clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

You wouldn’t know it from this picture, but the day Zach Hamilton met Denny Crum was the day he got hooked on U of L athletics for life.

—The final Rivals 150 rankings for the 2020 class have JJ Traynor at No. 91 and D’Andre Davis at No. 118.

—With more schools announcing a restructuring of their academic schedule, what will it mean for college football and basketball teams?

—Louisville’s wide receivers have dealt with more than just canceled practices and closed facilities this spring.

—Never gets old.

—The Ringer’s latest NBA draft guide does not feature Jordan Nwora or Jay Scrubb among the top 50 players who are draft eligible.

—U of L wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer has been a rock for his players during these stressful times.

The first blow came in late March when it was announced junior wide receiver Corey Reed had lost his father to complications from COVID-19.

“He’s handling it better than I would,” Brewer said. “I guess young people have a way of being really resilient and fighting through things. We’ve given him as much help as we can.”

Then came the tragic shooting death of 18-year-old Louisville signee, Dexter Rentz. His funeral was held earlier this month in Florida.

“You found out real quick he had a magnetic personality,” Brewer said. “He was a dynamic person with an infectious smile. He didn’t come from a whole lot but had a very loving family and people that really cared about him. It also affects you mentally in a case where we weren’t able to go (to the funeral) due to the restrictions on travel and other things involved, which was heartbreaking.”

Through the losses, Brewer said his position group has grown closer, although they are still limited to virtual meetings.

“The journey is really the best part,” Brewer said. “Everybody sees the games as being it, but it’s really the amount of time you spend with people in the locker room, on buses, in the weight room, meeting room. You get to know people you otherwise would’ve never crossed paths with. So, it’s a unique situation not being able to have that.”

—TARC buses are honoring JCPS seniors in a cool way.

—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.

—Iverson housing nachos in a Wes Unseld throwback.

—After getting pretty thoroughly roasted for his thoughts on cheerleaders and dance teams yesterday, Rick Bozich essentially re-wrote his entire piece for WDRB without any explanation.

—Alex Kirshner is all in on Scott Satterfield and the future of Louisville football.

College football doesn’t really know how to do Coach of the Year awards. There are a bunch of them, and national media types like me have never settled on the right criteria to name the best coach in college football in a given year. Ed Orgeron cleaned up most of those awards in 2019, which makes sense. Hard to argue with honoring the guy who didn’t lose any games!

But, again, because you’re reading this website, you know Satterfield’s first-year performance was worthy of more than ACC COY honor. You know what a shambolic mess Louisville was at the end of 2018 and how shockingly competent the team was in 2019. It’s a long road from “giving up a touchdown to Clemson’s holder, who is also Dabo Swinney’s son, to go down 77-16 in the fourth quarter” to going 8-5 and looking pretty solid in one year’s time.

If we graded every coach’s 2019 season on a pound-for-pound basis, it’s hard to see how Satterfield wouldn’t be #1, given the mess he inherited. Whether you believed recruiting rankings (which had Louisville as a slightly below-average Power 5 roster at the end of 2018) or certain scouts (who told my SB Nation colleagues Louisville had one of the worst P5 rosters they’d ever seen), it was a hell of an impressive lift to get so much out of this team in Year 1.

What might be next

I am bullish about the prospects for Louisville in 2020 and beyond, for three reasons.

The first is the simplest: the non-Clemson ACC is wide open. It’ll take a lot of luck for anybody in the Atlantic to do anything about Clemson for a long time, and I’m not here to pump you up with expectations of a division championship in the next few years.

But I am here to point out that, after the Tigers, nobody’s better positioned to rack up wins in this division for the next few seasons. Mike Norvell’s Florida State might get there and has built-in recruiting advantages, but FSU also has a ton of building left to do and has to deal with some restrictions brought on by the program’s poor APR scores in recent years. If Louisville gets on anything like Satterfield’s App State trajectory, the program could find a nice soft spot and win a bunch of games the next couple seasons. A non-Playoff New Year’s Six bowl slot is very attainable.

—The Power 5 conferences spent $350,000 on lobbying in the first three months of 2020 in a coordinated effort to influence Congress on legislation affecting the ability of college athletes to earn endorsement money. That’s more money than they had spent in any previous year.

—Three-star safety Jah’von Grigsby of Louisiana has received a Louisville offer.

—Very cool: WAVE-3 is going to air Louisville’s 1980 national championship game win over UCLA Saturday night at 7.

—”The Last Dance” averaged 5.6 million viewers per episode, making it the most-watched program in ESPN history.

—There is no doubt in my mind that Jordan’s pizza food poisoning story is a lie.

—U of L commit Ben Wiegman is throwing smoke here.

—John Wall came hilariously close to playing for Frank Haith at Miami.

—The ACC has announced the composition of a 15-member COVID-19 medical advisory group.

—This is pretty unbelievable.

—Gary Parrish of CBS does not have Louisville in his updated early college hoops rankings.

—Former Louisville women’s basketball player Seygan Robins has transferred to UT-Martin.

—Former Wake Forest hoops standout Chaundee Brown is headed to Michigan.

—Very excited for sophomore David Johnson.

—The Belmont will be held Saturday, June 20 without spectators, and the race will be 1 1/8 miles instead of a mile and a half for the first time since 1926. This means the Kentucky Derby — set for Sept. 5 — will be the second league of the Triple Crown this year.

—Jeff Goodman still has Louisville at No. 23 in his updated top 50 rankings. Kentucky is No. 24 and Indiana No. 31.

—Did you guys know Diego Guevara used to blow kisses to his fiance after every made shot?

—Three-Man-Weave takes an in-depth look at the state of the college basketball betting market.

—DeVante Parker and the perpetually thin-skinned Michael Thomas got into it on Instagram Monday night.

—And finally, congratulations to the 14 U of L programs that posted perfect APR scores for the 2018-19 season.