—First pitch of tonight’s Battle of the Barrel game against Vanderbilt has been moved from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. because of bad weather in the Nashville area. You can catch all the action live on the SEC Network.
—Devin Ree is officially a Louisville Cardinal.
—It certainly sounds like it’s Louisville or DePaul for the services of Emoni Bates. I’m going to write more about the pros and the cons of Bates tomorrow because it seems like opinions on the matter are all over the place, which is understandable.
—I don’t think it would be a stretch to call Louisville the leader here.
Emoni Bates on Louisville head coach Kenny Payne:— Joe Tipton (@TiptonEdits) May 3, 2022
"I’ve known him since I was in seventh grade. I took a visit to Kentucky when I was a kid and me and him had a bond and we were always really close. KP is someone I would really love to learn from."https://t.co/nde90HhhVg
—The latest episode of the Starting 502 podcast talks about what Devin Ree brings to the table for Kenny Payne and company.
—Kentucky QB Will Levis is a top five pick in the first 2023 NFL mock draft from The Athletic. You’re welcome for the highlight package, Will.
—South Dakota State transfer Baylor Scheierman has committed to Creighton.
—Sports Illustrated dives into the brave new world that NIL has created for college basketball.
The biggest adjustment?
Contacting a player directly and hearing three key words: Call my agent.
“That still takes some getting used to,” Louisville associate head coach Nolan Smith says. “There are still some that say to call my mom or dad or AAU coach, but ‘agent’ is normal now. A lot of times agents are gonna ‘agent’ you. You just have hope that you’re dealing with a good person in the agent that’s gonna be real with you and not try and gouge you with NIL and take advantage of the situation. You pick and choose which ones you want to deal with, and you learn that pretty fast. We’re all adjusting; it’s new for everyone.”
NIL dollars only make the process more arduous as the price for top-tier transfers continues to rise.
Recently, all Big 12 guard Nijel Pack, the top-ranked transfer in SI’s top 25, announced he was transferring from Kansas State to Miami and signed a reported two-year $800,000 NIL deal to promote LifeWallet. The deal also included a new car.
“We’re having to recruit like this is professional sports,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton says. “It’s been really, really difficult because you have to make a decision on what you’re gonna stand for. Obviously, no one wants to compromise their ability to have success, but now there’s a financial market for good players. It happened before in the shadows, but now it’s a free market. Basically, there are no rules.”
—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report previews the week ahead for the Cardinal baseball team.
—U of L softball’s Carmyn Greenwood has been named the ACC Player of the Week.
—The 25th-ranked Louisville men’s tennis team will face No. 35 Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. It’s the Cards’ first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2017.
—This is cool.
Sweet low angle of the Kentucky Colonels en route to the 1975 ABA Championship-from the ABA vault of @flagstafffilms ~Enjoy the flight and the bourbon~~`!!!@COLCOMEBACK @retro_70s @NBACobwebs pic.twitter.com/znubpEnn6G— Flagstaff Films (@flagstafffilms) April 29, 2022
—Some Noe Middle School and Manual High School students were injured after their school bus flipped over on I-64 this morning, but thankfully none of the injuries were serious.
—Ahead of tonight’s Battle of the Barrel game, here’s a great story from The Athletic on how former U of L pitcher Luke Smith and Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin formed an unlikely friendship after Smith’s memorable “f—k you” moment against the Commodores in the 2019 College World Series.
Everyone else noticed the thicket of bleached hair on the top of Luke Smith’s head. Tim Corbin noticed where he was standing in the Louisville dugout.
“Top of the railing, the entire game,” Corbin said. “That’s a kid who’s into his team.”
Everyone else saw the glaring, shouting and swearing.
“F__ you! F__ you! Get the f__ back in the dugout!” Smith screamed at Vanderbilt’s Julian Infante after striking him out in the top of the eighth of a classic game in the 2019 College World Series, making the entire exchange very easy on lip readers and making himself a target.
Corbin saw what he has seen a lot, including from himself at times over the years, emotion briefly overtaking a fervent competitor. So he gathered his players around him that night in a victorious dugout, after the Commodores had come back to beat Smith in the ninth — some of them letting Smith hear about in no uncertain terms — and gave them clear instructions.
“Whatever you do in that press conference, you protect that kid,” Corbin said to the Commodores, who would go on to beat Michigan for the national championship. “We are not going to pile on. Anybody asks you about Luke Smith, you be honest about how he competed in the game, because you know it. Don’t say something you might regret in the heat of the moment.”
—More thunderstorms are headed to the Louisville area tonight.
—This weekend should be a return to (mostly) normal for the Kentucky Derby.
—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show returns this afternoon from 3-6 on 1450AM/96.1FM. You can stream it here.