—Another successful U of L volleyball season came to an end with a crushing, five-set loss to No. 6 seed Washington in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 on Sunday.
—The Louisville baseball team still has the best record of any team in the ACC after taking two of three from Virginia over the weekend.
—Beau Zach is shining.
Per Matt Simons FB, some of my favorite former players hung out today with the best UofL coach of all time. Pretty cool seeing them all together. Brian Kiser is my favorite player ever! pic.twitter.com/1eCgH8O74V— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) April 18, 2021
—David Johnson says the early feedback he got from NBA people in the know made him 100 percent sure it was time to leave Louisville.
—Jeff Borzello’s updated top 100 transfer rankings for ESPN have Louisville’s Noah Locke at No. 40, Jarrod West at No. 75, and Matt Cross at No. 82.
—I adore these montages.
There is a right way of doing things in college basketball... pic.twitter.com/4H2Csts22X— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) April 19, 2021
—Eric Crawford reacts to Dana Evans slipping to the second round of the WNBA Draft.
—Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 player in the basketball class of 2021, is headed to Gonzaga.
—Bobby Petrino’s Missouri State Bears are headed to the FCS Playoffs.
—The Super League is pretty much just the College Football Playoff as it is already.
—The U.S. Open Cup, which was set to feature Louisville City FC, won’t be held in 2021 after all.
—A Starbucks in New Jersey, just outside of New York, has surpassed Las Vegas as the top sports-gambling hotspot in America.
—Andrew Carter of the Raleigh News & Observer has a lengthy read on the current state of college basketball and the many problem the sport is facing.
—Derby contender Midnight Bourbon got loose on the Churchill Downs backside Monday morning.
Give that woman a raise.
—Lexington Catholic’s Ben Johnson, a Bellarmine signee, has been named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball for 2020-21.
—Jeff Goodman does not have Louisville in his updated early top 25 for 2021-22.
—Louisville and Kentucky baseball will square off for round two Tuesday night in Lexington. ESPNU will have the TV coverage.
—A Louisville boy with his World Series bling.
—State of Louisville says Chris Mack is making “Moneyball moves” to fill up the U of L basketball roster.
—The U of L women’s tennis team will open the 2021 ACC tournament against Boston College.
—Louisville DL Malik Clark could play a key role for the Cards this fall.
—The Athletic’s Keith Law thinks Louisville catcher Henry Davis might be the best player in this year’s MLB Draft class.
Louisville catcher Henry Davis has an incredible eye at the plate, rarely swinging and missing, making hard contact with power, and showing a plus arm with good hands on defense.
So why the &^@$ isn’t he the top prospect in this draft class?
The assumption all spring has been that the first overall pick, held by Pittsburgh, would be one of the two Vanderbilt right-handers, Jack Leiter (No. 1 on my board) or Kumar Rocker. But the industry has long held that position players are safer picks than pitchers, and there are few more valuable position players than catchers who can hit and defend. Davis can do those things, and there aren’t many better hitters in this class at any position
Davis has an elite approach at the plate, an ideal combination of selectivity, pitch recognition, and hand acceleration, so that he just doesn’t swing and miss. I saw one swing-and-miss in 10 plate appearances over two games, and his whiff rate this season is only around 6 percent, while he reached base safely in eight of those trips to the plate via five hits and three walks. His swing is beautiful, with the aforementioned quick hands and great hip rotation to allow him to drive the ball, and he showed no problem catching up to 96-97 against UVA. Behind the plate, he receives well but needs some work with blocking, while the Cavaliers never even tested his plus arm.
Two days of watching Davis gave me strong Buster Posey vibes, and Posey, who went fifth overall in the 2008 draft, should have gone first. (He was No. 2 on my draft board that year, behind Tim Beckham, who was the first overall pick and the consensus top prospect. I had it wrong.) Posey hit with the old silly bats, but his .463/.566/.879 line as a junior — with a nearly 2:1 walk to strikeout ratio — would probably look a lot like Davis’ current line of .409/.533/.678, with a BB:K ratio over 2 if Posey used the modern composite bats the NCAA requires now.
Even if you think Davis is Posey Lite, is that a more valuable player than a good No. 2 starter, which is Leiter’s projection? Would you prefer the certainty of a catcher who hits to the wider variance in outcomes for Rocker, who can show you No. 1 stuff and has a workhorse build, but lacks the command or consistency of a Leiter? Joey Bart was the No. 2 pick three years ago, with an inferior offensive profile and track record to Davis, striking out far more often. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the idea that the first pick has to be one of the Vandy boys, even if Pittsburgh is limiting its choices to college players. Davis is, at the very least, good enough to be in their decision set.
—The 15th-ranked Louisville lacrosse team came up short against No. 3 Syracuse.
—Kiyaunta Goodwin, the massive offensive lineman originally from Louisville who I think has now played at seven different high schools, has committed to Kentucky.
—Cardinal Authority’s latest Louisville baseball notebook is out.
—And finally, David Johnson says he hopes his Louisville legacy is as a “good person and a great player” who helped the program.