—The first official contest of the 2021-22 U of L athletic season goes down tonight when the women’s soccer team hosts Western Michigan at 7:30 inside Lynn Stadium. Here’s a preview.
—Jeff Greer answers some reader questions in his latest newsletter.
Jeremy O.: I’ll be basic: With the roster set and the expected change in style of offense, and assuming good health, who ENDS the year in the starting five?
The end of the season is when it matters most, right? I like this question.
PG: El Ellis
SG: Noah Locke
SF: Samuell Williamson
PF: Jae’Lyn Withers
C: Malik Williams
Because we’re assuming good health in this scenario, the only position I wonder about is point guard. Ellis has the highest ceiling of the three potential options there, and he also has the best combination of size, skill and quickness. Jarrod West is a savvy veteran who will play a good chunk of minutes. I see Faulkner as a combo guard who can share the floor with the other two ballhandlers.
I’ll have a more informed answer on that spot once preseason practices start this fall.
Adam E.: Predict 1-2 in points, rebounds and assists.
Points: Jae’Lyn Withers, Samuell Williamson
Rebounds: Jae’Lyn Withers, Samuell Williamson
Assists: El Ellis, Jarrod West
I feel confident in points and assists. Rebounding is tougher to peg — Williamson is probably the best natural rebounder on the team. He is excellent pursuing the ball out of his area. In this new transition offense, he may be getting out to run more. I could totally be wrong there, but Withers has the potential to grab defensive rebounds and run the break with shooters ahead of him, so I’ll give him the slight edge.
Also, major congrats to Jeff and his much cooler and overall better wife, Elizabeth, on the announcement of their first child, coming in January.
The Rutherford/Greer rivalry is now guaranteed to live on for at least one more generation.
—Steven Enoch has signed a deal with Spanish club Baskonia, which plays in the highly competitive Euro League.
—You can listen to the podcast of yesterday’s Mike Rutherford Show right here.
—No. 1 pick Henry Davis is already hitting moonshots in Greensboro.
—This video department does not miss.
—The CJ’s preseason All-Metro teams for the upcoming high school football season are out.
—Dez Fitzpatrick got called out by Titans head coach Mike Vrabel last week, and now his constant issues with drops throughout camp have some wondering whether or not the 4th round pick will even make the team.
—Dana O’Neil and Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic discuss the biggest losers of the college basketball offseason.
Dana O’Neil: NCAA president Mark Emmert
It almost seems too easy to assign Emmert this ignominious title — like shooting fish in a test tube. But when a man manages to crawl so far beneath his sub-snake-belly bar of underachievement, it needs to be recognized.
In a career of losing favor, fans and support, Emmert managed to trump even himself this summer. He lost lawsuits, flunkies and, in due time, his entire castle is likely to crumble around him, as the NCAA considers nothing less than its entire governance structure.
Other than that, camp’s been great, Mom and Dad.
The summer of his discontent started back in March, when Sedona Prince pointed her iPhone at the weight room at the women’s NCAA Tournament and hit record. The disparity between the men’s digs and women’s was bad enough to warrant a gender-equity study, but Emmert’s decision to pass the buck and plead ignorance in the face of a public relations nightmare only underscored his core problem. He is not, unlike Colonel Jessup, the man you want on your wall. The summer of discontent only devolved from there, so that the general public is questioning the NCAA’s purpose and those on the inside are whispering about the president’s eroding support. Donald Remy, long Emmert’s right-hand man, left the Titanic for an appointment as the deputy secretary for the Department of Veteran Affairs, while conference commissioners are all but calling for swift and serious change.
To be fair, Emmert has a relatively impossible and thankless job (albeit one that pays him $2.7 million), a puppet leader to an organization that is heading the way of the monarchy. That is to say, good for ribbon cutting and party hosting. But he has made for an easy target, his inflexibility and occasional arrogance coming to represent a national body seen as feckless and out of touch.
But to give credit where it’s due, Emmert did achieve one near impossible accomplishment: He got Congress to reach across the aisle in unified support for name, image and likeness, and against the NCAA. Though if you’ve unified Congress, you’ve got real problems.
—Heading into a season as a projected starter is different for Jalen Mitchell, but the Cardinal RB says he’s ready to handle the increased workload.
—A domestic assault charge against UK football chief of staff Daniel Berezowitz has been dismissed. Berezowitz remains suspended from the program.
—ESPN’s Doug Kezirian says (Insider) Louisville winning fewer than 6.5 games in 2021 is one of the best bets of the ACC football season.
Louisville Cardinals under 6.5 wins (-110)
Kezirian: This is tough for me because I absolutely love Scott Satterfield, dating back to his Appalachian State days. He debuted with the Cardinals with a 8-5 record and injected optimism but last year took a giant step back with four wins and an apology letter to fans for flirting with the South Carolina opening. He will take over as the offensive play-caller and hopes to restore QB Malik Cunningham to his 2019 form. That will be tough after losing his top two options, including WR Tutu Atwell to the NFL.
