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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Cardinals stick together.

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—ESPN’s Heather Dinich looks at all the questions that still remain surrounding college football’s return plan.

—Danielle Lerner is leaving Louisville and will be covering Memphis State hoops for The Daily Memphian. She’s already missed.

—Brian Bennett of The Athletic looks at the 10 best and five worst Louisville basketball recruits since 2003.

1. Russ Smith (2010, unranked RSCI, No. 282 247Sports)

Smith was a 6-foot nothing, score-first guard whom the recruiting rankings didn’t embrace. He was No. 282 in his class, according to the 247Sports Composite. ESPN had him as a two-star prospect. As the story goes, assistant coaches Ralph Willard and Steve Masiello stumbled upon him while scouting another player. Welp, Smith became a two-time All-American – including a consensus first-teamer as a senior – and led Louisville in scoring during its national championship* season. Just goes to show that the cliché of “you can’t measure heart” is true sometimes.

2. Gorgui Dieng (2010, No. 69 RSCI)

Here are some big guys who ranked ahead of Dieng in the 2010 recruiting composite: Carson Desrosiers, Damontre Harris, Dominique Ferguson, Nate Lubick and Fab Melo. No offense to any of those gentlemen, but Dieng turned out to be a much better college player and NBA veteran. He helped Louisville get to two straight Final Fours and became a fan favorite for his energetic defense and eventual elbow money jump shot.

3. Montrezl Harrell (2012, No. 81 RSCI)

Like Dieng, Harrell was ranked behind several big men in his class. He was naturally strong, but there were questions about the rest of his game. His career per-40 minute averages look like this: 17.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks. He was part of a national title* team and has developed into one of the best young bigs in the NBA.

Sebastian Telfair topped the “worst” list.

—NBA teams being assigned Disney hotels by their current standing is the best sports story of 2020.

—Sam Vecenie’s latest NBA draft big board for The Athletic has Jordan Nwora at No. 48 and Jay Scrubb at No. 68.

—The first leg of the triple crown is running on Saturday.

It still feels weird.

—Congratulations to Louisville resident Lynn Hundley, who has been selected as the American Heart Association’s 2020 Healthcare Volunteer of the Year.

—A look at the 12 best video game athletes of all-time.

—A University of Louisville researcher made a discovery that predicts which COVID-19 patients will get sicker.

—Duke’s Mayo Bowl: Not a 1-on-1 charity tournament of former Blue Devil point guards.

—I love this story of a feisty female cardinal bird who bit the same scientist eight years in a row.

—ACC media days will be moving to a virtual format next month.

—Not everybody “gets it.” This kid gets it. That’s important.

—Chris Mack has offered class of 2021 power forward Eric Van Der Heijden. You can check out his highlights here.

—Ryan McMahon is the guest on the latest episode of Larry O’Bannon’s podcast.

—Pretty cool move by Will Smith.

—Louisville placed a record 413 student-athletes on the annual Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll for the 2019-20 academic year.

—I still have some concerns about Carlik Jones’ ability to do stuff like this against ACC rim protectors, but his “stuff like this” is certainly impressive.

—Reid Detmers calls becoming a top 10 pick in the MLB draft “a blessing and a dream come true.”

—Chris Mack joined the fellas over at Big Red Louie on the latest episode of their podcast.

—Louisville is a top 20 team in the country according to ESPN’s preseason FPI rankings.

—Thumbs up for Wiley Brown hosting a new basketball camp.

—Zach Britton has come to terms with the Toronto Blue Jays.

—And finally, no one is pushing harder for Shedeur Sanders than Scott Satterfield and Louisville.