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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Never too early to start throwing Ls.

—Yahoo’s Pete Fiutak makes a prediction on who the top 10 players will be for this year’s Louisville football team.

—Kenny Payne wants to bring “speed, passing and defense” back to Louisville basketball.

—Milt Wagner’s new “hybrid role” at the University of Louisville will pay him an annual salary of $85,000.

—Welcome (officially), Jermayne.

—Racing Louisville will be holding “Ali Night” at Lynn Family Stadium on June 11. You can get 40 percent off your tickets to the match by going here.

—Our own Matt Sefcovic talks about Louisville’s NCAA tournament draw on the latest episode of the 3rd & Central podcast.

—”Energy” is very clearly Dan McDonnell’s theme for this year’s postseason run.

“It’s a long, long year,” McDonnell said. “There’s a lot of frustration in baseball. It’s a failing sport, as we know for hitters, and you can lose to anybody. And as good as you are, you can get it handed to you on any given day. So, I’ve always felt like when you get to the postseason, no matter what happens in the conference tournament, celebrate, enjoy the great regular season and you better have some juice and energy as you go into the postseason.”

An excellent reference point was the first team to play for McDonnell. UofL’s 2007 team wasn’t a favorite to win anything, yet they became the team that helped raised the expectation level for the program.

“I give the 2007 team a lot of credit,” McDonnell said. “They were a three seed and they jumped up and down in that locker room just to be in a regional. And I remember thinking to myself, ‘well, man, the bar is not set high enough for this program.’ But what I learned from that ’07 team was there’s something powerful about energy, excitement, and joy to play in the postseason. And I saw that group play their way all the way to Omaha. We talked about the ’07 team a lot.”

The Cardinals will need to play with that same type of energy this weekend if it hopes to overcome a few hot teams and advance to the Super Regional round.

“Michigan won a conference tournament, Southeast Missouri State wins a conference - teams that just won a conference tournament they’re dogpiling and they’re excited and they’re happy and that’s a scary thing. We just have to make sure we have our own joy and energy about this week and playing good baseball this weekend.”

—Steve Wiltfong adds to the chatter (video) that Louisville is a very real threat to land Rueben Owens, the No. 1 ranked all-purpose running back in the class of 2023.

—Owens recently announced that he’s down to four schools: Texas, Texas A&M, TCU and Louisville.

—Mel Kiper’s first big board (insider) for the 2023 NFL Draft has Marshon Ford (or should I say Marathon Ford) as the No. 6 ranked fullback/h-back.

—Much of the talk here locally last weekend was focused on D.J. Wagner, but U of L commit Kaleb Glenn also had himself a fantastic few days.

—Glenn’s relationship with the new U of L staff continues to strengthen.

—Former U of L DB recruit Jshawn Frausto-Ramos has committed to Stanford.

—I can’t believe I spent the last 30 years or so being unaware of this video’s existence.

—The PGA has sold Valhalla Golf Club to a group that includes a few notable Louisvillians: Jimmy Kirchdorfer, David Novak, Junior Bridgeman, and Ches Musselman.

—U of L men’s basketball is hosting a select-a-seat event for season ticket holders on June 13.

—If we’re gonna agree to a home-and-home with these guys, one of the demands needs to be that they bring back the SPC (Smurf Penis Court) for the game in Memphis.

—Louisville transfer target Malachi Smith (Chattanooga) has taken his name out of the NBA Draft, but it certainly sounds like he’s headed to Gonzaga.

—Kenny Payne has offered five-star prospect Karter Knox from the class of 2024. Knox is the younger brother of former Kentucky standout Kevin Knox, who played for Payne with the New York Knicks.

—Another offseason mile-marker down.

Also, a very special welcome to Kamari Lands’ dog.

—Congrats to Quentin Snider, who has been named the Cyprus League’s Guard of the Year. He also made the All-League Team and the league’s All-Defensive Team.

—Isaiah Wong is returning to a Miami team that should be pretty loaded in 2022-23.

—Virginia Tech forward Justyn Mutts has also taken his name out of the draft and is returning for another season of ACC hoops.

—NC State’s Dereon Seabron is staying in the draft.

—John Madden, who passed away last December, is returning to the Madden video game cover this year.

—Following his successful “bring DeAndre Moore to The Ville” campaign, Pierce Clarkson has now set his sights on four specific 2023 targets — Madden Sanker, Rueben Owens, Luke Burgess and Jordan Church.

—Longtime Lexington Herald-Leader sportswriter Jerry Tipton is calling it a career in June.

—Honestly, this should be the news of the summer.

Fagot strikes me as a McLaren man. Need to get him on the record to confirm.

—U of L football continues to strike recruiting gold in California.

—College Football News previews Louisville and says the Cards are one of the most difficult teams in the country to get a handle on.

Louisville Cardinals Season Prediction, What Will Happen

This is going to be one of the weirdest teams of 2022 to figure out.

Louisville should be much, much better. As pointed out earlier, the 2021 team was way too close in way too many games – it could’ve easily have been 9-4 instead of 6-7. But that’s life in an even ACC.

Do you believe the Cardinals can win the 50/50 games? That’s every week for an improved team that has a nasty schedule without a whole lot of layups to count on.

There’s no Duke or Georgia Tech on the slate to make things a bit easier, and there isn’t a 100% rock-solid lock tune-up game in non-conference play, either.

But let’s set the bar a tad bit higher than it should be only because the team should be just that good. To put it another way, it would be a major disappointment if the win total was any lower went under …

SET THE LOUISVILLE CARDINALS REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL AT … 7

USF, James Madison. Those are as close to sure-wins as the Cardinals have on the slate. Other than that … uh oh.

Syracuse, UCF, Boston College, Virginia are all on the road. Those are the biggest 50/50 games, and Louisville has to take at least two of them. It also has to win the early home game against Florida State.

How’s this for the finishing kick after a week off in the middle of the season? Yeah, Pitt and Wake Forest are home games, but those are the two programs that played in the ACC Championship last year. Then comes James Madison, and then …

At Clemson, NC State – who’s LOADED – and at Kentucky.

It’s going to take a few upsets to get to 7, but Louisville football should be ready to come up with its share of those.

—Louisville Report takes a closer look at the latest Cardinal football commit, 4-star WR DeAndre Moore.

—These advanced stats give Louisville a 55 percent chance of advancing out of this weekend’s regional at Jim Patterson.

—A ride with Uber Andre means Pervis is officially back.

—Ellison says Kenny Payne has his “full support.”

—U of L CB commit Aaron Williams will play in the All-American Bowl.

—BetOnline now has Louisville as a 33/1 shot to win the College World Series.

The Cards were 25/1 before going 0-2 in last week’s ACC tournament.

—Kentucky is still “very much alive” in the DJ Wagner sweepstakes.

—Louisville remains in the hunt for class of 2023 hoops standout Lawrent Rice.

—This is tremendous footage.

—Eric Crawford writes about Louisville baseball going into this weekend’s regional at Jim Patterson.

—Satterfield has heard the noise the last six months, but doesn’t feel any more pressure (video) heading into this season than any other.

—State of Louisville wonders just how much better U of L football’s class of 2023 can get.

—And finally, this afternoon’s Rutherford Show will roll from 3-6 on 1450AM/96.1FM. You can text the show at 502-414-1450 and stream it here.