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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Eat it, Heels.

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—SMU grad transfer QB Ben Hicks, who visited Louisville briefly last weekend, has committed to Arkansas.

—With a couple months to go until Selection Sunday, only nine teams have more Quadrant 1 victories than Louisville. Only one team (Penn State) has played more Quadrant 1 games than U of L’s eight.

—The Louisville women fell two spots to No. 4 in the new AP poll.

—The CJ’s Tim Sullivan dives into the issue of plummeting attendance at Louisville basketball home games.

Just two years after Rick Pitino’s last U of L team averaged announced crowds of 20,846 at home, Mack’s first season has produced an average of 15,816 through 10 home games.

Courier Journal readers have responded to Tyra’s search for answers with a variety of ideas, complaints and concerns. Predictably, many of them center on pricing.

“To put it in a nutshell, the ticket prices are exorbitant,” Mark Clark said via email. “Combine that with the number of basketball games along with the fact that most games are televised, as well as the incidental costs of attending i.e., parking, high concession prices and you see why attendance is down.”

Prices, plainly, have risen, in part because of a facility fee imposed to cover the cost of arena lease concessions. Season tickets that cost $880 for a 19-game schedule in 2015-16 ($46.31 per game) were priced at $1,042 for this season’s 20-game home schedule ($52.10 per game).

“Offer lower ticket prices for the really bad seats,” suggested Steve Fitts of Jeffersonville, Indiana. “I paid $85 for a ticket in the nosebleed section of the UK-U of L football game in November and $90 for a ticket in the nosebleed section of the UK-U of L basketball game in December. I can see charging these prices for the good seats, but for the bad seats, it seems a bit excessive to me.”

—Louisville’s loss to Pitt is looking much better this afternoon after the Panthers beat down No. 11 Florida State by 13 Monday night. Freshman guard Trey McGowens, who dropped 33 on the Cards, erupted once again for 30.

—D1 Baseball has Louisville at No. 4 in its preseason top 25.

—Congratulations to Deng Adel, who has signed a two-way contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

—Scary Terry threw down a vicious dunk Monday night.

—Awful Announcing pays attention to the fact that Louisville’s win over North Carolina was so lopsided that ESPN actually cut away during the final segment. That’s something the world wide leader almost never does.

—Louisville is all the way up to a No. 4 seed in Jerry Palm’s latest Bracketology for CBS.

—Donovan Mitchell has been named the NBA’s Player of the Week for the Western Conference.

—Guy is the best.

—LJ Nesbitt of The Crunch Zone shares his thoughts on the romp over UNC.

—According to WalletHub, Kentucky is the worst state in America to retire.

—Former Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush is reportedly headed to Central Florida.

—Letting Snoop call Pac-12 games with Bill Walton is the only way to make the league interesting again.

—UNC did beat Louisville at one thing over the weekend, as it flipped O-line commit Ty Murray. I’ll still take our win.

—Louisville checks in at No. 25 in NBC Sports’ updated top 25.

—Jim Boeheim says Zion Williamson is just like Charles Barkley, except “a better shooter and not as fat.”

—Love seeing Lamar Jackson helping out in football recruiting the same way we’ve seen Donovan Mitchell help out on the basketball side.

—Rick Bozich shares his thoughts from the U of L women’s team’s win over Georgia Tech on Sunday.

—Northern Kentucky ran an out-of-bounds over the weekend play that looked like a four verts football play. Head coach John Brannen explained it.

—Louisville has offered Male High wide receiver Izayah Cummings.

—Donovan was pumped about the win Saturday night.

—Georgia o-lineman Kamaar Bell will visit Louisville this weekend. Auburn is considered the leader to land his services.

—Five-star class of 2020 prospect Jaemyn Brakefield thinks Chris Mack is the coolest coach in college basketball.

Brakefield is close friends and roommates with U of L signee Quinn Slazinski at Huntington Prep. He made a visit to U of L back in the fall for a football game with Slazinski and said he “really liked what he saw” on campus.

And he also noted he really likes Mack and his staff.

