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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

BJ and Allison Brown were in Nashville last week to watch the Cards bring the Barrel back to the real Ville.

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—The Louisville baseball team is the No. 7 overall seed in D1Baseball.com’s latest NCAA tournament projection. Win this weekend’s series against No. 5 Virginia Tech and the Cards are probably pretty close to locking up a regional at Jim Patterson.

—Nick Saban is denying that Alabama did any tampering to land former Louisville WR Tyler Harrell.

—I don’t think he imagined that the comments were going to be made public, but Jeff Brohm didn’t exactly shoot down the notion of one day becoming the head football coach at U of L while speaking to members of the Louisville Flaget High School alumni association on Wednesday afternoon.

“OK, those are all good questions on the Louisville job,” Brohm said. “You know what ... after being at Purdue two years when it came open, that was a tough call. Tough call.

“To be quite honest, through my schooling and how I was raised, I believe in at least trying to do the right thing and having morals and values. It just was too early to leave (Purdue for U of L then). It just wasn’t right.

“You build relationships. People treat you right. The people there have treated me great. You talk to recruits and they asked me things. Just a lot of things went into it.

“But, obviously, now we’re on year six. I love this town, this area. I’m an alumnus of Louisville. So anything can happen in the future.”

—Derby Winner Rich Strike will skip the Preakness and focus on the Belmont, which really sucks.

—Racing Louisville FC is offering discounted tickets to Card Chronicle fans for Saturday’s home opener against the Houston Dash. All you have to do to take advantage of the deal is follow this link.

—Reid Detmers throwing the Major League’s first solo no-hitter of the season was pretty cool.

Mike Trout agrees.

—Detmers is one of just six rookie pitchers to toss a no-no in the MLB’s wild card era.

—Jeff Greer’s latest U of L hoops newsletter focuses heavily on Louisville’s guard situation.

One Small Thought: How does U of L’s staff view El Ellis?

If Louisville basketball recruiting chatter isn’t about Emoni Bates, it’s about guards. As in, the Cards only have one (El Ellis) on the 2022-23 roster and two other players — incoming freshman Devin Ree and returning-from-injury sophomore Mike James — who can moonlight as 2-guards. So, uh, who is going to help El Ellis handle the ball, run the offense, defend opposing guards and make plays for teammates?

We’re still trying to figure that question out. Tyrese Hunter was a possibility. Maybe he still is, but the winds seem to be blowing in different directions there. Maybe Isiaih Mosley from Missouri State is an option as a secondary handler and 2-guard. Or what about Malachi Smith, the combo guard from Chattanooga?

As they sort that out, Louisville has to answer a bigger question: What’s their evaluation of El Ellis? And how do the guards in the transfer portal fit as a backcourt partner with him?

Ellis offered his own assessment early into the offseason: “I’m a PG not an SG. Don’t let last year fool you.” And he is right: That’s where Ellis is at his best, with the ball in his hands, dictating terms on offense, scoring at all three levels. He was consistently Louisville’s biggest offensive threat last season, with 13 double-digit scoring performances.

So, what is Kenny Payne’s plan for Ellis? How does Louisville want to facilitate its offense? How do the Cards find ways to get Ellis in scoring situations while also harnessing his ability to collapse defenses and turn those moments into easy baskets for teammates? His junior college coaches lauded his playmaking ability, especially as a freshman, when he was asked to be more of a floor general than a scorer, take-over-a-game lead guard. As a sophomore, Ellis took on much of his team’s scoring responsibility. I’d say we say sophomore year Ellis more last season than freshman year Ellis.

The goal here has to be finding someone who can remove some of that backcourt scoring burden from Ellis’s shoulders without requiring a massively high usage rate. How can that player complement Ellis’s scoring ability? Is that player a catch-and-shoot 2 with enough handling and playmaking ability to serve as a secondary creator while also being able to defend opposing 2-guards? Or is it a facilitating point guard who can split lead guard duties with Ellis and space the floor when his backcourt partner goes to work? We know the dual-point guard approach worked for Louisville with Peyton Siva and Russ Smith as well as Quentin Snider and Donovan Mitchell.

These are all questions Payne and company have to answer as they build their roster. If the early recruiting haul is any indication, Louisville is stashing talent and figuring the rest out later. That’s probably the best approach to building a first-year team. But finding the right backcourt fit to supplement a unique player like Ellis is a fascinating part of this roster-building process, and I’m legitimately eager to see where Louisville’s staff goes with it.

—U of L volleyball star Anna Stevenson has been named as one of the 25 players on the U.S. Women’s National Team, which is currently the No. 1 team in the world.

—Scott Satterfield sat down for a lengthy Q&A with the folks over at Cardinal Authority.

—Make the first woman who helps here our president of everything.

—Louisville has offered 3-star WR CJ Adams (2023) from Georgia.

—Every member of Louisville’s class of 2017 men’s and women’s basketball signees have moved on from the program, so Louisville Report takes a look at how each one panned out for the Cards.

—The U of L women’s golf team’s 2022 season came to an end with a seventh place finish at NCAA Albuquerque Regional on Wednesday.

—Pierce Clarkson wants a high school natty before he chases a college one at Louisville.

—The Louisville women’s soccer team is getting a boost in transfer Autumn Weeks.

—The U of L softball team’s season likely came to a close with a 2-0 loss to Syracuse in the first round of the ACC tournament.

—The 16-team field for the 2022 King of the Bluegrass tournament has been announced.

—Kenny Payne can now officially call himself an ACC coach after making his debut appearance on Packer & Durham.

—Louisville men’s golf standout Jiri Zuska has been named All-ACC.

—The ACC continues to inch closer to eliminating divisions in football. Naturally, the only coaches who are opposed are the ones who operate in the Coastal Division.

—How did we as a society allow Kirk Cousins to become one of the 30 highest-paid athletes on planet earth? You can see the full top 100 here.

—Shockingly, Louisville was the top TV market for the Kentucky Derby.

—The latest College Baseball Nation NCAA tournament projection has Louisville as the No. 9 overall seed.

—In related news, our own Matt Sefcovic talks some ACC baseball on the latest College Baseball Nation podcast episode.

—The first 2023 NFL mock draft from Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports has Kentucky QB Will Levis going No. 1 overall and Malik Cunningham going 26th.

—Congrats to one of my first favorite Cardinal hoopers.

—Dana Evans has inked a deal with Jordan Brand.

—This new college basketball scheduling idea won’t affect Louisville, but it’s still cool.

—State of Louisville’s Aaron Klein looks at where U of L hoops stands with its top transfer targets.

—This was an unbelievably awful scene on the Watterson yesterday.

So happy to hear that the driver of the semi walked away with nothing more than non-life-threatening burns.

—Florida State’s 247 site takes an early look at the 2022 Louisville football team.

—Emoni Bates now says he won’t make a college decision until mid-June. With Louisville’s first summer session starting at the very end of May, even if Bates does wind up rolling with the Cards, that’s less than ideal.

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