—ACCSports.com has listed what it believes to be the top 100 players in the conference for the upcoming football season. Jawon Pass (64), Dorian Etheridge (60), Dez Fitzpatrick (56), Mekhi Becton (52), Jonathan Greenard (38) and Jaylen Smith (4) all make appearances.
—As it turns out, Bobby Petrino was the one who had the idea to put Justify on the 2018 media guide cover.
On a Thursday morning in early June, one day before Louisville’s deadline to finish its football media guide, coach Bobby Petrino made a phone call to the team’s spokesman, Rocco Gasparro. The coach had an idea for a new cover.
Until that morning, the plan was for the inside front cover to feature wide receivers Jaylen Smith, Dez Fitzpatrick and Seth Dawkins, three of the best in the conference, with the tag line “Speed City.”
Petrino had a fresh idea, one that generated some buzz Tuesday. He thought the school could add Triple Crown winner Justify, and put that image on the front cover.
Petrino brought Gasparro into his office and unveiled what he envisioned. Grant Apgar, the graphic designer for the football program, purchased a stock image of Justify on Adobe Stock and placed it with Smith, Fitzpatrick and Dawkins. The school finished the cover by the following Monday, making some subtle tweaks such as changing the orientation to fit a vertical cover layout.
The only way it could have been better would have been if Petrino had been riding Justify. In his dad glasses.
—Angel McCoughtry is a WNBA All-Star for the fifth time.
—Top U of L hoops recruiting target Aidan Igiehon came to the United States from Ireland at the age of 13. While the move was rough at first, he thinks he’ll be a better college basketball player because of it.
“When you’re 13 years old, you see bright lights (of the United States) and you want to go there,” Igiehon said. “Then when I’m here, I’m like, ‘Man, I miss my mom.’ I’m still a huge mama’s boy. … There’s some workouts I cry, I don’t want to do it. I’m a kid.
“It made me have to be a man quick. It’s a hard process and nobody really understands that, but just try being a 13-year-old kid across the world from your mom.”
Now 17, Igiehon has made the most of his move from Dublin to New York City.
Igiehon acknowledged he was naïve about the level of competition and intensity he would face in American basketball after playing mostly for fun in Ireland, but the physical gifts of his 6-foot-10 frame have more than made up for any adjustment period.
Kentucky, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Florida, St. John’s, Georgia, Stanford and Pittsburgh are all also still in the running for Igiehon’s college commitment. UK has yet to extend a scholarship offer, but Louisville might be the favorite in his recruitment.
—North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora thinks changes to football are going to result in the downfall of America. That is his right.
—ESPN has Louisville at 7th in its first ACC power rankings for the 2018 football season.
Last season: 8-5 (ACC: 4-4)
Replacing Lamar Jackson is the big talking point at Louisville, where Jawon Pass will step in for the former Heisman winner. But the bigger issue for the Cardinals may be on the other side of the ball, where Bobby Petrino is on his third defensive coordinator in as many years and will need to find a host of new starters on the heels of a disastrous year in 2017. If the defense finds success under Brian VanGorder, there’s a lot less pressure resting on Pass’s ability to escape Jackson’s shadow.
DePaul was No. 1.
—Fresh off getting a scholarship offer from Louisville, Pendleton County star Dontaie Allen will take an unofficial visit to U of L on Aug. 13.
—Shoutout to Louisville baseball’s Drew Campbell on being named a Northwoods League All-Star.
—The family of the late Colonel Sanders is now calling John Schnatter a “weasel” in the wake of the Papa John’s n-word scandal.
Who would have ever imagined Papa John’s vs. KFC would become the hottest summer rivalry of 2018.
—The other major development when it comes to this apparently bottomless Papa John story is that Papa John’s apparently tried to bring Kanye West on as a spokesman to help out the company’s public image.
Just get the President and LaVar Ball involved somehow and this story can finally run its full course.
—Big fan of the illustrated Jeff Walz here.
We want to thank the best fans in the nation with Walz Wednesdays!— Louisville WBB (@UofLWBB) July 18, 2018
Renew or purchase your season today for a chance to win exclusive autographed prizes from @CoachJeffWalz each week through mid-September.
: https://t.co/7FzbGspauH pic.twitter.com/AlLjUo3K5d
—Bill Connelly breaks down the 2018 Boston College football team, which should have a good offense against all teams and not just Louisville this year.
—Gregg Popovich sent Kawhi Leonard beyond the wall.
And suddenly I feel cheated he didn't wear this hat on NFL Primetime ... pic.twitter.com/d4bf792dub— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) July 17, 2018
—Registration for the U of L Lacrosse Elite Camp is closing soon.
—A FIBA columnist lists both Jordan Nwora and Gorgui Dieng as two of the five best players from the African World Cup third qualifying round.
Jordan Nwora (Nigeria)
Stats: 21.7 ppg, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.