“Chris Mack is probably the coolest coach in college basketball,” Brakefield said. “He has a great personality and I love the way he coaches. I really like watching how he coaches his team and that’s why I like Louisville so much.”

The 6-foot-8 Brakefield is listed as a power forward but plays multiple positions with his prep school team. Brakefield was 5 of 8 from the field, including 2 of 3 from three-point range, in the game on Sunday.

“The system at Louisville fits my play, that’s why I really like them,” Brakefield said. “The way they play I think is perfect for me.”

—Kentucky chef Edward Lee continues to make the whole state look good by doing stuff like this.

—If you missed it last night, Syracuse stunned No. 1 Duke in overtime at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils are now going to be without starting point guard Tre Jones for an extended period of time, an absence that totally changes their dynamic.

—Coach K, besides Jones getting hurt, can you explain how last night’s loss went down?


—The CJ lays out how Louisville can avoid a letdown Wednesday night against Boston College.

—Bracketologist Chris Dobbertean currently has the Cards as a seven seed.

—Someone should definitely adopt Hope.

—The Danville Advocate gives some ink to Danville native ShaDon Brown, who was one of the first members of Scott Satterfield’s debut staff at U of L.

—Sheldon Rankins is officially done for the rest of the playoffs because of a torn achilles. Massive bummer for a fantastic former Card who was playing at the highest level of his career to date.

—Tonight in the ACC:

No. 9 Virginia Tech at No. 4 Virginia (8 p.m./ACCNE)
No. 17 NC State at Wake Forest (8 p.m./ACCNE)
Notre Dame at No. 13 North Carolina (9 p.m./ESPN)

A top 10 game being only viewable on the ACC Network Extra should be against the law.

—Jeff Greer writes about Louisville’s defensive effort against UNC.

Louisville, like everyone else that plays UNC, was concerned about Luke Maye’s ability to find open looks from 3-point range and also to use his body and craft to create scoring angles around the basket. On Friday, junior forward Dwayne Sutton explained that the best way to defend Maye, the preseason ACC player of the year and a preseason All-American, is to nudge him away from good post position and make his shots as difficult as possible. Not exactly rocket science, but it is, of course, easier said than done. Against Louisville, Maye was 3-of-14 from the field, including 1-of-6 from 3-point range. He was effective in the first half passing out of the post, getting three assists, but he was 1-of-7 in the second half with just three rebounds and no assists.

“Luke Maye is a guy of angles,” Sutton said. “We wanted to make sure all his touches were tough and wall up around the rim. We also knew he was capable of shooting the 3, and we wanted to contest them late.”

Including Maye, UNC’s top five scorers combined to shoot 10-of-36 from the field. UNC posted its worst offensive numbers of the season: 34.5 percent from the field, including 3-of-22 from 3-point range. Now some of it was UNC having a brutal day, but the Cardinals’ defense gets credit for some key sequences. Darius Perry was just 1-of-7 from the field and was fortunate not to turn the ball over despite some shaky decision-making, but his on-ball defense led to challenged shots and steals. Sutton had four steals, one of them created by Perry’s pesky work. And Enoch, Sutton, Jordan Nwora and Malik Williams did a solid job of walling up around the rim, holding UNC to just seven layups and dunks (and five missed layups). UNC had only four fast-break points, and the game was on the low end in terms of possessions, with the Tar Heels getting just 72.

“To keep Carolina out of transition and off the glass, those are two challenges that not a whole lot of teams pass,” Mack said. “We felt like if we could do that, somehow figure out how to keep them out of transition, it would start with our offense not having miscues and then building walls around the rim and corralling them. Keep them off the glass. We found ourselves in a possession game down the stretch.”

—U of L football has officially named Norval McKenzie as the new running backs coach.

—I’ll give Tennessee credit for being easily the most synchronized team in the country.

—Louisville’s interior dominance on Saturday exposed North Carolina’s biggest weakness.

—Eric Bossi of Rivals says Chris Mack has been the most impressive first-year head coach in college basketball so far this season.

—And finally, Eric Crawford writes about the re-emergence of Steven Enoch and what it might mean for the rest of the season.