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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Same, Xavier. Same.

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—Spread check: Wake Forest by 6.5.

—Every member of the staff over at Blogger So Dear predicts a narrow Wake win over Louisville tomorrow night.

—U of L women’s soccer scored a huge 1-0 win over No. 9 Clemson Thursday night at Lynn Stadium. The Cards are off to the best start in program history at 11-1 overall and 4-1 in the ACC.

—Danielle Lerner looks at (Athletic link) the biggest threat each ACC basketball team poses to Louisville, starting with game one opponent Miami.

Miami (voted ninth in the ACC): Junior guard Chris Lykes

The Hurricanes are coming off of a losing season, but Lykes has consistently been one of the league’s top guards. The 5-foot-7 point guard scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting in a loss to Louisville last year and averaged 33.8 minutes, 16.2 points and 3.2 rebounds for the season. Lykes has a lot more help in the backcourt this season. The Hurricanes brought in Oklahoma transfer Kameron McGusty and four-star freshmen Isaiah Wong and Harlond Beverly, which should ease the pressure on Lykes.

—The CJ’s Cameron Teague got the chance to sit down and watch film with U of L wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer. Here’s Teague on what Brewer sees on film and why what the receivers do is about so much more than receptions.

—Louisville PG recruit Deivon Smith has committed to Mississippi State.

—After taking an official visit to U of L last weekend, Butler High star Jordan Watkins has decommitted from Kentucky.

Just something to keep an eye on.

—With Bobby Petrino and Matt Colburn both out of the fray, I’m not sure Louisville-Wake Forest is the greatest rivalry in college football anymore.

—Kevin Willard explaining why he’s unhappy about UConn coming to the Big East while taking shots at the AAC is gold.

Dan Hurley and the UConn Huskies were nowhere to be seen at the Garden but already on everyone’s mind. UConn returns to the Big East for the 2020-21 season and appears primed to make an immediate impact after gains made on the recruiting trail in the last year. As Willard points out, Hurley will not be hindered by the far-flung membership of the American Athletic Conference any longer. “I can’t tell recruits `you know what it’s like to play at Tulane, East Carolina and those places? That’s won’t work anymore,” he said.

PC’s Cooley was blunt when asked how much of a lift the Big East will give the Huskies.

“I think we gave Connecticut new life. We gave their fan base new life,” Cooley said. “I think they finally came to the conclusion that they are a basketball-centric school. They were pouring all their money into football and, in my opinion, it was going into a hole.”

—Banner Society has its weekly watch grid for the upcoming weekend in college football.

—Mike Brey telling the story of Matt Farrell waiting for his turn at Notre Dame is a pretty solid description of how he turned the Irish into a (last year notwithstanding) consistent force.

—Congrats to Myisha Hines-Allen on winning her first WNBA title with the Washington Mystics.

—Is experience overrated in college basketball? Jordan Sperber does a deep dive.

—The swim portion for the Louisville Ironman has officially been canceled because of harmful algae in the Ohio River.

—I enjoy making fun of NC State as much as the next guy, but this is pretty cool.

—The Wolfpack took down Syracuse Thursday night in a game that was just downright atrocious.

—After beginning the season ranked in the top 25, Syracuse certainly appears to be a team on the verge of complete implosion.

—If you’re a veteran who would like to attend tomorrow’s Red-White Scrimmage at the Yum Center, there are free tickets available for you.

—The Winston-Salem Journal lays out five things Wake Forest fans should know about Louisville.

—Cardinal Authority plays know the foe with Wake Forest.

—Send my man Carter a birthday card.

—The 25th-ranked U of L volleyball team is hitting the pavement for its first ACC road trip.

—ACC Basketball Report ranks Fresh Kimble as the most impactful transfer in the conference for the upcoming season.

