—Spread check (basketball): Louisville by 23.
—Here’s how to send Christmas gifts to Kentucky’s youngest tornado victims.
—College Football News ranks all 43 bowl games and has the First Responder Bowl all the way up at No. 19.
—Hoops Insight takes a close look at Louisville’s season so far and says there’s reason to believe that some of their offensive struggles have been “fluky.”
Louisville’s offensive blueprint has changed under assistant Ross McMains. The Cardinals are 30th nationally in shortest offensive time of possession, per KenPom, as they get out in transition more frequently. A Chris Mack team has never ranked in the top 50 in shortest time of possession on offense. Per hoop-math.com, the Cards are 20th in percentage of shots taken in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock after ranking 212th in that same stat last season. However, that doesn’t mean the Cards are getting good quick shots yet. UofL has the 15th worst effective FG% in transition so far this season!
The Cards also have reduced their reliance on the midrange shot. Last season Louisville took 35% of their shots from midrange, and that’s decreased to 24% this season. Those midrange shots have been swapped out for more efficient threes, which accounted for 30% of UofL’s shots last season but 43% this go around. However, Louisville’s 3 point FG% has actually dropped from 31% last season to just 29% so far this term.
There’s reason to believe that these early season results are flukishly bad. First, the transition offense. Louisville currently has the worst eFG% in transition of any power conference team at 44%; Louisville’s worst year in the 10 years data is available at hoop-math.com was 49% in 2015. Withers, Williamson, and Dre Davis were above 55% last year, but all are at 50% or worse this year. Noah Locke is at 40% this year, including a 30% 3ptFG% in transition; last season he had an eFG% in transition of 69% including 53% on threes. Jarrod West is at 26% this season including 8% on threes (1-13), but had a transition eFg% of 70% last season including 51% from three. These players didn’t completely forget how to score on the fast break all of a sudden. In Locke and West’s case, they have gone from being amazing transition scorers to being disastrous.
The three point shooting should similarly pick up. The transition numbers above for Locke and West aren’t reflective of their true shooting ability, as West is hitting 39% of his threes in halfcourt offense and Locke is hitting 37%. Noah Locke is also having a strange amount of trouble with unguarded catch and shoot threes, hitting just 2 of 17 this season per Synergy. He was 43 of 91 last season on them, so he’s due to start hitting. Louisville may want to try to get West some catch and shoot looks as well, as he’s hit 6 of 15 (guarded and unguarded ) and hit 21 of 50 last season at Marshall.
—Malik Cunningham is getting 50/1 odds to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy from sportsbetting.ag.
—The CJ previews tonight’s game against SE Louisiana.
—Former Louisville wide receiver Josh Bellamy has been sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining over $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds.
—Very cool move here by the ‘Tops.
—Louisville Business First takes a look back at U of L’s turbulent week.
—Three U of L field hockey players have earned All-America accolades.
—Here’s a quick AP preview of tonight’s game inside the Yum Center.
—Louisville DB transfer Bralyn Oliver took a visit to Syracuse.
—Updated look at U of L hoops transfers:
Josh Nickelberry (La Salle): 13.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 37.7 percent from three
Quinn Slazinski (Iona): 11.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 35.7 percent from three
Darius Perry (Central Florida): 12.8 ppg, 5.3 apg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 topg
Aidan Igiehon (Grand Canyon): 4.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg
—Defensive lineman Ja’Darien Boykin is the latest Cardinal to announce that he has entered the transfer portal.
—If you’re looking to buy tickets to this weekend’s volleyball Final Four in Columbus, here’s all the info you need.
—Ellis Myles is the guest on the latest episode of Larry O’Bannon’s podcast.
—U of L has received new grant funding to prepare special education personnel for leadership positions in high-need, rural school systems.
—Team 502 unites.
This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!— Scott Davenport (@Bellarminehoops) December 13, 2021
We left the message on the right, today we walk into Freedom Hall and we find an incredibly wonderful message from the NCAA Final Four University of Louisville Regional Champions!!!
Class personified! Bring it home! pic.twitter.com/tg1Pzwe0v0
—Louisville Report takes a closer look at new U of L OL commit Sam Seacrest.
—ACC hoops last night: Albany knocked off Boston College on the Eagles’ home floor in the only ACC game of the night. It was the 8th time this season that an ACC team has lost a buy game.
—A Cardinal men’s basketball team seeking consistency will take the court inside the KFC Yum Center this evening.
—Longest tornado path in the history of the United States. Unbelievable.
—Many Louisville first responders are helping out with the recovery efforts in western Kentucky.
—A number of pictures found in Louisville have been reunited with their owners in the western part of the state more than 140 miles away.
—OL recruit Makhete Gueye was impressed by his visit to U of L.
—”Nothing else matters but the name on the front today. We run this state.”
—Even though he’s delivered a solid season, the Denver Broncos are unlikely to meet Teddy Bridgewater’s $25M/year contract demands.
—ACC hoops tonight:
Louisville vs. Southeastern Louisiana (6 p.m./ACC Network)
Wake Forest vs. VMI (7 p.m./ACCNx)
North Carolina vs. Furman (7 p.m./ESPN2)
Clemson vs. Miami (OH) (7 p.m./ACCNx)
No. 2 Duke vs. South Carolina State (8 p.m./ACC Network)
—Even if he’s not 100 percent, having Lamar Jackson back would give the Baltimore Ravens their best shot at knocking off Green Bay this week.
—And finally, beat Southeastern Louisiana.