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Tuesday evening Cardinal news and notes

That’s Kai Ball showing the Newport Aquarium the actual proper technique for poking sharks and stingrays.  

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—Louisville is No. 42 in ESPN’s first College Football Power Index rankings for the 2021 season.

—ESPN’s latest WNBA mock draft has Dana Evans going has Dana Evans going to the New York Liberty with the sixth overall pick.

—David Cobb of CBS ranks the 40 best transfers (at the moment) in college basketball. Noah Locke checks in at No. 20 and Jarrod West at No. 33.

20. Noah Locke

Old school: Florida | New school: Louisville

Louisville ranked 330th nationally in 3-pointers made per game (5.4) and 303rd in percentage (30.8%), so the addition of Locke is a godsend for the Cardinals. The former top-100 prospect is a career 40.4% 3-point shooter on 538 career attempts. That is unquestionably his primary skill, and it’s one Louisville desperately needs.


33. Jarrod West

Old school: Marshall | New school: Louisville

West handed out six assists per game and hit 40.8% of his 3-pointers for Marshall this season. A Louisville team that needs more shooters snatched him up quickly.

—U of L volleyball’s Dani Busboom Kelly has been named the AVCA East Region Coach of the Year.

—Louisville’s Makenli Forrest has been named the ACC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Indoor Track and Field.

—The Thunder “secret” sites are secret no more, which is for the best.

—Former Kentucky guard and Louisville recruit Devin Askew is headed to Texas.

—Even if you have no interest in the Reds this (Athletic) read on Joey Votto is incredible.

—Mel Kiper’s latest NFL mock draft has TuTu Atwell going to the Arizona Cardinals in the second round.

49. Arizona Cardinals

Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

Christian Kirk has shown promise, but the 2018 second-round pick has been inconsistent and is in his contract year. Taking Atwell here would both push Kirk into a make-or-break season and also add some help in the slot for Kyler Murray. Atwell is lightning fast, and he reminds me of former Sooner Marquise Brown, who used to catch passes from Murray. He’s explosive after the catch.

—Boston College has signed a 10-year apparel deal with New Balance, which feels wildly appropriate.

—Michael McCammon’s latest Louisville baseball notebook for Cardinal Authority is here.

—Lamar Jackson is the fourth-choice to win the NFL MVP this season according to BetOnline:

—Louisville does not appear in Gary Parrish’s latest early top 25 and one rankings for CBS.

—Former Louisville forward Malea Williams has committed to Cincinnati.

—The Athletic’s Brian Bennett has seven things from this bizarro college basketball season that he’d like to see become permanent fixtures.

1. Holding the First Four games on the same day

We have never been big fans of the First Four, an appendage that ruined the perfection of the 64-team NCAA Tournament bracket. But it’s not going away anytime soon, and UCLA proved there are reasons to take it seriously. So if we are going to continue to get these four play-in games, then we’d love to see them played all on the same day like they were last month. That gives the First Four more of a real tournament feel with two games going on concurrently back-to-back. If we’re being honest, we usually ignore the second day of the First Four because by that point we’re ready for the first round to begin the next day. This creates some headaches for bracketing, as all First Four participants would have to go in just two regions for fairness purposes, but the selection committee can handle that. And it means Dayton likely won’t get to be the sole host of the event. But the tradeoff of a more exciting tipoff to March Madness — three of this year’s games were decided by one possession or went to overtime — is definitely worth it.

2. Starting the season Thanksgiving week

Look, if college basketball wanted to start the 2021-22 season tomorrow, we’d be here for it. There are never enough games for junkies like us. The reality, however, is that’s not the case for most of America. Football, for reasons we’ll never fully understand, occupies most sports’ fans headspace throughout the fall. So while it’s great to have things like the Champions Classic in early November, college basketball has a hard time cutting through the noise. As messy as this year’s tipoff was, having the first games begin Thanksgiving week felt kind of right. There’s a nice window for the sport to gain some notice, and even casual fans are used to watching the Maui Invitational and, more recently, the Battle 4 Atlantis, while prepping their turkey and stuffing. While a lot more games and events would have to be crammed into a tighter slot and the regular season might need to be clipped, a Thanksgiving week extravaganza gives college basketball a way to open with a bang.

—Louisville has offered class of 2023 wide receiver Ahmari Borden.

—Standout Owensboro High School QB Gavin Wimsatt, a four-star prospect, stunned everyone by committing to Rutgers over the weekend.

—Some Javian Hawkins draft love via Chris Simms.

—Boston College is one of the schools interested in Josh Nickelberry. We’ll see how heavily the New Balance deal weight into his decision.

—Cardinal Authority highlights some defensive prospects from the class of 2022 to keep an eye on.

—Louisville freshman forward Aboubacar Camara was selected as the final ACC Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week for the season.

—I now have a favorite Racing Louisville FC player.

—The RPI hates Louisville baseball.

—The CJ sizes up the NBA draft prospects of both David Johnson and Carlik Jones.

—And finally, the CJ makes some Louisville football depth chart predictions as we prepare to head into the summer.