The rarest of rare news & notes. Let’s get it.
—The updated early top 25 from ESPN’s Jeff Borzello has Louisville at No. 5.
While Duke welcomes another highly ranked recruiting class and North Carolina drew headlines all spring, Louisville could be the sneaky pick to win the ACC. The Cardinals answered their biggest personnel question entering the offseason when they landed Saint Joseph’s Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble at the point guard spot. Then Jordan Nwora and Steven Enoch withdrew their names from the NBA draft. Chris Mack will need his elite recruiting class to make an impact immediately, especially McDonald’s All-American Samuell Williamson. Another name to watch among the newcomers is local product David Johnson.
The Cards are the highest-ranked team from the ACC.
—Louisville basketball players eat 10 times a day. It sounds nicer than it actually is.
—Set the DVR, Lamar Jackson will be on Celebrity Family Feud this Sunday.
—Cardinal volleyball standout Tori Dilfer continues to tear it up with the USA Collegiate National team.
—Pat Forde wonders whether Louisville’s complete leadership makeover might save them from the NCAA hammer.
The commitment to compliance has translated to written goals. Tyra had a goal sheet printed that has this as its No. 1 objective: “At the end of 2023, the University of Louisville athletic department will be able to say that, in the past three years, there have been no Level I or Level II NCAA violations by anyone affiliated with the department.”
Of course, NCAA judgement figures to be handed down long before anyone knows whether that goal is met.
Louisville does not appear to be at the front end of the NCAA’s enforcement pipeline of cases. More notices of allegations are coming in relative short order, but Tyra said that no investigators have come to campus for interviews. Nothing appears imminent — but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to worry about.
“We don’t know what we don’t know,” Tyra said. “What we do know, internally, we’re comfortable with. But I don’t know that you ever feel total comfort when you’re dealing with these scenarios — and, more importantly, how the NCAA intends to handle it.”
How the NCAA handles Louisville — the most proactive of all scandal-implicated schools, but also the most compromised — will be a fascinating case. Vince Tyra is doing his best to write a happy ending, but the outcome seems far beyond his control.
—Grayson Allen never learns his lesson.
—RIP to 1993 Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero, who passed away Friday at the age of 29.
—The “Camden Connection” could be back thanks to Lance Ware, a class of 2020 product whose mentor was Pervis Ellison. The Cards are high on Ware’s list.
—This doesn’t seem awesome.
Kentucky's Mitch Barnhart has been named chair of the Division I men’s basketball committee for the 2020-21 season, per the NCAA.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 12, 2019
“Technically, yes, we do have a rule that says teams from the same conference can’t play in the first round. But because of some factors I won’t go into, the committee determined there was no way to avoid the Louisville-Virginia matchup.”
The only potential positive here is Calipari continuing to bitch about Kentucky’s draw even when his AD is the selection committee chair.
—Is the wear and tear of youth basketball to blame for some of the injuries we’re seeing at the NBA level? An interesting exploration from ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.
—Louisville kicker/punter commit Brock “Legatron” Travelstead is headed to the All-America Bowl. He got there by drilling a 55-yard kick in front of a crowd.
Brock Travelstead (@KP12Travelstead) kicked one through the uprights from 5️⃣5️⃣ yards out.— All-American Bowl (@AABonNBC) July 12, 2019
Congratulations on earning an invitation to the 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ #AllAmericanBowl #AABSZN20 pic.twitter.com/UCrjOxL4PG
—Cleveland State has fired former Western Kentucky head coach Dennis Felton.
—Louisville men’s basketball has earned the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award.
—I love these graphics.
These are the Utah Jazz's top scorers over the years: pic.twitter.com/MO8KnHZpBU— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 10, 2019
—Gold medal gymnast Simone Biles is coming to Louisville.
—The Bellarmine Knights will head to South Bend this fall to play an exhibition game against Notre Dame.
—Jeff Greer tells the story (Athletic link) of how Jay Scrubb went from relative anonymity to one of the most coveted basketball prospects in the world.
But the college recruiting process will play out over the next nine months or so, because Scrubb plans to gauge his NBA Draft stock after this season. As his dad previously told 247Sports, the Scrubbs believe Jayden could be a lottery pick or, at minimum, a first-round selection next year if he continues on the path he’s on now. If Scrubb isn’t projected that highly next spring and is expected to go late in the second round or even undrafted, he’ll most likely follow the college route.
That this is even a discussion is a testament to how far Scrubb has come.
“His journey is so unorthodox that now that he’s getting this recognition, it’s really kind of humbling to him,” says Jason Scrubb. “It’s exciting. It’s a blessing. It’s a bunch of different emotions. It gets us thinking about what’s next. It puts a lot of pressure on the what’s next angle of all this. Everything happens for a reason, and I feel like he’s in a great position now.”
—The backstory of new U of L volleyballer Phekran Kong is a good one.
—Big Red Louie assigns Stranger Things characters to Louisville basketball players.
don't talk to my son like that— Humor And Animals (@humorandanimals) July 9, 2019
(coop_and_capo IG) pic.twitter.com/02jT27bo0F
—Denny Crum continues to bounce back from his second stroke.
—And finally, happy weekend, kids.