—Eric Crawford has three big questions for Louisville and for the ACC heading into today and tomorrow’s kickoff events.
—Jeff Greer lays out his All-Decade Louisville basketball team (Athletic link).
—Before noon today, Louisville saw two attorneys get into a brawl at the Hall of Justice and a truck of pigs overturn on the highway.
Summer in the city.
—Your best read of the day comes from CBS’ Matt Norlander shadowing a mid-major head coach for a day at Peach Jam.
10:41 a.m.: Our coach fiddles with his neon-orange Nike bracelet. It is stretched, crinkled, abused. One of his assistants came yesterday and paid for the bracelet, which allows coaches to attend the games. The assistant used it for most of Thursday, then collapsed the bones in his hand like a mouse trying to squeeze through a hole, manipulated the bracelet off his wrist and left it at the hotel front desk for his boss. Our coach proceeded to bust the bracelet earlier this morning while trying to snap the white pin clip. He’s haphazardly repaired it with scotch tape (thank you, front desk, for the assist).
See, one Peach Jam bracelet costs $500. Our coach was not allotting $1,000 or $1,500 out of his modest recruiting budget. So he will game the system, like many a mid- and low-major coach.
About 30 feet away, UNC Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams sits and scouts.
”You could sit next to Roy Williams and get a good story,” our coach says. “But he hasn’t slid off an arm band in his f------ career.”
—Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg has a great read on the stories behind the most iconic sports commercials of all-time. Teaser: Eddie Murphy was originally tabbed to be the voice of Lil’ Penny.
—A website called College Factual ranks the best colleges in America to play men’s basketball. The top five? Duke, Kentucky NORTHWESTERN, Kansas and Villanova. It’s cool that they won a tournament game a few years ago, but that still seems wrong. Louisville checks in at No. 8.
—The 2019-20 basketball videos have begun and I couldn’t be happier.
—It appears Louisville will be hosting Youngstown State on Nov. 10 as part of the Global Sports Showcase. It also appears USC Upstate has replaced Southern, which was originally a part of the field.
—U of L football has teamed up with Tailgate Guys to offer premium tailgating experience packages that cost up to $10,000. Or you can take a couple beers from an over-served frat tailgate for free. It’s a tough call.
—Louisville has had too much wide receiver talent in recent years to consistently rank so high in drop rate.
Highest Drop Rate by Power 5 Schools in 2018— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) July 15, 2019
1. Maryland 14.6%
2. Illinois 13.2%
3. Boston College 12.7%
4. Penn State 12.6%
5. Duke 12.5%
6. Rutgers 12.3%
7. Baylor 12.1%
8. LSU 10.9%
9. Louisville 10.1%
10. Michigan State 9.8%
—Louisville women’s basketball signee Norika Konno is one of 19 players to watch at this week’s Fiba U19 World Cup. Playing for Japam, Konno could face future coach Jeff Walz, who is the head coach for Team USA in this tournament.
—The latest edition of the Hoop Vision newsletter is about quantifying defensive scheme. It identifies Louisville as one of the five best teams in college basketball when it comes to suppressing cutting action.
Using the same methodology as in the previous section, we can determine the five defenses which most suppressed cutting action.
3. Air Force
As you might expect, the top of the cutting list is a very good indicator of gap defense.
For me, there are three current high-major coaches that immediately come to mind when thinking gap or pack line: Tony Bennett (Virginia ranked #22 in cut suppression), Sean Miller (Arizona #6), and Chris Mack (Louisville #5).
Retired Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan would be another that comes to mind, but it looks like his successor Greg Gard should be added to the list, as Wisconsin was #1 at suppressing cuts by a healthy amount.
—Like Jeff Walz, U of L volleyball coach Dani Busboom Kelly is also coaching with Team USA this week.
—Donovan Mitchell has the 16th-best player rating in the new NBA 2K20 game.
—This is one way to counteract the criticism over not sending Trevor Lawrence to ACC Media Day.
John "Trevor Lawrence" Simpson has arrived at ACC Media Day. Amazing. pic.twitter.com/yWHsUplqtn— That's so David (@ADavidHaleJoint) July 17, 2019
—Louisville will be the host of a festival dedicated entirely to man ‘n cheese.
—The recently fired 66-year-old director of Iowa’s social services agency being an over-the-top Tupac fan is one of the best stories of the summer.
The director of Iowa’s social services agency was a huge fan of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, and he frequently let his subordinates know it.
Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven routinely sent messages to employees lauding Shakur’s music and lyrics even after at least one complained to lawmakers. Then last month, he sent another such email to all 4,300 agency employees. He was abruptly ousted from his job the next work day.
Foxhoven, 66, told employees that he had been a huge fan of the hip-hop artist for years. He hosted weekly “Tupac Fridays” to play his music in the office. He traded lyrics with employees and he marked his own 65th birthday with Shakur-themed cookies, including ones decorated with the words “Thug life.”
