—The Louisville baseball team returns to the diamond with a road tilt at Cincinnati tonight. Here’s a preview.
—CBS’ updated NBA Draft big board has Jordan Nwora at No. 61.
—Sports Illustrated has also updated its draft rankings, and has Nwora all the way up at No. 32.
32. JORDAN NWORA, F, LOUISVILLE | SOPHOMORE
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 27
Nwora possesses a very solid skill set for a complementary forward, able to shoot from deep off the catch and dribble, rebound and move the ball effectively. His play can still be a bit inconsistent, but he has blossomed as the primary offensive option for the Cardinals, showcasing high-level shot-making ability and helping lift them to a surprisingly solid season. Concerns stem from his body type and defensive contributions, as he’s probably best suited as a three but will struggle keeping up with athletic wings. Still, the possibility he gets into peak shape coupled with an attractive skill set should earn him consideration in this range.
—Former Louisville pitcher and current Pittsburgh Pirate Nick Burdi suffered what appeared to be a very serious injury last night. It was an injury that served as a reminder of the cruelest reality in baseball.
—Louisville is No. 7 in NBC’s updated early top 25 for the 2019-20 season.
—The introductory press conference consistencies continue.
It turns out running a program is actually very simple: pic.twitter.com/XV9qKGyRcq— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) April 22, 2019
—The launch of the new ACC Network is now just a little over three months away.
—You can help Atherton High School win $75,000 for the arts by voting for the school here.
—Jeff Greer takes an early look at Louisville’s recruiting needs from the 2020 class.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know a point guard will be a priority in the 2020 class. The Cardinals are recruiting a number of prospects at the position, and if that’s not enough of an illustration, consider the signing of a one-year rental for next season. The addition of Fresh Kimble, a graduate transfer from Saint Joseph’s, shows how Mack and his staff view the spot at the moment. And with Kimble’s departure after a single season, they’ll need help again for 2020-21 and beyond.
It’s too early in the recruiting process to determine which prospects would constitute instant impact freshmen vs. depth additions. That said, Louisville’s early work on Nimari Burnett, Caleb Love, Adam Miller, Deivon Smith and other top-75 guys demonstrates its desire for a top-line ballhandling guard who can play a lot immediately.
—Former Trinity guard Jay Scrubb picked up a scholarship offer from Cincinnati — and a Twitter follow from Chris Mack — on Monday. The 2018 7th Region Player of the Year spent last season at Logan College, a JuCo in Illinois.
—I love this woman.
MORE CLARESE: The Internet can't get enough of Clarese Gainey, the 65-year-old #Gainesville woman who clubbed a half-naked, 300-pound attacker with her bat. Extended interview by @JosslynCBS4. (Warning: Some language). Story: https://t.co/dEmzJJ54uN pic.twitter.com/ey6YXU9Uvx— CBS4 Gainesville (@mycbs4) April 18, 2019
—Kentucky quarterback Gunnar Hoak has entered the NCAA transfer portal.
—Get your 100 percent accurate personal NFL draft scouting report here.
—Terry Rozier is hoping for another memorable spring/summer playoff run.
With Marcus Smart still sidelined indefinitely with a strained left oblique, Rozier’s performance against Indiana was probably the most important development.
Rozier had a disappointing regular season. But he was a breakout star with Irving injured in last season’s playoffs and vowed to redeem himself in this postseason. His offensive numbers against Indiana were modest — 7.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists on 38 percent shooting — but he affected games with his ball pressure and energy. The Celtics outscored the Pacers by 14.4 points per 100 possessions with Rozier on the floor, the second-highest net rating on the team during the series, trailing only Al Horford.
“You know if you watch the playoffs enough, he can go to another level physically and competitively that can be effective, especially this time of the year,” coach Brad Stevens said. “I’m really happy for him. I don’t think he ever eclipsed 22 or 23 minutes in the series ever but every minute he played felt impactful, and we know what he can do when he’s given more opportunity. For him to just stay the course all year and be ready for this time of year to make a big difference, kudos to him.”
—Kyle Guy is all-in on the NBA Draft and will not return to Virginia. That means the Cavaliers will almost certainly be losing three (four if you count Jack Salt ... or if Diakite also leaves) starters from last year’s national title team.
