last 10 years. This has been a long time coming.
—Last-second tickets for tonight’s game are currently available for 10 bucks.
—If Frank Ponce is good enough for Teddy Bridgewater, then I think it goes without saying that he should be good enough for all of us.
Ponce recruited me back in high school! I’m excited about the future with this staff. Rooting for Satt and staff!! #L1C4— Teddy Bridgewater (@teddyb_h2o) December 21, 2018
—Eric Crawford writes about Rick Pitino potentially taking a head coaching job in Greece and why it might be a good thing for all parties concerned.
—Caroline Darney ranks the eight best teams in college basketball, three of which play in the ACC.
—Solid last minute gift idea here.
Got an early Christmas present for the mrs and let me say I’m stoked!! It’s only the greatest bobble head in all the land! My man @Lj_era8 agrees with me! @CardChronicle if ya haven’t got one of these ya should grab one from JD Becker before they gone pic.twitter.com/Ep0QQoD2Lv— Sampson (@LouCards82) December 20, 2018
—Linebacker Kam Jones, running back Trey Smith and now LB Jonathan Greenard have officially entered their names into the NCAA transfer portal.
—In losing the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl to Marshall last night, Charlie Strong’s South Florida Bulls became the first FBS team in history to start a season 7-0 and finish it 7-6.
—OSU has also announced that the Ghost of Woody Hayes is set to teach course on physical restraint in public settings.
—Former USC assistant Tony Bland is reportedly nearing a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in his college hoops fraud case, which is scheduled to go to trial in April. Expect more plea deals — or at least attempted plea deals — to come.
—I’ll never get tired of these videos, period, but they’re especially cool when the player receiving the scholarship is Chris Herren Jr.
—Five-star class of 2021 product Randy Brady is set to attend Louisville’s game against Robert Morris tonight.
—VJ King may only be 3-for-18 from three this year, but for some reason, every Louisville player (but one) shoots the three better when VJ’s on the floor.
Given King’s struggles from the outside, you’d think that teams would sag off of him and challenge opposing shooters more, making it harder for teammates to shoot from deep, not easier. But that’s not what’s happening.
What’s happening is two subtle effects from how King plays, which are helping to open the court for his teammates. First, King is a very good defensive rebounder, collecting over 18% of the opponent’s misses (per KenPom.com). When King gets a defensive rebound, he can and does lead the fast break. This leads to higher quality looks in transition for UofL. UofL is 12 for 27 (44%) on 3 pointers in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock when King is in the game, compared to 16 for 44 (36%) on the same shots when he sits. Second, one of King’s strengths is his willingness to drive with the ball. He’s able to get into the lane, draw attention, and kick the ball to the perimeter. This usually forces the defense to scramble, which leads to quality 3 point attempts. The other UofL player who does this well is Darius Perry, and the team’s shooting improves with their skills. With King and Perry in the game, UofL shoots 46% on 3 pointers; with neither of them in, they shoot a pitiful 24%. While Perry is a solid 10-25 (40%) from deep himself, UofL’s shooting with King is in spite of his wayward 3-18 performance on 3 pointers.
What Does This Mean? Because UofL plays undersized lineups, they need to be accurate from deep as often as possible. In order to get good looks from deep, they need the driving skills of King and Perry. Even though VJ King is plainly not a good shooter from deep, and is not having a productive offensive season statistically, UofL is having a lot of success when he plays because of his hard work in opening the floor to get good shots for his teammates on the fast break and in the halfcourt. VJ King is a textbook example of the adage that “some things he does don’t show up in the box score”. UofL should continue to give him solid minutes, even if he struggles to create his own offense.
—Former Louisville QB Jordan Travis is reportedly close to transferring to Florida State.
—North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Colorado all had really smooth recruiting transitions. Louisville ... did not, but that’s not Scott Satterfield’s fault.
—If only we could all be remembered this way.
—Kentucky transfer Quade Green is headed to Washington.
—The NCAA has selected the locations and dates for its newly created youth development basketball camps.
—The innuendo is over the top strong in this Frank Martin exchange with a reporter.
Here's Frank Martin's response to my question tonight when I asked him if it was worth it in the end to schedule top 10 teams, compared to two years ago when the schedule turned out (because of injuries/transfers to opposing teams) to be easier on paper than expected. pic.twitter.com/GACZxhfl35— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) December 20, 2018
—Terrible news from Bloomington, where longtime IU beat writer Terry Hutchens has passed away after being involved in a car accident earlier this week.
—The Reds are winning the 2019 World Series.
Guys my dad just showed me this video & i rlly hope it makes ur day just as it’s made mine pic.twitter.com/pMFOrqga3r— Sumayah. (@Sumvyah0) December 15, 2018
—Last night in the ACC:
No. 2 Duke 69, No. 12 Texas Tech 58
Pittsburgh 99, New Orleans 57
Notre Dame 100, Jacksonville 74
Louisville vs. Bobby Mo is the only ACC game on the docket this evening.
—And finally, beat Robert Morris.