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Wednesday evening Cardinal news and notes

Cardinal fans, canine and human alike, are ready to get the season going.

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—247 Sports ranks both Kenderick Duncan and Bryan Hudson in their list of the top 35 transfers in college football for 2021.

—The latest episode of the Card Chronicle Podcast is available.

—Louisville’s theme games for the 2021 football season are set.

The team will wear helmet stickers throughout the season to commemorate the life of Howard Schnellenberger, and there will be a tribute to Schnellenberger during the Kentucky game. A “Blackout Game” will also be announced at a later date.

—Sports has moved to a mostly post-COVID existence. The Olympics are a depressing exception.

—A day after being drafted 47th overall by the Washington Nationals, Daylen Lile was up early working Trinity’s baseball camp. The U of L signee hasn’t publicly committed to inking a deal with the Nationals, but everyone seems to be aware of the fact that he won’t be playing college baseball.

“Yeah I mean that’s all kind of done, you kind go through and you work that out a little bit prior to taking the player, as every team will do, cause you’ve got to find a way to manage your money, so we’re good there,” National assistant general manager and vice president of scouting Kris Kline said. “We all saw him as the best high school hitter in this draft, 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Kentucky and he was the National Player of the Year this year.”

Even UofL head coach Dan McDonnell seemed resigned to losing Lile on Monday.

“He was the right kid for us to sign because of his character, his academic commitment, his family, and we would have loved to have coached him,” McDonnell said.

The slot for that pick is just over $1.5 million dollars, but the Nationals could offer an even heftier signing bonus. Lile did admit to considering what his first purchase might be.

“I would say, I’m going to buy a car, first paycheck. I’m gonna either get a Dodge Charger Hellcat or a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but we’ll see, who knows,” Lile said.

—Kofi Cockburn is not going to Kentucky, which I am very okay with.

—Congrats to former U of L baseball pitcher/St. Matthews Little League legend Skylar Meade on being named the new head baseball coach at Troy.

—Wes Unseld Jr. could be on the verge of his first head coaching gig.

You have to assume Ham’s main pitch is that he shattered a backboard in the NCAA tournament. I don’t ... I don’t really know anything about him outside of that.

—The CJ takes an updated look at the Louisville baseball roster for 2022.

—The Athletic’s John Hollinger has David Johnson at No. 53 in his in-depth rankings of the top 70 prospects in the 2021 NBA draft. His review of DJ is not exactly glowing.

53. David Johnson, SG, Louisville, Sophomore

Johnson had lottery buzz at the start of the season on the heels of a pretty interesting freshman season where he put up huge per-minute stats but massive turnover rates and horrific shooting splits. All those extremes softened in his sophomore year, but the overall package left over wasn’t that exciting. Johnson rebounds well for a guard and has shown playmaking ability but remains a wild ride when he puts it on the floor (5.5 turnovers per 100 after averaging 7.0 as a freshman), plus he shot poorly inside the arc (42.6 percent for the season), and didn’t draw many fouls.

The best thing about his season was the 3-point shooting, which he pushed to 38.6 percent after a woeful 21.7 percent freshman mark, but Johnson is a career 65.0 percent shooter from the line and the 19-game sample isn’t huge. Smart teams will take his 3-point numbers with an entire pillar of salt.

Defensively, Johnson wasn’t good. Watching him on tape, I was shocked how heavy his feet seemed – Louisville would try to hide him on 3s and 4s, and he’d get beat off the dribble even while giving considerable cushion. At 6-foot-3 ¼ in socks, he has to check 2s and 3s at the pros (a giant 6-foot-10 ½ wingspan helps), and based on the tape I’m not sure he can do it.

—Four-star athlete RJ Jones out of national power St. John Bosco has received a U of L offer.

—Jody Demling recaps how Louisville’s top hoops target fared in the three recent Atlanta tournaments.

—Former Card Josh Stowers will be in the bigs sooner rather than later.

—U of L has offered JUCO defensive back Shavarick Williams.

—Tickets are still available for Monday’s U of L basketball charity softball game.

—Christian Yelich shouting out Brewers draftee Alex Binelas is pretty cool.

—Little Vlad was/is an icon.

—The CJ continues its countdown of Louisville football players to watch in 2021.

—Scott Satterfield believes Louisville will be stronger in the trenches on both sides of the ball this season than they were in his first two years with the Cardinals.

—A total of 63 players from the ACC were selected in the MLB draft.

—NIL is great.

—ESPN has bumped U of L WR commit Zavion Thomas up to a four-star.

—UC Davis has placed its entire baseball program on suspension pending a ‘review’, and the coaching staff has been placed on ‘administrative leave.’ Seems bad.

—I’m going to be the millionth person to say it, buttttt .... imagine if this was Louisville.

—The summer season finale episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is out.

—The U of L men’s tennis squad has earned ITA academic honors.

—Again, Lamar is not changing for anyone.

—The downtown YMCA has received a $1 million gift.

—And finally, Louisville is up to a 7-seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest summer Bracketology for ESPN.