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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Chris Mack and Scott Satterfield crashed a birthday dinner last week.

—Bill Bender’s first 2021 bowl projections for The Sporting News have Louisville taking on Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29.

—Jonathan Givony’s latest NBA mock draft for ESPN has both David Johnson and Carlik Jones going undrafted.

—Can’t get enough of this content.

—Despite, you know, everything, Louisville was once again the top revenue producer in the country for men’s basketball during the inn-fated 2019-20 college hoops season.

—Chris Mack is in the midst of his first post-pandemic in-person recruiting visit, as top 50 junior Rodney Rice is currently on the U of L campus.

—The U of L men’s basketball team will compete in a charity softball game at Jim Patterson Stadium next month.

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team will participate in Louisville Basketball: The Show, a charity softball game featuring the players and coaches on the 2021-22 UofL men’s basketball team on Monday, July 19 at 6 p.m. in Jim Patterson Stadium.

There is no set admission fee for the event, as fans can to donate to the charity Jaxen’s Journey, remembering UofL strength and conditioning coach Andy Kettler’s son Jaxen, who lost his life to brain cancer at the age of two in July 2016. Kettler and his wife Kimbraly started Jaxen’s Journey to benefit pediatric cancer research. Support can be provided at the stadium entrances or through the organization’s website at www.jaxensjourney.com.

The event will include a postgame autograph session, an exclusive trading card set featuring the team members, contests and other promotions. Concession and merchandise sales will be open for the game.

—A pair of Louisville baseball commits led Trinity to its first Kentucky state baseball title over the weekend.

As a proud but forever frustrated member of the ‘02 team that lost to Covington Catholic in the state championship game, it was nice to see the Shamrocks finally bring one home.

—Due to injury, Donovan Mitchell has declined an opportunity to play for Team USA at this summer’s Olympics.

—There’s a reason Yasir Abdullah is a Chron favorite.

—Louisiana is the 30th state to legalize sports betting. Kentucky, meanwhile, just had a very serious conversation about the future of Keno Pull Tabs.

—David Teel writes that the Supreme Court’s unanimous rebuke “highlights just how much the tide is turning against the NCAA and its unfair treatment of college athletes.”

—A study says Kentucky is the kindest state in the country.

I’d like to know who was polled for this study ...

Probably not that guy.

—Chris Mack is the guest on the latest episode of Jeff Greer’s podcast.

—New U of L guard El Ellis will talk with the Louisville media this afternoon at 2.

—Euclid Media Group, a media company headquartered in Cleveland, has purchased LEO Weekly.

—Slugger Field’s grand re-opening on Tuesday featured 10,131 fans and a walk-off grand slam for the Bats.

—Hunter Greene, who hit 104 MPH on the gun in his first AAA start, will pitch for the Bats tonight. He won’t be in Louisville very long.

—Bellarmine is adding “Sprint Football” — which is only open to players who weigh under 178 pounds — beginning in 2022.

—C.J. Avery is back at Louisville looking to improve both himself and the Cardinal defense.

“Individually, just setting myself up to have the best possible chance of being in the NFL Draft next season,” Avery said. “A goal of mine is to go first through the third round. As far as team-wise, I hope that we’ll be ACC champions before the year’s over and just be the closest team we can as possible.”

To reach for such a lofty goal, the UofL defense will need to continue to make positive strides. There was notable improvement last season, but tackling and pressure needs to take another step forward.

“I have extremely high expectations for me and this defense,” Avery said. “Our goal is to be the top defense in the ACC. We improved, the numbers improved last year, and we’ve shown improvement throughout these years. This season, we want to be top of the ACC in defense and top of the nation as well.”

While there some way-too-early preseason prognosticators showing limited faith in the team’s potential of rebounding back into a winning season, Avery’s belief is that success will come if the group plays together and supports each other.

“To be honest, I don’t truly worry about if anyone’s sleeping on us or whatever. I feel like if we’re doing all the right things, day in and day out, all of that will take care of itself. That’s the same thing that happened with the year we had really good year. We went 2-10, and then eventually we came out and and we played well, because we trusted each other. We built a great team, a lot of camaraderie, so I feel like it’d be the same case this year.”

—Louisville women’s basketball has been hosting a pair of official visitors on campus

—Any semblance of positivity surrounding Bob Baffert’s legacy in horse racing gets blown to bits here.

—Monty Montgomery still rules.

—After a very solid three years at Florida, Noah Locke is hoping the world sees him play his best basketball yet at Louisville.

—Ballard High graduate Ronnie Baker has qualified for the Olympics in the 100 meters.

—And finally, after being originally scheduled to renew their rivalry in 2020-21, Louisville will officially not play Cincinnati in men’s basketball this season.

I know this is a minority opinion, but I’m 100 percent fine with our last meetings against UC in men’s basketball and football being wins at their place on a Russ Smith buzzer-beater and Teddy Bridgewater going full-blown God mode. Let them chew on those losses from now until eternity.