clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

New, comments

Casen White isn’t letting the state of the world get him down or diminish his Cardinal fandom.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

—For Vince Tyra and all of U of L athletics, the waiting game will last at least another month.

—Ryan Blagg has been tabbed as the man to take over the Louisville men’s golf program. He steps in for Mark Crabtree, who is retiring after 21 years on the job.

—Today was Louisville football’s turn to be the focus of The Athletic’s “State of the Program” series.

“Year 1, it was a long process for us,” Satterfield said. “We wanted to look back on our body of work and hope that it be something we’d be proud of. That was going to be based on the kind of effort we were getting on a daily basis, and fortunately — this doesn’t happen all the time — we were able to get a few wins along the way.”

With returning starters at every key offensive skill position and along the interior of the line, offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford is looking forward to opening up the playbook significantly. “Coming out of spring, we were very simple last year,” he said. Now, the Cardinals don’t have to be, which will make things even more fun for their two star skill players looking to build off of record-setting seasons.

The biggest question facing the 2020 team is simple: How much can the defense improve? It’ll be the first time in five years that Louisville will have the same defensive coordinator in consecutive seasons, so improvement is almost a given. The play of the defensive line and the health of the secondary will likely determine how significant it is, and that in turn may determine the Cardinals’ ceiling.

“You look at the teams who have been really, really successful in college football, like Clemson,” defensive coordinator Bryan Brown said. “Think about how long (defensive coordinator Brent) Venables has been there. That’s one of the reasons why their defense is really, really good. They haven’t changed coordinators in a long, long time. Those kids understand it and know how to go about things each and every day, where they fit, where the weaknesses of the defenses are. ‘He should be here in this gap, this three-technique should be there.’ There’s communication coming off to the sidelines, communicating what they’re seeing back to you. Last year, a lot of the time it was, ‘I don’t know where the ball hit,’ or, ‘I thought he should have been there,’ when he should have been here.

“That’s the key for these guys in their second year in a row. Year 3 will be much better, and Year 4 will be outstanding, I think.”

—Owensboro High School signal caller Gavin Wimsatt has received a scholarship offer from Louisville.

—Eric Wood is also in this thing. I’m not sure I like Coach Walz’s chances.

—Notre Dame site Irish Breakdown ranks Louisville as the third-toughest opponent on the Irish’s 2020 football schedule, trailing only USC and Clemson.

—The Louisville-Kentucky offseason war of words on the football front is back. Shoutout to Andrew Johnson.

—Jordan Nwora talks about getting ready for the NBA draft in unprecedented circumstances.

Nwora is able to go to the gym twice a day: once at 9 a.m. with one trainer, and again at 7 p.m. with another. He knows what he needs to work on; it’s the same stuff he’s heard from NBA scouts since last year. So, he works on ball-handling and defense, but he doesn’t neglect his bread and butter, the skill that makes him a future pro.

“Shooting is always something I do in every workout,” he said. “Every day, a lot.”

Nwora’s size (6-foot-7) and shooting ability (44% on catch-and-shoot 3s as a junior) have solidified him as almost a lock to be selected in the 2020 NBA Draft, which is currently scheduled for June 25, but could be moved. Mock drafts have Nwora all over the place.

Slam has him going No. 27 overall, NBC Sports places him in the second round, at pick No. 36. USA Today has him at No. 43 and The Athletic slots him at No. 51.

“I think I’ll go a lot higher than a lot of people think based on the feedback I’ve gotten. But you never know until the day comes,” he said.

—247 Sports predicts every ACC football team’s first loss in 2020 and has the Cards falling on the road at Clemson in week two.

—Dime has an extremely questionable top 75 NBA draft big board that features Dwayne Sutton at No. 65 but doesn’t feature Jordan Nwora at all.

—Awesome shot:

—A proposal that would make the shot clock a universal rule in high school basketball has been shot down.

—NCAA president Mark Emmert says the NCAA won’t mandate or oversee a uniform return to college sports.

—247 Sports ranks the 10 best quarterback performances of the last decade, and Lamar Jackson checks in at No. 4.

4. LAMAR JACKSON, LOUISVILLE (2016)

College stats (2015-17): 619-of-1,086 (57.0 percent), 9,043 yards passing, 69 TDs, 27 INTs; 4,132 yards rushing, 50 TDs

Best season (2016): 230-of-409 (56.2 percent), 3,543 yards, 30 TDs, 9 INTs; 1,571 rushing yards, 21 TDs

Awards: Heisman Trophy (2016); Maxwell Award (2016); Walter Camp Award (2016); Associated Press Player of the Year (2016); Sporting News Player of the Year (2016); Unanimous All-American (2016); ACC Player of the Year (2016, 2017); ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2016, 2017); ACC Athlete of the Year (2018)

Career record: 23-11

The skinny: No quarterback in college football history could break down a defense with his legs like Jackson, whose 4,132 career yards on the ground was twice as much as Nebraska great Tommy Frazier to put things in perspective. The Heisman winner in 2016 tallied 51 touchdowns in 13 games for the Cardinals, decimating ACC defenses as a dual-threat assassin. He could spin it, too. Jackson’s 57 touchdown passes over his final two seasons fueled a high-powered offense.

Joe Burrow’s 2019 season topped the list.

—Major news for the U of L women’s golf program, as All-American Lauren Hartlage will return next season after getting her senior year cut short.

—Cardinal softballer Celene Funke, a three-year starter who led the nation in triples in 2019, is also using her extra year of eligibility to come back in 2020-21.

—Seemingly everyone is transferring out of Purdue these days, and now head coach Matt Painter is firing back.

—U of L QB recruit Bubba Chandler is also a standout on the baseball diamond, and is hoping to play both sports at the next level.

—While some legacy athletes shy away from the distinction, Josh Minkins Jr. is excited about building on the reputation his dad left at Louisville.

“I just seen how good he is and just where it comes from, where I got it from,” Minkins Jr. said. “Watching that, I was like, that could be you.”

It’s what the Ballard star always wanted. As he kept getting noticed, 21 offers poured in from schools. But none from UofL. The lifelong Cardinal fan still kept Louisville at the front of his mind if the opportunity ever came.

“Your dad played here, this is your hometown team,” Minkins Jr. said. “Why would you pass the opportunity up?”

“He was waiting for UofL to knock on that door, man,” Minkins Sr. said.

Eventually, it did. And the younger Minkins earned it the way his father knew he would: by embracing a camp challenge. It came from Louisville defensive backs coach ShaDon Brown

“He told Josh, he said, ‘Man come to the camp, show me what you got,’” Minkins Sr. recalled. “And Jordan Watkins (another UofL signee) was out there and they were going head to head, both of them making good plays on each other.”

He knew then an offer was probably coming for his son. And it did on an official visit, as the past of Louisville football was present with the future.

“He was actually right there when I got the offer, so I’m pretty sure that was a proud moment of his,” Minkins Jr. said.

“That meant a lot to me,” Minkins Sr. said. “He wants to live what his dad left. He’s probably better than me and gonna do it 10 times better than I did.”

—A look at how Louisville might be impacted by the changes to the NET Rankings.

—An NC State site serves up an early preview of Cardinal football.

—And finally, it looks like Chris Mack has made up ground recently with five-star prospect Harrison Ingram.