—Donovan Mitchell is the featured guest on the latest episode of The Woj Pod.
—Bovada’s new over/under win totals for the 2018 college football season have Louisville at 7.
2018 Regular Season Wins - Louisville Cardinals
Over 7 (-130, 10/13)
Under 7 (EVEN, 1/1)
—It has been a massive two months for the Terry Rozier brand. Roll your eyes if you want, but that’s a big deal in this brave new world.
—Louisville recruit and Trinity standout David Johnson scored 31 points and hit the game-winning shot to lift the Kentucky Junior All-Stars past the Senior team earlier this week.
—Andy Katz ranks Louisville-Michigan State as the 18th-best conference challenge game of the upcoming season.
18. Michigan State at Louisville, ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Nov. 27: The rebuilding at Louisville lowered the expectations a bit on this matchup, but there’s no reason to believe it won’t deliver. Michigan State will be more experienced, especially at the point. And winning a true road game this early will be the catalyst the Spartans need. A Louisville upset could catapult Chris Mack’s crew toward a possible surprising ACC season.
—Former Louisville women’s basketball guard Sydney Zambrotta has transferred to George Washington.
—U of L makes the cut for yet another class of 2019 standout.
Top 50 (4⭐️) Team Thad’s 6’7 SG Jaykwon Walton (@jaykwon1walton) cuts his to 7️⃣ schools!— Team Thad (@TeamThad21) June 6, 2018
He says “Thanks to EVERYONE” Final 4 & Official visits soon #TTN will ALWAYS develop & maximize talent, manhood & character @EvanDaniels @UGABasketball @AlabamaMBB @LouisvilleMBB pic.twitter.com/CavWOlPaeG
—The full roster for the U-18 USA Basketball team has been announced.
—Myisha Hines-Allen’s professional career with the Washington Mystics is off to a tremendous start.
When everyone simultaneously forgets how to baseball pic.twitter.com/FLgu1Dy5Er— Dylan Anderson (@DiamondDigest) June 7, 2018
—Oliver Luck is going from NCAA executive to commissioner of the XFL. Seriously.
—Washington head coach Mike Hopkins got a $15,000 bonus for being the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. He chose to share that money with his fan base in the form of a shit-ton of $12 gift cards to Starbucks.
—Based solely on these images and Dino Guadio’s tweet, what do you predict the final score of the Louisville-NC State game will be?
We had a great morning today, because the players practiced so hard and were together. But just as important b/c we are implementing a new system on offense and defense, they have to play the game with their minds, not just their bodies AND they did! https://t.co/S7pqFFlmsd— Dino Gaudio (@coachdinogaudio) June 6, 2018
—Kyler Murray and the Oakland A’s are close to reaching a deal guarantees him ‘close to $5M’ and also lets him play quarterback at Oklahoma for one year. I still don’t get how this is kosher with all the ridiculous hurdles the NCAA makes athletes jump over to maintain their amateur status, but whatever.
—I’m not the only one struggling to understand.
—Great news from Texas, where Andrew Jones — who had to leave school in the middle of last season after being diagnosed with leukemia -- has been cleared to enroll in online classes and start the process of returning to college.
—Tom Jurich made the media rounds yesterday, including an interview with us that wound up sounding like it was being conducted from Mars. He talked mostly about wanting to thank the fans, wanting to move on, and not wanting to hold onto any bitterness.
—U of L baseball signee Jack Perkins is delaying his MLB dreams in order to play for the Cards.
Beyond blessed and thankful for the opportunity to continue my baseball career professionally with the Atlanta Braves organization, but with that being said, I will honor my commitment to the University of Louisville and help get us back to Omaha! #L1C4 https://t.co/S3ghS7wO9l— Jack Perkins (@JackPerkins06) June 7, 2018
—It’s at The Athletic so it’s behind a paywall, but C.J. Moore has a really good read on what NBA folks can learn from the success of Donovan Mitchell and Terry Rozier.
The guessing game of the NBA Draft can often define the perception of a front office. Danny Ainge and his crew in Boston have orchestrated one of the best rebuilds ever because they’re batting a pretty high percentage on draft picks. Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is a star these days after taking Donovan Mitchell at No. 13 in last year’s draft and watching Mitchell turn into one of the best young guards in the league.
