—Spread check (Music City Bowl): Mississippi State by 4.
—The sixth-ranked Louisville women’s basketball team wraps up non-conference play tonight with a road game at UT-Martin. Here’s a preview.
—Lamar Jackson has been named the AFC Player of the Week for a record-tying fifth time this season.
—Chris Mack is as surprised as anyone (Athletic link) that a team with so many veteran players can look as lethargic as Louisville has looked in some of its non-spotlight games this month.
Where’s the instant energy?
In some respects, the offense is like a decade-old car. The engine can still push 100, but sometimes it doesn’t accelerate as quickly as you’d like.
After shooting 53 percent from the field early against the Redhawks, the offense stalled and the Cardinals ended the half at 39 percent. Miami averaged just 0.5 points per possession and shot 9-of-36 from the field in the first half, but the Cardinals turned the ball over four times in the last five minutes and didn’t score in the last 3:22. The halftime score: Louisville 28, Miami 20.
More troubling was how lethargic Louisville looked. Players seemed uninterested in gathering offensive rebounds or passing the ball, opting instead for one-on-one challenges and sometimes missing point-blank layups. The Cardinals had eight turnovers and just two offensive boards at the break. Mack said starting center Steven Enoch was “M.I.A.”
Forward Dwayne Sutton sparked the team to life in the second half, adding 10 of his 15 rebounds and six of his eight points in what Mack called a “tornado-like effort.” But Louisville needs to find a way to bring that energy from opening tip.
“I feel like a broken record, and I told the team in the locker room after the game: With so many fifth-year seniors on the roster and a system of play that I believe they believe in, they have to honor the process and be ready to do what we’re supposed to do from minute one,” Mack said.
—It was a festive atmosphere at the dual signing party for Josh Minkins and Jordan Watkins on Wednesday night.
—After the completion of the fall sports season, Louisville ranks 14th in the Director’s Cup standings.
—If this is a sign of the decade ahead, then bring on the new roaring ‘20s.
Things I never thought I would tweet:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) December 19, 2019
DePaul has a better resume right now than Kentucky.
—Two Mississippi State football players were critically injured in a Tuesday night car accident. A third player was also involved in the accident but does not have life threatening injuries.
—Fans hated the new Lou City crest, so the club is going back to the drawing board.
—Teddy Bridgewater talks about why giving back has always meant so much to him.
“I was once a child and I was once in their shoes,” Bridgewater said. “As children we have so much energy and so much potential. Sometimes we just need the right individuals to bring it out of us. That’s why I’m so passionate about it. Today it was just great to be able to share my story and hopefully be able to motivate different children to understand that to make your dream come true there are going to be some things you have to take care of.”
Bridgewater stressed some of those things when he first spoke to 100 athletes at the school competing in varsity athletics for the first time. He then spoke to the second graders and read to them his book “Little Bear Teddy Big Dream Come True.” It was during that reading that the “Ted-dy” chants broke out, just like they do in the children’s book. Bridgewater stressed hard work and taking care of academics.
Why are these types of appearances important to Bridgewater?
”Just understanding that you can’t be selfish with your gift,” Bridgewater said. “I have a gift of being able to play football, but I also feel like I have a gift of motivating. My story can sometimes motivate people and I realized that I can’t be selfish with that.”
—NCAA president Mark Emmert met with two senators this week with the intent of having federal legislation drafted to displace state laws that would destroy the NCAA’s amateurism model.
—Dan Patrick says that when it comes to Lamar Jackson, everyone needs to just sit back and enjoy the show.
Can we just enjoy the special season Lamar Jackson is having instead of trying to predict his demise? pic.twitter.com/Jr0tuM1Ln0— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) December 18, 2019
—Scott Davenport and the undefeated Bellarmine Knights are now the consensus No. 1 team in Division-II.
—Louisville native and former Ball State standout Trey Moses is the recipient of the NCAA’s 2020 Inspiration Award.
—Throw the bomb.
Gotta go deep ♂️#GoCards pic.twitter.com/J1Pzz8lBRt— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) December 17, 2019
—The 16 people you’ll meet in every recruit’s Twitter mentions.
—Is Lamar Jackson putting up the best season ever at quarterback? ESPN’s Jamison Hensley makes that case.
—U of L signee D’Andre Davis had himself a night on Tuesday.
D’Andre Davis Dominated Tonight Scoring in a plethora of ways, he finished with 31 pts, 15 rebs— In The Gym Hoops (@inthegymhoops_) December 18, 2019
•@DAndreDavis @LCHSBears @indy_heat @LouisvilleMBB @GameTime_AAU @LCHSAthletics @al_gooden @LCBearsBball #lc #lawrencecentral #inthegymhoops #inthegym pic.twitter.com/TGyi2dS0l6
—U of L volleyball star Aiko Jones has earned an All-American nod.
—I’m back on the Fundamentally Sound podcast talking about what the hell is going on with Kentucky and where North Carolina would finish in the Southern Conference. The answer is not first.
—Pat Forde picks the winners of all 40 bowl games. He is not rocking with the Cards in the Music City.
FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL (22)
Who: Louisville vs. Mississippi State
When: 4 p.m., Dec. 30
Line: Mississippi State by four
Louisville season in a sentence: Scott Satterfield was a steal, after Bobby Petrino finished stealing money.
Mississippi State season in a sentence: A guy pretending to be a dog and take a pee in the end zone may be the biggest reason Joe Moorhead is still the coach of the Bulldogs.
If the bowl were a Christmas present it would be: An Easy-Bake Oven.
Dash pick: Mississippi State 36, Louisville 31. Classic matchup problem in the place where it matters most—the Bulldogs pound the rock, and the Cardinals can be pounded by teams that pound the rock. Louisville camouflaged that weakness most of the season but it was a glaring issue in the season finale against Kentucky, and the Bulldogs can look at tape.
—Tomahawk Nation reacts to FSU flipping Louisville QB commit Chubba Purdy.
—Finding the balance between aggressiveness and selectiveness is the key for Jordan Nwora.
—I think it’s safe to say this guy became something of a fan favorite on Wednesday.
Incredible day! Thank you to my coaches & teammates & especially my parents, family& friends in making today special! I also appreciate Card Nation showing much love! Looking forward to being with my new teammates in January! Louisville is special! L’s UP! #GoCards #FlyVille20 pic.twitter.com/bhanjoZ3p4— Tee Webb (@teewebb9) December 19, 2019
—In addition to the two recruits who flipped to Florida State on Wednesday, Cardinal defensive end Jarrett Jackson also announced that he is transferring to play for Mike Norvell at FSU.
—Pro Football Network has Lamar Jackson as the fifth-best college football QB of the decade.
—Jackson is, however, the No. 1 recruiter in the sport.
Kobe Baynes said late push from Miami was tough & its proximity to home was enticing but he loved #Louisville coaches & they made him feel at home. Oh, & it doesn’t hurt when NFL MVP frontrunner & former Cards QB @Lj_era8 drops you a phone call in the morning to firm things up. pic.twitter.com/PlJNyPLnnL— Justin Barney (@JustinBarneyTV) December 18, 2019
—Cardinal Authority has a Q&A with U of L QB signee Tee Webb.
—Will Kentucky’s loss to Utah Wednesday night make the Wildcats underdogs against Louisville? It probably depends on what happens in their game against Ohio State on Saturday.
—And finally, Music City Bowl officials are expecting a crowd of “about 50,000” for the clash between Louisville and Mississippi State on Dec. 30.