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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Best post office in America.

NET Rankings Update (women’s): No. 4.

NET Rankings Update (men’s): No. 119.

—Here’s the U of L recap of Louisville’s blowout win over Syracuse on Sunday.

—And here are the highlights.

—Eric Crawford pens a fitting tribute to Billy Reid, a man who meant a great deal to my family and who was a titan of sportswriting in this area for an almost incomprehensible amount of time.

—Having a top 10 QB commit is pretty cool.

—247 Sports takes a look at the best college football players still available in the NCAA transfer portal.

—Louisville Report profiles Eric Musselman in the latest installment of their U of L coaching candidate series.

—Pete Thomas is the man right now for Louisville football.

—The mystery of U of L signee Fredrick King continues to grow.

Would love to see some actual highlights from some of these games.

—Mark Story of the Lexington Herald-Leader dispels the notion that Kentucky fans are “scared” of Louisville hiring Kenny Payne.

—The Juice Online recaps Syracuse’s Saturday throttling of Louisville.

—Four-star St. John Bosco ‘23 DB Jshawn Frausto-Ramos breaks down his recent visit to U of L.

“I loved it there but I’m not ready to make a decision,” Frausto-Ramos said. “It was a fun trip though and I really enjoyed being around the other guys. The fans were great with us, especially at the basketball game. They were going crazy and had posters made with all our pictures.

“I had a chance to talk with the coaching staff, do a photo shot and that was actually my first time ever seeing snow before. I liked it though, it was cool. My hands got numb for a second there but it was still really cool.”

Frausto-Ramos said he was able top spend time with head coach Scott Satterfield along with DC Bryan Brown and area recruiter and QB coach Pete Thomas.

“I like all those guys a lot,” Frausto-Ramos said. “Coach Thomas is the one who has been recruiting us the most and he has been up to Bosco a few times. They talked about the direction the program is going in and how well I would fit there.

“That was the main selling point probably. Pierce is going there and we can build a little Cali to Louisville pipeline. They have some young corners but I think I could still play early. I’ve never been afraid of competition before. My parents were both with me and they liked it a lot too. Location isn’t a factor for me, I’ll go anywhere. My mom might want me closer to home but they’ll be fine with whatever I decide and will always be supportive.”

—The Louisville women are back up to No. 3 in this week’s AP top 25 poll.

—For the first time in a long time, Louisville football is targeting (and nabbing) some of the best recruits in the entire country.

—State of Louisville lays out what they’d like to see from Mike Pegues moving forward.

—On Saturday, Pegues gave an update on the oft-discussed but seldom-seen JJ Traynor.

—Congrats to the Racers.

—Matt McMahon has the Racers absolutely rolling.

—Former Louisville LB Robert “The Hammer” McCune could face years in prison for his role as a ringleader in an NFL healthcare fraud scheme. In a recent letter to a judge, he stressed the toll that football has taken on him.

—The U of L women’s tennis team dropped a match to Vanderbilt on Sunday. The Cards are now 6-1 on the season.

—The men’s tennis team dropped to 3-4 on the year with a loss to Middle Tennessee.

—I can like Jose Alvarado now that he’s wrapped up his 17-year career at Georgia Tech.

—Former U of L assistant Clint Hurtt is about to be named the new defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.

—Hailey Van Lith is one of 10 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award.

—Providence AD Bob Driscoll says the school “is going to do what it needs to do” to ensure that Ed Cooley remains its men’s basketball coach. A handful of sites have listed Cooley as a potential candidate for the Louisville job.

—So glad this dude is gonna be a Card.

—Cardinal Authority has a Q&A with former Louisville women’s basketball star Monique Reid, who is now playing in her ninth season overseas.

—Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician has three takeaways from Syracuse’s dominant win over Louisville on Saturday.

—TNIAAM also recaps the women’s team’s blowout loss to Louisville.

—Taquan Dean has now voiced his support for Kenny Payne and Josh Heird in the last few weeks.

Regardless of how you feel about those opinions, it’s nice to have Taquan back interacting in the world of U of L athletics.

—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.

—ACC coaches diss anonymously (Athletic link) on the problems with the best teams in the league.

—Everyone likes to talk about offense when you’re facing Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, but on Saturday, it was Louisville’s porous defense that was the most to blame for its lopsided defeat.

But the Cardinals were hesitant on their shots against a bigger Syracuse team, and looked absolutely lost defensively against the Syracuse pick-and-rolls, which is a staple of many offenses that Louisville has seen this season. The Orange made their first seven shots and Louisville missed some open ones, but Pegues admitted he was caught off guard by his team’s inability to defend – an inability that eventually forced him to abandon the ball-screen defense and go to a switching defense, which ended up giving Syracuse mismatch after mismatch in the post.

“No excuse to allow Syracuse, who I understand its a very good offensive team, to get 25 points through the first eight minutes,” Pegues said. “ . . . We talked a lot going into this game about their big four of Jimmy Boeheim and Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard and (Cole) Swider and trying to take away their rhythm threes and make the game harder on them, and we didn’t do that. Unfortunately, right now our team isn’t doing a good enough job, it goes without saying, understanding the significance of getting stops. We’re a talented team, but not talented enough that we can come out and have a defensive showing like we did pretty much the whole night, giving away too many threes and way too many points.”

The sad fact at play here is that emotion can only carry a team so far. Louisville seemed to be carrying itself on more adrenaline than execution against Duke, and again against North Carolina. But against Syracuse, which in some ways is a more problematic matchup for this team than both of its previous opponents, Louisville needed to execute a detailed defensive game plan and could not do it.

—The New York Liberty have waived former U of L fan favorite Jaz Jones.

—Three Louisville lacrosse games will be carried on the ACC Network this spring.

—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show returns this afternoon from 3-6 on 1450/96.1 The Big X. You can stream the show here.