This schedule will be a grind and I doubt Louisville has the depth and resiliency to handle the multiple factors that could derail the Cardinals. They open against a high-powered Ole Miss offense and also face championship contender Clemson. And then they have a slew of losable games: at Florida State, at Wake Forest, Virginia, Boston College, at NC State and Kentucky. A .500 season is doable, especially for a guy like Satterfield, but I have to play the percentages and take the under.
—Willie Williams makes this list of the best high school football players of this century.
—Even though it was recorded following his commitment to Colorado, there’s some cool background on Mason Faulkner in this interview.
—From Churchill Downs, here’s the “Horses & Hoops” lineup for Louisville Live night at the track, Sept. 18:
—Sheldon Rankins got dinged up at Jets practice this afternoon.
—Racing Louisville FC won a penalty kick thriller over the Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday night. They’ll now face Bayern Munich FC on Saturday in the Women’s Cup final.
—Manual High product Jaelin Carter is out here making plays.
—Cam Teague writes for the CJ that a bigger, stronger YaYa Diaby is ready to shine for the Cardinal defense.
—A premiere 7v7 football tournament series for elite high school and youth football athletes is coming to Louisville next March.
—It appears Teddy will be QB2 in Denver.
—Louisville LB Marvin Dallas has “crazy athletic ability” and is battling for the Card position job on the U of L defense.
—Move-in at U of L continued today, with approximately 3,500 students — 2,000 of them first-year students — moving into university housing before the start of classes on Monday.
—They don’t show the “let’s punch it in on these mother f—-ers” final touchdown, but the highlights are still cool.
Louisville vs Kentucky (2003) pic.twitter.com/oX4CQygbWR— College Football Classics (@ClassicsCFB) August 19, 2021
—The U of L men’s soccer team is the preseason pick to finish third in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
—Scott Satterfield does not make the SI list of the 25 most intriguing college football coaches of 2021.
—Could be completely wrong, but I think Javian winds up staying in the league for a nice long while.
A few plays later, Javiann Hawkins (not normally known as a power back) stiff arms Noah Igbbinoghene into the dirt #FalconsDolphinsPractice— Gates (@TheGent28) August 19, 2021
—The NCAA is investigating rules violations within the Nebraska football program, which remains hilarious for dozens of reasons.
—Transfer Jacques Turner is already proving to be a great addition to the Cardinal defensive line.
—Can’t believe it’s already been a year.
One of the most surreal things I’ve ever watched live pic.twitter.com/T0qTCMrwlH— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) August 20, 2020
—Male High is among the top 100 all-time winningest high school football programs in America.
—Speaking of, it’s opening weekend for high school football in Kentucky. The staff over at the CJ make their week one picks.
—Gunter Brewer and Jordan Watkins talked with the media after practice on Wednesday. Here’s a transcript of what they had to say.
—Despite some disappointing seasons in recent years, Louisville still (almost) always knows how to light up the scoreboard.
Best Offenses (5-year Average 2016-20)— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) August 17, 2021
- Opponent-Adjusted, Per-Play Percentiles
#3 Ohio State
#5 Ole Miss
#7 Penn State
#8 Oklahoma State
#10 Notre Dame
#15 Washington State
—Cool story here on the Manual High School basketball team helping disadvantaged students in West Africa.
—A return to respectability is the goal for Louisville football after a disappointing 2020.
—The Ole Miss defense is starting to feel ready for the Cards.
Sanogo is entering his second season in this defense under co-defensive coordinators DJ Durkin and Chris Partridge which will be a little bit different from other schemes they have run. He said the defense does a “bit of everything, we’re like a Jack-in-the-Box as you don’t know what you are going to get or what defense we’re gonna pull out and we do it all well.”
“Second year in the same defense, I am excited about it,” he said.
Coming into the 2021 season, the defense has been talking about playing with energy carried over from the Outback Bowl.
“(Energy) is huge,” he said. Sanogo added that in sudden change situations the offense may throw a pick and you have to get back out there and stop the other team “regardless of their position on the field.”
“The next time we go on and we go dominate,” Sanogo said.
The Plano, Texas, native has played in 35 games leading up to this season with 184 total tackles, 10.5 for loss and two sacks in his career.
Head coach Lane Kiffin said that we expect big things out of him.
The first game of the season is less than 20 days until kickoff against the Louisville Cardinals and the defense is “on the cusp,” Sanogo said. “We keep hammering in the details every single day.”
—Streaking the Lawn (Virginia) is out with its preview of the Cardinal football team.
—Eric Crawford recaps the 2021 Louisville Football Kickoff Luncheon.
—And finally, I’m back on 1450AM/96.1FM from 3-6 this afternoon, and the heavenly voice of Sean Moth will be joining me in studio. Greer will also be on to talk some hoops, and Keith Wynne to break down some football. You can stream the show here.