—Four of Sports Illustrated’s five college hoops writers like Louisville to take care of Florida State on Saturday.
—Perimeter shooting carried the U of L women’s team to a rout of Clemson Thursday night.
—Decade state champs.
—The CJ’s Lucas Aulbach wonders if Fresh Kimble’s performance against Kentucky could be a sign of things to come.
—Donovan Mitchell checks in at No. 7 among Western Conference guards in early All-Star voting.
—The CJ explores the idea of a Lamar Jackson statue on U of L’s campus.
—The Athletic has Jordan Nwora on the First Team and Dwayne Sutton on the Third Team of its Midseason All-ACC honorees.
All-ACC First Team
Vernon Carey Jr., center, Fr., Duke
Jordan Nwora, forward, Jr., Louisville
Elijah Hughes, forward, Jr., Syracuse
Mamadi Diakite, forward, Sr., Virginia
Tre Jones, point guard, So., Duke
If you value hard work, dedication and persistence, or if you celebrate staying in school, this group is for you. Nwora, who flirted with the NBA last spring after earning third-team All-ACC honors, received the league’s 2019 Most Improved Player award. Hughes, already a productive defender, is among the frontrunners for the same honor in 2020, after dramatically upgrading both his ball-handling and perimeter shooting. Diakite, whose raw numbers are suppressed by UVa’s super-slow tempo, gradually has evolved from a no-name freshman who redshirted into an already famous fifth-year senior with an NCAA championship ring. Jones, always a superb leader, ball-handler and defender but an offensive liability at times as a freshman, can be a dangerous scorer now, too, if that’s what his team needs on a given night.
Duke freshman big man Vernon Carey Jr. is the midseason POY.
—Via Jody Demling, Parker Detmers, the younger brother of Cardinal All-American Reid Detmers, has committed to play his college baseball at Louisville.
—TuTu Atwell was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded wide receiver for the 2019 college football season.
Tutu Atwell finished the season with 1,272 yards, a single-season record at Louisville pic.twitter.com/4BLFgf271Q— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 1, 2020
—Busting Brackets says Louisville is one of five programs set to dominate college hoops in the decade to come.
—Maine traveled 11,000 miles to play a game of basketball against Hawaii. They lost by 40.
—Whoever’s running Leonard’s social media these days is doing a hell of a job.
I wish everyone a Happy New Year. I’m going to enjoy it watching film on Louisville while drinking seltzer water pic.twitter.com/Zm7dhOg9lz— Leonard Hamilton (@FSUCoachHam) December 31, 2019
—The chase for the ACC championship is officially on, and we’re already down to just three unbeatens (Louisville, Duke and Virginia) in the league.
—A multi-million dollar renovation is in the works for Slugger Field.
—Gonna need this guy next year.
—Scotty Davenport and the top-ranked Bellarmine Knights remained undefeated with another runaway victory Thursday night.
—The ACC.com picks a player of the decade for each school. The choice for Louisville was not difficult.
—I’m pretty confident Terry has never seen a Star Wars movie. Either that or he was just looking away during all the scenes where they used lightsabers.
It’s Terry Rozier Obi Wan Kenobi bobblehead giveaway day here in Charlotte pic.twitter.com/bgAFGNc5pf— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) December 31, 2019
—Speaking of Terry, he dropped 30 on the Cavs Thursday night.
—Danielle Lerner looks at (Athletic link) Louisville’s most effective shots so far this season.
The Sutton effect
If I made a bingo card for Mack press conferences, at least two squares would be reserved for when the coach refers to redshirt senior forward Dwayne Sutton as a “warrior.”
Sutton’s versatility is prized on both ends of the floor, and perhaps his most valuable asset is his ability to create his own shot. The forward shoots 81.1 percent at the rim, per Hoop-Math, and more than 63 percent of those baskets are unassisted — partially because 24.3 percent come on put-backs. That’s no surprise if you watch Sutton scrap for offensive rebounds as if they’re a secondary oxygen source.
He is shooting 88.9 percent on put-backs at the rim, averaging 1.467 PPP. Sutton leads the Cardinals in half-court offense with 1.163 PPP, which is in the 97th percentile according to Synergy.
Aside from put-backs, Sutton is also extremely effective on cuts to the basket (1.6 PPP, 75 field goal percentage). Back door cuts were working for a while early against Kentucky until the Wildcats started going under screens, taking away Louisville’s options for passes into the paint. Two more scenarios we rarely see Sutton in, but that do work, are isolation plays and as the roll man in the pick-and-roll.
—For Cardinal fans in the South Florida area, there will be a game watch for the Florida State game at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Stout Irish Bar and Grille in Fort Lauderdale.
—Louisville has become a Ravens city (Athletic link).
—Highlights from the Cards’ win over Clemson Thursday night:
—The CJ makes three early bold predictions about the 2020 Louisville football season.
—Couldn’t love this more.
Everyone knows Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield is normally calm on the sidelines during the games, but after Micale Cunningham completed this touchdown pass to Marshon Ford, he couldn't help but get fired up. pic.twitter.com/LIPokYmuVl— Dominique Yates (@RealDYates) December 31, 2019
—Houston Hogg, one of four Kentucky players credited with helping to integrate the SEC, died on Thursday.
—Conference bowl records as we near the end of bowl season:
SEC: 7-2 (78%)
Mountain West: 4-2 (67%)
Independents: 2-1 (67%)
Pac-12: 4-3 (57%)
AAC: 3-3 (50%)
Sun Belt: 2-2 (50%)
Big Ten: 4-5 (44%)
C-USA: 3-4 (43%)
ACC: 4-6 (40%)
MAC: 2-3 (40%)
Big 12 1-5 (17%)
—I’m always going to be a Jon Greenard fan.
—Cardinal Authority serves up its all-decade Louisville basketball team.
—This might be the most Indiana football loss in the history of Indiana football losses, which is saying something.
The Hoosiers haven’t won a bowl game since 1991, the longest Power Five program drought in the country.
—Minnesota is hiring former Western Kentucky head coach Mike Sanford Jr. as its offensive coordinator.
—Spin Zone: Louisville Live just keeps getting bigger.
—On the heels of its Music City Bowl loss to Louisville, Mississippi State has fired head coach Joe Moorhead.
—The bad news continues to pile up for North Carolina basketball, which will now be without freshman guard Anthony Harris for the rest of the season due to an ACL team.
—It appears as though the Ali uniforms are back this weekend.
“My greatness came and started in Louisville, Kentucky.”— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) January 3, 2020
Saturday. #7 Louisville vs. #18 Florida State. Our house. pic.twitter.com/lPDDpK0Pdg
—And finally, beat FSU.