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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Here’s BJ and Allison Brown celebrating their 10-year anniversary in St. Lucia. They both say they knew it was love when they attended the 2007 Orange Bowl together.

—U of L football coach Bobby Petrino and U of L tennis coach Rex Ecarma both lost their fathers on Thursday. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of both men.

—Kelsi Dahlia (formerly Worrell) tied her own American record in the 50 Fly last night.

—If you have a post-Lamar Jackson hangover, Eric Crawford has four potential cures.

3). Think team. While the Heisman Trophy was a high-water mark of Louisville football history, it isn’t the ultimate goal. Louisville, despite beating Florida State twice (including a win in Tallahassee) still didn’t break through in the ACC Atlantic Division, and in fact lost ground with losses to Wake Forest and Boston College.

So in the end, there’s ultimately lots of upward mobility for this Cardinal program, even without its best player ever.

Whether the Cards can make any upward progress without him, however, remains to be seen – at least for this coming season.

But here’s something to remember. The Louisville receiving corps of Smith, Dez Fitzpatrick and Seth Dawkins, among others, is of a quality that harkens back to some of the best that Louisville has had. Head coach Bobby Petrino has some depth at running back, with Dae Williams and Colin Wilson back healthy, plus some others. And for all the yards Jackson rushed for, other backs still accounted for better than 1,500 yards last season.

—The Western Kentucky football players from the Louisville area are very excited to get a crack at the Cards this season.

—FIBA has released a list of the 21 best players under the age of 21 who played in the recent World Cup qualifiers. A familiar name made the top five.

What may be even more interesting are the other names on this list that we are going to see in the college ranks.

Specifically, No. 5: Louisville’s Jordan Nwora. In three games playing for Nigeria, he averaged 21.7 points and 8.0 boards, including a 36-point outburst in a win over Mali. As a freshman with the Cardinals last season, Nwora averaged 5.7 points. Then there is Barrett’s Canadian teammate, Andrew Nembhard, a 6-foot-3 point guard that is headed to Florida. He’s just 18 years old, but he averaged 5.0 assists in 15 minutes playing with Canada’s senior national team. He was ranked 15th on that list.

—Jake Lourim of the CJ looks at the biggest questions facing Louisville football heading into camp.

—U of L volleyball has wrapped up its 2018 media day festivities.

—College football writers getting pissy about Bryce Love not going to Pac-12 media day is dumb.

—If the ACC Network is going to succeed, it’s going to need unique content.

—Chris Mack and Luke Murray talk to Rocket Watts every day.

Louisville coach Chris Mack has been at both of Watts’ games this week with assistant coach Luke Murray. The Cardinals haven’t missed a game of his this summer with at least two coaches being at all but one.

Watts says he’s “built a great relationship” with Mack and Murray and talks to them “every single day.”

“They have been here every single game,” Watts said. “I appreciate them coming to all of my games and showing me they really want me. I guess they say I am the No. 1 target on their board and I appreciate that.”

Watts has garnered a lot of attention this summer.

In seven games at the Peach Invitational in Augusta two weeks ago, Watts averaged 25.5 points a game for The Family - including a 43-point outburst on Saturday morning against BABC. In that performance, Watts was 16 of 24 from the field, including 8 of 14 on three-point field goals.

—Ray Spalding returned to Louisville this week and attended the Robbie Valentine Camp as a role model for the city’s new crop of NBA hopefuls.

—Scott Frost coached his team to an undefeated season last year and never got a chance to play for the national title. Naturally, he thinks the College Football Playoff should be expanded.

—Jaire Alexander will never be accused of lacking confidence.

—Will the NCAA or NBA ever adopt a radical new method of ending games conceived of by a former middle-school principal intent on revolutionizing basketball? It’s a long shot, but they’re paying attention.

—Lakota East (OH) baseball standout Will Koger has committed to Louisville.

—Happy birthday to my mom and to Phil Bond. I love you both equally.

—Stephen George has been named the new president and general manager of Louisville Public Media.

—Damion Lee will be a guest on the Jim Rome Show today at 1:20 p.m.

—Top U of L recruit Aidan Igiehon can be an elite rim protector at the next level.

—The Louisville Colonels are back tonight for Throwback Night at Louisville Slugger Field. The Bats lost for the first time in 10 games last night.

—I’ve heard nothing but good things coming from the people who sent their kids to these camps. I’m glad they’re back.

—The Bronny James show continues to roll on in Las Vegas.

—Athlon’s four college football writers serve up their game-by-game predictions for Louisville football in 2018. Two like the Cards to go 7-5, another 6-6, and the fourth thinks U of L wins just four games this season.

There’s no denying Bobby Petrino is one of the best head coaches in the nation. But 2018 will arguably be his toughest coaching job since returning to the school. The Cardinals relied so much on Lamar Jackson as he was not only their leading passer but rusher as well.

Louisville has enormous holes defensively, and there’s a new coordinator for that side of the ball. The Cardinals also will feature a young secondary that will undoubtedly have at least three new starters.

Louisville was picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic, but I can see the Cardinals battling Syracuse for last place. Wake Forest is an up-and-coming team that surprised many last season and Boston College could be the sleeper team in the entire ACC. And of course Louisville won’t be better than Clemson, Florida State or NC State.

It could be a long season for the Cardinals, thanks to a difficult schedule.

It has become clear now that the collective preseason expectations for this Louisville team are lower than any Cardinal team since Charlie Strong’s second season back in 2011. That team overachieved, hopefully this one will too.

—Former U of L catcher Will Smith is powering towards a call-up from the Dodgers at some point.

Five things to do in Louisville this weekend.

Papa John is suing Papa John’s.

What a summer.

—Johnny Bench is reuniting with some other former Reds greats (Corky Miller!) in Louisville.

—Pee Wee Reese will also be honored Saturday at Slugger Field.

—Great fact.

—Thirty former U of L players will start NFL training camp on a roster.

—Hawaii’s football coach brought a Britney Spears impersonator with him to Mountain West media day. Proving once again, that media days are 98% pointless and the worst.

—And finally, happy weekend (and Friday Irrelevance), y’all.