—If you missed the news yesterday, this weekend’s men’s basketball game against Georgia Tech has been moved from Saturday to Sunday. No more New Year’s Day with Josh.
—Here’s the U of L recap of the women’s basketball team’s throttling of Boston College last night.
—Highlights from the game are here.
—Louisville-Wake highlights from Wednesday night are here.
—All of this was awesome.
Tonight was definitely the best crowd I've heard at the Yum! Center for a Louisville men's game this season. Listen to the fans after a few big Cardinal baskets down the stretch. Then, watch the emotion from some of the players in the final minutes. It was a hype atmosphere. pic.twitter.com/QebSfYXGmX— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) December 30, 2021
—Chris Mack stated during his Friday afternoon press conference that he doesn’t expect to have Mason Faulkner available for Sunday’s game at Georgia Tech. Faulkner gave arguably his most complete performance of the season Wednesday night, so I suppose we all should have seen this coming.
—Louisville Report has some way too early thoughts on the 2022 Louisville football team.
—The U of L men’s basketball team achieved a collective 3.102 grade point average for the recently completed 2021 fall semester, with 12 of the 18 players on its roster earning a 3.0 or better GPA, including five surpassing a 3.4 GPA.
—I am a “yes,” for what it’s worth.
Louisville fans, are you rooting for Cincinnati today?— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) December 31, 2021
Win or lose, we’re still going to have the Keg.
—The farewell 2021 episode of the Card Chronicle Podcast is out.
—The Louisville women’s basketball team took a large step towards building depth in Thursday night’s blowout of Boston College.
—The ACC has officially apologized to Wake Forest for the clock issue at the end of Wednesday night’s game.
I would feel at least a tiny bit bad about this if it happened to quite literally any other NCAA program that fields a men’s basketball team.
Suck it, nerds.
—After a very slow start (and middle), Louisville’s much-maligned offense finished exceptionally strong against Wake.
—Russ Smight has signed a G-League contract with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
—Louisville signee Popeye Williams continues to impress during practice for the Under Armour All-American Game.
#Louisville EDGE signee @Popeye2022 has been extremely impressive in two practices at #UAAAG … the best DL instructor in the business @FeetHipsHands breaks it down https://t.co/fF56FmBvLx pic.twitter.com/bAFmahs6Fa— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) December 30, 2021
—The CJ makes some very early predictions about Scott Satterfield and the 2022 Louisville football season.
—Incredibly, Louisville has not been outscored in any game this season during the minutes Jarrod West and Malik Williams play. However, they struggle mightily when one or both is on the bench.
Louisville has an ELITE defense thanks to two players
Make no mistake about it, Louisville is a terrific defensive team. Even after the WKU debacle the Cards rank 20th in KenPom’s defensive efficiency rankings. The main issue is that UofL’s defense really revolves around 2 key players: Jarrod West and Malik Williams.
Per Synergy, West and Williams both rate as Excellent on defense due to the low rate of opponent’s scoring when they are the primary defender. This season Noah Locke also rates as excellent. Dre Davis and Jae’lyn Withers also rate very well by other advanced defensive stats (see BartTorvik.com’s BPM, EvanMiya.com’s defenisve ratings, or Sports Reference’s Defensive BPM), although that may be due to the fact that they play a large percentage of minutes with either or both of West and Williams.
When UofL has West and Williams on the court they allow a very nice 69.0 points per 100 possessions. LSU’ is leading the nation allowing 76 per 100, and no other team is below 80, so UofL is one of the best defensive teams in the nation with their ace duo on the court. But if you remove even one of them, the defense falls apart:
Lineups with West but no Williams allow 99.0 pts/100 poss
Lineups with Williams but no West allow 109.6 pts/100
Lineups with neither allow 125.8 pts/100
Here’s a shocking stat: Louisville has not been outscored in any game this season during the minutes where West and Williams shared the court…not one! Meanwhile, it’s been over a month since UofL outscored a team during minutes where Malik sat (Nov 25 vs Miss St). Game after game Louisville is building advantages when West and Williams are out there spearheading the defense, and then giving some back (and sometimes all) when either or both of them rests.
—The CJ looks at the top area high school sports stories of 2021.
—Cardinal Authority recaps the win over BC.
—This is cool.
—Dani Busboom Kelly is the CC Person of the Year for 2021.
—Lamar Jackson still isn’t practicing, but “there’s a chance” he could play for the Ravens this weekend.
—It was awesome to see Fred get some much-deserved recognition Wednesday night.
—Some final position group grades for the 2021 Cardinal football season.
—And finally, here’s to all of you having a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and a safe and happy 2022. Thanks so much to each of you for all your support throughout 2021. Here’s hoping the 12 months ahead bring even more joy to us all.