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Wednesday evening Cardinal news and notes

On Valentine’s Day, Louisville still loves Gorgui.

—Louisville baseball held its annual media day on Tuesday. Here’s a recap.

The 2018 season gets underway Friday against Richmond.

—The U of L women’s basketball team will be looking to get back into the win column Thursday night against Boston College. Here’s a preview.

—Facing one of its biggest hurdles on the road to ACC imperfection, Pitt was screwing everything up last night by leading Boston College by 15 points in the first half.

But champions rise, my friends. Champions rise.

Final score: Boston College 81, Pittsburgh 58. Kevin Stallings and company move to 0-14 with Wake Forest at home looking like the only challenge left.

—The city of Cincinnati is riding high with two teams ranked in the current AP poll. I wrote a little bit about that.

—The most important story we’ve ever done at SB Nation: How DePaul walk-on Pantelis Xidias became college basketball’s greatest hype man.

—Little man killing it.

—The Courier Journal reports that the three U of L employees fired earlier this month — Mark Jurich, Julianne Waldron and Kim Maffet — were fired without cause and are currently on paid leave. The CJ also obtained copies of the termination letters for each.

—So a new Kentucky basketball documentary series is coming to Facebook.

I’m sure that they probably agreed to this before the start of the season, but I wonder how happy John Calipari is that this is still going down considering how the year has gone. Unless things turn around over the next month, I’m probably going to enjoy watching a special on UK basketball for the first time.

—The 30-player late season list for the Naismith Trophy on the men’s side is here.

—The women’s list — which includes both Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen — was released yesterday.

—The 50th annual Celebrity Dinner Party for Cystic Fibrosis — hosted by Denny Crum and Susan Sweeney Crum — is going down in 201 days.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 50th Annual Celebrity Dinner Party, hosted by Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum and Susan Sweeney Crum, will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Louisville Marriott Downtown, 280 W. Jefferson Street.

The event will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:00 pm. Guests will enjoy a cocktail lounge, dinner, full bar, live and silent auctions, and entertainment. In addition, each table will be assigned a local celebrity host.

Attendees are encouraged to wear “Hollywood Glamour” attire and black tie is optional. Revenue raised at the 50th Annual Celebrity Dinner Party will help support vital research, care and education programs. All to help those living with cystic fibrosis. Individual tickets are $200 ($100 tax deductible) and corporate sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information or to purchase tables/tickets, please visit our event website https://kycelebritydinner.eventscff.org/ or contact Ruth Hans at rhans@cff.org. For the most up to date information regarding the 50th Annual Celebrity Dinner Party, please like our Chapter Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cffkywvchapter/

—WalletHub says Louisville is 2018’s second least ethnically diverse big city.

—A Dime Back says firing Kevin Ollie won’t fix UConn’s biggest problem. It’s probably still gonna happen though.

—Mike DeCourcy says the gradual extinction of terrible teams in major conferences (besides Pitt) has ‘evolutionized’ the 2017-18 college hoops season.

—Jamie Luckie was back on his bullshit last night.

—Here’s a link that hopefully isn’t worth bookmarking: The Bubble team’s rooting guide.

—Angel McCoughtry has created a bit of a buzz by claiming that women’s basketball players need equal pay so that they don’t have to go overseas and keep playing in the offseason.

—Sports Illustrated sits down for a Q&A with Donovan Mitchell.

RN: What’s it like being a rookie with such a large role for your team?

DM: I think the biggest thing is having confidence in myself. If you know people around me, even in college, I was confident, but the possible thought of making it to the NBA was crazy. Being the shooter? I couldn’t shoot! If you told me I was going to be in the NBA a year ago, I would’ve thought, “Why are you lying to me?” But just being able to have confidence in myself. My teammates allow me to give my input—in the NBA its not normal for rookies to have this kind of freedom. My teammates have been so receptive, and without that it would be a lot harder.

RN: Have you had any “Welcome to the NBA” moments so far this season?

DM: I have a few; I’m going to give you three. The first one was playing against LeBron in Cleveland. That game was a “Welcome to the NBA” moment for sure. The year before I was screaming at the TV rooting for him in the Finals. Then, the 41-point game against New Orleans really changed my perspective on myself. I obviously had to have confidence going into the draft, but scoring 41 in a game gives you a different outlook as well. The last one is with my current favorite player, Russell Westbrook. He doesn’t talk to many people—I know this because I watch all the games—but he pulled me aside after the game and just told me to keep going and keep pushing. Him, PG, and Melo. Those were the craziest moments.

—The NCAA is still “working” on transfer reform.

—There’s no longer any excuse to work with the NCAA if you’re dealing with any sort of trouble whatsoever.

—Shoutout to Rex Ecarma.

—It seems like college football recruiting is getting top-heavy again. Here’s what the data has to say about that.

—Pat Forde’s latest Forde Yard Dash is here.

—This is an awesome idea.

—Most of the major decisions in college football over the last decade have been to maximize TV revenue, even if it means the games themselves suck. Now many games suck, people don’t show up, and leaders don’t seem to understand why.

—Matt Norlander of CBS talks with the five college hoops coaches who took their teams from unranked in the preseason to a top four seed at the present moment about how they did it.

—Louisville basketball is still scheduling future games as normal decide the ship being run by interim powers.

“At Louisville, we expect to have a competitive team and schedule of games every year,” said Kenny Klein, the athletic department’s chief spokesman whose primary responsibilities include media relations for the athletics director and the men’s basketball team.

With the January retirement of Kevin Miller, who served as the athletic department’s top financial officer, Klein has taken a larger role in helping the basketball program with its game and tournament agreements. It’s an example of athletics staffers adding new responsibilities amid what interim athletics director Vince Tyra called “restructuring” efforts.

But there isn’t much more work left for next season’s slate.

Padgett, working with director of basketball operations Michael Bowden, whose job responsibilities include scheduling for future seasons, said they have already reached out to potential opponents to finish up the remainder of the nonconference schedule.

”It was just a matter of us scheduling the guarantee games that we feel are the best for us,” Padgett said, “and just trying to make the days and all that work.”

—New Hampshire is apparently the drunkest state in America.

—And finally, shoutout to all the U of L athletes who took part in the love Louisville event today.