—D1Baseball.com has Louisville as the first team left out of the field of 64 in its latest bracket projection. What a cruel, cruel thing that would be.
—Draft Kings has set Louisville football’s over/under win total for 2021 at 6.5.
—Jordan Nwora netted his first career playoff points during Milwaukee’s game two blowout of Miami Monday night.
—The brilliant college career of Louisville women’s golfer Lauren Hartlage came to an end with a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
—With Olivia Cochran and Liz Dixon both back, Jeff Walz is expecting Louisville’s post play to be improved in 2021-22.
—Louisville field hockey’s Meghan Schneider is one of four finalists for the Class of 2021 Honda Sport Award.
—The situation between Donovan Mitchell and the powers that be within the Utah Jazz has gotten pretty weird.
Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell acknowledged Monday he was “definitely frustrated and upset” with the late decision to scratch him from Sunday’s playoff opener but emphasized focusing on moving forward after the team’s medical staff cleared him to play in Game 2 against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.
Mitchell has been out since April 16 due to a sprained right ankle, longer than initially expected, and sources told ESPN that the surprising decision to hold him out of the 112-109 home loss in Game 1 deepened tensions within the team regarding his recovery.
“For me, for my team, I was definitely frustrated and upset that I wasn’t able to play,” said Mitchell, an All-Star who averaged career bests of 26.4 points and 5.2 assists per game this season for the top-seeded Jazz. “I’m a competitor. I felt I was ready to go. I felt ready to go, and unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. That was not how it happened. I was ready to go when I spoke [to media after Sunday’s shootaround], and they came to the decision that that’s what it was.
“The biggest thing for us is moving forward. We lost Game 1, and we’ve got s--- to handle. Excuse my language, we’ve got s--- to handle moving forward.”
Shortly after that story was published, the Jazz announced that Mitchell had been cleared to play in Wednesday’s game two.
—The common thought in the college football world is that Lane Kiffin has turned a corner. Louisville can disrupt that thought with an upset win on Labor Day evening.
—Former Louisville signee and Ballard High star Jo Adell continues to trend towards being an MLB star.
Jo Adell started yesterday ranked as the hottest prospect in baseball.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) May 25, 2021
Later that night, he absolutely demolished another baseball.
His 10 homers lead the minors.
Adell is back in today’s prospect report:https://t.co/9lqmcyv1Rg
—Two big-time football states (Ohio and Texas) took big steps toward name, image and likeness laws yesterday.
—Eamonn Brennan writes for The Athletic that the college basketball transfer market is actually good.
Immediate transfer eligibility, and the ability to glide to a new school fuss-free, will introduce an entirely new roster-building wrinkle to a college game that used to be far more staid and predictable. Long ago, a coach would get hired, would recruit a class of players, would try to build for the third or fourth season, and would rinse and repeat. If you were bad, it took a long time to get good, if you ever did. If you were rebuilding, well, here’s hoping fans are patient.
Now, though? Teams can refresh their rosters in a matter of a couple of months, and not just the top college programs capable of grabbing two or three McDonald’s All-Americans every summer. (So, you know, Kentucky or Duke.) Now a wide swath of top college programs — and plenty of mid-majors savvy at plucking unused former high-major recruits — can totally change the outlooks of their seasons in the portal. All it takes is a couple of weeks of solid recruiting. It is the biggest change to college basketball personnel acquisition since the dawn of the one-and-done rule. And for fans who claim they don’t know who their players are anymore, well, the roster is right there on the web site. Do some Googling. Study up.
It’s nearly June now, and the Earth still hasn’t collapsed in on itself. There were lots of dire warnings in the early spring, not just from Vitale, but now things have startled to settle down. Players have found new schools; coaches have found new players. It has been … fine? It’s new, sure. It’s different. It clearly frustrates plenty of coaches. It clearly weirds some people out. But it is also, in its own new way, exciting. At the very least, it’s the right thing for college administrators and the NCAA to do. At the very best, it might herald a fascinating new era in college basketball, when anything can happen at any time, when talent is even more diffused and surprises are even more frequent, when one bad season need not bleed into another.
