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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Recent U of L graduate Dana Roberts got her degree and then immediately took it to Key West and the southernmost point of the continental United States for the 2018 CC Summer Tour.

—It’s NCAA tournament game day for U of L baseball, which takes on Kent State tonight at 7 in Lubbock. Here’s a preview.

—From South Sudan to Australia to being drafted to the NBA and learning from Dwight Howard and Michael Jordan, Mangok Mathiang has enjoyed a “very unreal” journey that is still far from over.

—Sports Illustrated ranks the top 100 NBA Draft prospects for 2018 and has Ray Spalding at No. 57, Brian Bowen at No. 75, and Deng Adel at No. 93.

57. RAY SPALDING, F/C, LOUISVILLE | JUNIOR

Height: 6’10” | Weight: 215 | Age: 21 | Last: 61

Stats: 12.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.7 BPG

With solid mobility, athleticism and an improving offensive skill level, Spalding emerged as Louisville’s top long-term prospect and has some potential to become a useful player in the right situation. Primarily, he’s a rebounder and agile defender who can block shots and should be able to offer matchup versatility on switches. He has nice touch with his right hand and has shown some potential as a face-up shooter, though he has yet to show consistent range from three. It’s a concern that opposing teams may be able to hide wing players on him given his slight build. Spalding’s not wildly strong or explosive, nor is he likely to become a high-scoring player, but is talented enough to warrant a shot in the second round.

—The funding is in for the new Louisville City FC stadium, and construction is set to begin in August.

—What if Jim Boeheim had a burner account?

—Good listen here: Louisville assistant Dino Gaudio sits down with the Sean Mo Podcast for a 28 minute chat.

—Some footage of new U of L commit Josh Nickelberry working on his game.

—Former Cardinal Nick Solak continues to tear it up in the Yankees’ farm system.

—Dr. Mark Lynn is the latest major U of L donor who appears to be pulling at least somewhat away from the school.

Tuesday, Lynn resigned his board seat with the U of L Foundation with more than a month left on his three-year term. Though Lynn said that decision was unrelated to any issues with the athletic department, the net effect is that another big donor has added distance himself between himself and the university.

“I will always continue to support the coaches and the athletes,” Lynn said Thursday. “I still have my suites at football and basketball. (But) If I’m going to get back into being a strong financial donor — more than I am already — that’s going to take time.”

Lynn joins Max Baumgardner and Bruce Perkins among top-tier donors to the Cardinal Athletic Fund who have become estranged from U of L athletics since the October firings of athletic director Tom Jurich and head basketball coach Rick Pitino. Jurich’s son, Mark, formerly U of L’s senior associate athletic director for development, says Lynn and his wife, Cindy, likely ranked among the athletic department’s 10 leading benefactors, “if not Top 5.”

—Cardinal baseball commit Nick Schnell is looking like he might be an early first round pick in the upcoming MLB Draft.

—Some love for the strength of U of L’s 2018 football schedule here.

—Logan Wyatt gets an All-American nod from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

—Conference USA’s new scheduling system for the upcoming basketball season is kinda awesome.

—We is smart.

—A look at the winners and losers from NBA Draft decision day earlier this week.

—U of L is at No. 18 in Bobby Reagan’s early top 25 for 2018-19.

18. Louisville

Part of this is the Chris Mack effect and part of this is Louisville will finally get to play with a clear mind this year. I think David Padgett did a really good job given the circumstances, but you have to believe everything going on weighed on these kids a year ago. Mack is one of the 15 best coaches in America and comes in with a pretty deep rotation.

Not sure depth is an area I’d be highlighting with this group, but that’s me.

—This overview of the NCAA baseball tournament starts by noting that not only has Louisville won five straight regional titles, but they’re 15-0 in those regional games.

—This is how far things have to go for there to be repercussions for someone who got a degree from UNC that they didn’t earn.

—Jeff Greer writes about why Josh Nickelberry is such a big get for Chris Mack.

—Hustle Belt looks at tonight’s matchup between Louisville and Kent State.

—This is what I came home to after radio yesterday:

Didn’t die. Looked reallll dumb struggling to get it down, but didn’t die.

—Louisville freshman Mollie Rouse has received a call-up to the England Women’s Under-20 National Team training camp on June 4-7 at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.

—A moment etched in sports history.

We’ll always have that picture of you and E5, JR.

—Louisville-based gas station chain Thornton’s is the latest local business to explore the possibility of being sold.

—Athlon previews the 2018 Louisville football season and predicts a pedestrian campaign.

Final Analysis

The Cardinals have more questions in 2018 than they’ve had during any season of Petrino’s second tour of duty at the school. Louisville must solve significant issues on defense and replace a former Heisman-winning quarterback. And they must do so against a schedule that begins with Alabama in Orlando and includes a road trip to Clemson. Another season in the middle of the ACC Atlantic pack looms.

NATIONAL RANKING: 40

ACC ATLANTIC PREDICTION: 6

—Here’s the official release from Michigan State on the Spartans playing Louisville this November.

—Despite some promising early returns, Jets Wire says Teddy Bridgewater still has plenty to prove.

—Fellow NBA players have voted Donovan Mitchell as their Rookie of the Year for 2017-18. They would know.

—And finally, beat Kent State.