—The much-discussed Commission on College Basketball is releasing its recommendations for the “significant changes” being made to the sport tomorrow morning. I wrote a little bit about what’s going on and what we should expect.
—If you couldn’t stay up for it, Donovan Mitchell dropped 33 points and the Jazz now have the Oklahoma City “super team” on the brink of first round elimination.
—How in the world did Donovan drop to the 13th pick last summer?
—This is so awesome.
—Louisville baseball is back in action tonight at 6 against Western Kentucky. Here’s a preview.
—Chris Mack will throw out the first pitch.
—Alcohol sales at NCAA championship events (including the NCAA tournament) are officially a go.
—The Athletic’s Chris Dortch lists Louisville as a “Slam Dunk” hire.
Chris Mack, Louisville: Rumors that Mack was leaving Xavier for another power conference job have been as much a part of spring as filing your tax return, but every year he always resisted the overtures, no matter how tantalizing they seemed. Pundits wondered what it would take to pry this man loose from the comfort of a program where winning and NCAA Tournament trips are imbedded in its DNA.
On March 28, the pundits got their answer. The mess that had become Louisville basketball needed a stabilizing force, and there was Mack, just a couple of hours up I-71 in Cincinnati. It took a big paycheck and a multiyear contract to sway him, but make no mistake, the challenge of coaching in the nation’s best basketball conference, the ACC, with the tools that a tradition-rich program such as Louisville could provide, was too much to pass up.
Mack wisely brought two of his Xavier assistants with him. Mike Pegues has coached at Mack’s side for six seasons and is known as a tutor of big men and a relationship-builder, a handy skill in recruiting.
Bringing Luke Murray along ensures that his father, Bill, will be a regular presence at KFC Yum! Center. More important, Luke is a detail freak who excels at recruiting. He’ll serve as the Cardinals’ recruiting coordinator and also coach perimeter players.
An intriguing addition to the staff is Dino Gaudio, who in hindsight got the shaft when Wake Forest cut him loose after three seasons during which he had a 61-33 record and led the Demon Deacons to the NCAA Tournament in his final two years. Wake has been to the tournament just once since Gaudio’s final season, in 2010.
Gaudio has also been a head coach at Loyola Maryland and Army. He spent the last eight seasons as an analyst for ESPN, an experience that could be invaluable. Several coaches who worked in television before returning to the sideline tell The Athletic that their time spent traveling around the country, talking to other coaches about Xs and Os and watching countless practices and shoot-arounds allowed them to see other ways of doing things.
—Joe Lunardi updated his early Bracketology and still has Louisville in as an 8 seed.
—Some NFL Draft odds:
NFL DRAFT - Who will be the 2nd overall pick in the Draft?
Saquon Barkley 2/1
Bradley Chubb 11/4
Sam Darnold 114
Josh Allen 7/2
Josh Rosen 4/1
Baker Mayfield 15/1
Lamar Jackson 40/1
Mason Rudolph 60/1
NFL DRAFT - Will The Top 4 Picks All Be Quarterbacks?
Yes +800 (8/1)
No -2500 (1/25)
NFL DRAFT - Number of Quarterbacks Selected in Round 1
Over 5.5 +155 (31/20)
Under 5.5 -220 (5/11)
NFL DRAFT - Number of Alabama Players Selected in Round 1
Over 3.5 -300 (1/3)
Under 3.5 +200 (2/1)
NFL DRAFT - Draft Position - Lamar Jackson
Over 17.5 -165 (20/33)
Under 17.5 +125 (5/4)
—Are the Patriots really interested in Lamar Jackson, or is this all a smokescreen?
—He might not be the first, second or third QB selected, but there’s no question Lamar is the most intriguing prospect in the 2018 draft.
—This is awesome from Trey Lewis.
Tonight’s performance is dedicated to my parents who are celebrating 37 years of marriage. It was only right that I dropped 37 for y’all tonight! Happy Anniversary pic.twitter.com/nWEFEPiLtZ— Trey Lewis (@Treylew3) April 23, 2018
—A guy who wrote two books with John Calipari is now writing a book about Rick Pitino’s final days at Louisville. I’m sure it will be fair and flattering.
—The latest SB Nation mock draft has Lamar going to the Cardinals with the 15th pick.
—I know it’s just a shadow, but Ryan McMahon sporting a man bun that we could call the “McMahon Bun” is something that needs to happen.
—You can now watch live (or replayed) video of the Derby and Oaks contenders’ morning workouts at Churchill Downs.
Most points by a rookie in first four playoff games:— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) April 24, 2018
158 - Wilt Chamberlain (1960)
135 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1970)
125 - George Mikan (1950)
117 - Michael Jordan (1985)
110 - Donovan Mitchell (2018)
—Gronkowski the horse is out of the Derby, which means Gronkowski the human should be allowed to run in his place. That’s probably not going to happen, but here’s an updated look at the Derby leaderboard.
—If you’ve ever wanted to own a game-worn John Wooden Purdue basketball jersey from his time as a Boilermaker, well, your ship has arrived.
—I really want this to happen.
If this gets 500k retweets we'll change our mascot to Shrek pic.twitter.com/QK1XJL1ykC— The University of Toledo (@UToledo) April 24, 2018
There are too many Rockets in the MAC anyway.
—Alabama could have two QBs transfer and still have three blue chip QBs on its roster for 2019. That seems good.
—Mark Jurich has launched his own business, The Jurich Group, a consulting firm for university athletic departments.
—Georgia once tried to recruit Lamar Jackson as a safety, which turned out to be an error in judgment.
Jackson has said that as a recruit he heard from at least one SEC football program recruiting him to play safety, though he hadn’t played safety in high school.
”Georgia said they wanted me at safety,” Jackson said in a 2016 interview prior to his Heisman Trophy-winning season. “They were out of the equation right after they said that. ...
”I think it was the defensive coordinator. He called me and was like, ‘I like your speed. I think you’d be a great fit at safety.’ I was like, ‘Coach, I play quarterback.’ He was like, ‘Well, here’s the offensive coordinator.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not going there.’”
This would have been former coach Mark Richt’s staff at UGA, and the defensive coordinator – assuming that was the coach who called Jackson – would have likely been Jeremy Pruitt, who went on to become the head coach at Tennessee.
Sounds about right.
—The Ravens are the most recent team to host Lamar.
—Longtime PRP baseball coach Bill Miller, who led the Panthers to six state championships, passed away Monday after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He turned PRP into the team in the state that everyone wanted to be and everyone wanted to beat. Rest in peace.
—Would love to see Malik hear his name called this weekend.
—It’s a critical game five for Terry Rozier and the Celtics against the Bucks tonight at 7. Marcus Smart has been cleared to play for Boston.
—NBA to Louisville investors held an investor breakfast this morning at the Omni.
—Shoutout to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting on winning a Peabody Award.
—And finally, John and I are back on the air today from 3-6 talking Donovan, Courtney Ramey and other nonsense. Listen here.