clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Friday morning Cardinal news and notes

Holden Brooks is ready for the weekend.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

—The second — and now we know final — college hoops trial came to an end on Wednesday, effectively ending the FBI’s probe into the sport. Now it’s all eyes on the NCAA.

—CBS’ Gary Parrish writes that a few were found guilty, many looked bad, but ultimately nothing has changed after college basketball’s bribery trials.

Can the NCAA handle the load of all this? I think we all know the answer to that.

—RIP to Jim McGhee, a member of the U of L athletic staff since 1977, who passed away on Wednesday.

Mr. McGhee, as he was fondly referred to, spent the last 24 years as assistant athletic director for varsity sports and student life.

He assisted with the operation of nearly all UofL varsity sports and had a number of additional duties. He operated the NCAA National Youth Sports Program, a summer program for at-risk boys and girls, for the athletic department for 20 years.

”Jim was the definition of the true Cardinal Spirit. He was loyal, hard-working and a stickler for detail. One of the most organized and meticulous members of the athletic staff, he was 100 percent reliable, had a true servant’s heart and was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He will be sorely missed here at Cardinal Athletics,” said Kenny Klein, senior associate athletic director, who worked with Mr. McGhee for 36 years.

—Following his guilty verdict on Wednesday, Christian Dawkins spoke briefly with the media and said some things that were good for Sean Miller, some things that were not good for Sean Miller, and some things that were very bad for ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

—Indiana is officially the 10th state to legalize sports gambling. Very excited to drive across the bridge to get these mid-January West Coast Conference bets in.

—This is a remarkable stat.

Louisville had played in a grand total of one NCAA tournament and won a grand total of zero NCAA tournament games when McDonnell took over the program.

—The baseball Cards start a weekend series at Virginia on Friday. Here’s a preview.

—The Sporting News has Jordan Nwora’s NBA Draft decision as the seventh-most important of any player in college basketball.

7. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
Class: Sophomore
2018-19 stats: 17.0 ppg, 7.6 apg

Overview: Louisville coach Chris Mack attracted an excellent recruiting class and will need to build around Nwora. He struggled as the Cardinals were eliminated from both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments in a single game (only 17 points combined), which illustrated his necessity to the Cardinals’ offense. Nwora has had three college coaches since enrolling at Louisville: Rick Pitino for a short period before his firing; David Padgett on an interim basis and now Mack. Some year-over-year consistency should help to spur Nwora’s development.

—Louisville’s hotel market is the hottest in the United States.

—U of L men’s golf sophomore Matthias Schmid has been selected to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference men’s golf team.

—Perfection is cool.

—U of L President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi was given a major raise on Thursday. She then announced hours later that she would be donating the entirety of that raise to the school. Very awesome.

—247 Sports has Chris Mack’s first recruiting class as the ninth-best in the country.

—The Louisville softball team saw its 2019 season end with a 9-3 loss to North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.

—Former 7th Region Player of the Year Jay Scrubb has planned a Louisville visit.

Scrubb will likely play one more year of JuCo ball before joining a D-I program for the 2020-21 season.

—Terry Rozier has not held back in the hours (and now days) since the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs.

—Congrats to former U of L assistant Mark Liberman, who has accepted a job as the associate head coach at Southeastern Louisiana.

—Via Jon Rothstein, Louisville has expressed interest in grad transfer Isaiah Moss, who averaged 9.2 ppg for Iowa last season.

This feels like an emergency backup plan in case Nwora and Enoch both bolt for the NBA. Remember, U of L still has one scholarship it has to give back to the NCAA either this season or next season as part of the punishments from stripper-gate.

—Sam Vecenie’s updated NBA Draft big board for The Athletic has Jordan Nwora at No. 47.

—Major League is 30 years old and still one of the best sports movies of all-time.

—Congrats to Cameron Teague on landing the gig as the Courier Journal’s new Louisville football beat writer.

