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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Henry has that football and fall weather are both coming back soon feeling.

—Spread check: Louisville by 6.

—Eric Crawford looks at Louisville football’s path to six wins and a bowl game.

—The five-man college hoops staff over at CBS has Louisville at No. 2 in its ACC preview, but has Chris Mack as their predicted Coach of the Year and Jordan Nwora as their Player of the Year.

Preseason Player of Year: Jordan Nwora, Louisville

Here’s the irony: For as good as I expect the ACC to be this season, it’s been a long time since its best player in the preseason was this much of a toss-up. Jordan Nwora’s a 6-foot-7 wing and was one of the best talents to bypass the NBA Draft and return to school. He averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists and had a solid 53.3 effective field-goal percentage last season. He’ll lead the way for a Louisville team that’s going to be intriguing to watch, given the expectations on the group. For us, Nwora beat out UNC freshman Cole Anthony and Duke sophomore Tre Jones. In order to win player of the year at the end of the season, he’ll need to improve upon his averages and efficiency from a season ago. We think he’ll do that.

Preseason Coach of the Year: Chris Mack, Louisville

Louisville’s Chris Mack is only in Year No. 2 with U of L. He’s handled the transition quite well. Given the tumult surrounding the program when he took the job and the TBD status of NCAA sanctions still expected to come (how severe is truly anyone’s guess; Louisville has the most fascinating situation of any school connected to the FBI probe), I can’t commend Mack and his staff enough for how they’ve found footing and thrived. We expect Louisville to battle Duke for the top spot in the ACC, and given all that this program and these players have played through, their coach gets the preseason nod. Mack should hit 250 career wins this season, and if Louisville makes the NCAAs as expected, it will mark 10 times in 11 seasons he’s reached the Big Dance.

Kyle Boone was the only CBS writer who picked Louisville to win the conference.

—The 19th-ranked U of L women’s soccer team hosts Wake Forest Thursday night at 7 in a match you can watch live on the ACC Network. Here’s a preview.

—Kevin Sweeney of College Basketball Central previews the ACC and has Chris Mack’s team at No. 1.

#1. Louisville– The Cardinals have some point guard questions, but have one of the most complete rosters in the nation and all the experience necessary to compete for a national title. Jordan Nwora is one of the nation’s premier players, a legit three-level scorer with efficiency, and the addition of McDonald’s All-American Samuell Williamson provides another elite option on the wing. Saint Joe’s grad transfer LaMarr Kimble will be critical, especially with freshman David Johnson out into the season with a shoulder injury.

Sweeney also has Jordan Nwora as his ACC Player of the Year.

—The court of public opinion appears to be snowballing on the NCAA fast.

—The U of L Golf Club will offer a special “Member for a Day” promotion on Oct. 8.During the promotional day, interested parties will have the opportunity to play the same course that the Cardinals’ men’s and women’s golf teams call home for $60, including cart. The ULGC will also be running specials in the golf shop and feature food specials for dining. Those interested in participating should call the club at (502) 852-7055, or email samr@gocards.com.

—John Logan basketball standout Jay Scrubb committed to Louisville last weekend. Now Cardinal baseball has received a commit from a John Logan star.

—Louisville OL commitment Trevor Reid has only been playing football for a few years, but he’s already made himself the No. 1 JUCO offensive line prospect in the country.

—Rick Bozich’s weekly notebook notes the passing of former Louisville basketball great Jim Morgan, who starred for the Cards from 1954-57.

Before there was Pervis Ellison, the McCray brothers, Darrell Griffith, Wesley Cox, Butch Beard or Wes Unseld, the story of the University of Louisville basketball program was written by players like Jim Morgan, who starred for the Cards from 1954-57.

Former U of L athletic director Bill Olsen told me in an e-mail that Morgan died Sunday. He was 85.

Olsen said that Morgan was a native of Leslie County, who was a leader of the program’s 1956 NIT champions. Morgan was the No. 2 draft pick (and 15th overall) of the NBA Syracuse Nationals, but decided to become a high school coach instead of a pro player.

Olsen said Morgan also helped to develop the school’s strong connection to Dayton, Ohio, where Morgan played at Stivers High and led his team to the No. 1 ranking.

Morgan scored 1,105 points in four seasons, averaging 17.4 as a senior in 1957.

Morgan later enjoyed a very successful career as a horse trainer, earning recognition by training six horses that were named Ohio Horse of the Year. He won more than 300 stakes races, including the Ohio Derby and the La Troienne at Churchill Downs.

According to statistics at Equibase, Morgan started more than 10,000 horses, finishing with 1,993 wins and more than $20 million in career earnings.

”His story is the best of all... from Leslie County, KY.... featured in a National Geographic article in 1943.. a leader of our 56 NIT team, a highly respected Horse Trainer … and an incredible Dayton connection that includes Charlie and Vince Tyra,” Olsen wrote.

—NCAA.com’s preseason women’s basketball top 10 does not feature Louisville. Judging by several players’ reaction on social media, it’s safe to say that they noticed.

—Tickets to the women’s basketball tip-off luncheon on Nov. 1 are still available.

—The 6th-ranked Louisville field hockey team hosts Penn State and No. 20 Wake Forest this weekend.

—Summer in Louisville summed up in one shot.

—As we head into the season’s second month, the Louisville defense is still looking for its first interception.

—The Oklahoman likes Louisville over Boston College by five.

—Sports Illustrated ranks college basketball’s 10 national champions of the last decade, and has 2013 Louisville at No. 4.

4. 2013 Louisville

Record: 35–5

Adjusted efficiency margin: +32.92 (1st nationally)

Adjusted offensive efficiency: 117.7 (7th nationally)

Adjusted defensive efficiency: 84.8 (1st nationally)

Championship game starters: G Peyton Siva, G Russ Smith, F Wayne Blackshear, F Chane Behanan, C Gorgui Dieng

It’s likely the drama of reserve Kevin Ware’s gruesome compound leg fracturein the Elite Eight that first comes to mind for most, but these Cardinals’ swarming defense deserves its place in the collective memory too. Only two teams of the analytics era—last season’s Texas Tech team and 2015 Kentucky, both of which lost over the season’s final weekend—had a stingier defensive efficiency than the one that won coach Rick Pitino’s second (and since-vacated) national championship, thanks in large part to Siva and Smith’s backcourt pressure and Dieng’s shot-swatting anchoring inside. But the offense, as teams like Michigan and Duke found out in the tourney, could heat up quickly, especially when Smith and top reserve Luke Hancock were connecting from deep.

—Big Red Louie lays out five players to watch against BC.

—The Louisville baseball team is headed to the Dominican Republic this weekend to play a trio of games and also partake in some community service projects.

—Angel McCoughtry recaps her trip back to Louisville in video form.

—Streaking the Lawn (Virginia) has Louisville at No. 12 in its latest ACC power rankings.

—Athlon likes the Cards over the Eagles on Saturday.

Final Analysis

Louisville may be just 2-2 with wins only over directional schools from the Bluegrass State, but the improvement so far this season is undeniable. The Cardinals were competitive in losses to Notre Dame and Florida State and seem to have improved in every facet of the game. There is an argument to be made that Louisville may actually be better with Malik Cunningham under center. Boston College may have the ACC’s best back, a good offensive line, and an experienced quarterback, but the defense has been abysmal thus far in 2019. This contest is also on the road against a rested group of Cardinals.

Prediction: Louisville 34, Boston College 30

—Louisville’s road back to relevance runs into Boston College this weekend.

—And finally, R&R is back from 3-6 this afternoon. Scott Satterfield will join the show. You can listen here.