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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Go Cards. Beat UCF.

—Spread check: Central Florida by 7.

—Saturday Blitz has three bold predictions for tonight’s game.

—With Virginia Tech being seen by most to be the leader for Rodney Rice, Chris made sure that Rice — who’s in town this weekend for Louisville Live and his official visit — is aware of the fact that the Cards have beaten the Hokies 17 straight times.

—Our own CardinalStrong answers some questions for the UCF folks over at Black and Gold Banneret.

—Greer’s latest newsletter takes a closer look at the current situation in the U of L frontcourt.

I assumed, because he is a bit older as a juco product, that Curry would immediately line up as Williams’s backup, a big, big body who could actually take on some serious minutes in the early stages of the season as Louisville manages Williams. (Mack told LSL the Cards staff will be “really, really cautious” with Williams in workouts and practices because they “want him for the long-term” this season.) Perhaps Curry still might take on that role, but it sounds like the John Logan College product has work to do to make that happen.

A former top-60, four-star prospect, Wheeler has the most upside. He is the long-term heir apparent to Williams — and yes, I realize in college basketball that “long term” is, like, next year. That he is healthy and playing live basketball and rapidly learning is important. I thought Wheeler would need time before making a true impact, but if he is ahead of schedule, perhaps he can log more minutes sooner.

“The biggest adjustment for him is getting over that mental hurdle, really buying into, like, ‘Hey, you’re healthy. You’re good,’” Pegues told me. “That thing is structurally healed. It may not feel the same just yet as you did before you tore it, and that’s still something he’s working on in the training room in terms of strengthening that calf. … Now he has to balance the Achilles thing with trying to learn college basketball.”

Then there’s Curry, who is a plain ol’ Big Dude. Pegues said the coaches are asking the Fort Wayne, Ind., native to take on more and do more than he did at John Logan, a process that requires a lot of teaching moments. He has plenty of time to keep slimming down and learning, so there’s reason to believe Curry can make an impact and play in the early stages of the season, but I do wonder if Wheeler might have worked into that No. 2 spot on the depth chart.

“He’s going to be that guy who, if we feel like we’re getting pushed around, he can hold his own,” Mack said of Curry.

—All five members of the Black and Gold Banneret staff like the Golden Knights to both win and cover the spread this evening.

—Cardinal Authority looks at U of L-UCF by the numbers.

—UCF shamelessly using “What’s Poppin’” for its pregame hype video.

The disrespect just doesn’t end this week.

—Tickets for as low as $25 are still available for tonight’s game.

—The latest episode of The Crunch Zone podcast previews Louisville-UCF. You can listen to it here.

—Shoutout to Golden Knight airlines.

—The crew over at the Orlando Sentinel discuss tonight’s matchup.

—Mekhi Becton is scheduled to undergo knee surgery next Wednesday and is expected to miss 4-8 weeks. In the meantime, he’ll be replaced on the Jets’ line by former WKU basketball standout George Fant.

—Shoutout to the former Card for his second game sealing interception in as many weeks.

—Ben Heisler of BetSided likes the Cards to cover tonight.

—Joe Williams of USA Today is going with the Golden Knights by two touchdowns.

—Mike Pegues is the guest on the latest episode of Jeff Greer’s podcast.

—Updated list for the weekend ahead:

—Chip Patterson of CBS previews tonight’s game and picks UCF.

—The U of L men’s soccer team is on the road at Syracuse tonight.

—The comparisons between UCF and Ole Miss aren’t hard to find, which could be bad news for the Cards.

—New voice of Cardinal volleyball?

The unbeaten and fifth-ranked Cardinals are back on the road to face their toughest challenge of the season thus far, a date in Lincoln with No. 6 Nebraska tomorrow.

—Nebraska’s official site previews tomorrow’s match.

—Nick Bromberg of Yahoo says the smart money tonight is on the Golden Knights.

—WDRB reacts to the release of the U of L men’s basketball schedule.

—We’re previewing tonight’s game and getting hyped from 3-6 on today’s Mike Rutherford Show. You can listen on 1450AM, 96.1 FM, or streaming here.

—And finally, beat UCF.