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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Happy belated 18th birthday to Cadence, seen here attending her first Cards game back in 2009, a Freedom Hall walloping of Providence.

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—U of L hasn’t officially announced it yet, but Hercy Miller, the son of Percy “Master P” Miller, is joining the men’s basketball program as a walk-on. Miller was a scholarship player at Tennessee State last season before injuring his hip after six games and transferring to Xavier as a walk-on.

Miller’s younger brother, Mercy, is one of the top prospects in the class of 2024.

—Master P talked with Eric Crawford (let me pause for a moment right here and enjoy the glory of the words I just typed) about his son’s decision and his belief that Kenny Payne will bring Louisville basketball back.

—Your Emoni Bates Update of the Day:

—The latest non-Louisville school rumored to have a chance with Bates? Guess what, it’s Memphis State.

—Louisville centerfielder Levi Usher, the winner of the ACC’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year award, has been named a recipient of the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove award.

—Bellarmine basketball will play a loaded non-conference schedule this winter that kicks off with Louisville on Nov. 9.

—It’s safe to say Scotty Davenport is fired up about the game.

—Rueben Owens heard your “just wait until Texas A&M gets him on campus” talk.

—These highlights are ... well, I suppose they’re about what you’d expect from the nation’s No. 1 running back recruit.

Boner Jams 2023.

—Owens does not fashion his game after just one elite running back.

—Barrett Sallee of CBS weighs in on U of L football’s “historic” recruiting class.

—The U of L class is up to No. 9 in the latest consensus team rankings from On3.

—The rumors of Louisville going back to the Pitino philosophy of conditioning, conditioning, conditioning over the Mack philosophy of bulk, bulk, bulk certainly appear to be true.

—Arch Manning, the No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2023, has committed to Texas.

—Clemson fans continue to be bothered by the way Louisville is recruiting and also, hilariously, continue to play the morally superior card. Because it’s fine for their players to choke, sucker punch and stick their hands in our players’ butts, but teenagers posing with cars and planes is where a line has to be drawn.

—A USA Tpday data analysis found both U of L and UK athletics to be among 86 Division I programs manipulating rosters to create the illusion of Title IX compliance.

—Jeff Greer is answering reader questions in his latest newsletter.

@eadens: Where does this team sit in the ACC with the current roster? With a competent transfer guard? With a reclassified guard?

Great question. Roster additions and subtractions at this point will be a trickle instead of a rush. UNC and Duke are the two favorites to win the league, with Virginia in the mix after returning its starting five and making some really nice additions. Think Matthew Cleveland and Caleb Mills will have FSU right there, and Miami lost a lot from an Elite 8 run but Isaiah Wong still exists.

Without knowing what the full deal with Louisville’s roster (and other teams), I’d rank the Cards toward the back end of the middle group. Notre Dame and Virginia Tech are likely ahead at this point. My buddy Jeff Borzello says I rate Wake Forest too low, so toss them in this group based on Steve Forbes and some nice additions. Pitt, believe it or not, has some decent talent, but it’s Pitt. Syracuse is always around this region in the standings. Surely Louisville will be better than BC, Clemson, Georgia Tech and NC State, right?

A lot for Louisville depends on adding guard depth. If Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Kamari Lands live up to the early summer workout rep, and Sydney Curry and El Ellis find consistent good numbers, that’s a solid start. The goal for year 1 should be the NCAA Tournament, but the roster is still thin. You need a few returning guys to take star turns with a new coaching staff and have Lands and BHH thrive in new environments and live up to their reputations as recruits.

—Jayden Bradford, the No. 7 QB and No. 48 overall player in the class of 2024, will visit U of L tomorrow. Bradford has picked up crystal ball predictions to Louisville from both Ty Spalding and Dave Lackford of Rivals.

—The mother of U of L football recruit Jayden Davis put together a video of his weekend visit experience.

—The evolution of the center position in the NBA has changed the game at that level and pushed a lot of productive college bigs back to school, writes Gary Parrish.

—State of Louisville ranks the five best pizza spots in the city.

—The Alliance (hey, remember that thing!?) has announced a year-long plan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX through its multi-pronged campaign ... get ready for it ... “Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX TogetHER.”

The Alliance forever.

—With regards to the LIV Tour, I’ve made the move from “this is funny and I’m laughing” to “this sucks and is legitimately going to hurt the sport.” Some golf experts are starting to agree.

—My Morning Jacket has been forced to cancel its concerts in Louisville this weekend.

—The Louisville assembled Lincoln Corsair is No. 3 on the latest 2022 American-Made Index (AMI).

There. I mentioned it. Now please stop emailing me about this,

—Louisville Report’s Matt McGavic takes a look at U of L’s stable of running backs for 2022.

