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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Louie the Cardinal > Louie the Lightning Bug > Buzz the Yellow Jacket

—Spread check: Louisville by 5.

—Our guy CardinalStrong answers some Louisville-Georgia Tech questions for the folks over at From the Rumble Seat.

—Arkansas-Little Rock is the fourth team to commit to playing in the Louisville bubble. Winthrop, Duquesne and UNC-Greensboro had previously signed up to participate in the event. Southern Illinois is also rumored to be on the brink of committing.

—A bombshell report from Stadium’s Jeff Goodman has exposed years of player abuse and just overall shitty behavior from Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall.

One player said Marshall called Morris a “mother (expletive).” Another recalled Marshall saying, “I know you did it on purpose to try and hurt him.” A third player said Marshall “cursed, shoved and bumped” Morris, then all the players said Morris was kicked out of the gym by Marshall.

Morris, 26, told Stadium words were exchanged between him and Marshall and then Marshall told Morris to go on the opposite court and “roll on the court until practice is over.” Morris refused and began walking out of the gym.

“He punched me while I was facing away over my right shoulder, hit me in my jaw,” Morris said. “I turned and coaches are surrounding us at the time.”

Each of the six players independently interviewed by Stadium said Morris was punched in the head by Marshall while walking out of the gym. One more player in attendance verified that Marshall punched Morris. Former Wichita State guard Ty Taylor, who transferred to UNC Wilmington after the season, told Stadium that he witnessed Marshall punch Morris in his head.

“Shaq walks away and Marshall punches him in the back of the head,” a former player said. “I’m in disbelief. He’s done flagrant stuff, but that was probably the reason I (transferred). I lost respect for him as a man. The worst part is that Shaq had told Marshall earlier that day that his mom had cancer.”

Morris confirmed the incident came just hours after a meeting with Marshall in which he said he broke down in tears while telling Marshall that he had been informed his mother, Tonya Taylor, who later passed away in July of 2019, was battling cancer.

Wichita State has launched an internal investigation into these allegations. If said investigation doesn’t result in Marshall’s firing, well ... I’ll be surprised, but sadly not shocked. I’ll be even less shocked if Marshall does wind up being fired, but on somebody else’s sideline in less than two years.

—The Georgia Tech preview episode of the CC Pod is here.

—After sitting out the past two days, Lamar Jackson returned to practice for the Ravens on Friday.

—The Pizza Bowl opener was a thriller on Thursday. The action at Jim Patterson Stadium continues today.

—Nice little Friday throwback.

—The unbeaten Louisville field hockey team is headed to Wake Forest this weekend.

—The U of L men’s soccer team will face Virginia in Charlottesville Friday night at 7. You can watch the game live on the ACC Network Extra.

—Will Smith is going to be a force in the bigs for a long time.

Also with Smith’s Dodgers taking on Adam Duvall’s Braves in the NLCS, Louisville is guaranteed to have a former player play in the World Series for the first time. Yankees reliever and former Card Chad Green could also make a World Series appearance with the Yankees.

—With college basketball’s scheduling pretty much completely reset, a handful of the top programs in the country have decided to make their non-con schedules as difficult as possible.

—Former Ohio State running back and current motivational speaker Maurice Clarett spoke to the U of L men’s basketball team on Thursday.

—Four-star class of 2022 QB Sam Horn from Georgia has received a scholarship offer from Louisville.

—Jody Demling and Michael McCammon over at Cardinal Authority both like U of L to take care of business this evening.

—Eric Crawford writes that it’s beyond the moment for Kentucky to get with the times and legalize sports gambling.

—Friday Irrelevance gets (sort of) spooky:

—Saturday Blitz has three bold predictions for Louisville-GT.

—Big Red Louie also makes some bold predictions about the game.

—Biggest Biscuit over at The Crunch Zone lays out his five keys to a win this evening.

3. SCORE EARLY – This isn’t the first time I’ve included this as a key, but frankly it remains one until the offense gets it together. UofL has yet to score a touchdown on their opening drive this season, as they’ve been marred by slow and halting starts. As I said previously, I think you can trace much of the offense’s struggles to the offensive line. They seem to be struggling early in games to get on the same page and in synch. I think some of it is adjusting to the speed and style of the defenses they face, but ultimately this should not be an issue, especially with the veteran interior. We saw it early against WKU (especially DeAngelo Malone,) the entire first half against Miami’s front, and the entire game against Pitt. I also need to include the tight ends in this (Marshon Ford in particular has struggled blocking) and the backs, who have often been underwhelming is pass pro. The Louisville offense, especially the line, has to set the tone early, impose their will, and “dictate the terms” of the engagement. To be fair, the Cards have faced two of the best defensive lines in the conference, and likely won’t see anything like Pitt’s front the rest of the year. All the more important to jump on a team like Tech and bury them early.

—Louisville is No. 8 in Streaking the Lawn’s latest ACC power rankings.

—While Louisville is playing Georgia Tech tonight on ESPN, a pair of Cardinal commits will be squaring off against one another on ESPN2.

—And finally, beat Georgia Tech.