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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

It’s a beautiful afternoon to be an Avs fan. Congrats to all the Colorado faithful, especially our guy Sean Moth, seen here circa 2018 or 2019.

—The Courier Journal’s Brett Dawson has a great read here on what the hiring of Kenny Payne means to Louisville’s black community.


—D.J. Wagner is headed to Spain from July 2-10 to play for Team USA in the U17 World Cup. Several college coaches, including Nolan Smith and John Calipari, will be making the trip across the pond to visit Wagner during the event.

“Obviously, D.J. provides a little bit of everything,” USA Basketball youth coach Don Showalter said by phone. “Great passer, defender, just overall a really high skill level. It’s going to be really tough for anybody to guard him because of his high skill level.”

Wagner will miss the upcoming Nike Elite Youth Basketball League stop in Kansas City July 7-10, but plans to play at the prestigious Nike Peach Jam with his NJ Scholars team. The Peach Jam runs July 17-24 in North Augusta, S.C.

For now, his goal is bringing home a gold medal with Team USA.

“Honestly, this is something that really helps me prepare for the next level,” Wagner said. “The competition and the practice, hopefully, God willing if I make it to the next level and where I want to get to this will be something that will make it easier for me to adjust to that. It’s the best competition I could play against out there.

“Just being around other players and seeing how they play and the international play.”

—Matt McGavic over at Louisville Report serves up an evaluation of new U of L OL commit Luke Burgess.

—Three-star linebacker Jeremiah Telander picked Tennessee over Louisville, Florida and North Carolina on Sunday night.

—Louisville finishes at No. 12 in the final top 25 poll.

—With Ole Miss claiming the College World Series on Sunday (you can leave Dan McDonnell alone for a while now), the 2021-22 Division-I college athletics season has officially come to a close.

Here’s a handy guide to all the national champions from the season that was:

Does anyone else even compete in rifle? Does Army field a squad? VMI maybe? If they do and they keep losing to Kentucky every year, that’s ... worrisome.

—What difference would it have made if the ACC had split its TV contract into tiers in 2010 the way the SEC did with CBS and ESPN? Oh, they only would have doubled their revenue.

—Sean Vinsel of Hoops Insight takes a look at recent college basketball programs that have fallen off as significantly as Louisville has the last two years, and how quickly they were able to bounce back under a new head coach. His findings show that Kenny Payne should be able to get the Cards back in the NCAA tournament by year two, and that the team should be much improved in one specific area.

A surprising source of improvement…offensive boards?

Many of the new coaches brought key parts of their philosophy into their new roles, and built success on that. This isn’t something we can evaluate with Payne, as he has never been a head coach. All 5 coaches in our examplesabove had coached in D-1 before and had track records. There was 1 area where most of our teams showed common improvement, however. In every single case I listed above, the team showed massive improvement in offensive rebounding compared to the year before. Every team improved at least 74 spots in the national rankings for offensive rebounding. In several cases, this was the largest source of offensive improvement. It would be odd for 5 different coaches to all decide to emphasize this, and the coaches did not have a shared history of coaching strong offensive rebounding teams. What’s more, the personnel did not change significantly in many of these cases. Sometimes it was big men who improved their offensive rebounding, but more frequently it was guards and wings who went from nearly invisible on the offensive boards to competent.

This may bode well for Kenny Payne for 3 reasons. First, Louisville was very bad in this eras last season and has room to improve. They finished 197th in offensive rebound rate per KenPom; with typical improvement they may be in the top 100. Second, the roster Payne has assembled should have some potential in this area. While there aren’t many guards, there sure is a lot of length. With a plethora of 6’6” to 6’8” wings, Louisville should have the size to corral some offensive rebounds. Lastly, Kenny Payne’s most recent college coaching stop was at a school that tends to prioritize offensive rebounding. Kentucky has never been outside the top 100 in offensive rebounding under John Calipari, and in the top 12 7 times in 13 seasons. Kenny Payne had a front row seat for much of this, so it stands to reason that he might follow that playbook.