—ESPN’s Jordan Reid names Malik Cunningham as one of the college quarterbacks to keep an eye on this season if you’re trying to get ready for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Malik Cunningham, Louisville

Cunningham has a slender 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame and shows suddenness as both a passer and rusher, but he is a development QB prospect. I saw his seven-touchdown performance (five passing, two rushing) against Duke live last season and got a glimpse at his potential. Cunningham’s playing style forces defenses to defend every blade of grass; he is a game-changing player who can create and assemble explosive plays in bunches with his arm and his legs.

—Louisville baseball signee Tucker Biven from New Albany High School has won the high school Rawlings Gold Glove Award at third base.

—U of L men’s hoops has named Gabe Snider, who has worked in the video departments for three NBA teams, as its Director of Analytics and Video Technology.

—Chad Simmons, On3’s Director of Recruiting, is predicting that 4-star offensive lineman Madden Sanker will commit to Louisville.

—This also seems like a good sign.

—PG recruit Fabio Basili completed his visit to Louisville earlier this week. I’ll have an update on his status on today’s radio show, but there’s a strong chance he’ll become a Cardinal, the only question is when.

—Male High is the second all-time winningest high school football program in America, and is just six wins away from the top spot.

—We’re still taking nominations for the 2021-22 Least Cool Person.

—This was pretty much reaction too.

Go Avs/Cards.

—Louisville basketball targets DJ Wagner (2023) and Karter Knox (2024) have both been named to the USA Basketball 17U National Team.

—It’s NBA Draft night, and the debate over who the No. 1 pick should be is more interesting than it’s been in years.

—Sam Vecenie’s 90,000 word (not a joke) draft guide is here.

—Oregon commit Cole Martin, a four-star cornerback, was in town yesterday.

—I can’t just overlook a Carlos Hurt mention on ESPN.

—Wes Rucker writes that the NIL shaming and pearl clutching needs to go ahead and stop. These athletes are worth what the market determines they’re worth. Just like their coaches. This is the world now. Get over it.

—St. John Bosco, which features three Louisville commitments including Pierce Clarkson at QB, will begin the 2022 football season as the No. 1 team in America.

—Top class of 2023 hoops recruit AJ Johnson, a U of L target, talks about his recruitment here.

Kentucky: ”I really love Kentucky, that’s been one of my favorite schools since I was growing up. I like De’Aaron Fox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.”

Louisville: ”That was big too, they just got a new coach and they haven’t offered many guys in the 2023 class yet. It was crazy, he [Kenny Payne] was real, he just keeps it real, he seems like a great coach, a great person and he is going to coach me hard.”

Today, on Tuesday, June 21st, Johnson begins an unofficial visit to Texas and already has one official scheduled this fall.

“I am going to Texas on Tuesday, LSU on September 10th and then I want to visit all of them like Kansas, Louisville, all of them,” he said.

“I like both of the coaches a lot,” Johnson said of Texas and LSU. “I haven’t done to much research on the schools yet.”

—State of Louisville says U of L football set a new standard for recruiting official visits over the weekend.

—Former Cardinal baseball standout Drew Ellis is now a member of the Mariners organization.

—We’ve got Cards and Cats mingling in the wild together this week at basketball camps.

—Wednesday marked the hottest June 22nd in Louisville’s history.

—Love this addition to Glennville.

—Central High RB Cortez Stone was a standout at the latest Louisville camp.

—Athlon previews the 2022 Louisville football team and ranks the Cardinals as the No. 44 squad in the country.

—The Athletic’s Ari Wasserman weighs in on what’s happening with Louisville football recruiting.

Louisville’s 2023 recruiting class already had some big pieces heading into the week, but the Cardinals made a huge move Monday evening when five-star running back Rueben Owens of El Campo (Texas) High announced his commitment.

That isn’t a commitment. That is a statement.

Rated the No. 16 overall player and the No. 1 running back in the 2023 class in the 247Sports Composite, Owens took an official visit to Louisville the weekend before his commitment. After he committed, he posted on Twitter that he won’t be taking any more visits — other than to Louisville.

Before the weekend, Owens was thought to be most strongly considering in-state schools like Texas (where he was once committed), Texas A&M and TCU. There seems to be this prevailing thought that this commitment will lead to drama down the road — you know, visits to more top-tier programs during the season — but for now, Owens seems steadfast in his commitment that shocked the world.

If he remains committed, Owens will be the second-highest-rated player to sign with Louisville in the modern recruiting era, behind former NFL running back Michael Bush (Class of 2003).

Louisville has done a tremendous job with its official visits in the last year. In a world in which elaborate photo shoots have taken center stage, Louisville has mastered the art of showing prospects a good time. This weekend, the Cardinals used expensive cars and private jets as props for the visiting prospects.

—Ground has officially been broken on the first Publix store in Louisville.

—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show is back from 3-6 this afternoon to talk about all this good stuff on 1450 The Big X. You can stream the show here.