—Jeff Walz and his U19 USA Basketball squad rolled into the round of 16 of the FIBA World Cup with a 95-50 rout of Hugary on Tuesday. Walz will be on R&R this afternoon to talk about the experience in Bangkok so far.
—In the same tournament, incoming U of L freshman Norika Konno has helped Japan also advance into the round of 16.
—With a little over 100 days to go until the start of a much-anticipated Louisville basketball season, Jeff Greer writes about the Cardinal items that are on his mind.
1. Darius Perry’s Very Important Summer
I’m not alone in putting this out there, but word is that Perry played well over the five weeks since the junior guard told me he’s “never been one to quit” in discussing his challenging sophomore season. In our conversation, Perry blamed himself for his midseason funk — “It was all me,” he said — and included that his summer goal was re-earning the trust of the coaching staff. A few weeks later, in an interview on WKRD-790, coach Chris Mack said Perry “has had as good of an offseason as anybody in our program.” Mack equated this summer for the juniors to the transition between freshman and sophomore year for players in typical college situations. The reasoning behind the comparison: They played for an interim coach, David Padgett, during a tumultuous first year of college. They had to learn an entirely new system as sophomores. Now they have a year in Mack’s system, and they are settled into a program now on a firm footing. Those factors might seem insignificant or small to the rest of us, but familiarity breeds confidence.
From what I’ve heard, Mack is willing to be flexible in his practice of only teaching freshmen one position, which means Samuell Williamson could learn some aspects of the 2-guard position in order to get him, Jordan Nwora and Dwayne Sutton on the floor together. Any lineup with those three will be Louisville’s best. That said, as I pointed out in my minutes and rotation projections for next season, Perry seems like a favorite to start at the 2, occasionally slide to point guard and register 20-plus minutes per game. X-factors abound in the lineup, but guard play is the biggest question mark, and a confident, in-control Perry would command playing time. He has the potential to be a high-level defender, and he finished the season strong on offense, averaging 9.7 points and three assists in the last three games while shooting 50 percent from 3-point range. The best stat in those three games? One turnover. Carry that efficiency into the new season, and Perry will be a key player. The challenge is making sure he doesn’t get down on himself again if he struggles, a characteristic that contributed to his funk last season.
—ESPN examines which college football programs produce the most talent at each position. Louisville checks in at No. 6 at quarterback.
—Mini ticket packages for the 2019 Cardinal football season are now on sale.
—Love seeing Kyle Kuric back at the Kueber Center.
—Our guy Matteo Lambert continues to crush it in his quest to run 5Ks across the country and raise money to fight childhood cancer. His latest supporter is Chicago Cubs superstar Anthony Rizzo.
—David Teel writes that Clemson’s ACC football dynasty is good for business.
—This is obviously a big recruiting cycle for Louisville football, and Steve Wiltfong writes that the Cards hit big at the quarterback position by landing Chubba Purdy and Tee Webb.
And it’s obvious, if Satterfield and company are really going to get this thing going the way they want and are accustomed to from the annual double-digit win campaigns and conference championships at Appalachian State, one of these two will be a big reason why. There’s definitely still hope for junior Jawon Pass, a touted recruit in the 2016 cycle, finding his touch under this new regime, but after him you have Malik Cunningham who is athletic but probably better suited for another position and maybe we’re sleeping on true freshman Evan Conley who threw for over 6,000 yards in three seasons as the starter at Marietta (Ga.) Kell before arriving in the ACC.
Regardless, it was important for Louisville to hit big under center in 2020 to provide depth and long-term competition, and what they did this cycle is among the best work you’ll find from any program on the trail nationally. Stability off the field came the day Satterfield and his guys replaced the second Bobby Petrino reign at Louisville which really went sideways after Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson moved on to the NFL, and these quarterbacks in Purdy and Webb should make you feel good about the future stability on the field.
—Cardinal fans in Colorado are invited to join the University of Louisville’s Denver Alumni Club on Saturday, August 17 as it welcomes former U of L pitcher Nick Bennett, who was recently assigned to the Rocky Mountain Vibes. The group is planning to meet at the Vibes game, watch some baseball, and hopefully have a brief meet & greet with Nick afterwards.
Message Bill Emison at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in attending.
—It shouldn’t be shocking that this season went poorly.
The U of L graphics department has come a long way.
—BetOnline has released “rivalry spreads” for the 2019 college football season. The sportsbook has Kentucky at -3.5 wins over Louisville.
—Despite a number of NBA stars taking themselves out of consideration for the new USA Basketball squad, Donovan Mitchell is honoring his commitment.
—Five-star guard Nimari Burnett still has Louisville on his list.
Burnett made a visit to Louisville last season and said during the Peach Jam that he would like to get back for another visit.
