—More great news to pass along on the Jody Demling front. He has now tested negative for Covid-19 and has moved out of the ICU and into a regular room. We texted a bit on Sunday and he said he still has a month to go before he’s completely “through it,” but he’s been blown away by all the kind thoughts and prayers from Louisville fans and non-Louisville fans alike.
—Charles Minlend wasted no time here.
—Jeff Walz says he was never considering leaving Louisville for Mississippi State or anywhere else this offseason.
—With Walz and reigning ACC Player of the Year Dana Evans both back, Louisville appears to be totally reloaded (Athletic link) for 2020-21.
—I don’t really know what Animal Crossing is, but this seems cool.
—The NCAA stopping on-campus visits means coaches are having to give virtual tours of their facilities to prospective athletes. The Albuquerque Journal got to file New Mexico head coach Paul Weir on one of these, and the whole process is pretty interesting.
—Brian Geisinger of ACCSports.com writes about Louisville adding Charles Minlend.
Minlend is a high-usage player — with a career usage rate of 26.1 percent. However, he avoids turnovers (13 percent turnover rate this season) and gets to the line a ton. As a junior, Minlend averaged 6.3 FTA per 40 minutes. According to KenPom, Minlend drew 5.1 fouls per 40 minutes this season.
Perimeter shooting has never been Minlend’s strong suit; he’s a career 31.4 percent 3-point shooters (48.3 eFG%). Minlend posted an effective shooting rate of just 48.4 percent on spot-up no-dribble jumpers this season, per Synergy Sports. He’s not afraid to let in fly, either; playing for a program that embraced analytics and the long ball, 41 percent of Minlend’s career field goal attempts are of the 3-point variety.
Despite his limitations as a shooter, Minlend’s a good athlete who can put pressure on the basket (58 FG% at the rim). And next season, Minlend will play alongside two A-1 creators: David Johnson and Carlik Jones, who transferred from in Radford last week. He will receive open catch-and-shoot looks, which could unlock some shooting potential, though the indicators (64.8 FT%) aren’t necessarily positive.
More importantly: Minlend will get to play against bent defenses, ones that are forced into rotations off a live dribble from Johnson or Jones. That will open up gaps for Minlend to exploit and get to the rim.
—Jordan Nwora says that even with the way everything ended, returning to Louisville for his junior season was “worth it.”
—Former NFL quarterback Tavaris Jackson died in a car accident Sunday night at the far too young age of 36.
—I’m still embracing any version of One Shining Moment I can get.
One Shining Moment!... but it's different teams all scoring off of Continuity Ball Screen pic.twitter.com/xH76Bt2TYo— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) April 12, 2020
—Louisville pitcher Luke Smith is the guest on the latest episode of the Growing Cubs podcast. He talks about the draft process and gives a scouting report on fellow starters Reid Detmers and Bobby Miller.
—Three-Man-Weave ranks every coach in college basketball with a formula that leaves Chris Mack at No. 66.
66. Chris Mack, Louisville
Raw Rank: T-18th
Relative Rank: T-171st
One of the most shocking results was seeing Chris Mack, a coach I consider to be “cream of the crop” in college basketball, land outside the top 50. His spot boils down to one thing - Adj. EM performance over program average. Mack has spent the past two seasons at Louisville and has done a good job overall (far exceeded expectations in 2019, underperformed in 2020). However, Rick Pitino’s 2002 - 2017 stint at Louisville, in which he captured a national championship, a few final fours, and several top ten finishes has put the program’s standard to the moon. It’d be difficult for any coach in the country to outperform Pitino’s work at the helm.
The top five: Tony Bennett, Mark Few, Chris Beard, Tom Izzo and Bill Self.
—Golf Digest simulated The Masters and had Patrick Reed winning it, so now I’m cool with the tournament being delayed.
—There are people running entire marathons in their backyards and living rooms.
—I had forgotten how much I love these unis.
If we had just been able to win a game or two in those black alternates, I would have loved for them to have had a more prominent role in the ‘90s. They were fantastic.
—Jeff Walz has landed five-star recruit Payton Verhulst from the class of 2021. She says she’s coming to Louisville to win a national championship.
—The Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Clay writes about the things he will no longer take for granted once this pandemic is over.
—By fan vote, Jazmine Jones had the best play of the 2019-20 U of L women’s basketball season.
—What was the best NBA team that didn’t win a title? An in-depth look by Mike Prada.
—This is a really good read on Kemba Walker.
—Louisville is in the top seven for class of 2021 safety Benjamin Perry.
—Great throwback here.
WHO POSTS STUFF LIKE THIS pic.twitter.com/ak45BESpfK— Marques Maybin (@Marques_Maybin) April 12, 2020
Shoutout to “Hofstra coach Jay Wright.”
—Mekhi Becton goes to the Arizona Cardinals with the 8th overall pick in this NFL mock draft from the Chicago Tribune.
—Dwayne Sutton reflects on the end of his college career and talks about what’s next.
“It was crazy. It almost didn’t even seem real,” Sutton said recently. “When we landed in Louisville, Coach Mack, he brought everybody together. He was like, ‘We can’t believe this is happening.’ He said he felt bad for the seniors, then he kind of told the underclassmen that next year, it’s going to be their team. We’re losing five or six guys — this is going to be the foundation.”
Mack thanked the seniors as well, Sutton said. They didn’t have to stay when he was hired after the 2018 season, the coach told his players, but they bought in and trusted him.
Sutton stayed when Mack was hired in 2018, but his status was never really in question. The Louisville native who came home after a year away once said he plays “like the city’s on my back” when he puts on a Cardinals jersey. When he took the court at the Yum Center, he was exactly where he wanted to be.
“Not a lot of kids can say that they played for the University of Louisville. I feel like it’s an honor and a blessing,” Sutton said in February. “My first year I didn’t come to Louisville, but I felt like it was home ever since then, and the fans did a great job of bringing me in and showing support. I appreciate that.”
—Paul Rogers talks about what life without sports has been like for him during what is typically his busiest period of the year.
—Pretty good company here.
From the BCS to the CFP era, who's your No. 1 for Quarterback and Running Back U? pic.twitter.com/8tkWmVPKdv— ESPN (@espn) April 11, 2020
—Kentucky Derby merchandise with the original race date of May 2 will go on sale this week.
—And finally, across America, pets are sending a clear signal: They want you out of the damn house.