We start the week with your token DJ Wagner roundup.
—On Friday, heads around the Commonwealth were turned when 247 Sports’ Travis Branham pulled back his prediction that Wagner was headed to Louisville, and On3’s Jamie Shaw stated he was “95% confident” Wagner was picking Kentucky, potentially as soon as later this month at Peach Jam.
—Rivals national writers Rob Cassidy and Travis Graf both switched their picks from Louisville to Kentucky on Friday as well.
—Adam Zagoria wrote that same day that most of the coaches who are in Spain recruiting believe that Wagner will ultimately pick Kentucky.
—Cassidy explained his reasoning to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Cassidy spoke to the Herald-Leader earlier this week and acknowledged that Kentucky’s confidence level in this recruitment could not be ignored.
“I reserve the right to change that prediction,” he added.
And now he has indeed changed that prediction, along with just about everyone else who usually ends up correct in these cases.
“I thought I knew,” Cassidy said earlier this week. “I thought it was Louisville. But I don’t know if I think that anymore. … Usually Kentucky isn’t (wrong). And they think they got him.”
And now others are clearly starting to believe the Cats are correct.
—Wagner averaged 9.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists as his Team USA U17 squad captured gold at the FIBA World Cup.
—Fun(?) read here from On3’s Jake Curtis on what a merger between the ACC and Pac-12 might look like.
—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report previews the Cardinal cornerbacks.
—Will Smith was robbed.
Will Smith NL Catcher ranks entering Sunday— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) July 10, 2022
13 HR (T-1st)
11.7 BB% (1st)
93 xSLG percentile (1st)
91 xISO percentile (1st)
73 Brl % percentile (1st)
129 wRC+ (2nd)
122 OPS+ (2nd)
40 RBI (2nd)
.351 OBP (2nd)
.803 OPS (2nd)
.350 wOBA (2nd)
He wasn't named an All-Star pic.twitter.com/EuQ0Jtli0G
—Kenny Payne has offered a scholarship to 4-star class of 2023 big man JP Estrella.
—Former Cardinal pitcher Luke Smith is the guest on the latest episode of the 3rd & Central podcast.
—Phil Steele’s 2022 college football preview magazine is out, and he has Louisville at No. 33 in his preseason top 40 rankings, two spots ahead of No. 35 Kentucky.
—Bobby Miller and Henry Davis will both play in the MLB Futures Game.
We add to this total one week from tonight.#GoCards | #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/7sdFJjp5Uw— Louisville Baseball (@LouisvilleBSB) July 10, 2022
—DeVante Parker hosted his second annual football camp for kids in Louisville over the weekend.
—Cave Hill will be featured on PBS’ “World’s Greatest Cemeteries.”
—The 2022-23 season will see the WAC’s men’s and women’s basketball conference tournaments seeded not just by conference wins and losses, but also an algorithm that rewards and/or punishes based off performance against all teams they face in the regular season.
—Still not tired of Master P being a Cardinal.
Really cool seeing Master P hanging out with the Louisville basketball team pic.twitter.com/RPYV138hvP— Louisville Updates (@VilleUpdates) July 6, 2022
—U of L defensive coordinator Bryan Brown has been selected to participate in the 2022 NCAA Champion Forum for Football.
—Three-star OL Koby Keenum picked Kentucky over Louisville on Saturday, and as expected, UK fans reacted as though they’d just landed a spot in the CFP. Keenum faking picking a Louisville hat and throwing L’s down for the camera only added blue fuel to the fire.
—On a related note, 4-star OL Madden Sanker — the No. 93 OVERALL player in the class of 2023 — will be announcing his college commitment tonight at 7.
Louisville expected to land Madden Sanker tomorrow.— Keith Wynne (@Keith_Wynne) July 11, 2022
The following players are ranked as the highest rated UofL commits/signees at their respective position since joining the ACC.
Aaron Williams https://t.co/u2HXFKjlHG
—Pitt’s 247 site looks at the various season predictions out there for Louisville football.
—Kenny Payne continues to build his relationship with Isaiah Elohim, a top five player in the class of 2024.
—The Athletic’s top 100 MLB draft prospect rankings have Louisville’s Dalton Rushing at No. 41, and Cardinal signees Cam Collier and Jacob Miller at No. 2 and No. 42, respectively.
41. Dalton Rushing, C, Louisville
Rushing barely played in 2021, as he was backing up the guy who’d become the No. 1 pick in that year’s draft, Henry Davis. But now that he’s no longer in Davis’s shadow, he’s broken out across the board, hitting 23 homers and drawing 50 walks for a .310/.470/.686 line. Rushing has only caught about half of Louisville’s games this year, although scouts feel like he’s an adequate receiver who has enough of a chance to stay there that he should go out as a catcher – and, obviously, the teams that believe that are far more likely to want to draft him higher. He has a strong idea of the strike zone and doesn’t chase out of the zone much, but his bat speed is just fair and he had real trouble with velocity this year. If he can stay behind the plate, he has a chance to be a low-average power guy who adds some value with on-base skills. But if he has to move to first base, he doesn’t have a clear path to be a regular.
—Louisville Report takes an updated look at U of L’s conference realignment options.
—Kenny Payne wrapped up his time at the EYBL event in Kansas City on Sunday.
—Meanwhile, Jeff Walz and his staff were in Chicago and South Carolina on Sunday.
—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show is back from 3-6 on 1450 The Big X with Trevor Kelsey back in the house for the week. You can stream the show here.