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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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You gotta get the kids rivalrying as soon as possible around here. Set the tone right out of the gate.

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—The Louisville baseball team kicks off a three-game set against No. 23 NC State tonight. Here’s a preview of the weekend.

—The series has monster implications in the race for the Atlantic Division title.

—The U of L women’s basketball program announced Thursday that it was promoting Jonneshia Pineda from assistant coach to associate head coach. The program also announced it had added Shay Robinson from Ole Miss to the staff as associate head coach.

Everyone’s an associate on both the men’s and women’s staffs these days. Fine by me.

—Will absolutely be rooting for Mike Pegues at Butler.

—After a strong winter season, U of L is now ranked third in the Capital One Cup women’s standings, which honors the top Division I college athletics programs in the country.

—The 23rd-ranked Louisville men’s tennis team began its run in the ACC tournament today with a win over Clemson. The fourth-seeded Cardinals received a double bye to the quarterfinals and will face top-seed Virginia in the semis tomorrow.

—After redshirting last season, Caleb Banks gives Louisville “untapped potential” at nose tackle.

—U of L WR recruit DeAndre Moore is down to four schools — Louisville, Texas, USC and Oregon.

Louisville- “I visited Louisville back in January and loved it there. I loved the vibe and the overall family atmosphere. I mean every school always talks about the family atmosphere but at Louisville, you can see it and feel it.

“I love the coaching staff and have a special relationship with Pete Nochta. He’s a great guy and he told me some stories about things he went through and how everyone at Louisville all rallied around him. I haven’t locked in any visit dates yet but I’ll probably trip to Louisville June 17. That’s when all my Cali boys will be visiting and having them already committed definitely plays a big factor for me.”

Moore would be the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with Louisville if it happens.

—Hoop Vision investigates the topic of whether or not having a deep bench matters in March and finds that the best teams are, by and large, the ones with the shortest benches.

—U of L men’s soccer coach John Michael Hayden has signed an extension that will keep him at Louisville through the 2026 season.

—Rowing coach Derek Copeland has also signed an extension.

—Strong words from Josh Heird here.

—Drew Deener returned to the airwaves this morning.

—DeVante Parker says he chose to be traded from Miami to New England.

—Trinity baseball star Korbyn Dickerson, a Louisville signee, spearheaded an effort to raise $10,000 for the families of two of his classmates who experienced fires in the fall.

—In news that everyone seemed to know three weeks ago, Tyler Harrell is officially transferring to Alabama.

—Jamari Ford (2023), a three-star running back out of Miami Northwestern, has Louisville on his list of top eight schools.

—The legendary Village 8 theater is closing ... for like the 19th time I think.

—Louisville has reached out to transfer guard Cashius McNeily. McNeily had previously committed to Maryland when current Cardinal assistant Danny Manning was the interim head coach.

—Speaking of McNeily, State of Louisville does some sleuthing on his situation and thinks it may have stumbled upon some clues as to who Kenny Payne’s third assistant is going to be.

—Mekhi Becton has been absent from the Jets’ voluntary April workouts, but he has an excuse.

—Nolan Smith’s first pitch at last night’s Louisville Bats game was just a bit outside.

—Mykasa Robinson of the Louisville women’s basketball team will be throwing out tonight’s first pitch.

—U of L commit Kamari Lands is No. 38 on Sports Illustrated’s final list of the 99 best hoopers in the class of 2022.

—ACCSports.com reacts to the news of Roosevelt Wheeler’s return to Louisville.

—Kevin Sweeney of Sports Illustrated gives Louisville a B grade for its hiring of Kenny Payne.

Louisville: Kenny Payne

He may not have any head coaching experience, but Payne fits the mold that so many athletic directors have been looking for of late: former players with strong ties to the program who’ll connect different eras of the school’s basketball history. He starred at Louisville in the 1980s, winning a national championship in ’86 before being a first-round NBA pick. Add in the fact that Payne also was known as perhaps the most dynamic recruiter in college basketball at Kentucky before moving on to an assistant coaching position with the Knicks, and this hire checks a lot of boxes for a program in need of a refresh after the Chris Mack era.

Is it somewhat of a gamble to hire a coach without any head coaching experience? Yes, particularly at one of the 10 best jobs in the sport. Louisville has one of the strongest brands and histories in college hoops, and it should be able to pull a more accomplished name. Of course, more accomplished doesn’t necessarily mean more successful in time. Four years ago, Louisville hired a coach who earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament less than a month before he took the job and had been to three Sweet 16s and an Elite Eight. That coach, Mack, didn’t even survive his fourth season.

GRADE: B

Eight programs received better grades than Louisville’s. I suppose we’ll see.

—The Athletic’s college hoops writers have a roundtable discussion about the sport’s offseason coaching hires and fires.

—The latest Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.

—Louisville swim associate Chris Lindauer is leaving to take the head coaching job at Notre Dame.

—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show is wrapping up the week from 3-6 on 1450/96.1 The Big X. You can stream the show here.