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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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The best babies are baby Cardinals.

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NET Rankings update: No. 11.

—Pro Football Focus has Louisville at No. 18 in its way too early top 25 for 2020.

—I know we’re all locked into the current season, but if Louisville has DJ, Sam and this guy next year, they’re gonna be just fine.

—A 16-year-old Louisvillian is headed to the Super Bowl thanks to Make-A-Wish.

—Danielle Lerner lays out (Athletic link) three keys to success for Louisville as it hits the road for a pair of away games.

Force opponents into 3-point attempts

When the pack-line defense is working, Louisville creates a force field around the paint and makes opponents attempt tough 3-point shots.

The payoff is evident during the six-game winning streak. Clemson jacked up 38 attempts from deep. Before that, Georgia Tech took 17 3-pointers, Duke took 25, Pittsburgh took 19, Notre Dame took 30 and Miami took 31. Those teams combined to shoot just 29.7 percent from beyond the arc.

It’s worth noting that the Cardinals’ length and versatility on defense are what allows such success. Junior center Malik Williams is agile enough to switch onto opposing guards, and the size of guards/wings such as Johnson, Nwora, Williamson and Dwayne Sutton make it difficult to shoot over them. Meanwhile, although neither measures taller than 6-foot-2, Darius Perry and Fresh Kimble remain two of the team’s best on-ball defenders.

Louisville’s 3-point field-goal defense (29.2 percent) ranks 22nd nationally and second in the ACC, while Boston College (29.8 percent) and N.C. State (32.5 percent) both rank in the bottom half of the conference in 3-point field goal percentage. The Eagles and the Wolfpack each average about 22 attempts per game from deep, so if the Cardinals can choke off the lane and commit to close-outs, they have a good chance of forcing an even higher volume of 3-pointers from two of the league’s weaker outside shooting teams.

—Lamar Jackson was named the Offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl, which is a thing that still happens and happened on Sunday.

—Louisville is the top 3-seed in Andy Katz’s latest bracket projection.

—The Cards are also No. 7 in Katz’s power 36 rankings.

—Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey went off on the officiating after several questionable calls went against his team in a 1-point loss at Florida State on Saturday.

Here’s a small sampling of what had Brey so worked up:

Brey was publicly reprimanded by the ACC Monday morning and Notre Dame was fined $20,000.

—Eli Rogers is listed on the roster of the XFL’s DC Defenders.

—The U of L women’s track and field team placed first and the men placed second at the Notre Dame Invitational over the weekend.

—Highlights from U of L’s throttling of Pitt on Sunday:

—Louisville is No. 2 in TNIAAM’s ACC power rankings.

—WalletHub says Louisville is the 8th-worst city in America for football fans.

—Quentin Snider continued to do work in Europe.

—The Cardinal swim teams split with Kentucky over the weekend.

—The U of L men’s tennis team took its first loss of the young season when it fell 4-1 to No. 5 Baylor.

—The women’s tennis team moved to 5-0 with a sweep of Southeast Missouri.

—Micale Cunningham is now getting Heisman odds at Super Book.

—JJ Traynor is No. 89 and D’Andre Davis No. 109 in the updated Rivals top 150 rankings for the 2020 class.

—After Louisville’s win over Pitt on Sunday, Jeff Walz shared some thoughts on the death of Kobe Bryant.

—The Louisville athletics department reported a $11.2 million deficit last week for the 2018-19 fiscal year. But with one massive buyout and another huge settlement, the CJ’s Tim Sullivan says it’s not as bad as it sounds.

—The Draft Network has Mekhi Becton going 11th overall in its latest NFL mock draft.

11. Jets

Mekhi Becton

OT, Louisville

With Chaisson off the board, the New York Jets would likely either go after an offensive lineman or playmaker in the passing game. This pick would be a debate between offensive tackles Mekhi Becton and Andrew Thomas or wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III.

The Jets will have the hardest time saying no to Becton. At 6-foot-8 and 365 pounds, he is a mountain on the end of the line of scrimmage. But where many at that size don’t have the quickness or the footwork to survive against speed rushers, Becton does, to go along with Onyx-like strength.

—T-Will has a son named Jaraye Williams who is a top football prospect from the class of 2021. He says he would have definite interest in Louisville should Scott Satterfield and company choose to offer him a scholarship.

—Just another celebration video.

—Wendell Moore is close to being back on the floor for Duke.

—Junior Bridgeman talks about the 1974-75 Louisville squad that was honored over the weekend.

“Even though the last game didn’t end the way we wanted it to, we felt we were elevating the foundation, so to speak,” Junior Bridgeman told local media on Saturday. “Louisville already had a great foundation of great basketball – you go back to Coach Peck Hickman, Wes Unseld and on and on – but I think it went to a different level with our team. I think everyone realized that Louisville would be a national contender year in and year out. That’s what Coach Crum did through his 30 years, obviously winning championships. He built it into not just an every now and then, but an every year thing and we were fortunate to be part of that.”

Finishing with a 28-3 record, the ’75 squad was the third UofL team to reach the Final Four. It won the Missouri Valley Conference Championship and beat three top-15 ranked opponents to reach the national semifinals, including a 96-82 victory over fourth-ranked Maryland in the Midwest Region championship.

When recruiting Bridgeman, Crum, a former Wooden assistant, explained that his Cardinal teams would employ a similar style of play as UCLA.

“Which we did,” Bridgeman said. “We ran the same offense and he approached the game the same way.”

—Louisville is No. 6 in ESPN’s latest hoops power rankings.

—Samuell Williamson continues to break out of his middle of the first year slump.

—U of L signee Hailey Van Lith, who spent time with Kobe just a couple of weeks ago, reacts to yesterday’s tragedy.

—Kevin Ware, who had a bet with Kobe in 2013 about who could return to the court first, also shared some thoughts.

Ten things to do for under $5 this week in Louisville.

—It’s a big week for the NC State Wolfpack, and the staff over at Backing the Pack (mostly) feels bad about their chances of upsetting Louisville on Saturday.

—The lads across the pond remain optimistic about Aidan Igiehon’s longterm prospects.

—Bionca Dunham’s recent emergence has changed the scouting report for this U of L women’s team.

—And finally, Reid Detmers has added yet another preseason All-American honor.