—Practice for the 2019 Louisville football season is officially underway.
“Day one is always…everyone is so eager to get out there and that was the case today,” Satterfield said. “We split the practices on these first two days so everyone is able to get reps even though that some guys might not be ready for reps.”
The Cardinals enter the Satterfield era looking to rebound from a disappointing 2018 season, and the first-year head coach was encouraged by the intensity and the team’s ability to work.
”We weren’t out there very long today,” Satterfield said. “It was a huge difference out there today, especially on defense. They were flying around and understood what the coaches wanted. Both groups did a great job. It was good work today, but I think we will be better on day two.”
Louisville opens camp with 17 starters returning, but Satterfield isn’t worried about his front-line players. With some of his numbers down at certain positions, he’s trying to establish some depth over the next three weeks of camp.
”We have a lot of work to do,” Satterfield said. “We knew this from the spring that establishing depth was going to be key for us. I think when we put some of our first units out there that they will be pretty solid. However, that next unit that comes in, will it be a drop off? That’s what we have to develop, those next guys. We will get dinged up over the course of the year, but developing quality depth is the thing we have to do.”
—The setup for the start of fall camp for U of L has been split practices this week.
—A record number of hotel rooms have been booked in Louisville over the past year, which seems like a good thing.
—Athlon asked ACC football coaches to speak anonymously about the other programs in their conference. The takes on Louisville are telling.
”This is a total rebuild. This one might be more difficult than Georgia Tech switching back from a triple (option). The good news is that Louisville seems completely aware that this is a ground-up situation and not a quick fix. They obviously really wanted Jeff Brohm, being the native son and all, but they got a 10-year guy in Scott (Satterfield). He’s going to take the time we think they’re giving him and build out his program. App State was a really, really well-run program. They found their guys, built them up and dominated with their culture. It’s a long road to doing that here.”
”The worst of it might not even be done yet. Bobby Petrino leaving a program hits you in waves; first they quit on him, then you have to run off a bunch of them. They’ll probably have guys leave over the course of the summer and fall.”
”Expect a total change with the offensive personnel. The QB they got from this signing class (Evan Conley) will probably end up as their guy, maybe not at first but maybe by the end of the year. They’re going to take their lumps with him now, which makes sense.”
”They do have some guys at running back, so they’ll use that and keep it on the ground more than Petrino ever did.”
”Kentucky has been beating them for some guys they never would have when Charlie Strong was there. They need to reinvest in recruiting their part of the state and lock in on Florida and those other places.”
”I don’t think the previous staff did any recruiting the last year or so.”
—Sports Illustrated goes with Bama over Clemson in its college football preseason top 25.
—LJ Nesbitt over at The Crunch Zone serves up his first Buckethatism column of 2019-20.
—For a second straight year, the Bluegrass World Series is in Louisville.
—The ACC Digital Network takes a look at U of L’s quarterback competition.
—Will Leitch’s tribute to former colleague Rick Chandler is beautifully done.
—What if USA Basketball’s World Cup team was only college players?
—Using a Luke Smith picture for your commitment tweet is an A+ move.
—Cardinal Authority serves up 10 things every Louisville fan should know about Scott Satterfield.
—Louisville City FC’s new stadium will be named “Lynn Family Stadium.”
—This mix of Trez highlights from the 2018-19 season is pure energy.
—A few years ago, Steph Curry started inspiring youth basketballers in this country to start shooting deep threes. Now, James Harden-esque stepback treys are all the rage with the kids.
—DePaul periscoped the first game of its summer trip to France today, and it was everything I dreamed it would be. The tiny goals off the to the side like an elementary school gym, the obscured sight lines from the stands; perfect.
No idea if they won or lost. Doesn’t matter. Basketball is officially back.
—Rick Bozich writes about the growing legend of former Cardinal Will Smith.
—Jeff Greer’s latest “3-and-G” column focuses on, among other things, the new KFC Yum Center court design.
1. A picture worth …
Susan Sweeney Crum, a long-time journalist who is married to former Cardinals coach Denny Crum, posted a photo in February of the couple with new coach Chris Mack and his wife, Christi. To many, the photo simply paired new and old, one of the architects of Louisville basketball with the fresh face tasked with continuing the tradition. But the photo meant a lot to a lot of people too. The Yum Center’s court is named after Crum, and fans often reminisce about his heyday on the Freedom Hall sideline. (Shameless plug: Read about the time last winter when I walked around Freedom Hall with Crum.) But Crum’s difficult departure led to some bad feelings between his family and the athletics department, which is why the photo carried so much weight.
Shortly after the photo was taken, Mack told me that connecting with the Crums and the program’s past is part of a larger effort to make former coaches, players and staffers “feel like this is the program they’ve built.” The simple act of posing for a photo with the Crums went a long way with the fan base. In that same one-on-one interview, Mack also discussed the importance of striking the right tone with marketing and promotions. Last week — on Throwback Thursday, no less — the athletics department nailed the perfect note with the release of the new Yum Center court design, connecting with the program’s tradition and the highly popular Dunking Cardinal Bird with a modern twist.
Lottie Stockwell, an associate athletics director for marketing, said conversations about updating the floor began in January, once changes to the NCAA’s 3-point line seemed imminent for this season. (With the line extending, the school was going to have to redo the court regardless.) Ideas for new court designs poured out over a number of brainstorming sessions. Stockwell laughed as she said “it wouldn’t work to make the floor out of bourbon barrel planks.” Ultimately those involved in the decision-making process determined the Dunking Cardinal Bird, a logo synonymous with Louisville’s run of success in the 1980s, was the most fitting image. They wanted to ensure the design made “where you are” abundantly clear, Stockwell said. Once the Dunking Cardinal Bird was selected, the most challenging decision was whether the lanes should be painted red or black. “The black looked really sharp,” Stockwell said, “but red is our color.”
“These vintage and retro marks appeal to older fans who have sentimentality for them, but they also appeal to younger fans,” Stockwell said. “You see that with design. You see that with apparel. You see that across the board. When you’re trying to connect with fans at every level, it’s rare to find something — one thing — that fits across the board. You can’t buy that sort of affinity. You can’t manufacture it.”
—SHOCKINGLY, Katina Powell didn’t show up for her court hearing on Monday.
—Former U of L women’s golfer is tearing it up at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Open.
—Purdue Fort Wayne (Mastadons!) is leaving the Summit League and joining the Horizon League.
—This Jaylen Smith grab sent the Ravens offense (including Lamar Jackson) into a frenzy.
—The Phoenix Mercury have re-signed former Cardinal Arica Carter. Carter, a third round pick by the Mercury in the most recent WNBA Draft, had previously been waived by the team on June 1.
—The Oakland Raiders cut former Louisville OL Lukayus McNeil over the weekend.
—Congrats to Larry O’Bannon on tying the knot over the weekend.
—Single game tickets for the upcoming men’s and women’s soccer seasons are now on sale.
—Season tickets for the women’s basketball season are also on sale.
—Scott Satterfield is anticipating a large recruiting class in 2020.
—”Louisville’s back, baby. And it feels so, so good.”
—The Daily Progress serves up its preview of Cardinal football.
—The Sporting News predicts that Louisville will be the fourth-worst power conference team in college football this season. Oregon State is No. 1.
—Here’s some evidence of why Jay Scrubb is such a hot commodity.
—Cool story here on U of L awarding a degree to a Vietnam vet battling cancer.
—Shawn Mendes can’t pronounce Louisville.
—And finally, Lamar Jackson continues to impress in the early days of Ravens training camp.