Given the recent history of coaches in a similar position to Kenny Payne, it seems reasonable to think that Louisville could contend for an NCAA Tournament bid by year 2 at the latest. If they are to surprise this season and sneak into the field, offensive improvement from returnees and a huge jump in offensive rebounding could reasonably be expected to be the catalysts. Last season’s results don’t offer a lot of optimism, but the recent history of similar changes show that improvement can come quickly.

—Fresh off the most successful season in program history, the Louisville volleyball team has revealed its full schedule for the 2022 campaign.

—Western High School star Kaden Magwood (2025) has announced that he’ll be transferring to Oak Hill Academy for the 2022-23 season.

If you haven’t already, learn the name now. Magwood is going to wind up being one of the best players to come out of the 502 in some time.

—John Calipari has offered Lyon County star Travis Perry (2024), who could break the Kentucky high school state scoring record in a couple years.

—We’ll get ‘em in meat judging next year.

—Class of 2023 WR Tamarcus Cooley, the younger brother of current Louisville RB Trevion Cooley, has the Cards in his final seven.

—U of L hoops commit Kaleb Glenn has received an invitation to the NBPA Top 100 camp. The full list of invitees is expected to be released today.

—U of L football recruiting is one the discussion topics on the latest podcast episode from ESPN’s David Hale and Andrea Adelson.

—Five U of L softball players have been named to the ACC’s All-Academic squad.

—Former Bruins Marshon Ford and Josh Minkins will host a football camp at Ballard High School on July 16.

—A 4-star QB “left millions on the table” to commit to Miami over Florida.

—Lance Taylor is the guest on the latest From the Pink Seats podcast.

—David Hale is going over 6.5 wins for Louisville football in 2022. He explains his reasoning (as well as his other bets for the upcoming season) here.

Louisville, over 6.5 (-105)

Another team with bad luck in 2020 that I expected to swing back in 2021… and it didn’t happen. Some of this can be chalked up to the fact that 2020 was an inherently strange year, making identifying bad luck metrics tougher than other seasons played under normal circumstances. Still, it’s hard to argue that Scott Satterfield’s bunch hasn’t been one of the unluckiest teams in the country the past two seasons, including an 0-3 record in games decided by a FG or less last year. Virginia won on a last second field goal. Clemson won only due to a second-half injury to Malik Cunningham. Last season, Louisville was within 3 points or ahead on 71% of its second-half drives vs. FBS teams and won just five of those games. Michigan State, Utah, Utah State, Iowa and Purdue all profiled about the same — and all won nine games or more.

—DeAndre Moore is the latest Californian to transfer to St. John Bosco for his senior season of high school football. That leaves the No. 1 high school team in the country with four players who are currently committed to Louisville.

—Nice to see Donovan back in town.

—Louisville is one of the few power conference programs in college football that appears to be pretty set and satisfied with its offensive line heading into the season.

—Will Smith can’t stop dropping bombs for the Dodgers. Vote this man into the All-Star Game.

—Love him already.

—Louisville Report looks at the top individual performers of the 2021-22 U of L athletics season.

—U of L football’s loaded 2023 recruiting class now sits at 11 members, but is poised to grow soon.

—Jayden Bradford, the top 10 QB from the class of 2024 who was in town visiting Louisville over the weekend, is an athletic young man.

—Clemson Insider highlights some names to know on this year’s Louisville football team.

—RIP to former PRP basketball star Vincent Crutcher who was killed in a shooting near Buechel last week. Crutcher is the only player in 6th Region history to play and score in three different state tournaments.

—Tough look for the “Rueben Owens will never actually make it to Louisville” crowd.

—University of Louisville Health’s Brown Cancer Center has been granted $1.5 million to expand its clinical trials for cancer immunotherapy.

—Hailey Van Lith’s Team USA squad was upset by Canada in the quarterfinals of the 3X3 World Cup.

—The latest big rumor on the Emoni Bates front has been that he may be headed back to Memphis State.

And yet ...

No one has any idea what the hell is going on with this kid.

—Testudo Times reacts to the news that Maryland will face Louisville in this November’s ACC-Big 10 Challenge.

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