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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Emmett is ready to get this season back on track.

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—Spread check: Virginia by 4.5.

—Bobby Petrino said on Wednesday’s ACC coaches teleconference that both Dee Smith and Dorian Etheridge have been practicing and could play as early as this weekend. That’s fantastic news for a defense that needs both of those guys.

—ESPN ranks Donovan Mitchell as the 22nd-best player in the NBA for the upcoming season.

22. Donovan Mitchell

Expect Mitchell, known for his work ethic and film study, to refine his scoring efficiency while expanding his playmaking, potentially turning in a 25-5-5 season. Mitchell showed flashes as a pick-and-roll facilitator last season, and I’d expect him to continue to evolve his floor game by embracing aggressive three-level scoring. If the Jazz keep up their winning ways as expected, Mitchell could contend for a Western Conference All-Star bid in Year 2. -- Mike Schmitz

—CBS puts Mitchell at No. 4 in its ranking of the 25 best NBA players under the age of 25.

4. Donovan Mitchell


Age: 22

An absolute revelation for the Utah Jazz, who were thrilled to have the opportunity to trade up to the 13th pick last season and nab Mitchell. Mitchell’s breakout rookie campaign turned the Jazz from a franchise searching for an identity in the post-Gordon Hayward era into a team that is close to the top tier in the West. He’ll be an All-Star sooner instead of later.

—The Athletic has a good read on the time amateur espionage infiltrated the Tennessee-Florida rivalry, resulting in the Vols having Steve Spurrier’s entire playbook.

But please, by all means, remain fake outraged about WakeyLeaks.

—This thing would practically touch the ground if it were in my basement, but that doesn’t make me want it any less.

So cool.

—ESPN’s ACC football writers pick the league’s week four games. Only David Hale likes Louisville to beat Virginia.

—The Colorado mascot accidentally shot himself in the dick with a t-shirt cannon. It was hilarious.

—Beau Zach!

“Beau Zach Horseman”: On the surface it’s a humorous look at the life of Beau Zach Smith after becoming a Louisville basketball cult hero in the ‘90s, but really it’s about the crippling depression U of L sports fans have been living with for the past 4 years.

Greenlight me, Netflix.

—Louisville and Vanderbilt are tied with the most players (6 apiece) on’s list of the top 150 MLB Draft prospects for 2019.

—Former Louisville player Erin Fairs has signed a deal to play professionally in Italy.

—Great update from WDRB’s Eric Crawford on his health.

—Dae Williams checks in at No. 5 on 247 Sports’ countdown of the ACC’s 10 best offensive players from week three. Virginia WR Olamide Zaccheus is No. 1.

—Ballard LB Jared Casey has scheduled official visits to both Oregon and Wisconsin.

—247 Sports plays know the foe with Virginia.

1. The abilities of dual-threat QB Bryce Perkins allows for a bit more option play from Virginia this season. With a pair of 100-yard rushing games already this season, is there anything that the Louisville defense can do to contain him? At least some of the time?

Jamie Oaks: Perkins showed better as a runner in UVA’s first two games of the season than a passer. He looked to run first in those games. Last Saturday, he used his running ability to buy time, but kept his eyes down field and completed for 25-of-30 passes 379 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. As for containing him, it comes down to assignment football. Stop the interior game with Jordan Ellis, who has rushed for 381 yards (7.5 yards per carry) through three games, and set/maintain the edge.

—U of L soccer’s Tate Schmitt is among 30 men’s soccer players named as candidates for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award.

—The 7th-ranked Louisville field hockey team kicks off a four-game road trip with games this weekend against Wake Forest (Friday) and Appalachian State (Sunday). Here’s a preview.

—There’s a new Facebook Watch show that details how an eastern Kentucky newspaper helped bring down a dirty sheriff.

—Trinity standout David Johnson is now officially down to Louisville and Georgia.

“I think he cares more about the players than the players do themselves,” he added about Crean.

Johnson now has a weekend off, before he takes his scheduled official visit to Louisville, who he has visited multiple times unofficially.

“I don’t really a favorite right now, but they are still high consideration, considering who they are pulling in right now,” Johnson said when asked where he stood with Louisville.

Johnson was referring to Samuell Williamson, who verbally committed to Louisville on Sunday following his official visit.

“I think he’s a really good player and I think I can see myself playing with him,” he said.

What sticks out about Louisville to Johnson?

“Since they were at Xavier, it’s been the same thing since day one,” Johnson said. “There’s been no change in their recruitment and what they are going to use me for. It’s been the same thing since my sophomore year.”

Johnson will be at the Louisville Live event next Friday with fellow top targets Aidan Igiehon and Rocket Watts, as well as Cardinal commits Josh Nickelberry and Jaelyn Withers.

—Vince Tyra has announced the promotion of Jason Dierking to Director of Olympic Sports Performance.

—Get your votes in for the R&R high school game of the week.

—This is not an ad, but locally owned Phocus Water is pretty awesome. I’ve started drinking one before radio every day to diminish the risk of passing our or cussing profusely on air.

—Group of 5 teams are winning a lot of games against Power 5 teams so far this year, a trend which will change absolutely nothing about college football.

—The toughest non-conference schedules in college basketball for the upcoming season belong to Louisville, Kansas, Stanford and Michigan State.

Kudos: Louisville

True road games: Indiana, Seton Hall

Other notable games: Michigan State, Kentucky, Tennessee, (Kansas or Marquette).

Chris Mack’s first season features one of the toughest non-conference schedules in Louisville history. It might be too difficult for a program that’s rebuilding with its third coach in as many seasons. The Cardinals could play one of the hardest back-to-back-to-back-to-backs in the nation. The Cardinals will play Tennessee in the preseason NIT along with either Kansas or Marquette. After that, they will go home to face Michigan State before visiting Seton Hall.

Ouch. We haven’t even mentioned the trip to Indiana. Mack is either certifiable or bold for running through this gauntlet. Louisville should be battle-tested when the ACC slate starts.

—Louisville native and Fern Creek graduate Gerron Hurt was the winner of Fox’s “Master Chef” show last night.

—The Rick Pitino twitter account is live and expected to start tweeting tomorrow.

—Keep bringing that energy, Alex.

—The Louisville baseball team will again be hosting open scrimmages this Friday (2:30 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.). The Cards will also scrimmage Indiana next Saturday (9/29) at 11 a.m. at Jim Patterson.

—The Cavalier Daily breaks down UVA-Louisville.

—Streaking the Lawn’s staff seems fairly confident about a win over the Cards on Sunday.

—And finally, R&R is live from the Sports & Social Club at Fourth Street Live from 3-6. Will hand it over to the Bobby Petrino Coaches Show at 6. You can listen to both here.