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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Not all cats are bad.

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—The men’s game may have been canceled today, but we’ve still got a nationally televised top 20 matchup between Louisville and DePaul on the women’s side tonight in the Women’s Jimmy V. Classic.

—Jeff Walz’s Cards are No. 1 in the latest women’s basketball power rankings from CBS.

1. Louisville (2-0)

It didn’t take long to have a new No. 1 team in our rankings, and here we are: welcome, Louisville! Louisville has looked very solid so far in two easy wins over South Missouri St. and Eastern Kentucky. Jeff Walz’s team has yet to be challenged, but that changes Friday night, as the Cardinals travel to Bubbleville to take on a DePaul team that can really fill it up. Senior Dana Evans has been very solid in the early going, but it has been the play of the Cardinals two freshmen, Olivia Cochran and Haley Van Lith, that has the Louisville faithful excited for the future. Following a tilt with DePaul in the Jimmy V Classic, the Cardinals take on UT-Martin, before beginning ACC play against Duke on Wednesday. Previous: 3

—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reacts to the news of Louisville pausing all team activities less than a week before the Cards are supposed to travel to Wisconsin.

—Whole city’s on fire right now.

—There are five Louisville football commits playing in the Georgia state playoff tonight.

—Hoops Insight is investigating the answer to the question the entire world is asking: Is JJ Traynor the greatest basketball player alive?

The magnitude of the positive impact is staggering and consistent

JJ Traynor’s impact has not been limited to any game, it’s been consistent for 4 games now:

Vs Evansville, UofL was +34 in 32 poss with Traynor and +1 in 33 poss without

Vs Seton Hall, UofL was +14 in 29 poss with Traynor and -13 in 42 poss without

Vs Prairie View, UofL was +13 in 30 poss with Traynor and +9 in 39 poss without

vs WKU, UofL was +21 in 49 poss with Traynor and +0 in 21 poss without

Traynor’s incredible plus/minus impact has not been limited to specific frontcourt partners, either. His 3 most common lineups have featured different frontcourt duos with him, and all have been lights out:

+29 in 36 poss with Jones/Johnson/Davis/Withers

+29 in 22 poss with Jones/Williamson/Davis/Slazinski

+11 in 19 poss with Jones/Johnson/Withers/Slazinski

When Louisville gives lineups with JJ Traynor consistent time in a game, they are very likely to dominate the opponent, but lineups without Traynor have struggled to do so. There have been 6 occasions when lineups with JJ Traynor played 5 or more possessions together in one game, and they are +51 in 84 possessions. There have been 8 occasions when lineups without JJ Traynor played 5 or more possessions together in one game, and they are -3 in 98 possessions. The best +/- by any non-Traynor lineup was a +7 in 13 possessions against Seton Hall, and no other non-Traynor lineup has outscored opponents by more than 3 points in a game. Lineups with Traynor have posted a +24 in 20 poss, +20 in 26, and +9 in 10.

—Louisville stays at No. 25 in Gary Parrish’s daily hoops rankings for CBS.

—Louisville WR Corey Reed has officially entered the NCAA transfer portal.

—Brought home the Best Twitter Account award in The Voice Tribune’s Best of Louisville issue, but didn’t get the pulled quote for the spread.

Demling, you sneaky son of a bitch.

—Eric Crawford writes about Bellarmine’s emotional ride to Division-I, which begins tonight at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Duke.

The old saying went like this: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. The Bellarmine men’s basketball team took off for the basketball equivalent on Thursday, on its way to its first game as an NCAA Division I member against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

How do you get there? That was on coach Scott Davenport’s mind as the flight took off.

“It was a very emotional, reflective ride,” Davenport said. “A lot of time to think.”

In his leather “Louisville basketball” satchel were the usual documents — Duke’s statistics, his scouting report, notes he wanted to cover with his team. But there was another folder. In it was the scouting report from the last time Bellarmine went to Duke, invited to open the Blue Devils’ exhibition season in October of 2011 after winning the NCAA Division II championship the previous spring.

How do you get to Cameron Indoor Stadium? You win a Division II championship. Or, you log countless miles in busses. You ride across the Midwest during snowstorms. You make hundreds of trips to the grocery the night before road trips to pick up snacks. You sweep the floor of your gymnasium a thousand times, clean off the backboards yourself.

You sustain excellence, year after year, until your university administration believes it can ride your credibility and the growth of the school to the NCAA Division I level.

—Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde also writes about the rise of the Bellarmine basketball program.

—Even after a million years, it still couldn’t figure out how to penetrate the Syracuse zone.

—As if this weekend wasn’t already off to a shitty enough start, this weekend’s Louisville sunsets will be the earliest of the year.

—Still one of the most fun U of L sporting events I’ve ever watched, and not just because it was a great excuse to avoid studying for law school finals. Can’t believe it was 10 years ago.

—With today’s game canceled and team activities paused, everyone associated with Cardinal basketball is now focused on whether or not the team will be able to play next week’s showcase game at Wisconsin.

Louisville is seeking guidance from the ACC’s Medical Advisory Group to confirm protocols for the pause. An ACC spokesperson said there’s no steadfast rule when it comes to the pause, and league schools must abide by their respective state and local guidelines.

Jefferson County recently set another record of positive COVID-19 cases, surpassing 3,000 cases for the third consecutive week, according to Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville’s chief health strategist, Dr. Sarah Moyer.

The Cards’ basketball team already has been testing every other day. They plan to follow the university’s road map with football following positive tests, which is isolating anyone exposed, testing daily and pausing activities.

There’s no word yet on U of L’s next scheduled game, at Wisconsin.

“We’re trying to have conversations with the ACC and let them understand where we’re at. But as of Friday (morning), we don’t have a decision on the Wisconsin game,” Heird said.

—Cardinal Authority looks at the class of 2022 targets that Jeff Walz has his sights set on.

—Thousand bucks on the trainers.

— reacts to the cancelation of today’s UNCG game.

—The latest episode of The Crunch Zone podcast is here.

—This game was awesome.

—Louisville has received a perfect score for the sixth year in a row from the Human Rights Campaign index.

—It’ll be a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 meeting when Gonzaga and Baylor square off on Saturday afternoon.

—Friday Irrelevance:

—And finally, beat DePaul.