—Chris Mack continues to target guards from the 2021 class. His latest offer is to Philadelphia’s Jalen Warley.
—U of L has also offered 2021 combo guard Hunter Sallis from Omaha.
—Mack and the rest of the U of L staff talk about (Athletic link) their first personal experiences with March Madness, and continue to react to the bizarre end of the 2019-20 season.
“There’s this closure none of us got to experience. It doesn’t seem real,” Mack says. “Even having the end-of-season meeting, being able to meet with players individually, everything has been thrown upside down because we’re not all together. We got off the plane from Greensboro (N.C.) and I talked to our team in the FBO at the airport, the private little charter area, and then they dispersed. They had 15 minutes to get their stuff out of the Kueber Center because they were deep-cleaning the building, and then they started going home. It’s just been weird.”
The news hit hard for the Cardinals, who at the very least were going to get an at-large NCAA Tournament bid after finishing the regular season with a 24-7 record. It was especially difficult for the team’s five seniors and departing junior Jordan Nwora, who had their last opportunity to compete on the sport’s biggest stage ripped away.
While the coronavirus cancellation is unprecedented, Louisville’s coaches can empathize with their players. After all, they each know well the sense of accomplishment that comes with playing in March Madness, whether as a player or a coache. Thinking about what the players have lost prompts reflection on their own tournament experiences.
“As somebody who’s been in basketball and around basketball their whole life, that’s just the pinnacle and a dream fulfilled to get to that point,” Murray says. “It’s really such a big part of why we do this. Obviously the relationships with players are hugely important, but a big part is for the games. If you didn’t play games, would you be a college basketball player or coach? You want to be in that environment, in what arena winning or losing games, and the NCAA Tournament is the pinnacle of that.”
—Speaking of the Louisville staff and Luke Murray in particular, there is palpable buzz (INTERNET REPORTTTTTTT) that Murray is a top-tier candidate for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
—This is the perfect use of this clip.
When people ask me what I miss most about life before quarantine: pic.twitter.com/WG7XH5mvH3— (@KwaniALunis) March 20, 2020
—Indiana has canceled its state high school basketball tournament. Kentucky hasn’t officially taken that step yet, but it seems like there’s less than a .01 percent chance of the girls tournament finishing up or the boys tournament ever getting started.
—247 Sports is having an all-time recruit bracket.
—I enjoyed this March Madness rewind video on the 2013 run that made “Dunk City” a thing.
—CBS will spend the rest of the month airing some classic NCAA tournament games.
—Dan Dakich is in legal trouble once again, this time for calling a high school kid a “meth head” and threatening to fight an entire school board.
Surely Dakich will “sack up” and stand by his five-minute rant, right?
Dakich turtled up and scrubbed the podcast of him calling a high school player a meth head and threatening to beat up an entire school board. pic.twitter.com/8YxoMkZTEq— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) March 20, 2020
To quote Denzel Crum, “well that’s typical.”
—A New York Post writer flipped back and forth between all the Turner Sports channels on what was supposed to be the first Thursday of the NCAA tournament. It was a little different than in past years.
The “Jesus Christ” near the end almost had me in tears. pic.twitter.com/3nuXMhfFqQ— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) March 19, 2020
—Louisville has offered class of 2021 tight end Vic Mullen from Ottawa.
—Jordan Nwora is the guest on the latest episode of “The Pull Up” podcast with CJ McCollum.
—Micale Cunningham wants everyone to know he’s still working.
—Big Red Louie is already looking way ahead and laying out the most intriguing storylines for 2020-21.
—U of L swim and dive coach Arthur Albiero met with the media to share some thoughts on his interrupted season as well as the murky outlook for the 2020 Olympics.
—Jeff Walz reflects on the 2019-20 season and gives a personal update on himself and his team from a very strange last week.
—A new Lamar Jackson bobblehead has hit the market.
—U of L was on the wrong end of one of the top 10 March Madness buzzer-beaters.
—Former Bellarmine/New Albany star Braydon Hobbs is currently playing professionally in Germany where he and his family are now facing an uncertain future.
—This is the stat I’ll be thinking about as I crack beer 43 tonight.
—Carmichael’s is offering a free book delivery service.
—The CJ has a list of safe activities that can still (as of right now) be done around Louisville.
—Oaklawn has moved the Arkansas Derby to the first Saturday in May. It’s probably not going to happen, but the move still feels blasphemous.
—Former Cincinnati/Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is taking over at UAB.
—And finally, that’s one week down. We can do this, guys.