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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Baby Mike Rutherford is ready for some Cardinal hoops.

—Spread check (basketball): Louisville by 8.5.

—Spread check (football): Clemson by 7.

—Today marks the first day of the early signing period, and Louisville men’s basketball has received signed letters of intent from both of the players in its class of 2023 — Kaleb Glenn and Curtis Williams.

—Lamar is simply the best.

Dominance after halftime has fueled the Louisville football team’s current four-game winning streak.

—Jon Rothstein says Louisville’s “brutal” season-opener against Bellarmine is the biggest storyline of the night ahead in college hoops.

Louisville has a brutal opener against Bellarmine

Let’s get this out of the way really quick: This is awful scheduling. No, let me change that — this is abominable scheduling. Forget about the fact for a second that Louisville went 1-1 in two exhibitions against two Division II teams in the preseason. Also, forget about the fact that this is without question the least talented roster that Louisville has had in years. The fact that the Cardinals opted to schedule Bellarmine — a respected mid-major program that has posted a combined 34-21 record over the past two seasons since it has transitioned to Division I — is simply unfathomable. Those that know understand that Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport — who was once a Louisville assistant under Rick Pitino — runs an intricate style that is very difficult to prepare for. Add that to all of the variables listed above and it makes for one tough opener for Payne as he aims to lead his alma mater back to respectability.

—U of L men’s soccer standouts Sander Roed and Aboubacar Camara were both named All-ACC Wednesday morning.

—Kyle Boone of CBS is still calling DJ Wagner’s recruitment a “toss-up,” but he seems to be the only one.

—Kenny Payne says he’s pleased with the growth he’s seen from freshman Kamari Lands so far.

—Scott’s D is aggressive.

—Louisville Report has the Cards at No. 4 in their latest ACC football power rankings.

—Good stuff from Kei’Trel Clark in this interview (video) with ESPN’s Eric Mac Lain.

—100 percent true story from yesterday:

The entire time I was voting I was distracted by an older male poll worker explaining the ENTIRE Andre McGee saga to a younger female worker. For five minutes he talked about how McGee met Katina Powell and brought her into the fold. I didn’t hear him mention Tink the barber so I thought about chiming in, but ultimately held off.

You aren’t safe anywhere.

—The Louisville women are getting 20/1 odds from BetOnline to win the national title.

—ESPN’s first women’s Bracketology of the season has Louisville as a No. 2 seed playing host in the first two rounds.

—You can find a transcript of Kenny Payne’s pre-Bellarmine press conference here.

—Eric Crawford says that a win over Louisville Wednesday night would be big for Bellarmine, but not the biggest.

Here’s the reality: It would not be. It would be a big win. But to people who have followed this program for a long time, it would be another in a long line of big wins. It would further burnish the glistening start to NCAA Division I transition that Bellarmine has fashioned, but would it bring more fans or money or respect to the table for Bellarmine? That would be nice but it’s not likely.

Would it be bigger than winning a Division I conference tournament in its second year of Division I? Absolutely not. Would it be bigger than winning a national championship at the Division II level? Nope. I was there. The Knights won that game on CBS. This game Wednesday night in the KFC Yum! Center will be decided about the time late-night programming fires up, but far from the national spotlight.

Sure, it’s bragging rights in the city. Yes, it would provide Davenport — whose coaching career began as the result of a pickup game while he was a student at U of L, who graduated from U of L with a degree in psychology, who coached for two Hall of Famers at U of L — a signature career moment.

But it would be one of many.

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who loves U of L more than Davenport. But when it became evident that Louisville wasn’t going to even consider hiring him in the midst of all the turmoil of the past five years, this also became evident: If he wasn’t going to be able to join them, perhaps the only route left was to beat them.

On Wednesday, he’ll have that chance, though it’s worth noting that beating Louisville wouldn’t even be the ASUN Conference’s biggest nonconference win of the season’s opening week. Florida International beat USC on Monday night, and Stetson won at Florida State.

—U of L’s impressive season-opening win over Cincinnati gave some early insight into what Jeff Walz’s rotation may look like this season.

—Greg Peterson of DraftKings likes Bellarmine to cover the spread against the Cards tonight.

—Andy Katz talks with Kenny Payne about this month’s Maui Invitational.

—Brett Dawson of the CJ lays out three things that Louisville needs to fix if they want to avoid starting their season with a loss to Bellarmine tonight.

—U of L football has landed a preferred walk-on commitment from Tennessee RB/FB Logan Frazier.

—For this kid’s sake, I’m glad Akron won in OT.

—The State of Louisville boys preview the Bellarmine season-opener in podcast form.

—Jody Demling has the five biggest takeaways from Scott Satterfield’s Tuesday press conference.

—And finally, beat Bellarmine.