—Stability at defensive coordinator should help U of L take a big step forward on that side of the ball in 2020.
—Danielle Lerner spoke (Athletic link) with new Cardinal guard Carlik Jones about his game and how he expects to fit in with Louisville.
A YouTube search for “Carlik Jones buzzer beater” returns multiple clutch results. He sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win the 2018 Big South Championship, hit a lunging layup to upset No. 17 Texas the following season, scored two clutch buckets (one at the end of regulation and one in overtime) in a February 2019 win over Hampton and converted the free throws that clinched Radford a share of this season’s regular-season conference title.
“I have a swag about myself, I would say,” Jones says matter-of-factly. “Just stepping on the floor you can tell I feel like I’m the best player at all times no matter what game or which players are on the floor. I think I’m a fun guy to watch. I like to get the crowd involved.”
While Jones’ defensive style might take some adjusting to Louisville’s more conservative pack-line system, he is coming from a program that values defense. Radford was the Big South’s top-rated defensive team this season, leading the league in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. Jones thrived on steals and run-outs, leading the Highlanders in steals per game (1.4) and was also second on the team in defensive rebounds per game (4.5).
At Louisville, Jones says he expects to play on the ball but would like to play at both the 1 and the 2. He figures to start in the backcourt alongside rising sophomore David Johnson, who played the majority of his minutes as a freshman at point guard. Jones says he sees more similarities than differences between himself and Johnson.
“I’m looking forward to it because I see a lot of abilities that I do in him,” Jones says. “The ability for him to get to the rim and him also being 6-5 is crazy. Him having the ability to pass the ball out of traps and in ball screens and stuff, that’s kind of some of the game I have.”
—Jones also talked with the CJ’s Lucas Aulbach and stressed that he is a high energy guy who loves getting the crowd involved.
He’s a natural point guard, Jones said, but he isn’t concerned about his fit next to Johnson. He’s comfortable with the basketball or without it.
”Having another guard like David is big because that way I can be off the ball,” he said. ”I can come off different actions without always having the ball in my hands. I think that’ll be good for us — me and David being able to play on-ball and off-ball.”
The spotlight will be a little brighter at the Yum Center, but Jones said he isn’t worried. He hit five buzzer-beaters in his time at Radford. In big moments, he said, he feeds off the energy.
”I can be, like, a hype man,” Jones joked. “When we get going, I definitely like to get the crowd involved. Even if we’re down and we’re fighting back, I love to get the crowd involved.”
Told you from day one: Jones is swaggy as hell.
—Louisville football is in the final 11 for four-star center Raheem Anderson.
—On the hoops side of things, Chris Mack has offered four-star guard Jaden Akins (2021) from Michigan.
—This is a solid way to spend three and-a-half minutes of your afternoon.
—Louisville now sits at No. 21 in Jon Rothstein’s early rankings for 2020-21.
—The CBS Sports college hoops staff list their favorite moments from the shortened 2019-20 season.
—Since no one got to watch a new “One Shining Moment” Monday night, I fully support any creation of a personalized one.
—Louisville remains outside the top 30 in Sports Illustrated’s updated early hoops rankings for 2020-21.
—The annual U of L Sports Administration program golf scramble had to take on a different look this year. Here’s how you can support one of U of L’s most successful programs.
—F—k it, let’s hang a banner.
Louisville is the 2020 National Champions!— 2020 NCAA TOURNAMENT SIMULATION (@NCAAsim2020) April 7, 2020
Louisville grabbed the lead at 65-64 and never looked back! Jordan Nwora led the way for Louisville with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Devon Dotson had 21 points and 6 assists for Kansas in the loss.
Congratulations Louisville! pic.twitter.com/KA1OQ3E0xW
—Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are working on a plan backed by federal health officials that could have players in training camps by May and have games start soon thereafter.
—Rivals lists five surprising stats about the NFL draft, and Louisville’s recent production is one of them.
LOUISVILLE IS BIG SURPRISE
Clemson dominates the ACC. We all know that. But a good trivia question would be which ACC program after the Tigers have had the most first-round draft picks since the 2014 draft? If you answer Florida State, Miami or any team other than Louisvilleyou’d be wrong.
That’s right. Clemson has had nine first-round picks during that stretch and then it’s the Cardinals with seven in CB
Jaire Alexander, QB Lamar Jackson, DT Sheldon Rankins, WR DeVante Parker, DB Calvin Pryor, DE Marcus Smith and QB Teddy Bridgewater.Another one is almost definitely going to be added to the list this draft as
Mekhi Becton could be the first offensive lineman taken off the board. Can Louisville emerge as an ACC power or are other programs - even with fewer first-round draft picks - emerging faster?
Farrell’s take: This is one of the reasons why I like Louisville as the biggest threat to Clemson within its own division for the foreseeable future. The Cardinals recruit top talent but develop players even better. North Carolina will eventually be the biggest threat to Clemson if Mack Brown keeps recruiting so well, but watch out for Louisville and the athletes the Cardinals put on the field.
—The reopening of the stable areas at Churchill Downs has been pushed back to Tuesday, April 28.
—Fred Cowgill catches up with U of L basketball signee JJ Traynor.
—What if you could only pick nine teams to form the new ACC?
—U of L catches up with former Cardinal track athlete Rachel Pease, who now works as a pediatric nurse.
—You might be bored, but are you “spend eight minutes listening to Terry Rozier talk about his tattoos” bored? Here’s your chance to prove it.
—Jalen Smith (Maryland) and Cassius Stanley (Duke) are the biggest names from Tuesday to enter their names into the 2020 NBA draft with the intention of staying in.
—Jordan Nwora says that right now he believes he’ll go somewhere in the 20-30 range in the NBA draft.
—I can’t even imagine how long this took, but it’s wonderful.
—This story of Louisville fan Sharon Joann Kenney Baker, who recently passed away due to the corona virus, is heartbreaking.
—Even though I only have a baseline understanding of English soccer, I’ve been watching “Sunderland ‘Til I Die” on Netflix and it’s fantastic. This part near the beginning of the second season especially hit home.
In this time of unparalleled detachment, it was oddly comforting to feel this level of connection with a fan base 4,000 miles away. pic.twitter.com/DeqUxYkXOE— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) April 7, 2020
—David Johnson won’t even test the NBA draft waters after his promising freshman season.
—And finally, stay safe and stay home if you can.