1-Fresh Kimble-Louisville (Saint Josephs)

I don’t necessarily put Kimble in the #1 spot because I think he is the best transfer in the conference. I put him here because his play could have the largest impact of any transfer in the country. If he stays healthy and plays well, the Cardinals are a Final Four contender and one of the favorites for the national title. If his health falters, or he can’t handle the highest level of college basketball, Louisville will disappoint. The Cardinals are loaded at every position coming into the 2019-20 campaign with the exception of point guard. Freshman David Johnson is already on the shelf with a shoulder injury, and Darius Perry is not someone you want playing heavy minutes. “Fresh” averaged 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists last season at St. Joes, but appeared in only 23 games. His lack of shooting could be a concern, but with Jordan Nwora, Samuel Williamson, and Ryan McMahon on the roster, that may not be a huge issue. Run the show, don’t turn the ball over and for all that is holy, make your free throws. I would also like to see his pass first tendencies from his early days return. If Chris Mack gets the 2016-17 version of Kimble, the Cardinals will be a force.

—Because of weather, today’s field hockey game between No. 5 Louisville and No. 9 Virginia at Trager Stadium has been moved to 5 p.m.

—Sports Illustrated looks at the expectations for college basketball’s highest-profile second-year head coaches, including Chris Mack.

Louisville: Chris Mack

Last season: 20–14, lost in first round

Expectations for the Cardinals are approaching dangerous levels: the ACC is as wide-open as it’s ever been and the majority of Louisville’s rotation returns, augmented by a strong freshman class. Mack hit the ground running in his first year, and despite with some ups and downs in conference play, making the tournament with a bit of a patchwork team was a positive start. The Cardinals were capable on both ends of the floor, with consistent half-court shot creation being their primary issue. This year, they’re deeper at every position, at least on paper, boast a Player of the Year candidate in Jordan Nwora and are positioned for a serious leap.

There’s a nice level of experience at every position with Nwora, Steven Enoch, Dwayne Sutton, Ryan McMahon and Darius Perry all back (Malik Williams will miss at least the first month of the season with a broken foot). Grad transfer Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble should take over ballhandling duties, and ostensibly prove an upgrade on the tandem of Christen Cunningham and Khwan Fore. Louisville should get real contributions from its freshmen, but won’t necessarily be reliant on them, which is an enviable position. That said, Samuell Williamson has pro potential and could be a serious factor, and Aidan Igiehon and Josh Nickelberry figure to play roles. If the Cardinals start strong, there will be some Final Four talk.

—The format for Saturday’s Red-White Scrimmage will be a bit different than in years past, but it will still provide the fan base a first opportunity to see their preseason top 10 squad.

Five things to do in Louisville this weekend.

—Jordan Nwora is Louisville’s fifth preseason conference Player of the Year since 2003.

He’s looking to become U of L’s first postseason conference POY since 1994.

—Streaking the Lawn (Virginia) has Louisville at No. 8 in its weekly ACC power rankings.

—Athlon likes Wake Forest by double-digits tomorrow night.

Final Analysis

Louisville has been competitive for pretty much all of 2019, but Wake Forest will be a difficult matchup. The Demon Deacons have one of the ACC’s best quarterbacks in Newman, who will be facing a defense that has struggled against the pass. For the Cardinals to pull the upset, Cunningham will have to make big-time throws. Louisville hasn’t beaten a ranked team since topping No. 2 Florida State more than three years ago.

Prediction: Wake Forest 38, Louisville 27

—The top 10-ranked Louisville men’s golf team looks to continue its momentum this weekend at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate held at the Blackthorn Club at the Ridges in Jonesborough, Tenn.

—Mary Hardin-Baylor’s head football coach let a player borrow his 2006 Suburu (that he no longer was using) in an emergency situation a couple years ago. The school self-reported the violation, paid a fine and put themselves on probation. The NCAA on Thursday still ruled that they had to vacate their 2016 D-III national title as a result of this egregious act.

What an absolute crock of shit.

—Friday Irrelevance:

—The CJ outlines three matchups to watch tomorrow night in Winston-Salem.

—High school game of the week is back.

Also have eyes on Waggener-Central and Fern Cree-Bullitt East. Should be a fun Friday.

—College football on TV tonight:

No. 20 Virginia at Miami — 8 p.m., ESPN

Colorado State at New Mexico — 8 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Colorado at No. 13 Oregon — 10 p.m., FS1

—And finally, beat Wake.