He comes to Louisville from the Columbia Daily Tribune, where he covered Missouri.

—Greer’s story on U of L strength coach Andy Kettler’s battle to keep the memory of his son, Jaxen, alive is heartbreaking but really well done. Even if you don’t have an Athletic subscription, you should check out what the Kettlers are doing over at their foundation site, Jaxen’s Journey.

—The NCAA hoops trials are over, and did we really learn anything?

—Scott Satterfeld’s first pitch from Tuesday night gets a solid B.

Not a strike, but he did the veteran move and made sure to miss high, not low.

—Louisville volleyball has pulled in the top-ranked recruiting class in the ACC.

—Former Louisville walk-on safety Jack Fagot said he was speechless when given a scholarship by Scott Satterfield.

—Love having Hunter Cantwell back in The Ville and hopefully picking up where Stefan LeFors left off over at CAL.

—Shoutout to Jamon Brown, who made sure his foundation will pay for the funeral of a 1-month-old boy who was allegedly killed by his own father in Louisville earlier this month. Jamon has made a concerted effort to give back significantly to his community since the moment he received his first professional paycheck.

—David Levitch has a star over at North Oldham in the form of four-star recruit Justin Powell. He’s already putting in a good word for the prospect with Chris Mack.

—Awesome news for Bilal Powell, who still has a few years of great football left in him.

—I love this story on the doctors at Norton performing an operation on a 9-year-old girl’s doll so she would feel less nervous about undergoing her own operation.

—CBS ranks all 65 of the Power Five conference football coaches, and has Scott Satterfield at No. 37.


Scott Satterfield: The new Louisville coach has a nice starting point in these rankings as he takes over for Bobby Petrino (who was 29th last year, so these rankings provide no job security). In six seasons at Appalachian State, Satterfield went 51-24 and won three consecutive Sun Belt titles before taking this job. It’ll be a lot more difficult winning conference titles while playing in the same division as Clemson and Florida State, however. 2018 rank: n/a

The AP ranks the college football coaches most likely to succeed at their new job, and has Satterfield at No. 5. Dana Holgorsen of Houston is No. 1.

—Greer looks at (Athletic link ... I know) how Louisville basketball has already evolved under Chris Mack and how it might continue to do so moving forward.

An aberration?

Last year, when he was introduced as one of Mack’s assistants, Luke Murray detailed how Louisville wanted to play a four-out, one-in style. That manifested itself in Nwora, typically a wing, sliding up to play hybrid power forward. In theory, the player at that position in Mack’s system creates a mismatch on offense against more traditional post players at power forward but is still strong and tall enough to guard them on defense and rebound. But that change, along with having two centers in Steven Enoch and Malik Williams who felt comfortable shooting 3-pointers, also meant another thing: Louisville had the highest ratio of 3-pointers to field goal attempts of any of Mack’s teams in the past five seasons. Of the Cards’ 1,967 attempts this season, 43.7 percent were 3s. I’m no mathematician, but that’s nearly half by my calculations. The previous high for Mack’s recent teams was 36.1 percent during the 2016-17 season.

There is, however, reason to think that figure is an aberration in the Mack system. He isn’t opposed to 3-pointers. He encourages his players, if this is part of their arsenal, to shoot if they’re open and the timing is right. But this team didn’t possess the dynamic ability Mack typically wants from his perimeter players. As we said above, the Cards were smaller and less athletic on the perimeter, and they often settled for 3s as a product of their inability to collapse the defenses with drivers. The infusion of bigger, quicker athletes into next season’s roster should change that ratio and get Louisville more opportunities closer in.

—Asia Durr got the start at point guard for the New York Liberty in her professional debut Thursday night. Durr played 18 minutes and scored six points on 3-of-8 shooting in an exhibition win over the Chinese National Team.

—Friday Irrelevance:

—Double helping:

—Big Red Louie looks at the most underrated Cardinals of the 21st century.

—And finally, what to do around Louisville this weekend.