The transfer portal isn’t a moral crisis. It’s a moral good. It won’t make college basketball worse. But it might just make it better.
—According to Jon Rothstein, the Louisville men’s basketball team will host Furman as part of its 2021-22 non-conference schedule.
—Cornerback Avyonne Jones, who recently decommitted from Oklahoma State, will take an official visit to Louisville.
—Anas is putting on a damn show in Egypt.
—Junior Bridgeman is part of a group that will conduct the NBA’s operations in Africa.
—Louisville women’s basketball signee Payton Verhulst has been named to the Jordan Brand Classic team.
—While the world still waits for some conclusion to the FBI’s probe into college basketball, no one seems to care that college football is in the midst of a golden age of tampering.
It was late December, not yet the end of the season, and already the wolves were circling. An assistant at a high-level Power 5 program knew two of his school’s best young players — one on offense and one on defense — were being actively recruited by other programs. In fact, he said, it was “unbelievable” how many coaches were reaching out to players on his team’s roster.
“The cheaters,” the frustrated assistant said, “just keep cheating.”
Tampering officially arrived in college football this offseason, leaving coaches to both lament the current state of the game — and try to keep up.
They know if they wait for a quality player to enter the transfer portal to begin recruiting him, they’re too late. So they’ve been reaching out to third parties and using players as go-betweens. It’s a violation of NCAA rules, of course, but enforcement is nearly impossible.
An SEC head coach said that not only is tampering happening, “it happens most of the time.”
A prominent high school coach told ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren he has seen it increase to the point that he estimates 60% of college teams are doing it.
“With one player, last season I got four calls from four different conferences,” the high school coach said. “‘Is he happy? They’re not using him like we would use him.’ These are SEC, Big Ten and some big-name schools.”
A Power 5 coach surveyed the current landscape. It looked to him, he said, like the “wild, wild West.”
—Lynn Family Stadium’s “Grand Opening” game has now been set for June 12. It’ll be the first time the stadium has been able to fill 100 percent to capacity.
—U of L’s 13th-ranked women’s doubles team has bowed out of the NCAA tournament.
—I’ve watched this 30 times.
Give me a mic'd up Koepka vs. Bryson final round. Would pay pay-per-view money for that. pic.twitter.com/herOsGIBhe— Jeff D Miami Vice (@JeffDLowe) May 25, 2021
—Former U of L women’s soccer star Emina Ekic has been named to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America First Team.
—The trend of former Michigan State basketball stars getting in trouble with the law has continued with Keith Appling being arrested and charged with murder.
—Let’s get it, Ted.
—We now know that Samardo Samuels, Ryan McMahon and Chane Behanan will be a part of Keith Oddo’s Louisville TBT squad.
—Athlon’s college football preview has Louisville taking on familiar bowl opponent Mississippi State in the Birmingham Bowl.
Former Louisville teammates Kylee Shook and Jazmine Jones connected for a buzzer-beating three in the New York Liberty’s 93-85 win over Chicago yesterday. What a pass from Shook. https://t.co/LtA9auhBtr pic.twitter.com/WX56c93UTe— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) May 24, 2021
—A look at what new transfer Qwynnterrio Cole brings to Louisville.
—After months of debate, two Louisville park loop roads are reopening for vehicles.
—This is a bummer.
Source: Teams have been informed by Gazelle Group the venue for 2K Classic — slated to be at Madison Square Garden — expected to move to Newark’s Prudential Center.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 22, 2021
Field: Gonzaga, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Providence.
Needless to say, teams are not thrilled with the change.
—Bowling Green South Warren star Cristian Conyer will visit U of L next month.
—And finally, if you’re not on social media (or just have me blocked on every app), I’m very pumped to announce that we’ve got a Baby Boy Rutherford coming this fall. Current due date is Halloween, so he’ll be arriving just in time for the hoops season. Should be fun.