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Friday evening Cardinal news and notes

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It’s been another long week. Spend your Friday more responsibly than the CCBM.

NET Rankings Update: No. 37 (up one).

—GoCards.com recaps Louisville’s Senior Night win over Georgia Tech.

—Highlights:

—Good CJ story here on Louisville baseball star Alex Binelas, who isn’t taking anything for granted after going more than a year without playing in a game.

—Lucy Walz knocked it out of the park with here rendition of the National Anthem Thursday night.

—The Athletic’s Brian Bennett says Louisville is one of the most difficult teams in the country to seed right now.

Louisville: Much like Xavier, the Cardinals (11-4, No. 38 in NET) have been MIA of late. Their last outing was Feb. 1 against Georgia Tech, and four straight games have since been postponed because of continuing virus issues. That complicates an already confusing profile, which includes just one bad loss (on the road to Miami) but also no great wins. We have the Cards on the 9-line this week, but you could talk us into higher or lower.

Though he says 9-line in the blurb, Bennett actually has the Cards as an 8-seed at the moment.

—The Houston Rockets have signed Ray Spalding to a two-way deal.

—Hoops Insight dives into the question of what former U of L player would help this year’s team the most.

—Louisville football has offered 157 players from the class of 2022.

—Transfer safety Kenderick Duncan is already making an impact at Louisville.

—Sports Illustrated’s Molly Geary identifies the eight men’s basketball teams that can win the 2021 national title .

—Our social media team is incredible.

—Emina Ekic is living out a childhood dream by playing professional soccer in her hometown.

—There will be no CIT in 2021.

—Scott Satterfield has added one of the top high school coaches in Louisiana to his staff.

After winning two Division I LHSAA titles in four seasons as head football coach at Catholic High, Gabe Fertitta is moving on to the college ranks.

Fertitta has accepted a job as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville. Fertitta met the Catholic High team Friday afternoon after informing the school of his decision.

“I am very happy for Gabe and his family to see that he gets this chance to coach on the college level,” Catholic athletic director J.P. Kelly said. “We wish him all the best. This will be an interesting position for us to fill.”

Fertitta has a 59-25 overall record as a high school head coach, including a 43-8 record in four seasons at Catholic. The Bears finished 10-2 and defeated Byrd-Shreveport 35-12 in the Division I title game held in December at Northwestern State in Natchitoches.

—Louie subscription boxes are here.

—As the season nears, the rotation for the U of L baseball pitching staff is still unclear.

—Malik back?

—The U of L lacrosse team will open its spring season with a home game against Florida on Saturday.

—Bryan Brown is excited to take on a heavier load on the U of L coaching staff.

—Brown says he has three goals for the Cardinal defense this spring.

During his tenure as the defensive coordinator for the Louisville football program, Bryan Brown has orchestrated a tremendous turnaround. Last season, the Cardinals held opponents to 26.6 points and 369.1 yards per game, as opposed to the 44.1 points and 483.5 yards per game in 2018 prior to his arrival.

That side of the ball was Louisville’s strong suit, and appears to be continuing on an upward trajectory heading into his third season with the program. However, if the Cardinals want to someday be considered one of the elite defenses in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Brown knows exactly what his guys need to work on.

While he admitted that the majority of spring ball will be used primarily to work on fundamentals and instill effort amongst his players, he also wants the defense to improve in three major facets: pinning teams on first downs, getting off the field on third down, and forcing more negative plays.

“You got to be able to win those (first downs) in order to get guys behind the sticks a little bit, to where you can get some more third and longs, as opposed to a lot of 3rd and shorts,” Brown said on Wednesday after practice. “Then making sure we’re able to get off the field on third downs when they do come up.”

—Greg Gasparato has officially been hired as U of L’s new safeties coach.

—The ACC has announced that Feb. 20-28 will be Unity Week.

—Remote coaching is not for Chris Mack.

—Louisville’s offensive line should be one of its strengths in 2021.

—U of L’s Feb. 17 men’s and women’s indoor track and field meet at the new Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center in Louisville will be named the Lenny Lyles Cardinal Invitational in honor of the Cardinals’ former track and football star.

—Jamon is the best.

—Louisville’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled for a second straight year.

—A deserved nomination. These were great.

—Kei’Trel Clark brings an “alpha mentality” to the Cardinal secondary.

—The Louisville Bats will now play in the Midwest Division of the Triple-A East league.

—Dan McDonnell has been absorbing as much information as possible as far as how to manage a full season in the middle of a pandemic.

—And finally, have a great weekend, kids.