The agency released 350 pages of emails with the words “Tupac” or “2Pac” sent to and from Foxhoven during his two-year tenure in response to an AP request. They show that Foxhoven marked the anniversary of Shakur’s death, shared one of his lyrics about love on Valentine’s Day and used the rapper’s image to try to improve the agency’s culture. He told colleagues he was inspired by lyrics that included: “It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.”
While some employees praised Foxhoven for using Shakur to inject levity and inspiration into a stressful workplace, at least one complained to lawmakers about it last year, according to the emails provided under the open records law. And when Gov. Kim Reynolds told Foxhoven to resign on June 17, it was his first work day after he sent an agency-wide email telling employees to mark Shakur’s birthday over the weekend by listening to one of his songs.
—The Power Rank uses its formula to rank every team in college football and has Louisville at No. 75.
—A current Cardinal and a former one will both be shooting for the British Open title this week at Royal Portrush.
—Donovan Mitchell’s summer project (Athletic link) is to elevate his own game.
—Former Trinity star and current Louisville recruit Jay Scrubb announced on Twitter Tuesday that Penny Hardaway and Memphis State are the latest to offer him a scholarship.
—The new U of L football media guide cover is here, and it appears my suggestion to include the three Kentucky Derby stewards was ignored.
—Four-star class of 2021 guard Cam Hayes has received a scholarship offer from Louisville.
—The staff over at 247 breaks down the top performers from the July evaluation period. U of L point guard target Andre Curbelo checks in at No. 3.
—ESPN’s David Hale has no Louisville players on his All-ACC first or second team, and predicts the Cardinals to go 3-9 with one conference win in 2019.
—Bardstown High standout JJ Traynor, who is the son of former Louisville and Male High star Jason Osborne, is having a breakout summer.
—Ranking the 11 best rookies at the NBA Summer League.
—Chris Mack’s first recruiting class has already made it on SportsCenter thanks to this highlight.
The freshmen need to work on their passing so we got in a little practice. However I’m not counting it as part of our 4 court hours this week! pic.twitter.com/fDHZ7HH6OV— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) July 14, 2019
—I kicked off our summer preview series over at SB Nation with the Big East, just so I could write about DePaul before any other team.
—College basketball coaches hate the new recruiting calendar.
—Love seeing the CC kids grow up.
—After a rough first run as Louisville’s starting quarterback, Jawon Pass is ready to turn the page.
—The Texas Rangers have acquired former Cardinal second baseman Nick Solak from the Rays.
—A worthy cause.
PSA: EVERYONE IN LOUISVILLE— Ishaan Nayyar (@aKidNamed_Ish) July 15, 2019
All Proceeds go to the Kentucky Humane Society and there will be plenty of adorable adoptable puppies there. RT to spread the word and help provide these animals with a permanent shelter.@WLKY @WDRBNews @TheBigRedLouie @CardChronicle pic.twitter.com/66nkDRq9G0
—Pat Forde says that it’s time for Billy Donovan to return to the college game.
—How the biggest healthcare scandal in American history revealed the misdeeds of former Penn basketball coach Jerome Allen.
—Paris loves Donovan Mitchell.
—Louisville remains one of the favorites for top 2020 recruit Caleb Love.
—The ACC Atlantic Division remains Clemson’s world.
—A Florida State writer wants to kick Louisville out of the ACC and bring Notre Dame in for all sports.
—Corey Ray is still a bad, bad man.
—The release of the first Scott Satterfield depth chart earlier this week showcased a sign of change.
—Yardbarker has Louisville at No. 5 in its early hoops top 25 for next season.
Experienced crew: Out of the top-10 teams ranked here, Louisville brings back the most upperclassmen. Jordan Nwora, Dwayne Sutton, and Malik Williams return to their starting positions while Steven Enoch and Ryan McMahon will get an even bigger role off the bench for Chris Mack’s Cardinals.
So fresh, so clean: St. Joe’s transfer Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble will most likely take the starting spot of Christen Cunningham. Kimble averaged 15.6 points a game with the Hawks and will now be the facilitator with the amount of offensive weapons in Louisville’s arsenal.
Return of the Mack: Coach Mack is back for another season where he will have he will be more comfortable with the team he has. Mack’s coaching is huge for a team loaded with experience along with freshman stud Samuell Williamson joining the rotation as another offensive weapon for the Cardinals.
—Mekhi Becton doesn’t want to hear about his press clippings.
—New U of L football strength coach Mike Sirignano talks about rebuilding the Cardinals.
—And finally, I’m solo on R&R this afternoon from 3-6. We’ll have interviews with Scott Satterfield, Dorian Etheridge, Seth Dawkins, Dino Babers and more. You can listen here.