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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The Cardinal kids won’t be deterred.

—The U of L women’s basketball team is back in action tonight at 7 against Virginia. It’s the annual Pink Game, so wear pink if you’re headed to the Yum Center this evening. Here’s a game preview.

—U of L’s Emily Engstler is one of 10 watch list candidates for the 2022 Cheryl Miller Award.

—Highlights from last night’s loss to Notre Dame are here.

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

—It’s looking more and more like the Cards are headed for an ACC Tournament Tuesday appearance.

—The U of L lacrosse team will open its 2022 season on Friday at Colorado. Here’s a preview.

—Virginia Tech has shot 50 percent or better from the field in five consecutive ACC games, something that only one other team in the league has done over the last 12 years.

—The TV schedule for the upcoming Cardinal baseball season is here.

—Only one person to blame for this. You guessed it, Armando Bacot.

—Louisville is a 2-seed in Vanderbilt’s region in the preseason NCAA tournament bracket projection from Baseball America.

—Former Trinity High standout and Louisville signee Jay Scrubb is having season-ending surgery on his right foot.

—One Foot Down recaps Notre Dame’s triumph over Louisville.

—Would be another big one for Scott Satterfield and company.

—It took three months, but Louisville fans are finally seeing the Jae’Lyn Withers they thought they were going to see all season.

—Jazmine Jones has been picked up off waivers by the Indiana Fever.

—The Starting 502 Podcast recaps U of L’s loss in South Bend.

—Montrezl Harrell is making a cameo on the next episode of “Blackish.”

—Louisville has offered class of 2024 QB Dante Reno. Hell of a name.

—Here’s a look at the weekend ahead in the world of Louisville area prep sports.

—Mike Pegues addressed “the situation” with JJ Traynor after last night’s game.

(On J.J. Traynor finally getting to see the court, and if he could play a bigger role down the stretch)

I tell you what, J.J. had two of his best practices all year, in the last couple practices. I’m gonna play him provided that he plays like that, and he’s tough, and he’s gritty, and he plays hard, and he mixes it up - which he did the last couple days in practice, and he obviously did today. We need more of that. We just need guys to come in off the bench, and play hard, and do things the right way. J.J., throughout the year, despite not playing, he’s done things the right way. He hasn’t come in and moped, our pouted.

I want to make something very clear about J.J., because I know there’s a lot of questions out there about him. To start the season for the first six games, J.J. was coming back from a hamstring injury, and he was not at his best. He was not at his best to start the season, and some guys passed him early on. So I didn’t feel comfortable starting J.J., or certainly even playing J.J. in the first six games. Then coach Mack comes back, and now he’s the head coach up until four games ago, where I’m the head coach.

During that time where Coach Mack was the head coach, we thought J.J. was not necessarily out-playing Matt Cross, who has some big plays for us throughout the season. Not necessarily playing out-playing Jae’Lyn Withers, or Malik Williams who had a good stretch, and Sydney Curry or Roosevelt Wheeler. We didn’t necessarily think he was out-playing those guys during that stretch.

Then I come back, and now I’m the head coach for four games. Against Duke and Carolina, I thought we had a good thing going, and J.J. hadn’t quite done anything in practice to lead me to believe that he should play. Then we go to Syracuse. Prior to Syracuse, J.J. was in the midst of thinking about trying to get a redshirt, and that’s his right. In an effort to make sure that he could potentially get that redshirt year back, he asked me, “Coach, I don’t know if I should play.” He didn’t want to play, so that’s why I didn’t put him in during the Syracuse game. Of course, I won’t put that kids in, in that situation. Especially if he’s a good kid.

Fast forward to today, I text J.J. and said, “Have you made a decision? What do you want to do?” He said, “Coach, I think my chances of getting a waiver are slim to none, and I want to play.” Incidentally, he had two really good practices - literally his two best practices of the year. We’ve got some things going on with some other guys at that position now. So it opened up a situation for him to play, and I’m proud of him. Because the kid has been through a lot. He’s battled, he’s fought through not playing, which is hard. I want to see him continue to battle and fight in practice, and out-compete guys the way that he did against Notre Dame tonight. If he does that, he’s gonna continue to play. I hope that clarifies things.

—Fighting Irish Wire looks back at the five overtime thriller from nine years ago.

—Other ACC scores from last night:

Wake Forest 69, NC State 51
Miami 79, Georgia Tech 70
Pittsburgh 56, Florida State 51

Duke at Clemson (8 p.m./ACC Network) is the only game on the docket for this evening.

—Here’s how you can become the 2022 “Thundernator” for Thunder Over Louisville.

—The “WebMD Searchers of Dunk.”

—Emily Engstler is expressing herself and thriving at Louisville.

—Potholes are all over this damn city right now.

—And finally, Eric Crawford writes that this Louisville basketball team still can’t seem to figure out who it is. I suppose it’s hard to blame them. It’s also hard to see that changing this late in a season.