—Denny Crum and some former Louisville and Kentucky basketball players spent a portion of their Thursdays reading Dr. Seuss to kids via zoom call.
—If you missed it earlier, a new episode of the CC Podcast is now available.
—The Jordan/Bulls documentary begins on Sunday, and the episodes will also be available on Netflix.
The Last Dance starts Sunday on ESPN pic.twitter.com/4f2ilCEcJo— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 17, 2020
—The NCAA is instituting a one-time adjustment of academic eligibility standards for incoming college freshmen due to the coronavirus pandemic. The result could be a ton of class of 2021 prospects reclassifying to the class of 2020.
—Pat Forde writes that the “magical allure” of college is vanishing for many NBA prospects.
If Mike Jordan were a high school prospect in 2020 instead of 1980, he wouldn’t be a revelation at a college camp; he would be a well-established commodity. He wouldn’t be on his way to a three-year stay at North Carolina; he would be on his way to the NBA draft after one season. College basketball would be a pit stop, an inconvenience, perhaps something to bypass entirely.
In 2020, precious few elite players grow up dreaming of being a Tar Heel. Or a Kentucky Wildcat. Or a Duke Blue Devil. Or a Kansas Jayhawk. Or a college player of any kind.
They dream of the NBA, and they plot the fastest course to get there. The evidence of that is everywhere, and it’s never been more clear than right now.
Last week, top junior-college prospect Jay Scrubb announced that he is keeping his name in the draft instead of playing at Louisville. Hardly anyone has seen Scrubb play, and there are no pre-draft camps or combines in which he can showcase his game against similar competition. But his dad says he’s going to be a star, so Scrubb has that going for him.
—Jacob Toppin, Obi’s little brother, is transferring from Rhode Island to Kentucky. He’ll have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2020-21 campaign.
—The best NFL draft picks of the last decade, by round.
—I really enjoyed this.
The best ending to any writer's interview ever?— Colin Walsh (@Clnwlsh) April 15, 2020
Paris Review asks Ray Bradbury about the origins of a character named Mr Electrico. His answer starts in our world, opens a trapdoor in the fabric of reality itself, and surges into an elemental realm of cosmic myth. Genuine magic pic.twitter.com/ZKXJan44qQ
—Instead of dropping non-revenue sports, colleges should consider cutting the absurdly high salaries of football coaches.
—History suggests likely one-and-done prospects becoming none-and-done prospects doesn’t really hurt college basketball much at all.
—Chris Mack agrees.
For every Jalen Green there’s an Obi Toppin. For every none & done there’s a Luke Garza, a Markus Howard. College Basketball will be fine. Nice articles though guys. Next...— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) April 17, 2020
—Happy 10th anniversary to the Fenway Park pizza throw.
—Louisville baseball finds itself caught in a juggling act (Athletic link) that involves new NCAA eligibility rules and the MLB draft.
Basically, the game of musical chairs McDonnell and his staff play every summer with scholarships and roster spots just got more complicated.
“We make a lot of decisions in baseball on the law of averages,” McDonnell says. “The shortstop stands where he stands because the ball gets hit there by the law of averages. So in recruiting and turnover we do the same thing. In this case we have four seniors. We think two will definitely sign, maybe three and possibly all four. Let’s say with these 11 juniors, by law of averages six to eight are gonna sign. Well, now they probably can’t because there’s just not enough picks.”
Junior left-hander Reid Detmers and junior right-hander Bobby Miller are still expected to be drafted, perhaps in the first two rounds. The draft ceiling is lower and the prospects shakier for the seniors (Luke Smith, Justin Lavey, Adam Elliott and Danny Oriente) as well as junior infielder Lucas Dunn (who missed the first nine games of the season after hand surgery), closer Michael Kirian and doubles machine Zach Britton. Without the benefit of a full season to improve their draft stock, other juniors, including hard-throwing righty Glenn Albanese and big hitters Cameron Masterman and Luke Brown, are in a tough spot.
Will five rounds be enough for them to hear their names called? And if it isn’t, will they sign as undrafted free agents for a maximum of $20,000? Or will they return to Louisville?
McDonnell has spoken with each of his upperclassmen about how to weigh their options. The staff has initiated similar discussions over Zoom and by phone with the 16 incoming signees, who could face diminished roles or less financial aid next season depending on the roster makeup. The reality is that they won’t know anything for certain until after the draft, for which a date is still unknown. (It is tentatively slated to take place sometime between June 10 and July 20.) Despite the ambiguity, McDonnell says he believes the NCAA awarding an extra year of eligibility was “the right thing to do.”
—A basketball version of Last Chance U has been filmed and will be coming to Netflix this summer.
—Three-star tight end Gunnar Greenwald from Florida has Louisville in his top eight.
TOP 8‼️‼️ so beyond blessed pic.twitter.com/Hct9RmNCzj— Gunnar Greenwald❄️ (@gunnar_g23) April 17, 2020
—The U of L rowing team has announced a pair of signings.
—Three planes in the last two days have had to make emergency landings on highways, including one yesterday on I-75 in Cincinnati. The sky is literally falling.
—Chris Mack says another big man is a big area of need, but not an essential one for 2020-21.
—Big Red Louie looks at what the realistic expectations should be for year two of the Scott Satterfield era.
—Nice work here.
Quite possibly the most creative use of the wet heavy snow in these incredibly weird times! Love it! Photo courtesy of Kirk Rasmussen. pic.twitter.com/1To48Gbnub— Rusty Lord WOWT (@RustyLord) April 17, 2020
—San Diego State star Malachi Flynn is headed to the NBA draft with no plans to return.
—Rob Dauster has Louisville down from No. 15 to No. 22 in his latest early college hoops top 25 for NBC Sports.
—This kid is gonna be running a corporation by 25.
Found the kid playing with her dog instead of Zooming with her teacher. She told me not to worry. She took a screenshot of herself “paying attention,” then cut her video & replaced it with the picture. “It’s a gallery view of 20 kids, mom. They can’t tell.” She is 10. #COVID19— Angie Maxwell (@AngieMaxwell1) April 15, 2020
—The Cardinal Connect wonders what level of production fans should expect from Louisville’s new grad transfers.
—Still a monster.
—U of L swimming was well-represented on the ACC All-Academic Team.
—A reminder that 24 hours of U of L games on the ACC Network starts at midnight with Lamar Jackson making Florida State contemplate dropping football.
I might be terrible because I am crying laughing at this pic.twitter.com/GlZPpFxsRC— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 14, 2020
—The Louisville Zoo is offering a “behind-the-scenes sloth experience,” which sounds wonderful.
—The Louisville Water Tower has been lit up green to honor the victims of Covid-19.
—We’ll find a way to make this work.
—Highly-touted defensive end Tavion Ford is excited about his virtual visit to U of L.
—And finally, stay safe and stay at home if you can this weekend, kids.