The success of both franchises this season has been tied to seeing something in two former Louisville guards that others may have missed. Terry Rozier was viewed as a second-round pick when he decided to leave after his sophomore season in 2015, and then Cardinals coach Rick Pitino believed Mitchell would return to school because he wouldn’t go high enough to justify leaving. When it comes to drafting, the NBA often follows trends, and one such trend that has driven many decisions in recent years is the premium the league puts on shooting. It helps explain how Luke Kennard of Duke went a spot ahead of Mitchell, and the scouting reports on Mitchell and Rozier included concerns about their jump shots. Rozier shot 33.1 percent from 3-point range in his two years in college, and while Mitchell improved as a sophomore from deep (from 25.0 to 35.4 percent), he was streaky. He shot below 32 percent in three of five months, including 21.6 percent in March.
“I think none of us are great at understanding improvement and who can improve and why, and who doesn’t and why,” Lindsey says. “I think many times [we] are reaching. When someone does improve, sometimes they can improve in a manner that is maybe detectable to a coach but not to an analytics person and vice versa.”
Mitchell’s potential as a shot-maker is one of the reasons he’s already a star in the league. He set an NBA rookie record for 3-pointers made in a season. Rozier went through a stretch in the NBA playoffs where it seemed as if he was never going to miss. He now has the reputation as a good shooter, and he piloted his team to the Eastern Conference finals. Once considered players with physical skills but a lot of holes in their games, they are two of the biggest steals in their draft classes, and revisionist history tells us their shooting should not have been a concern.
As Lindsey says, improvement is hard to project, but that doesn’t mean teams don’t try. Are there lessons to be learned from the stories of Rozier and Mitchell that we can apply to future drafts, including this one? And which prospects in this class could turn out to be steals? To identify those players, it’s worth reviewing how Rozier and Mitchell got here.
—Vulture serves up its best podcasts of 2018 so far. It’s shocking at times, but Caliphate is a pretty gripping inside look at Isis and how it became what it did from the reporter who’s gotten closer to the terrorist group than any other. Highly-recommended if that sounds like something that might be up your alley.
—In the wake of one of my favorite sports stories of all-time, Bryan Colangelo has resigned as president of the 76ers.
—Louisville City FC will host USL brethren Nashville City SC in the Sweet 16 of the U.S. Open Cup.
—Card Chronicle’s own J_Perry recently released an album that is drawing some great reviews. Check it out.
—The bracket for this summer’s edition of The Basketball Tournament is here.
—Four-star class of 2019 big man Jason Jitoboh wrapped up an unofficial visit to U of L on Thursday, and it seems as though it went well.
—Athlon’s early top 25 for the 2018-19 college basketball season does not include Louisville.
—Again, keeping this guy around was/is a pretty big deal.
Louisville has won more games during Dan McDonnell's head coaching career than any other Divsion I baseball team.— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) June 7, 2018
—Drew Magary on the passing of Anthony Bourdain is worth five minutes of your day.
—Donovan Mitchell says he’d love to be LeBron James’ teammate, but what he’d love more would be to beat James in the NBA Finals.
—Mike Leach serves up your Friday Irrelevance for this week.
—U of L has promoted Ryan Rougeux to head diving coach.
—Welcome to the Ville, Brayden.
Brayden’s 1st official day in Louisville. Headed to work with Daddy. Get ready folks.... pic.twitter.com/fKwQ1qUQ2b— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) June 8, 2018
—247 Sports lists Alabama as one of the teams with the most to lose on week 1 of the 2018 college football season.
It’s fairly unlikely that the Louisville Cardinals keep things close in Week 1 against the Crimson Tide. It’s even more unlikely that they win, but if Jawon Pass has a great debut as Lamar Jackson’s replacement it could be trouble for Alabama. Even if the Cardinals don’t win, questions will be asked about the defending champs if it’s a close game. Like Miami, Alabama has a favorable schedule for most of the season so they may want to pick up style points while they can.
—Deng Adel will work out for the Boston Celtics.
—If this doesn’t get to you at least a little bit, nothing will.
TJ Oshie talking about his dad wrecked me pic.twitter.com/2A2hjmx8TE— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) June 8, 2018
Congrats to the Caps.
—Rick Bozich writes that after watching others leave Louisville for “greener pastures” and fail, Dan McDonnell wasn’t going to make the same mistake.
—The respect comes pouring in when your non-con schedule features 1 1⁄4 SEC teams.
—Thrillist serves up the best places to watch the World Cup in Louisville.
—Breeders’ Cup ticket sales are open.
—And finally, Jeff Greer will be on with me to co-host this afternoon’s edition of R&R. You can listen here.