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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Leyton’s first experience at a U of L basketball game just so happened to be the Cards’ first win over Virginia in a billion years. He enjoyed that. And the nachos.

—Spread check: Louisville by 5.5.

NET Rankings Update: No. 7.

—ESPN ranks Dana Evans as the seventh-best player in women’s basketball at the moment.

7. Dana Evans, Louisville Cardinals, G, 5-foot-6, junior

Season stats: 18.5 PPG, 4.3 APG

Preseason ranking: Not ranked

No player made a bigger jump from the preseason rankings. Blame us, but it also speaks to what Evans has done with the opportunity presented by Asia Durr’s departure. A prolific scorer in her own right in high school, Evans understandably fell into the role of playmaker and defensive stopper when Durr was around. She also clearly didn’t forget how to be the star of the show. She has already attempted more free throws than she did all of last season (and might attempt more than her first two seasons combined). And shooting better than 90% from the free throw line, while also better than 40% from the 3-point line, is a good way for one of college basketball’s quickest players to drive opposing defenses to distraction. — Graham Hays

—Rick Bozich writes about the legacy of the Doctors of Dunk.

—Signing Angel McCoughtry helped make the Las Vegas Aces one of the winners of the WNBA free agency period.

—Georgia Tech is giving away free t-shirts to the first 750 students in the building tonight.

—Two days before the team’s season-opener, Cardinal Authority projects the U of L baseball starters for 2020.

—Louisville’s home game against North Carolina on Feb. 22 will tip-off at 4 p.m., as U of L’s bad luck with games scheduled to potentially be the site of ESPN’s “College GameDay” continues.

—Jody Demling writes about Louisville commit Bryce Hopkins (2021), who has already come “a long way” with his game.

The Class of 2021 prospect has improved his game, worked on his body and is playing at a high level for Chicago Fenwick. He’s the star on a team that has a 21-5 record with five games left in the regular season.

“I believe that I have gotten stronger which makes it harder for people to guard me and that makes me better than last year,” Hopkins said. “I have been working on my body a lot, trying to get better on defense and make my shot more consistent.

“I’ve been trying to slim down and get in better shape, trying to stay calm, play my game and get the W’s.”

Peck said there are still some areas Hopkins needs to improve, including guarding on the perimeter.

“Even though he’s bigger, he’s really creative with his body,” Peck said. “One thing he has to work on is his being able to guard perimeter guys. He’s gotten a lot smarter guarding interior guys and not getting into foul trouble, so now he needs to work on the perimeter.

“He’s a killer on offense but he’s not a killer on defense, yet.”

Hopkins is averaging 25 and 10 at the moment for Chicago Fenwick.

—Then 21 worst FCC complaints about the Super Bowl halftime show are as hilarious as you’d want them to be.

—The biggest reason to be concerned about Jay Scrubb jumping straight to the league and not spending a season at Louisville? The 2021 NBA Draft looks like it’s going to be loaded.

—It’s a family excursion down to ATL for the Macks.

—The latest NBA mock draft from NBC’s Rob Dauster has Jordan Nwora going 32nd overall.

—Josh Pastner’s big goal for the rest of the 2019-20 season? Avoid ACC tournament Tuesday.

It’s not the sort of accomplishment that would get a banner raised in McCamish Pavilion — hopefully not, at any rate — but it’s one that coach Josh Pastner has had in his sights since the end of last season.

Pastner wants the Yellow Jackets to finish in the top nine in the ACC standings and to avoid first-round play on the Tuesday of the conference tournament. Since the league expanded to 15 teams before the 2013-14 season, the Jackets have played in the opening round five of six times, which in normal circumstances has been the lot of the teams finishing in the bottom six.

The one time that the Jackets did not was when Louisville sat out of the tournament with a self-imposed postseason ban (2016), which enabled Tech to miss the first round, as only the bottom four teams played. Had Louisville played, the Jackets would have played on Tuesday.

“I’ve said this many times — we’ve got to get off of Tuesday,” Pastner said Monday in advance of the Jackets’ Wednesday night home game against No. 5 Louisville. “I think that’s our next step. Yes, trust me, I want to play in the NCAA tournament. It’s a drive, it’s a goal. Who doesn’t want to turn the program back to the NCAA tournament? But I don’t think we can even get to that point until we’ve got to make sure that we finish in a way that we’re not playing on a Tuesday.”

Tech would need to finish at least ninth in the final league standings to make this happen. At 5-8, they’re currently in a three-way tie for 10th.

—Louisville football has handed out the 10th-most scholarship offers to members of the class of 2021.

—U of L recruit Trey Kaufman continues to put up numbers at Silver Creek in his junior season.

—U of L women’s soccer has announced its spring schedule.

—A year ago to the day.

Here’s hoping tonight is a nice “look how far we’ve come” moment.

—U of L swim and dive will be hosting the Louisville First-Chance Invitational this weekend.

—The full lineup for this year’s Forecastle Festival is out.

—Letting Jordan Nwora catch and shoot from any spot is a bad idea, but it’s especially bad from the top of the key and the left corner.

—Experience has played a large part in Louisville’s success on the road so far this season.

—Ole Miss baseball is prepping for this weekend’s season-opening series against the Cards.

—Roto Baller likes Louisville to cover the spread tonight in Atlanta.

—ESPN’s BPI gives Louisville a slightly better chance than Duke to win the ACC regular season title.

—Michael Grant thinks Louisville is as good as anyone in the country right now.

—Virginia’s offense was, of course, back to being abysmal Tuesday night, but the Cavaliers were able to beat Notre Dame 50-49 in a game where the two teams combined to score five points in overtime.

—Other ACC results from Tuesday:

NC State 79, Syracuse 74

Wake Forest 74, North Carolina 57

—If the league tournament began today, here’s what it would look like:

—The CJ previews tonight’s game.

—Episode 15 of the CC pod is here.

—A “Doctors of Dunk” documentary is coming and it sounds as awesome as you’d hope it would be.

—And finally, beat Georgia Tech.