—Louisville football continues to rise in the 247 Sports recruiting rankings.
—Seth Dawkins has a shot at making the Seattle Seahawks roster.
—Eric Crawford writes that for Louisville, landing Wes Unseld was a key to the program’s future.
Wade Houston and Eddie Whitehead, who already had integrated the Louisville basketball team, said they viewed getting Unseld into the fold as vital for the future of the young program, and that John Dromo, assistant coach to Peck Hickman, was instrumental in that effort.
“Wes was critical,” Houston said in an interview several years back. “We all feel we played a huge role in the start of the program as far as bringing African-Americans in, but Wes was the one piece that we felt pulled us all together. . . . Everybody wanted Wes. Kentucky came after Wes so hard it was unbelievable. Wes’ father, big Charles, just didn’t buy into what was going on at the time. Big Charles would tell people that came in trying to be critical about U of L and positive about other schools, in a minute, ‘That’s not the way it is.’ Wes liked us, and Coach Dromo was a big piece of it.”
Unseld was a bruising 6-8, 240-pound center. He had a body made for rebounding, and a flair for dealing outlet passes upcourt that remains legendary today.
Whitehead remembered the Unseld home being a gathering place for the Cardinals’ African-American players for large family meals on Saturday.
Wes he said he didn’t realize he might have pro potential until he went up against a former Louisville player — Bud Olsen — one day in a pick-up game. Olsen had been a pro for eight years at the time, and challenged Unseld to a game of one-on-one.
He told Courier-Journal reporter C. Ray Hall in 2003 that, “I was in the old Crawford Gym shooting around one day when this big guy comes in. Bud Olsen comes in the gym and asks me if I want to shoot around and play a little game of one-on-one. I think, `Ah, man, this guy’s a pro.’ And I thought, `Oh, well, OK, let’s try it.’ And I completely just kicked the ---- out of him. I kept thinking, `There’s something wrong with this picture.’ That was the first time that I had an inkling that, well, I might be able to do this.”
During his three years at Louisville, the Cardinals went 60-22. Unseld set the school’s single-game scoring record (45 points) and his career record for rebounding average (18.9 per game) never will be broken. He is the only Louisville player ever to record a career-scoring average of more than 20 points per game (20.6) and his three-year point total of 1,686 is the most ever scored in a three-year span for a Cardinal. He was a consensus All-American as a junior and senior.
—Neeli Bendapudi outlines some of the actions taken recently for U of L to fulfill its commitment to being a “Community of Care that values Diversity and Inclusion.”
—Chris Mack and staff conducted a virtual visit with class of 2021 prospect David “Deivi” Jones on Tuesday.
—Donovan Mitchell approves of Mack’s public statement.
—Three-star safety Kaleb Edwards from Georgia says he hears from the Louisville staff on a daily basis.
—Cincinnati’s Western and Southern Open tennis tournament could be moving to New York this year to set up a “double header” of sorts with the U.S. Open.
—Matt Rhule is learning what Louisville fans have known for years: Teddy Bridgewater brings out the best in everyone around him.
Bridgewater got a three-year deal in Carolina after spending the last two years as a backup in New Orleans. He got five starts last season while Drew Brees was injured and the Saints won all five of those games, which provided a strong sign that Bridgewater can still get the job done after his serious 2016 leg injury.
That checked off one box and Rhule said that Bridgewater also fits the bill in other ways. He said that other players expressed interest in joining the Panthers in order to play with the quarterback because “he brings out the best in people.”
“I believe so wholeheartedly in who he is as a quarterback,” Rhule said on NFL Network. “I believe in his abilities, I believe in his arm strength, I believe in his accuracy, I believe in his decision-making but, beyond that, I know he’s going to make everyone else that much better.”
—Non-revenue college sports are very concerned about the issue of athlete compensation.
—Arrogate, perhaps the most dominant thoroughbred of the last decade, has been euthanized at the age of only seven.
—Pretty massive news out of the Clemson camp on Monday.
Breaking injury update from Clemson: Justyn Ross is going to have surgery Friday. When he had an X-ray after the spring injury, he learned he was born with something called congenital fusion. He will not play this season.— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) June 1, 2020
—The San Jose Mercury News asked a renowned epidemiologist with a tremendous last name if college football can happen in the fall. Not only did he say yes, he told them how to make it work.
—As sports networks wither, sports newsletters are taking off.
—More info on the weekend arrest of U of L men’s basketball director of operations Kahlil Fennel.
I was locked up with this dude. He was protecting an old woman who the police were jostling when he was struck with a baton. Took four of them to tackle him. Lmao he just said “I’m a basketball coach” and left it at that what a real one https://t.co/rPvEeVZsCF— jordan breen onlyfans (@dragthe_lake) May 31, 2020
Fennel has received public messages of support from numerous current and former Cards over the last 48 hours.
—U of L freshman offensive lineman Luke Kandra has been surprised by his recent dose of national praise.
—Unbeaten Nadal is off the Kentucky Derby trail.
—Jordan Nwora draft tape:
—And Steven Enoch draft tape:
—Florida safety Myzel Williams has Louisville in his top five. a
—Billions have been spent on state-of-the-art sports facilities over the last quarter-century and upgrades will likely increase in the post-coronavirus era. But virus-proofing a sports venue seems to be pretty much impossible.
—Highly-touted U of L football freshman Yaya Diaby is in the Derby City.
Louisville I’m here— Yaya Diaby (@greatyaya4) June 1, 2020
—How ridiculous could Ken Griffey Jr.’s career numbers have been if he’d stayed healthy? An examination.
—Ten questions with incoming baseball Cardinal Drake Westcott.
—Louisville is in the mix for a Mississippi athlete they believe could be the next TuTu Atwell.
—I never get tired of seeing these stats.
Most runs of 10+ yards in 2019 regular season— PFF (@PFF) May 28, 2020
1. Lamar Jackson - 47
2. Derrick Henry - 42
3. Nick Chubb - 39
4. Ezekiel Elliott - 38 pic.twitter.com/ag2bmyJl1M
—Jordan Nwora does not go in the first round of this NBA mock draft from NBC Sports.
—Louisville volleyball signee Anna DeBeer of Assumption has been named the top female athlete in the state of Kentucky by MaxPreps. Women’s basketball signee Hailey Van Lith picked up the same honor in the state of California.
—Vince Tyra has been nominated to serve as chairman of the ACC’s Athletic Directors Committee.
—Will Stein reiterated his affection and admiration for Charlie Strong.
A major reason why I coach today is because of this man, @CoachStrong_ Started me, gave me a scholarship, gave me my first job. Hope to be half the coach and mentor he was to me. He matters to me. #BLM https://t.co/7YNXTnAgzh— Will Stein (@CoachWillStein) June 1, 2020
—Louisville Cardinals: 2018 national champions.
—Big Red Louie looks at the most underrated U of L football player at every position.
—And finally, Shoni Schmmel gets some love in this discussion of the All-Decade Women’s College Basketball Team.