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Thursday evening Cardinal news and notes

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Happy Halloween, Chronicloids. Let’s get weird.

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—One trillion apologies for the light N&N this week. The SB Nation college hoops preview grind is wrapping shortly.

—Dave Scull, one of the contributors over at The Crunch Zone and a radio personality for ESPN Louisville, had a sudden significant health issue last month that left him in a medically induced coma for four weeks. He’s awake now, but his road to recovery is going to be long and costly.

Dave is legitimately one of the kindest humans I’ve ever met, and if you have the means to help him out with some of these medical expenses, you can do so here.

—ACC football coaches break down their favorite Halloween costumes.

—Donovan Mitchell talks (Athletic link) about his preparation for year three and his response to the murmurs that he might be a one hit wonder.

—Expectations for Louisville basketball are sky-high heading into 2019-20 and Danielle Lerner looks at (Athletic link) how well equipped the Cardinals are to handle that.

However elevated outsider expectations may be, Mack’s standards for his team remain the same: Anything less than your best effort is unacceptable. There are no shortcuts.

“I try to tell our guys: Don’t drink that poison,” Mack says. “We haven’t done anything yet, and we’re the same team that felt as low as we did in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year.”

Redshirt senior Ryan McMahon says this year is the most preseason pressure he has felt at Louisville, including in 2015-16 before the Cards self-imposed a postseason ban. But players say Mack has done his best to relieve that pressure, if only by embracing it.

“He’s talked about us not reading our press clippings and not giving into the hype and not pumping ourselves up just because we’re reading all this stuff on us,” McMahon says. “He’s made sure that’s the biggest point he’s made is that we can’t get caught up in that stuff. As soon as we get caught up in that stuff, we’ll stop working and we’ll stop competing the way we should in practice, we’ll stop getting better the way we should. And it’ll be a nightmare once our season starts.”

—Louisville is geared up for this weekend’s ACC cross country championships.

—Big East Player of the Year in my opinion.

—Teddy Bridgewater has set himself up to get paaaaaaaid this offseason. Mike Freeman looks at some of the teams that are likely to come calling.

—Sally Jenkins writes for The Washington Post that we shouldn’t be fooled by empty rhetoric, the NCAA is never going to change willingly.

—Matt Norlander of CBS writes that the NCAA is merely moving the goalposts.

—Francisco Garcia reached out to the CJ so that he could let Louisville fans know how much they still mean to him.

“I just wanted to say thank you to the fans. Those were the best three years of my basketball career,” Garcia said. “I had 10 years in the NBA, and it was great, but I always said my three years at Louisville will never compare with anything. Those were my best three years, where I had the most fun. It was like a family.”

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Garcia got the full tour Friday before the Hall of Fame event, checking out the university and the practice facility before meeting coach Chris Mack and watching part of a Louisville practice. He attended the Louisville football game Saturday as well before returning home to Orlando, where he and his wife Becky live with their four children.

But rest assured, he’ll be back. Now retired, Garcia said he wants to return to Louisville to host basketball camps for kids and to do other events in the community, as well as spend more time with his former teammates. They’re already talking about attending a basketball game sometime soon, he added.

You only get inducted into the Hall of Fame once. But for Garcia, every trip back is a special occasion.

”Louisville is always going to be home for me,” he said. ”I enjoyed my three years there. It was great. I love it, and I love to come back. I appreciate all the love that they gave me this weekend, man. It was a lot of love. I love the city.”

—Some significant changes, including something that checks almost every box to be a casino without actually being a “casino,” are coming to Churchill Downs.

—Big Red Louie predicts the remainder of Louisville’s 2019 football season.

—This tournament is going to be absolutely loaded.

—The Louisville volleyball team is geared up for road matches against Boston College and Syracuse.

—ESPN breaks down the ultimate “what if” college basketball super teams.

—You can check out Jeff Walz’s comments from Wednesday’s media day festivities here.

—This makes me even more excited that JJ Traynor is going to be a Card.

—Congrats to Ballard High standout and Louisville commit Josh Minkins on being selected to play in this year’s Blue Grey All-American Bowl at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium.

—Chris Acree over at The Cardinal Connect pens a Blanton Creque appreciation post.

—The CJ’s Cameron Teague profiles sophomore Ryan Chalifoux, the man who will be taking over Creque’s kicking duties.

—The basketball highlight vids are back, baby.

—The NCAA has suspended former Louisville assistant and current Seton Hall head coach two games for tampering with Syracuse transfer Taurean Thompson.

—U of L football is using GPS tracking to improve its training.

—Stadium got every football coach in the FBS to name their favorite musical act, and the choices of the ACC’s head coaches — outside of Addazio going with James Taylor — were almost too predictable.

Commissioner John Swofford – Oliver
Steve Addazio, Boston College – James Taylor
Dabo Swinney, Clemson – Garth Brooks
David Cutcliffe, Duke – John Mellencamp
Willie Taggart, Florida State – Tupac
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech – Stick Figure
Scott Satterfield, Louisville – Eric Church
Manny Diaz, Miami – U2
Mack Brown, North Carolina – Eric Church
Dave Doeren, NC State – Merle Haggard
Pat Narduzzi, Pitt – AC/DC
Dino Babers, Syracuse – James Brown
Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia – Jack Johnson
Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech – Dave Matthews Band
Dave Clawson, Wake Forest – Talking Heads

—Regardless of how you feel about the actual games, the NBA is the best American reality show currently going. Joel Embiid and Karl Towns getting ejected for fighting and then immediately going at it on social media is the latest example.

—Def Pen has Louisville at No. 4 in its preseason college hoops countdown.

—What a shot.

—The NWSL is coming to Louisville and Kim McCauley goes inside the league’s plans to expand and pay players more off the success of so many of its World Cup stars.

—NBC ranks Louisville’s frontcourt as the sixth-best in college basketball for the upcoming season.

6. LOUISVILLE (Jordan Nwora, Steve Enoch, Malik Wiliams, Aidan Igiehon, Jaelyn Withers)

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Nwora blossomed into an All-American candidate last year, averaging 17 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while shooting 37.4 percent from the floor. He’s an ACC player of the year frontrunner, and the cornerstone to both the Cardinals’ frontcourt and their Final Four aspirations.

Steve Enoch was effective both inside and out last season while Malik Williams is a top-level shotblocker. Aidan Igiehon is a four-star, top-75 recruit while Jaelyn Withers is a top-150 prospect from 2019.

—Miami, Louisville’s next football opponent, is moving back to Jarren Williams at quarterback ahead of this weekend’s game against Florida State.

—Lamar Jackson is our best human and he must be protected at all costs.

—The 14th-ranked U of L women’s soccer team wraps up its regular season tonight when it hosts NC State. Here’s a preview.

—Sports Illustrated says Louisville’s offense will be different, but better, in year two under Chris Mack.

—And finally, happy Halloween, kids.