—A reminder that voting for the 2018 CC Person of the Year has begun.
—A second reminder to send me your viewing locations for Saturday so they can be added to tomorrow’s “Where We’re Watching” post.
—A closer look at the “Iced Out” unis for Saturday.
—Shoutout to Carmichael’s Book Store, which just turned 40 years old.
—U of L women’s golf coach Courtney Trimble will retire following the end of the 2018-19 season. The school has announced that it will elevate Whitney Young to take over as head coach.
—Chris Mack and his assistants talk about their first foray into the madness that is the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry.
History has not been kind to first-year head coaches in the rivalry. Those who coached a Louisville-Kentucky game in their first seasons on the job have a combined 5-7 record (4-4 Kentucky, 1-3 Louisville).
In Rick Pitino’s first season coaching the Wildcats in 1989-90, he fell 86-79 to the Cardinals in Lexington. He didn’t fare any better in his first season with Louisville, either, losing 82-62 to a Kentucky team ranked sixth in the country.
John Calipari was victorious in his first Kentucky-Louisville clash as DeMarcus Cousins notched a double-double to lead the Wildcats to a 71-62 win.
But if Mack’s memories of the Crosstown Shootout, both as a player and a coach, have taught him one thing, it’s that anything can happen in a rivalry game.
Leading into their first clash with Kentucky, members of Louisville’s coaching staff have been inundated with stories about the raucous atmosphere.
”I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a place where the game before the big game, you hear the ‘Beat UK!’ chants,” Louisville assistant Mike Pegues said. “If that’s any indication of what it’s going to be like, I’ll be a little more juiced up than normal.”
—Students attending Saturday’s game should get to the Yum Center early to take advantage of the free concessions.
—Jordan Travis has officially transferred to Florida State.
—Jaylen Smith has signed with King Sports and Entertainment Agency.
—The details of Donovan Mitchell’s first signature shoe — coming in 2019 — are here.
—Good stuff here:
—Wednesday night’s Cheez-It Bowl featured 17 points and nine interceptions. The internet enjoyed it.
—Duke blasted Temple in the Independence Bowl, and QB Daniel Jones may have made himself some serious money.
—Ken Pomeroy says Duke is the most likely ACC regular season champion.
ACC: Duke*, 67 percent; Virginia, 27; North Carolina, 13; Virginia Tech, 10
It feels like the Blue Devils should be a bigger favorite, but don’t forget they have to play Virginia and North Carolina twice, so schedule strength becomes a factor. Here’s a fun fact: The Blue Devils’ last regular-season title was way back in 2010.
—With Chris Mack at the helm, can Louisville finally steal Kentucky’s rivalry joy?
—This is a great listen on the other side of the “transfer epidemic.”
After sending @leloking32 (2x transfer and 2018 1st Team All-Big West) this Rothstein tweet, we recorded a discussion about the transfer "epidemic" in CBB. Featuring Leland's story & data on what's really going on:— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) December 24, 2018
YouTube: https://t.co/Ui0IFK8xB8 pic.twitter.com/A1JoVQ21FQ
—Big Red Louie lays out five things Louisville has to do if it wants to beat UK.
—The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Mark Story looks at all the matchups in Saturday’s Louisville-Kentucky game and predicts a 1-point Wildcat victory.
—Trez season keeps rolling on.
—The Louisville women’s basketball team remains at No. 3 in both the AP and coaches’ polls for this week.
—A review of the week that was in ACC women’s basketball.
—Eric Wood’s got ups.
I know it's a travel but this is the first time I've done this since the six leg surgeries... pic.twitter.com/MMO85KvcXI— Eric Wood (@EWood70) December 27, 2018
—Jake Lourim writes that Scott Satterfield is bringing a much-needed change to the Louisville defense.
—The staff over at A Sea of Blue gives its predictions for Saturday’s game, and they all like the Cats to prevail.
—Intensity is a point of emphasis for both of Saturday’s coaches.
“Coach Mack always has us play hard. I have not played for a coach who has been so intense and always wants you to give maximum effort all the time,” Louisville’s Jordan Nwora, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds — his fourth double-double — against Robert Morris. “I really believe his system puts the team in the best position to win. He’s really been doing a good job at that.”
Yes he has and Mack has Louisville playing better than many thought it might this season. That intensity he demands has resulted in his team making more free throws than opponents have attempted in seven of 12 games this season.
“Obviously I have seen them on TV and watched a few of their games,” Nwora said. “Obviously they are a very good team. We just have to bring our A game.”
Nwora says the Cardinals go into every game believing they can win — no one can fault that — and expects to be fully prepared to face No. 16 UK Saturday. He also has had a message to Louisville’s new players about what the game will be like.
“It’s really just a nasty rivalry. To put it in one word, nasty,” Nwora, who has scored in double figures in 11 of 12 games this season and has seven games with 19 or more points, said. “Last year we all know what happened (with the 29-point loss at Rupp Arena). Just happy for another game coming up (with Kentucky).”
—Eric Crawford writes about the promotion of John Michael Hayden as Louisville’s new men’s soccer coach.
—And finally, beat Kentucky.