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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Darren Turner brings the 2019 CC Fall Tour to the Pacific Coast Highway.

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—Spread check: Wake Forest by 6.5.

—The Raleigh News & Observer anonymously surveyed 29 ACC basketball players this week, and several of the responses they received were extremely interesting.

Louisville got the nod for nicest road arena, and Jordan Nwora and Steven Enoch tied for the lead in “player not on your team you’d most like to play with.” Jaelyn Withers also got a vote from someone I’d assume he’s close with.


Louisville (9)

UNC (8)

N.C. State (3)

Syracuse (3)


Georgia Tech




Jordan Nwora, Louisville (3)

John Mooney, Notre Dame (3)

Steven Enoch, Louisville (3)

Brandon Robinson, UNC (2)

Mamadi Diakite, Virginia (2)

Chris Lykes, Miami (2)

Armando Bacot, UNC

Juwan Durham, Notre Dame

Trent Forrest, Florida State

Tre Jones, Duke

Brandon Childress, Wake Forest

Jordan Usher, Georgia Tech

Braxton Key, Virginia

Vernon Carey, Duke

Jae’Lyn Withers, Louisville

De’Andre Hunter, formerly Virginia

“Anybody from Virginia.”

The best response from the survey came from someone who picked Wake Forest as the worst place to play away from home.


Player: “Virginia Tech. First of all, the city is kind of dead. It’s dark in there, too. It kind of throws you off a bit.”

Player: “Duke. The Cameron Crazies are on you as soon as you walk on the floor, from warmups until the end of the game there. They are heckling you. They are cursing at you. But again that’s fun. That’s a good environment to play in.”

Player: “Oh, Duke by far. It’s so little and so loud in there, you can barely hear your huddle when you talk.”

Player: “Duke. Duke is very tough. That crowd gets into it, and they feed off it. That’s tough to play against sometimes.”

Player: “Definitely Syracuse. You cannot shoot there.”

Player: “Pitt. We played there and someone threw popcorn on me. I was not ready for that one.”

Player: “Wake Forest because they don’t have many fans. No disrespect to them.”

No disrespect taken, I’m sure.

—Blogger So Dear reviews the Wake Forest offense through the first five weeks of the 2019 season.

—The ACC Digital Network previews Louisville-Wake.

—Even though sports gambling is now legal in Indiana, Purdue University has banned its students and faculty from wagering on Boilermaker games.

—Through the first month and a half of the 2019 season, Bowling Green has the worst defense in the FBS, and it’s not particularly close. Bowling Green’s defensive coordinator is Brian VanGorder.

He’ll probably get hired as the head coach of the Dolphins in the offseason.

—Pro Football Focus says Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman has been the seventh-best quarterback in college football this season, and refers to him as “the most underrated” signal caller in the sport.

—With six returning scholarship players and six freshmen, Louisville basketball has developed something of a “big brother” system (Athletic link) as it prepares for a much-anticipated season.

The Cardinals have six returning scholarship players and six freshmen, the players roughly matched up by position in a mentor system of sorts: Jordan Nwora and Quinn Slazinski, Darius Perry and David Johnson, Steven Enoch and Igiehon, Williams and Jae’Lyn Withers, Ryan McMahon and Josh Nickelberry, Dwayne Sutton and Samuell Williamson. (The 13th player is grad transfer Fresh Kimble. More on him below.)

The vets take pride in claiming a younger player as “my rook,” but the pairings are more of a suggestion; everyone helps everyone.

“Regenerative leadership” is how coach Chris Mack describes the built-in teaching relationships. This didn’t happen in Mack’s first season. Granted, there were no freshmen on the roster, but every player was a newbie learning his system.

“Last year I felt like I had 10 guys looking at me for the very first time,” Mack said.

Not anymore. This season the veterans can help coach the rookies.

“We have six (freshmen), so the importance of each of their development, we have to hold that to a higher standard,” Enoch said. “So in practice it’s important for us to maintain that same effort so that we can lead by example but also when they make a mistake, be enough of leaders to correct that. Because the coaches are going to see a lot, but there’s a lot of stuff that they don’t see, and that’s up to us to make sure that from that perspective we correct them.”

—Toxic algae in the Ohio River could force Ironman Louisville to cancel the swimming portion of the event.

—G.G. Robinson is looking to take his game to the next level and follow in his father’s footsteps.

—Spending all year working for a state championship tournament and then being forced to pitch on the green from 10 feet away in said tournament would not be a fun experience.

—Off to the best start in program history, the 10-1 Louisville women’s soccer team has a massive showdown with No. 9 Clemson tonight at 5 inside Lynn Stadium. Here’s a preview of the match, which will also be carried nationally on Fox Sports affiliates.

—Attend the match tonight and you could wind up winning free tickets to Friday night’s Thomas Rhett concert at the Yum Center.

—Bill Self thinks it’s ridiculous that the rest of the world believe he and Kansas have been trolling the NCAA in recent weeks. The rest of the world believes it’s his explanation that is ridiculous.

—Starting NC State center D.J. Funderburk was suspended indefinitely by head coach Kevin Keatts last week. Today we found out the suspension was because Funderburk drove with four boots on his car.

