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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

This couple is celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary by bringing the 2022 CC Summer Tour to Napa. Congrats, guys.

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—Kickoff for Louisville football’s Friday night home opener against Florida State on Sept. 16 has been pushed back 30 minutes. The game will still air on ESPN, but will now kickoff at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7.

—MaxPreps has Louisville commit Rueben Owens atop its list of the 10 best high school running backs in America.

—More good news on the Owens front: He says he plans on enrolling at U of L in January.

—Baseball America has Louisville at No. 4 in its first early top 25 poll for the 2023 season.

—Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated says all the debate over Lamar Jackson’s contract extension really comes down to two questions.

—Louisville standouts Tori Dilfer and Gabriela Leon have been selected as institutional nominees for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

—Jeff Greer’s latest U of L hoops newsletter focuses heavily on expectations for Tennessee transfer Brandon Huntley-Hatfield.

At Louisville, where BHH has a fresh start and the chance to be one of the leading contributors, the Cards need the Tennessee native to find his sweet spot. And to me, the numbers show BHH is best employed as a rim-crasher who is a menace on the offensive glass and scores on putbacks, transition dunks and duck-ins/dump-offs. He could work in tandem with fellow big guy Sydney Curry, hunting the rim from the weak side on Curry post-ups, though I’d worry a bit about floor spacing. He may better pair with stretch-minded 4s like Jae’Lyn Withers or JJ Traynor and rotate with Curry. Either way, Louisville needs him to work inside out, to put his physicality and athleticism to serious use around the rim and alter his shot selection to push that blue bar above much higher and the red bar lower.

We have no clue what Louisville’s offense will look like, but on a team with a number of guys who have reputations as streaky, volume scorers, there should be opportunities to gobble up offensive boards and score on bunch of putbacks. There should also be a number of chances to run the floor and score off El Ellis’s creativity in transition, though BHH was just 10 of 18 last season in 24 transition possessions as the last guy to touch the ball, according to Synergy Sports. (In other words, he has to improve his transitional efficiency, along with his roll man finishing in PnR situations.) But that should come with reps this summer and work with two excellent big man coaches in Payne and Danny Manning.

The bottom line is, there is significant potential for BHH to be a standout player for Payne’s first team if he works from Montrezl Harrell-style perch. He was a five-star prospect for a reason. Maybe Payne and company can help him realize the next step in his career.

—GG Jackson, the No. 1 player in the 2023 recruiting class according to Rivals and 247 Sports, has decommitted from North Carolina. He is widely expected to reclassify to 2022 and play for SOUTH Carolina next season. This move would once again make D.J. Wagner the No. 1 recruit in America on most scouting services.

—Nolan Smith may not be at Duke anymore, but he’s still unlikely to be receiving any gift baskets from Chapel Hill any time soon.

—DJ Wagner and his New Jersey Scholars squad are set to cause a huge buzz as they chase a title at the Peach Jam next week.

—John Calipari reportedly remains confident that he’ll be the winner of the Wagner sweepstakes.

That’s a lot of connections to overcome the one at Louisville that has gotten so much attention. Calipari, fresh off a trip to Spain to watch Wagner win gold with USA Basketball at the U17 FIBA World Cup, remains confident he’ll win this battle against his former understudy. And now all of those national recruiting analysts are beginning to back off their Louisville predictions for Wagner.

“I don’t know the level of influence his grandfather has,” Harrigan says, “but I do think his family does a really, really good job of keeping him grounded and letting DJ really make this decision for himself. That’s the biggest thing I can say: DJ is going to make his own decision. They’re definitely helping him understand how the whole process works, but they trust that he’s fully equipped to make up his own mind, and that’s the beautiful part about it.”

That superclass Calipari badly wants is beginning to percolate. Bradshaw’s decision could come at any time now. Wagner has indicated he’s close to being ready to reveal his choice, perhaps next week at Nike’s Peach Jam.

—The first ever College Tennis Showcase at the Western & Southern Open next month will feature teams from Ohio State, Michigan, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Louisville and Xavier.

—The CJ looks at what U of L’s new partnership with U of L Health means for Cardinal athletes.

—Watching one of my oldest friends get tossed from a game against my favorite team and then texting with him about it minutes later was certainly one of the more surreal experiences I’ve had as an adult.

Way to get your money’s worth, Dill.

—The Athletic looks back at the men’s basketball recruiting class of 2012.

—Kickoff times have been announced for next month’s Women’s Cup at Lynn Family Stadium.

—The Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks talk is only intensifying.

For the Knicks, there’s incredible interest in a talent and a leader such as Mitchell, who has the qualities to become the face of the franchise and a star in New York City. Mitchell was born in Elmsford, N.Y., and often spends his offseason time around the NYC area. Three of the NBA’s bright stars have been speculated as targets for the Knicks since president of basketball operations Leon Rose took over in March 2020: Mitchell, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Phoenix’s Devin Booker.

Now the Knicks are set to make the pursuit of Mitchell in earnest. He would be the most recognizable homegrown star the Knicks have had since Stephon Marbury, who was raised in Coney Island, came from a long family lineage of star players, and won a city title at Madison Square Garden in high school.

Utah had long expressed a desire to keep Mitchell to try to build around him. Utah’s bar for trading Mitchell is high, and, according to league sources, indeed the asking price in initial discussions has been substantial.

—Ricky O’Donnell writes that the trade makes too much sense not to happen.

—ESPN’s Zach Lowe says that Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell megadeals could expand an unprecedented NBA trend.

—Louisville football’s 10 highest-rated recruits of all-time list now features three players from the class of 2023.

—She’s not the one, Sophie.

—The Athletic has a good look at Shabazz Muhammad, who went from the No. 1 basketball recruit in America a decade ago to spending his most recent professional season playing in the Philippines.

—Kevin Sweeney writes about what things look like at Saint Peter’s three months after the Peacocks’ improbable run to the Elite Eight.

—Left-handed pitcher TJ Schlageter has committed to Louisville. He comes from Joliet Catholic HS in Illinois, which has been very good to Dan McDonnell over the years.

—So close, yet so far away.

Beat Syracuse, Scott.

—Bellarmine’s Juston Betz writes a letter to the NCAA begging the organization to get rid of its ridiculous multi-year postseason ban for schools transitioning to Division-I.

—DeAndre Moore is joining fellow Louisville commit Pierce Clarkson in Hawaii for the Polynesian Bowl.

—The NCAA Rules Committee is out to make sure there’s no fun in college baseball moving forward.

—Top class of 2026 hoops prospect Tyran Stokes from California is a native of Louisville.

—Sports Illustrated recaps the first year of NIL.

—Seems right to me.

—Mike James’ former coach says the redshirt freshman can be “something special” at Louisville.

—U of L AD Josh Heird sat down with the folks over at WDRB to talk about a variety of topics.

—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show wraps up the week fro 3-6 this afternoon on 1450/96.1 The Big X. You can stream the show here.