—It’s field hockey Final Four Friday tomorrow in Chapel Hill. Here’s a preview of No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Louisville
—U of L defensive coordinator Bryan Brown says Ashton Gillotte will make noise this year.
—Jeff Greer’s latest Floyd Street Tribune newsletter is out.
One Big Thought: El Ellis Is Getting the Keys
We know the ins and outs of Louisville’s stagnant offense this past season:
1. With only two effective guards playing the vast majority of minutes, the Cardinals didn’t feel confident running their transition offense as much off defensive rebounds and turnovers out of fear of fatiguing David Johnson and Carlik Jones. Louisville ranked 300th in the nation in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom. This pained Chris Mack, whose best Xavier teams ranked 32nd and 62nd in the nation in adjusted tempo.
2. And with painfully ineffective 3-point shooting, Louisville lost any hope of offensive flow. This limited the ability to space the floor and attack off the dribble as defenses figured out that packing the paint was a winning strategy.
In addressing those concerns, Chris Mack and his staff wasted no time this spring adding players who can help, especially with shooting. But the biggest addition may well be a signing from the fall — junior college All-American guard El Ellis.
Ellis, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound guard, told me Tuesday he is learning the point guard position in the Cardinals’ playbook. Paired with the belief that Marshall transfer Jarrod West was brought in to be a solid guard who can help off the bench, everything points to Ellis getting the keys to the Cards next season as their primary playmaker. That’s a big responsibility — and I still maintain Louisville could use another guard — but Ellis and his former junior college coach, Zach Settembre, believe he is ready to take on the challenge of helping Louisville rediscover its offensive mojo.
—Tickets are available for this weekend’s home baseball series against Duke.
—Dan McDonnell and company see the series as a pivotal one for the Cards.
—I missed this last month, but major props to Darryl Morsell for announcing that he’s declaring for the draft, entering the transfer portal, and also leaving open the possibility of returning to Maryland.
Could’ve gone for an individual graphic for each announcement, but still great.
—Sam Vecenie’s latest NBA Mock draft for The Athletic has David Johnson going 47th overall.
—Seeds are set for the ACC rowing championships.
—Louisville commits are dominating Kentucky high school baseball this season.
Paducah Tilghman junior and Louisville commit Justin West had TWENTY strikeouts tonight. That’s tied for the most ever in a @KHSAA baseball game. Here’s the company he joins. Impressive stuff. pic.twitter.com/1mZli6b47C— Chris Jung (@iamchrisjung) May 6, 2021
—The U of L softball team is off to North Carolina to end its regular season.
—Dez Fitzpatrick should provide a physical presence at wide receiver for the Titans.
—The Louisville field hockey team is in Chapel Hill for Final Four weekend.
The third-seeded Cards take on No. 2 Michigan Friday at 4 p.m.
—Syracuse women’s soccer alum Erin Simon is very happy in Louisville.
—A pair of Louisville baseball commits went head-to-head Wednesday night in Traverse City, Mich.
—Even if he never accomplishes anything else in his professional career, Reid Detmers will always have the first strikeout in Rocket City Trash Pandas franchise history.
—Has Baltimore done enough this offseason to provide support for Lamar Jackson?
—Louisville field hockey’s Meghan Schneider is the recipient of the Elite 90 award for the 2021 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship.
—And finally, beat Michigan.