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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

When you simply can’t take any more fan base in-fighting.

NET Rankings Update (women’s): No. 4

NET Rankings Update (men’s): No. 122

—Louisville’s Emily Engstler is one of 20 players who have been named to the Midseason Team for the 2022 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year.

—Louisville RB Tiyon Evans makes this 247 Sports list of college football’s top impact transfers for 2022.


Rating: 90

Louisville added a huge weapon to its ground game in Tennessee transfer Tiyon Evans, who did some serious damage on Rocky Top. Evans showed exceptional running ability with speed, power, and vision to average 6.5 yards per carry in 2021 (525 yards on 81 carries). He scored six touchdowns, too. This is despite fighting through injury.

The Cardinals had the country’s 18th-ranked rushing attack in 2021 and it should only be better when you add Evans to the with dual-threat quarterback Malik Cunningham and talented sophomore running back Jalen Mitchell. Louisville had the country’s 18th ranked rushing attack in 2021 and it should only be better when you add Evans to the mix.

Virginia upset Duke in Cameron Indoor last night on a last second three from Reece Beekman.

You can’t kill Tony Bennett, which is why we need to start lobbying for one of our Virginia games to be that one bizarro early December conference game everyone plays now.

—Jae’Lyn Withers’ game-saving block against North Carolina was the No. 5 play of the week (video) in the ACC.

—Lamar Jackson has joined the bring Tom Jurich home movement.

—ESPN’s latest bubble watch has Duke as the only current “lock” from the ACC.

—The U of L lacrosse team was picked to finish seventh in the ACC’s preseason poll.

—Monty Montgomery is about halfway through his ACL rehab and is itching to get back on the field. He’s calling himself “the comeback kid.”

—Hang it in The Louvre.

—Four-star WR Tyler Williams (2023) from Florida has received a U of L offer.

—Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich talk (video) Malik Williams’ return.

—I went on Greer’s podcast to talk about the latest with the U of L basketball coaching search.

—It’s great work if you can find it.

—U of L ranks 14th in all of college football in terms of returning production for 2022. The Cards return 89% of their offensive production from last season, and 71% of their defensive production.

—Louisville’s Kianna Smith has been named one of 10 watch list candidates for the 2022 Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award.

—Greer’s latest newsletter focuses on (what else?) the Cardinal coaching search.

Kenny Payne

Two industry sources mentioned something we need to think about in terms of the process and politics of this search. Payne was reportedly upset by the “interview” he had in 2018. No one anywhere thought anyone other than Chris Mack would be hired, and by the time Vince Tyra called Payne, the conversation was clearly not a serious discussion about the job. Payne, one source said, “felt used” by Louisville.

All of that, the sources said, is to note this: If Payne is the No. 1 choice, he may want some assurances before he engages in the process. Oftentimes coaches don’t go through with a real interview unless they’re the favorite, with pre-conditions met before any direct conversations. What assurances would make sense? I don’t know. And I also don’t know if Louisville wants to give anyone any assurances if this is going to be an open, thorough process involving a search firm and numerous candidates. Nevertheless, no one thinks any of this is a true barrier to Payne wanting and potentially getting the Louisville job, but the context here is something to consider.

Mick Cronin and Eric Musselman

I just want to address one area where many Louisville fans seem to have some serious misconceptions. I don’t know if either coach will get far in this process or even be considered by Heird and the firm. I really don’t. But I do know the arguments they can’t recruit are hilariously off.

Cronin, as an assistant at Louisville, led the recruitments of Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean. He was the lead assistant who helped Bob Huggins recruit some of his best teams in the late 1990s at Cincinnati. As head coach at Cincy, Cronin landed three five-star prospects — again, at Cincinnati — in Yancy Gates, Lance Stephenson and Jermaine Lawrence. He also recruited and developed Sean Kilpatrick, who was a three-star prospect in high school and finished his college career as an All-American. He is now landing top-tier talent at UCLA.

And yes, Musselman is known as a transfer mastermind. But he also has the No. 2 recruiting class in the country in 2022, including two five-star prospects bound for Arkansas.

Bottom line: They can recruit good players.

—The University of Southern Indiana is following Bellarmine’s lead and making the leap from the GLVC to Division-I.

—Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points and did all the little things in Utah’s Monday night win over the Knicks. The Jazz have now won three straight.

—The commentary making this seem like it was some great chess match between basketball geniuses is hilarious.

Vintage ACC.

—Louisville Report’s Matt McGavic is taking Notre Dame over the Cards by 11 tomorrow night.

—Duke’s loss Monday night means that Louisville will be taking on the team currently at the top of the ACC standings when it faces Notre Dame Wednesday night in South Bend.

—These are pretty awesome.

—Here’s your quick AP preview of Louisville-Notre Dame.

—The latest From the Pink Seats Podcast episode is out.

—Tonight in the ACC:

North Carolina at Clemson (6 p.m./ACC Network)
Syracuse at Boston College (8 p.m./ACC Network)

—U of L volleyball has added another transfer from USC.

—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.