Redshirt Junior Forward D.J. Funderburk was suspended indefinitely by NC State on September 30th. According to the News & Observer, prior to his suspension Funderburk “was charged with larceny property damage on Sept. 25 by the university police” due to a parking incident.

Everyone hates parking tickets…especially college students. Maybe college athletes hate them more.

Funderburk had a handful of outstanding on-campus parking tickets, and walked back to his car in the Reynolds Coliseum Parking Deck to find not 1…not 2…not 3…but 4 car boots on his tires. While they don’t roll all that well, Funderburk drove off with the boots on, leaving two in the dust, and dragging two with him.

As a result, the boots and parking lot were damaged for a total of $330.

NC State’s campus transportation department declined to prosecute the charge.

Head Coach Kevin Keatts said there is no timetable for his return at this point at NC State’s Media Day press conference.

There’s a fine line between deserving a suspension and deserving a medal. I’m not certain Funderburk crossed said line.

—Appalachian State took down Louisiana Wednesday night to move to 5-0 on the season. Safe to say Scott Satterfield and the assistants who came with him to U of L left that program in pretty solid shape.

—Top Louisville basketball recruit Devin Askew talks with Rivals’ Corey Evans about his recent visits to Kentucky, Arizona, Memphis and U of L.

CE: Beforehand, you visited Louisville. How was that for you?

DA: I liked it a lot at Louisville. Everyone was really cool and you can tell that it is really family oriented. I like it a lot over there.

CE: What has been their direct pitch to you? I believe their first two years they have taken a grad-transfer to fill their point guard need.

DA: Just that I would be their first real point guard recruit in their eyes. Someone that is atop of their priority list and someone that is not a grad-transfer and someone that they have been recruiting and have had their eyes on.

CE: Decision time, do you have a time in mind yet?

DA: I don’t. Not yet.

CE: Is it still going to be within the next few weeks?

DA: I think so, I am still thinking about it. I don’t know yet, though.

—Louisville RB commit Duane Martin has been named a finalist for South Carolina’s Mr. Football award.

—Longtime sportswriter Mike Waters likes Louisville to win the ACC in hoops this year.

—Mike Krzyzewski recognizes college basketball is facing an existential crisis. Matt Norlander of CBS writes that the NCAA, and Mark Emmert, would be wise to listen.

—Teddy Bridgewater rides his bike to and from the Superdome for home games and he has now issued an open invitation to anyone who wants to join him.

You see a lot of people outside the Superdome after a Saints game, but have you seen Teddy Bridgewater?

The Saints QB let it slip after Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers that he rides his bike to and from home games.

Bridgewater says he loves the peaceful ride there and back, but he wouldn’t mind company.

“I had no idea it was a big deal,” Bridgewater said in the Saints locker room Wednesday. “If anyone wants to ride a bike with me I’m open to it, but you know, I enjoy my little ride to the stadium. It’s been a peaceful ride. I’m open to people riding with me though.”

Best human being alive.

This longform piece about the trials and tribulations of ticket scalpers has a wild story from the 1997 Final Four.

—Jordan Nwora talks with Andy Katz about his mentality going into his junior season.

—Brad Crawford of 247 Sports ranks every ACC QB at the season’s midway point, and has Micale Cunningham at No. 9. Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman tops the list.

—With no players from its 2018-19 first or second all-conference teams back in school, the ACC is going to have to wait and see who steps into the star spotlight this season.

—I think what Kelly’s saying is that we’re due.

—U of L QB commits Chubba Purdy and Tee Webb both had big performances last Friday.

—The Louisville men’s soccer team hits the road to take on No. 11 Clemson Friday night. Here’s a preview.

—Sports Illustrated has Jordan Nwora at No. 3 on its list of the top 10 preseason candidates for national Player of the Year.

3. Jordan Nwora, Louisville | Junior

Last season: 17.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 37.4% 3FG

Whether or not Louisville lives up to lofty expectations, a big individual season should be in order from Nwora, who made major strides over the course of his sophomore year and finished as the Cardinals’ leading scorer and rebounder. He tested the NBA waters and returned to school after injuries hampered his ability to participate in pre-draft workouts. He should benefit from time spent with the Nigerian national team at the FIBA World Cup, as well. Consistency and shot selection have not been Nwora’s hallmark, but the hope is that an influx of talent around him should lead to much cleaner looks, and an uptick in performance from one of the better catch-and-shoot players in the country. Nwora has the size to shoot over wings and post smaller guards, but he’s generally better off doing those things when multiple dribbles aren’t required.

The addition of grad transfer Fresh Kimble from St. Joseph’s and potential impact freshman Samuell Williamson and Josh Nickelberry ought to help unlock the halfcourt offense, making life easier for Nwora in turn. This group should be much more dynamic on the perimeter and make it more difficult for defenses to shadow Nwora beyond the arc—even if his volume dips a little, his stats could improve on whole. And if everything clicks for the Cardinals, an ACC title (and potentially more) should be within reach.

—Les Johns of Demon Deacon Digest provides some thoughts on Saturday’s game in Winston-Salem.

—And finally, Scott Satterfield will join this afternoon’s edition of Ramsey & Rutherford. You can stream the show here.