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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Go Cards. Beat Miami.

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—Spread check (basketball): Louisville by 6.5.

—Spread check (football): Miami by 6.5.

—State of the U previews the Louisville-Miami basketball game.

—Jeff Walz is dealing with a bunch of new faces but the same old expectations as the U of L women’s basketball team begins its 2019-20 season against WKU tonight.

—Three of CBS’ five college hoops writers are picking Louisville to end its season in the Final Four.

Louisville: Prying coach Chris Mack away from Xavier to take over the mess left behind by Rick Pitino paid off last year when the Cardinals were able to make the NCAA Tournament, not as a bubble team, but as a No. 7 seed. It may pay off even better this season. This team will be largely built around preseason all-American forward Jordan Nwora, the leading returning scorer in the ACC, but he is not alone. Six of their top seven scorers return, and are joined by grad transfer Lamarr Kimble, who averaged 15.6 points per game at Saint Joseph’s and a highly rated recruiting class. It make take a bit of time for the team to gel, but when it does, Louisville has the talent and experience to get all the way to Atlanta. -- Jerry Palm (also selected by Gary Parrish and Kyle Boone)

—The U of L women’s soccer team took a 2-1 overtime loss to NC State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Sunday. The Cards will now turn their attention to the NCAA tournament. The bracket for that tournament will be unveiled next Monday.

—Jordan Nwora makes the 2019-20 watch list for the Naismith Award.

—Updated college hoops title odds from SportsBettingAG.

Louisville is the No. 5 liability (sportsbook stands to lose the most if national champion) for the book going into the season. Florida is No. 1.

—The sixth-seeded U of L men’s soccer team will be hosting Virginia Tech at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.

—Both Miami head coach Jim Larranaga and Canes star Chris Lykes talked a little Louisville on Monday.

“They’re a great opponent, I’ve heard a lot about them,” Lykes said. “I’ve watched some of their film, they’ve got some good players. We’ve got to be prepared. We’ve got to be prepared for any opponent. Louisville is our first opponent so if we’re not prepared, it’s not going to be good for us especially playing here at home. It wouldn’t be good to not be prepared so we’re going to come out and give everything we have.”

Facing a top-tier opponent early is not something Miami has been used to doing in recent years, but it is something Lykes is excited about.

”I like it, I like tough games,” Lykes said. “I like the environment of tough games. It makes the feeling so much better when you win.”

Lykes is 1-1 against Louisville, which is led by ACC preseason player of the year Jordan Nwora who headlines a deep frontcourt with backcourt returners in Darius Perry and Ryan McMahon.

”I think it’s good for us,” Lykes said. “If we come out and do what we’re supposed to, it should be a good game. If we come out and get smacked in the mouth, then I feel like that will help us moving forward. I think it’s good to play against an opponent like that to show the younger guys what the ACC is going to be like. The non-conference schedule that we have most of the time doesn’t really give us a chance to see how the ACC is and play against a whole bunch of people like that. It will be good for us. It’s a good matchup. I think we’ll be prepared for it.”

—Louisville and Texas A&M have agreed to a football home and home where the Cards will play in College Station in 2028, and the Aggies will come to Cardinal Stadim in 2029.


—Miami star Chris Lykes has a pretty amazing backstory.

—Quinn Slazinksi loves to be hated, so much so that his mom started making “I Hate Quinn Slazinksi” shirts.

“It started out as a mom move and then turned into like a real thing,” Georgianna says with a laugh. “Hopefully it tells Quinn to not take it that seriously, and I always thought the hate’s been a fuel to him. If I thought it really hurt him, I’d be worried.”

Slazinski is all smiles when asked about the shirts and the story behind them. “They’re just for guys that are bothered by you and stuff like that,” he says. “Might as well embrace it, know what I mean?”

Slazinski committed to Louisville last fall as the lowest-ranked player in the Cardinals’ six-member freshman class, rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports. He planned to redshirt his freshman season in order to get stronger and get a year of practice under his belt. After an impressive offseason, however, Slazinski could see the court this year.

“I think people use the word surprising a lot, which I’m going to have to disagree with,” he says. “Just because of my high school ranking, I don’t think that says too much about me. If anything, that puts a little chip on my shoulder. So just coming in I felt like what I needed to do is to compete. I liked being ranked 300th in the country because I can go out and prove myself. That’s just how I was growing up.”

—Louisville transfers Elizabeth Balogun and Liz Dixon are bonded by basketball (Athletic link), home, and the dream of winning a national title.

—Rank us, you cowards.

—On Sunday night, Lamar Jackson made his first real case to be in the NFL MVP race.

—Louisville is a No. 2 seed in Chris Dobbertean’s preseason Bracketology.

—Rush the Court has Jordan Nwora as a preseason First Team All-American.

—Teddy remains our greatest human.

—Louisville’s Dana Evans has been named to the Wooden Award watch list.

—U of L commit D’Andre Davis was excited to watch the Cards’ exhibition game against Bellarmine in person.

—Sam Vecenie’s updated NBA mock draft (Athletic link) for 2019-20 has Jordan Nwora going 38th and U of L commit Jay Scrubb going one pick later.

38. New Orleans Pelicans

Jordan Nwora | 6-7 wing/forward | 21 years old, junior | Louisville

Nwora was one of the most improved players in college basketball last season, becoming the centerpiece of Louisville’s team. He’s an elite catch-and-shoot guy with smooth mechanics and a lightning-quick release. The big leap last year came in attacking closeouts, though, where Nwora is now capable of getting into the teeth of the defense and using his underrated leaping ability to finish. The big question is who he defends. He’s really poor on that end because his lateral quickness and hip movement is pretty rough. Still, you take fliers on shooters like this in the first half of the second round, I think.

39. Chicago Bulls

Jayden Scrubb | 6-6 wing | 19 years old, JuCo sophomore | John A. Logan

Scrubb was the best player in the JuCo ranks last season, averaging 20.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3. That earned him an invite to Nike Basketball Academy over the summer, where he was very solid against a high level of competition. Speaking with sources around the situation, I think it seems likely that Scrubb will at least gauge his draft stock prior to heading to Louisville next season, which is where he’s currently committed to play. As a shooter who can also handle the ball at 6-foot-6, Scrubb will at least be interesting to NBA teams.

—The Sporting News’ mock draft does not have a Cardinal (current or future) being selected.

—Louisville is No. 3 in Sports Illustrated’s ranking of all 353 Division-I teams.

—And finally, beat Miami.