—Andy Katz makes 20 (very) early predictions about the 2020 NCAA tournament, and has Louisville as one of his Final Four picks.
—The final attendance numbers from the 2018-19 men’s basketball season are out, and Louisville ranked No. 6 in the country, posting an average of 16,601 fans per home game.
6. LOUISVILLE — 16,601
State of Kentucky fans support their basketball, which allows the state to have two of the three biggest capacity arenas in the sport, per KenPom. Louisville didn’t hit near that capacity in 2018-19, falling more than 5,000 fans shy. But with Chris Mack boasting what looks like a potential top five team in 2019-20, look for the Cardinals to boost those attendance figures significantly. Even in a down season — Louisville went 20-14 in Mack’s first year on campus — it’s worth noting that Cardinals fans still showed up at a rate that outpaces the capacity of most major schools. Even so, Louisville should jump into the top five, if not the top three, this year.
After two atypically down seasons, it’ll be very interesting to see that if Louisville’s attendance bounces back to its usual spot in the nation’s top three in 2019-20. If it doesn’t, it might be time to accept that this is the new norm.
—DJ Steward, one of Louisville basketball’s top recruits in the class of 2020, has announced that he plans to trim his list of schools to eight on Thursday.
—Cardinal Authority lays out the five biggest surprise players for the upcoming U of L football season.
—Trey Lewis will be continuing his professional career in France this season.
—If you’re jonesing for some football talk, here’s a good podcast breaking down the Notre Dame offense.
—U of L swimming rising sophomore Hayden Curley has been selected to participate in USA Swimming’s National Open Water Select Camp.
—Zion Williamson went up against Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater in the Saints QB Challenge.
—Class of 2020 women’s basketball recruit Lazaria Spearman has narrowed her final list of schools to Louisville, Miami and South Carolina.
—Jody Demling gives the latest updates on Louisville football recruiting.
—Insider Louisville has announced that it will cease publishing on Aug. 7.
—Jeff Walz led the USA U19 team to a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup, and then celebrated with two of the worst cart-wheels you’re ever going to see.
—Cardinal Sports Zone and Big Red Louie have combined for a new podcast and on their first episode, they’re joined by former Cards Keith Kelsey and Ibn Green.
—The Louisville Bats’ new lease at Slugger Field provides for $8M in renovations.
—Thirty-four days until football, 99 days until basketball, one moth until soccer.
—Michael McCammon lists five areas where the U of L football defense must improve in 2019. He could have just said “everywhere” and called it a post, but I applaud the deeper dive.
—Fansided ranks the 30 best college quarterbacks of the 21st century, and has Lamar Jackson at No. 8.
Undoubtedly a great athlete when he came into the college ranks, Lamar Jackson had to prove himself early on with the Louisville Cardinals. He had to earn the starting quarterback job as a true freshman in the 2015 season and ultimately did so as he made 12 appearances and eight starts, throwing for 1,840 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight picks while rushing for 960 yards and 11 touchdowns.
After flashing his talent as a freshman, the question was if Jackson would be able to take the next step beyond being an electric athlete but flawed quarterback. The Louisville signal-caller answered any questions with a Heisman-winning season, though.
Jackson was untouchable in the 2016 college football season, throwing for 3,543 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions while also rushing for 1,571 yards and 21 touchdowns. His success led Louisville to a 9-4 season on the year, a solid mark under Bobby Petrino.
For his final act with the Cardinals, Jackson ultimately fell short of the Heisman as Louisville, though they went 8-5 overall, were a worse overall team than in the previous season. Even still, the quarterback put up eye-popping numbers as he passed for 3,660 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 1,601 yards and 18 scores on the year.
Jackson’s place as perhaps the best dual-threat college quarterback ever is intact but it’s the Cardinals’ lack of success under his watch that ultimately keeps him “down” at No. 8. Had he led them to higher highs, perhaps he’d have been a top-five candidate.
—Packers Wire believes Jaire Alexander is poised for a Pro Bowl season.
—And finally, Clutch Points examines the next step for Donovan Mitchell.