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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Cardinal snowman season is back.

NET Rankings Update: No. 46 (down five).

—Your top-ranked and undefeated Louisville women’s basketball team is back in action tonight at 8 against North Carolina. Here’s a preview.

—The third installment of Jeff Greer’s Floyd Street Tribune newsletter is out.

Louisville’s energy and attitude at Clemson, and against Duke, seemed like they were where they needed to be. Clemson scored 24 times on 62 possessions, a really good defensive effort. But, as Mack said, just because your effort and energy are there doesn’t guarantee success, or winning.

A number at the bottom of Louisville’s team page on Ken Pomeroy’s fantastic college hoops analytics site caught my eye.

0.99 years.

That is the average playing experience on Louisville’s roster, a figure that ranks 337th(!) out of 347 active Division I teams. Only Auburn, Duke and Kentucky possess more inexperienced rosters among power conference teams. Anybody want to guess the combined records of those three teams? They’re 21-22.

Experienced teams, whether you think this is a cliche or not, really do understand and work through situations better. They aren’t always better in terms of production and results and they might not always have the talent to overcome certain obstacles, but they are (typically) better prepared for situational basketball. For example, I know, after years of walking my dog, that she will insist on smelling poop for five seconds before staggering back and looking at me like I shoved her face in someone else’s crap. A new dogwalker might panic, sensing a moment of betrayal from which they’ll never recover. I just laugh it off. She’ll smell poop next time, too.

In Louisville’s case, Mack is coaching his inexperienced squad through newer-to-them game situations. Sometimes the answers are there (see David Johnson’s defending of Matthew Hurt) and sometimes they are not (see: Louisville’s offense at Clemson).

One thing I know from experience: You need to prepare yourself for more wins like Saturday and more losses like Wednesday over these next five or six weeks.

—The CJ’s Cameron Teague Robinson serves up his takeaways from the release of the 2021 Louisville football schedule.

—The Sporting News has Carlik Jones as a Third Team Midseason All-American.

—Dez Fitzpatrick continues to draw rave reviews at the Senior Bowl.

—Eat it, Wesleyan.

—Three ACC players are on the list of 15 finalists for the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year.

—Other ACC scores from last night:

No. 20 Virginia Tech 62, Notre Dame 51
NC State 72, Wake Forest 67
No. 16 Florida State 81, Miami 59

—The U of L men’s and women’s track and field teams won the Notre Dame Invitational Wednesday afternoon. The men won with 128 points, while the women tallied a score of 121.5 in the triangular meet which also featured host Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.

—Matt Cross, the Miami freshman who torched Louisville from the outside a couple of weeks ago, has been kicked out of the Hurricanes’ program.

—Cardinal Authority ranks the opponents on Louisville’s 2021 football schedule.

—The CJ’s Shannon Russell talks about what we learned from Louisville’s loss to Clemson.

—Some notes from the Clemson game via Josh Mark’s stat tracker:

-This was Louisville’s second lowest free-throw rate of the season at 28.1%. Even though the Cards weren’t great at the stripe (56 percent), it would have been nice to get there more since nothing from the outside was falling. Speaking of ...

-Forty-two percent of Louisville’s field goal attempts on Wednesday were three-pointers, the team’s highest 3PTA/FGA of the season. The 24 three-pointers were the most U of L has attempted in a game this year.

-This was the first game all season where U of L failed to block a shot.

-David Johnson had a 38 percent turnover rate, easily his highest of the season.

-Carlik Jones’ usage rate was a fairly low 18.6 percent.

—Shakin’ the Southland celebrates yet another home win over the Cards.

—Big Red Louie has some quick hits after the setback.

—Louisville-Ole Miss is one of the 2021 ACC games to watch.

—U of L softball is No. 7 in the preseason ACC coaches poll.

—The Times and Democrat in South Carolina recaps Clemson’s win over Louisville.

—And finally, beat UNC.