In his first appearance for Nigeria, the 19-year-old forward did a bit of everything for his country. From protecting the basket to scoring, Nwora won the heart of Nigerians thanks to his average of team-highs 21.7 points and eight rebounds per game.
In the process, the 6ft7in (2.00m) set a new record for most scored points by a Nigerian at a major tournament, overcoming Chamberlain Oguchi’s 35 points at 2012 London Olympics.
His performances prompted Ike Diogu (Nigeria’s 34-year-old captain) to admit that the future of Nigeria’s basketball is in good hands.
Gorgui Dieng (Senegal)
Stats: 15 points, nine rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.
Dieng leads by example. Regardless of any managerial issues, the 28-year-old loves playing for his country, and that makes him a hero back in Senegal. After missing out the first-leg of Group D last February in Maputo due to his commitment with the NBA franchise Minnesota Timberwolves, Dieng made sure to return last week.
Needless to say that his presence ignited Senegal to a 3-0 record and a deserved spot in the Second Round.
—Former Card Keith Towbridge is ready to make his move in Bills training camp.
—Each member of Clemson’s horrifyingly talented defensive line is uniquely talented.
—Flacco is the recently divorced dad who dusts off the treadmill for the first time in a decade.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco got together with his receivers a couple of times last week. He threw to receivers at the park across the street from the facility. This is the first time since 2011 that Flacco had extra workouts with his receivers.— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) July 18, 2018
Welcome back to the world of working for it.
—Western Kentucky legend Mitchell Robinson was the second most-impressive rookie at the NBA summer league.
—Lamar Jackson got at least one vote for president in 2016.
In 2016, Mr. Ballard could not bring himself to support Mr. Trump or Hillary Clinton, choosing to write in Lamar Jackson, then the star quarterback for the University of Louisville.
—The 43rd Boys Junior PGA Championship kicks off in two weeks on Tuesday, July 31, at Valhalla Golf Club. You can find more info here.
—Former U of L golfer now PGA golfer Derek Fathauer squeezed a return to Louisville into his schedule while he’s back in the state for the Barbasol Challenge. Fathauer said he never got a chance to see any of “the nice places” in Louisville while he was a student, and was excited for his college coach to buy him dinner.
—The book was written specifically for prospective jurors.
—So, what’s up with the ACC Network roughly a year out from launch? Despite choppy media waters, it’s still set to move forward.
—Ryan McMahon may have gotten bigger and better at basketball this summer, but he also got straight embarrassed by the Mack daughters in pool volleyball.
—Michigan officially announced a 5-year extension for John Beilein on Wednesday.
—A Virginia man called the cops after a hard screen in a pickup game. The screener? You guessed it, Jack Salt.
—This is a ridiculous format for preseason all-conference voting.
While voting for ALL-ACC team noticed that no UofL QB, RB, Tight End, Offensive Lineman (which is incredible), Cornerback Safety, Kicker or Punter were listed on ballot to be able to vote for Cards for ALL-ACC.— Mark Blankenbaker (@UofLSheriff50) July 18, 2018
Also Dez Fitzpatrick was not an option to vote on either.
I hope Mekhi Becton, Lukayus McNeil, Dez Fitzpatrick, Blanton Creque, Mason King and some others are upset.
—Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler & Maria Taylor will be on the call for Louisville/Alabama on Sept. 1.
—Donovan Mitchell has an 87 rating in the new NBA2K19 game.
—If you missed it yesterday, ACC Commissioner John Swofford sympathized with the Louisville basketball players who are suing the NCAA.
“It was an interesting lawsuit. I’ve never seen that before,” Swofford said during his news conference Wednesday at ACC football media days. “It’s certainly creative. And I do understand players that had nothing to do with the problem being negatively impacted by association. I get that. I don’t know if the lawsuit is the solution to that.”
The lawsuit is an attempt to get the NCAA to reverse its decision to vacate Louisville’s 2013 NCAA title and Hancock’s 2013 Final Four Most Outstanding Player award; the school’s 2012 Final Four berth; 122 wins from 2011-15; and Big East and American Athletic Conference crowns.
“I’ve never been a real fan of vacating championships,” Swofford said. “It’s a little hard to act like, ‘OK, that game never happened.’ Because it did happen. And somebody won and somebody lost. If somebody won dishonorably, I’m all for pursuing that. But I’m not sure that taking down a banner really helps anything.
“There’s certain aspects of the suit that sort of touch on some things that I’ve felt in the past in terms of finding the individuals who caused the problem and dealing with those individuals as opposed to an entire university and ultimately players and coaches who had nothing to do with the problem to begin with.”
—Chris Mack is looking for “hickory on the hardwood.”
—And finally, it’s the Atlantic Division’s turn at ACC media days today, so we’ll have audio from Bobby Petrino, Jonathan Greenard and Jaylen Smith on the show from 3-6 this afternoon. You can listen here.