The Cardinals were on him several years ago with Burnett noting it was even before Mack had the job at Louisville.
“They have been very interested in me for a long time,” he said. “We have a very good relationship and talk all the time.
“They say I can come in and be a very integral part of the teams success.”
Burnett said the U of L fans were “incredible” and he noted with Mack’s system, “I’d fit in and really like that both on offense and on defense they really get after it.”
Burnett cut his list to 12 earlier this week.
—Four-star 2020 big man Hunter Dickinson will announce his final seven schools later this week. Louisville is going to have to beat out front-runner Notre Dame to land the services of the 7’2 center.
—Zachary Rankin brings the 2019 Summer Tour to Machu Picchu in Peru. He loses the opportunity to grace the front of the site because of the UK fan with him.
—The idea that cell phones are the reason kids don’t want to go to college football games anymore seems wrong.
—Jon Rothstein remains extremely high on Louisville heading into the 2019-20 season.
ACC Offseason Power Rankings:— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 22, 2019
3. North Carolina
5. Florida State
6. NC State
8. Notre Dame
9. Georgia Tech
11. Boston College
14. Wake Forest
15. Virginia Tech
Rothstein also has Jordan Nwora as his preseason ACC Player of the Year.
—Football Scoop is taking a closer look at the 19 most important assistant coaching hires of 2019. Here’s their take on new U of L defensive coordinator Bryan Brown.
—The Louisville basketball team went paintballing over the weekend, and Aidan Igiehon looking like the damn Predator in this picture sent the fan base into a tizzy.
—Danielle Lerner has more on the story of the paintball excursion.
—Sports Illustrated looks at how hometown heroes are changing college basketball.
—Earl Clark has signed a deal to play for the San Pablo Burgos of Spain. The club celebrated(?) in this fashion:
—Louisville City FC has released ticket prices and a virtual seating map for its new stadium.
—Anfernee Simons is awesome and it would have been cool if he had played for Louisville.
—I’m still laughing at this:
—Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician ranks the ACC football coaches on their ability to wear a suit. Scott Satterfield beats out just one coach in the Atlantic Division.
—The people opposed to Top Golf won’t stop until they’ve wasted as much money as possible.
—Louisville’s Matthias Schmid may not have made the cut at The Open last week, but he did better Tiger Woods by one shot.
Raise your hand if your jealous... ♀️ ♂️ pic.twitter.com/rBJ7osVjiT— UofL Men's Golf (@UofLMGolf) July 18, 2019
—One of the biggest stories of ACC media days was Scott Satterfield recounting all the “discoveries” he made in his first weeks on the Louisville job.
—Even so, Satterfield appears to be in the process of making football fun again in Louisville.
—Lamar Jackson fired a strike to kickoff an Orioles game last week.
—The CCBM makes an appearance on this “wildest subway passengers” list.
—Kentucky basketball has agreed to a home and home with Georgia Tech, giving the world the Calipari v Pastner showdown(s) we’ve been clamoring for.
—Louisville football players continue to open up about the disaster that was the 2019 season.
“It’s tough for anybody to go through something like that. . . . It wasn’t just one thing. It was a combination of a lot of things going on, from the coaches to the players, we just — it was a lot of stuff,” quarterback Jawon Pass said. ” . . . I feel like going through that made us better. We took the lesson from it, instead of the bad part. We want to turn it into a good thing.”
Every player I’ve spoken to points to the same game as the point when the air went out of the balloon – a late game loss to Florida State.
“We were supposed to win that game,” wide receiver Seth Dawkins said. “We were up late, and then we had a bad pass play. I was hurt that game and on the sidelines. When that happened, it felt like all the air went out of the stadium.”
After the game, Petrino took the blame publicly for calling a pass play instead of running the ball, working the clock to kick a field goal for a six-point lead, and playing the percentages of stopping a length-of-the-field FSU drive late.
In the locker room, however, several players at the end of last season said Petrino didn’t shoulder the blame as readily, and in fact went after players for not executing.
“We still had some fight in us,” Dawkins said. “We came back and practiced hard the next week. But looking back, that play took the air out of the balloon.”
Also included in that story is Dawkins referring to former U of L QB Sean McCormack as “Robert.”
—Texas Tech’s 247 Sports site breaks down the Red Raiders’ 2019-20 hoops schedule, which includes a date with Louisville in New York.
Missed this from a couple hours ago, but the NCAA is issuing a Committee on Infractions decision regarding DePaul today. More information unknown at this time.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 23, 2019
—After a historically bad year, Dorian Etheridge remains optimistic about the Louisville defense.
—And finally, the CJ asks which U of L athletics team had the best 2018-19 season.