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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Lamar forever.

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—Here’s the U of L recap of last night’s baseball triumph over Kentucky.

—ESPN has updated its final top 100 hoops rankings for the class of 2022. Cardinal commit Kamari Lands is No. 39, and top recruit Devin Ree is No. 77. Tyrell Ward, who Louisville is also still recruiting, is No. 34.

The top two players in the class are both headed to Duke to play for Jon Scheyer.

—Via Jon Rothstein, West Virginian transfer Sean McNeil will be taking his official visit to Louisville next Friday and Saturday, April 29-30.

—Pierce Clarkson got some U of L fans worked up by posting this morning that he had received a scholarship offer from Texas A&M. He then calmed them down by reaffirming where home is.

—David Jones, the man who almost single-handedly murdered DePaul Day by dropping 33 and 14 on Louisville in December, is in the transfer portal.

—Louisville is the first school to offer Central High RB Cortez Stone (2025).

—Date and registration info for U of L women’s basketball summer camps is now available.

—Baseball is the latest sport to go red vs. blue uniforms for the rivalry.

Would love to see football and men’s basketball follow suit this November/December.

—Class of 2023 WR Noble Johnson, a four-star recruit from Texas, has been offered by U of L.

—Louisville walk-on tight end Blake Nelson has entered the transfer portal.

—Two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year has announced that he is entering both the draft and the transfer portal ... and that he could also return to Northern Iowa for another season.

The “Holy Trinity” announcements are the best ones.

—I can’t believe Tom Crean is a real person.

—Kenny Payne’s first two hires at Louisville indicate that he’s trying to build a championship culture at U of L.

—Congrats to Marvin Mitchell on being honored as the recipient of the George J. Howe Distinguished Staff Award.

—Could Cook Out finally be coming to Louisville?

—The Athletic has Kenny Payne as a “Tier 2” hire of the offseason.

Kenny Payne, Louisville. The great and defining unknown is how good a head coach Payne will be, since he’s never been a head coach before. In a vacuum, it should weigh down the assessment here. But Payne also appeared to be the primary target, or at least one of them, from the jump. He certainly had important voices backing him all the way, and it’s impossible to overstate the need for someone to build bridges at a school as fractured as Louisville. No one better than one of the Cardinals’ own to do the job. We know Payne can recruit. We know he can build long-lasting relationships with players, based on the testimony from former Kentucky big men. He’s made savvy staff moves (head coach experience in Danny Manning, a rising star in Nolan Smith). And, of course, Payne gives Louisville the best shot at landing D.J. Wagner and thus a brass-knuckled haymaker on the enemy down the road in Lexington. He’ll have to win big. Obviously. And who knows on that. Still, for now, all the other factors suggest a move wisely made.

The “Tier 1” hires, for those interested, are Shaheen Holloway at Seton Hall and Sean Miller at Xavier.

—Sacred Heart’s ZaKiyah Johnson is the MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year. The young lady is an absolute star. Let’s hope she’s lacing them up for Jeff Walz in a few years.

—Consensus national Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe is coming back to Kentucky for another season. He’s the first national POY to return to college basketball since Tyler Hansbrough in 2008. He could become the sport’s first repeat national POY since Ralph Sampson won three straight at Virginia from 1980-82.

—Tom Brady will be Kenny Payne’s third assistant coach.

—Midnight Bourbon, who finished fifth in last year’s Kentucky Derby, died suddenly on Wednesday.

—The Lexington Herald-Leader is keeping tabs on all the various DJ Wagner predictions.

—Louisville is going to play host to the USL’s Summer Showcase.

—Edgar Sosa still getting buckets.

Also still throwing lobs to fellow Cards.

—Rick Bozich writes that Tyler Harrell’s departure should remind everyone at Louisville that the transfer portal is a shark tank.

—Frankfort’s “War on Louisville” continues to rage on.

—Ole Miss transfer Luis Rodriguez has committed to UNLV. Louisville has been in contact with Rodriguez earlier this month.

—The actual story is for subscribers only, but this quote says pretty much all you need to know.

—At least six 4-star football recruits will be taking visits to Louisville in June.

Stealing a kid’s Easter eggs is the lowest of the low.

—The world’s largest bounce house is coming to Louisville.

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