—SPREAD CHECK (via DraftKings Sportsbook): Louisville by 4.
—It’s a double-header tonight at Lynn Stadium where the U of L men’s soccer team will open its 2022 campaign against No. 10 Saint Louis at 5 p.m. The women’s soccer team will look to improve to 2-0 when they take on Xavier at 7:30.
—The fourth-ranked Louisville volleyball team begins its quest for the 2022 national title with three matches this weekend in South Dakota. Here’s a preview.
—ESPN’s creative team ranked the top 50 recruits in America in terms of social media followers, and no one has a higher percentage of commitments from those recruits than Louisville does.
—Racing Louisville is trying to break its home attendance record when it hosts Chicago Red Stars FC on Saturday. Because it’s my birthday, they’re offering what they’re calling “The Rutherford Special” (they absolutely are not calling it that) to Card Chronicle readers — 15 percent off tickets if they go here. Also, anyone with a .edu OR JCPS email can purchase up to 8 tickets at $5.02 each
—Former Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito has been named the starter at Illinois.
—Jeff Greer’s latest U of L hoops newsletter focuses heavily on the impact of newest Cardinal Fabio Basili.
Now, we’ll get to some other thoughts in this week’s newsletter, too, but we’ll start with Basili. What can we really make of him? It’s hard to say. I can cite his high school stats: 19.6 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds a game, shooting 39% from 3. I can cite his high school team’s success in a gigantic state with an underrated basketball scene: Orlando’s Oak Ridge High made the very-difficult-to-reach Class 7A state semifinals in his senior season. And I can cite his relationship with a former high school teammate, redshirt freshman Mike James, who I hold in high regard as a player.
Beyond that, we’re all guessing. That’s OK. That was always the case with Basili. By now, we can all reasonably agree Louisville missed on some transfer guards who by and large would have either (a) fiercely competed with El Ellis for minutes as the primary point guard or (b) looked like sure-fire starters alongside Ellis. Basili is neither of those right off the bat — he’s a lanky 6-4 prospect who was rated as a three-star recruit and top-25 player in the state of Florida but not nationally ranked. Maybe he surprises everyone and becomes a major contributor. But ultimately, it’s completely fine if he doesn’t. He can be exactly what he appears to be: A much-, much-needed backup guard who can help handle the ball and, with walk-on Hercy Miller, spell Ellis when needed.
The bottom line is, for Louisville to have a successful season (read: compete for an NCAA Tournament berth), Ellis has to play Sophomore Year Terry Rozier minutes. Rozier played 35 or more minutes in 28 of 36 games that season, including the full 40 four times and 45(!) in the Elite Eight loss to Michigan State. Rozier shifted from a floor-spacing game manager role (with glimpses of his talent) as a freshman (67 assists vs. 22 turnovers) to an explosive, game-changing lead guard as a sophomore whose usage rate skyrocketed because it had to. He nearly doubled his assists output while also more than doubling his scoring, and he constantly had the ball in his hands. The late-season dismissal of Chris Jones only amplified Rozier’s need to take on so much responsibility as both a creator and scorer.
—A Sea of Blue previews the upcoming U of L football season.
—Chet Holmgren will miss the entire 2022-2023 NBA season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot that he suffered in a Pro-Am game in Seattle on Saturday.
—Sportsbetting.ag gives odds on the first ACC football coach to be fired this season.
—Quincy Riley was a “ball magnet” during fall camp.
—Sports Betting Dime is looking for a Professional NFL Food Tester before the end of August.
—There’s nothing cool in Tuscaloosa, Jamari.
Jamari Johnson is the No. 42 freak in 2023— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) August 25, 2022
- A big, functional athlete with an 82-inch wing
- Won long ball toss with 72-yard throw at Steve Clarkson QB Retreat
- Committed to Louisville, but picked up a ‘Bama offer after Freaks List posted https://t.co/bDWoB4fiRb pic.twitter.com/FqG0XtBU6K
—Blogger So Dear (Wake Forest) serves up its preview of the 2022 football Cardinals.
—Former Ole Miss DC and former Ole Miss LB MoMo Sanogo, now both at Louisville, recently had a conversation about the season they shared in Oxford. It started with McGriff apologizing to Sanogo.
It started with the words “I’m sorry.”
McGriff was the defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Ole Miss when Sanogo, a former three-star recruit and the nation’s 20th-ranked inside linebacker in the Class of 2017, was a freshman. Because of the team’s struggles at the linebacker position the year before, Sanogo played in 11 of the Rebels’ 12 games as a true freshman and recorded eight tackles during a 6-6 season. In addition to defense, Ole Miss added special teams to Sanogo’s responsibilities.
Looking back, McGriff can see where it could’ve been too much for Sanogo to handle and let him know as much five years later, where they have reunited with the Cardinals.
“I said, ‘Hey, man, I’m sorry. We asked you to do too much as a freshman,’” McGriff said. “But you can tell now his leadership is flourishing, the kid’s having fun.”
—U of L baseball commit Tague Davis is the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania.
—The ninth-ranked U of L field hockey team is set to get its 2022 season underway this weekend.
—Cardinal rugby is a wagon.
—David Hale and Andrea Adelson will be hosting a new ACC Network show together at 3 p.m. of every Thursday during the upcoming football season.
—Bryan Brown and Wesley McGriff are hoping that an open dialogue between the pair will help Louisville be more effective when it comes to situational defense in 2022.
—Cool concept here.
—Here’s a preview of Louisville from the perspective of week 9 opponent James Madison.
—The latest episode of the Starting 502 podcast is here.
—And finally, beat Saint Louis, then beat Xavier.