clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The CCBM has invaded Seattle for the bye week.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

—Next weekend won’t just be a loaded recruiting weekend for hoops, as Rueben Owens — a U of L commit and the No. 1 high school running back in America — says he’ll be back in town for a second visit. Owens also says he “might” visit both Texas and Texas A&M.

—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report shares his most significant takeaways from Louisville’s time at ACC Media Day on Wednesday.

—Yasir Abdullah and MoMo Sanogo will be utilizing their bye week for good, because they’re awesome.

WHAT: University of Louisville football players will visit with children and parents residing in The Center for Women and Families’ emergency shelter in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

WHEN: Saturday, October 15, 11:00 AM

WHERE: 927 S. Second St., Louisville, KY 40202

WHY: As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Center for Women and Families will welcome several University of Louisville football players to meet and serve/share a meal with children and parents currently residing in The Center’s emergency shelter. Weather- and time-permitting, players may engage in light football activities with shelter residents. The visit is being organized by Yasir Abdullah, linebacker for the Cardinals, who made a recent gift to The Center through his Yasir Abdullah Sadaqah Foundation. The unrestricted funds will support The Center’s services for survivors impacted by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. During the visit, staff will provide information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month and how to seek help for oneself, friends, or family members. The Center aims to broaden public awareness of the free, safe, and confidential services available in our community for people experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence or sexual assault.

—Eric Crawford writes that Kenny Payne didn’t let the spotlight of media day change his style.

—It’ll be a huge ACC showdown at Lynn Stadium Friday night when the 11th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team hosts No. 5 Syracuse at 7. The winner will seize control in the race for the Atlantic Division title.

Jeff Walz wants you to pack the house.

—The felony charges against former Louisville recruit(?) Emoni Bates are set to be dismissed next week and he is now in the process of being reinstated by Eastern Michigan University.

—ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said on Wednesday that it’s time to expand the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. This makes Jim Phillips my enemy.

—The Athletic’s Eamonn Brennan justifiably shreds Phillips.

In exchange for a bit more money, he wants to make the NCAA Tournament suck. Is that really so bad?

We shouldn’t need to say this, but just in case: Yes, it is. It’d be one thing if the tournament could be improved by expansion, if those arguing that it should be left alone were just being sticks in the mud. But does any neutral really think a 96-team tournament stuffed with mediocre high-major teams would be an improvement? Does anyone look at the first 28 high-major at-larges left out of the NCAA Tournament field every year and think: “What a shame. We’re really missing out.” Of course not. Did anyone like this idea 10 years ago, when the NCAA administrators were the ones pitching it? How far did it get? What are the ratings for the NIT? Where’s all the clamor really coming from?

Expanding the NCAA Tournament is tantamount to destroying it. If you water it down you might as well drown it. The thing is not successful because it offers the highest level basketball in the world, or the “fairest” competition, or the widest range of outcomes, or whatever. The thing is successful because of its structure, because of its quirks, because it isn’t some bloated all-encompassing mess. It’s three weeks. It’s six rounds. It’s perfect. It can continue to be perfect in perpetuity. There is literally zero valid reason to change it.

Hilariously, Phillips even admits this!

“It’s the crown jewel of all of our championships,” Phillips told ESPN. “There’s nothing that really duplicates it, on both sides, on the men’s side and the women’s side. So you have to be respectful of not messing it up, either, and understand it’s in a really good, healthy place. But you also have to continue to be progressive, and I try to think about those things in that way.”

Again, translated: “The NCAA Tournament is awesome, everyone knows it, we really couldn’t improve on it if we tried, but we ARE going to try, because think we can wring a bit more cash out of this thing before we totally bleed it to death. I’m progressive!”

—Class of 2023 OL Rhino Tapaatoutai, an Arizona commit, has received an offer from Louisville. I think this goes without saying, but we need an offensive lineman named Rhino to be a Cardinal.

—Kentucky associate athletic director Chris Woolard was arrested for DUI on Monday after he was found covered in vomit in his car, which was still in gear and resting on a sidewalk near a fence.

I don’t mean to make light of this, but what the hell is going on with all the DUIs coming out of that athletic department? Is the Uber app super screwy in Lexington or something? It’s 2022. There are very, very easy ways to avoid this.

—The CJ ranks the 15 best boys high school basketball players in the area.

—Is it really “losing thousands of dollars foolishly” or is it actually “exercising my humongous brain?” More and more evidence is saying the latter.

—As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, U of L has a good feature on the background of women’s basketball assistant Jonneshia Pineda.

—Jack Harlow played a Louisville-themed concert in New York last night.

—I don’t know how to react to these.

—The U of L football staff is after yet another recruit from St. John Bosco.

—Louisville joins Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Florida State and Miami as the six finalists for the services of 4-star defensive lineman Rueben Bain from Miami Central.

—Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren also talked about possible NCAA tournament expansion on Wednesday.

—ACC hoops coaches seem split on the idea.

—Kevin Sweeney of Sports Illustrated has Louisville at No. 9 in his preseason ACC basketball power rankings, and sees the Cardinals making the NIT in Kenny Payne’s first season.

9. Louisville

It’s hard to figure out exactly what to make of this Louisville team in Year 1 under Kenny Payne. There’s certainly talent on this roster, and a lot among this current crop of Cardinals are better than they showed in a chaotic last season that included a mid-year coaching change. But Louisville also has only two true ballhandlers on the roster: returnee El Ellis, who had 51 assists and 45 turnovers a season ago, and three-star freshman Fabio Basili. I’d feel much better about this group if Payne had landed a guard or two in the transfer portal, but the athleticism and physicality up front should cause some problems for ACC foes.

Postseason Projection: NIT Bound

—Jonathon Warriner is a bit less optimistic, slotting the Cards at No. 13 in the league.

—Rueben Owens is a now a top 20 overall player in the class of 2023 according to the updated rankings from 247 Sports.

—Kenny Payne has a ringing endorsement from Rick Stansbury ... so there’s that.

—If this was Josh Pastner’s final ACC media day, the man certainly put on a show.

—A Lousivillian won half a million dollars on a scratch off this week.

—Both Louisville and Bellarmine field hockey will be hosting No. 24 Duke this weekend.

—Brad Crawford of 247 Sports has Louisville facing Iowa in the Pinstripe Bowl in his latest bowl projections.

—So it’s not just a clever name?

—Sydney Curry says he’s already received a confidence boost from Kenny Payne in KP’s short time as Louisville’s head coach.

—Peyton Siva and Angel McCoughtry revealed Wednesday that they will be the co-hosts for this year’s Louisville Live festivities.

This investigation makes it clear: If there are under 6 seconds to play and you’re up three, you should always foul.

—And finally, one metric paints a bleak picture for Louisville football’s second half of the season, while another says the Cards have a fighting chance.