—Five-star guard Cole Anthony has committed to and signed with North Carolina. The move means the highest ranked prospect in the ACC will not play at Duke for the first time since 2011-12.
—Even so, Duke once again has the No. 1 class in college basketball according to most scouting services. That doesn’t mean Coach K is going to have another “super team” in 2019-20.
I’ve been in Louisville for a month and a half (ish) and this is my summary on Kentucky so far pic.twitter.com/4ERkohmQxG— Dyuce Woodson (@DyuceWLKY) April 22, 2019
—As another college-basketball bribery trial approaches, Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post asks: Should these actions really be federal crimes?
—Louisville basketball has a lot of pieces on next year’s roster that can be really good, but the CJ says there’s one thing that might be missing.
—Male High standout WR Izayah Cummings has Louisville in his final six.
I want to thank all the coaches who have recruited me throughout my recruiting process... but these are my top 6️⃣ teams‼️ All Glory To God ...RECRUITMENT IS STILL OPEN #godsplan pic.twitter.com/AB2HDcbpzH— IC8✨ (@IzayahCummings) April 22, 2019
—The U of L women’s golf team finished fifth at the ACC Championships.
—Again, help is on the way.
Williamson scored 8 points and grabbed 6 boards in the Jordan Classic game over the weekend.
—New names are coming to both Cardinal Arena and U of L’s softball stadium. Ulmer Stadium will now be “Don Dobina Field at Ulmer Stadium,” and Cardinal Arena will now be “L&N Federal Credit Union Arena.”
—Rick Bozich says if anyone can outrun another arm injury, it’s Nick Burdi.
—This is at U of L, and the young man in question is Guy Oliver, a former track star at Jeffersonville High School.
Now thats one way to end a pickup game (IG: OliverTwst) pic.twitter.com/kGkbAyBHDH— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 18, 2019
I believe we have walk-on spots available.
—Four-star quarterback Carlos Del Rio from Georgia has received an offer from U of L.
—Louisville baseball is up one spot to No. 6 in the USA Today baseball coaches poll.
—Cornell football grad transfer J.D. PicKell said he had an “outstanding” visit to U of L.
—How are the U of L athletics fundraising efforts going? Just fine, thank you.
Money remains tight in Cardinal athletics, and not only because of Bobby Petrino’s $14 million buyout, as Tyra advised the University of Louisville Athletic Association Friday morning. Yet after landing only one seven-figure deal amid the first-year fallout from the firings of Tom Jurich and Rick Pitino, and having multiple individual donors renege on their pledges, U of L athletics has not only regained traction with major sponsors but picked up its pace.
According to athletic department figures, the last 12 months have been the most productive period for million-dollar deals in at least a decade, and by a wide margin. In coaxing commitments from PNC Bank ($5 million), Kentucky Farm Bureau ($2.5 million), Planet Fitness ($3 million), UPS ($5 million) and L&N Federal Credit Union ($2 million) since last May, Tyra’s seven-figure deals have outstripped every other 12-month period since 2009 by at least $6 million.
It may also have laid a foundation for future funding by showing potential donors the confidence and commitment of corporate sponsors.
“It’s made our other conversations with future corporate donors and high net worth individuals much easier,” he said.
Conscious of the division caused by the abrupt departures of Jurich and Pitino and the hard feelings that have since festered, Tyra’s general strategy has been to maintain contact with established donors but to refrain from soliciting them until he has formulated a specific wish list. To that end, hiring the Populous architecture and design firm earlier this month will result in A) an extensive facilities study, B) a list of priority projects and, then, C) a bigger push for donor dollars.
“I don’t want to do it until we have a project in mind,” Tyra said. “I’m not looking to raise money just to raise money. I think you should be strategic in when you do it, as noted by engaging with Populous. The reason I want to spend the money there is because it gives us a road map of all the projects we need over the coming years, whether they be $200,000 or $10 million.’’
—Duke Basketball Report says Louisville might be the team best-suited to challenge the Blue Devils for ACC supremacy in 2019-20.
—Could Jaylen Smith reunite with Lamar Jackson in Baltimore? Both seem eager for it to happen.
—The 2019 NBA Draft hasn’t even happened, but Sam Vecenie of The Athletic is already out with a 2020 mock draft. In it, he has Jordan Nwora going 20th overall.
—And finally, Gorgui is still the best.