—Spread check: Pitt by 9.5.
—Hailey Van Lith is your ACC Player of the Week.
—U of L game notes for tonight’s game against Pitt are here.
—Kenny Payne is now dipping into the junior college ranks to try and shore up his 2023 recruiting class, offering a scholarship to Koron Davis of Los Angeles Southwest. Davis, a 6’7 shooting guard averaging 25.5 ppg this season, was not featured in the preseason top 100 2023 JUCO player rankings from JUCOrecruiting.com. He says he plans to visit Louisville soon.
—I respect the hell out of El’s honesty here.
Even if Kenny Payne wants his players to be confident, #Louisville's El Ellis not 'going to be talking crazy' to another team's players during a game. "Not much you can say when you're 2-16..." Cards face a 12-6 #Pitt Wednesday at 7 p.m. at KFC Center. https://t.co/X2yuDi01nM pic.twitter.com/712GWvFroU— Matt Stone (@mattstonephotog) January 17, 2023
—Notre Dame released its 2023 football schedule on Wednesday, revealing that it’s game at Louisville will be played on Oct. 7.
—D1Baseball.com has Louisville at No. 16 in its preseason top 25 rankings.
—U of L women’s basketball has added Georgia Tech transfer Eylia Love. Love will be eligible to play starting in the 2023-24 season and will have two years of eligibility.
—Kentucky Mr. Football Travis Egan, who helped Bullitt East to the 6-A state title, has been offered a preferred walk-on spot at Louisville.
—Former Cardinal Jordan Travis is the third choice in the initial 2023 Heisman odds from BetOnline.
—Louisville baseball was No. 36 in home attendance last season.
—Jeff Brohm has offered three-star safety LeonTre Bradford out of Saint Louis.
—Drelon Miller, one of the highest-rated wide receivers in the 2024 class, has also picked up a Louisville offer.
—More like OnPee.
On3 ranked Pierce Clarkson as the 67th best QB in the country. They actually dropped every Louisville commit not named Aaron Williams or Adonijah Green to three-star status. pic.twitter.com/fK7DKOoTD6— Dave Lackford, Esq. (@DaveLackfordESQ) January 17, 2023
—The Cincinnati Reds Caravan is coming to Slugger Field on Jan. 27.
—One of Yo-Yo Ma’s performances with the Louisville Orchestra this spring will take place inside Mammoth Cave, which seems cool.
—Kenny Payne continues to try and emphasize the importance of wearing a Louisville jersey to his players.
—If we had just been sort of average in 2018 we would be sitting much better in this list.
ACC vs ACC in the playoff era:— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) January 17, 2023
—Louisville continues to heavily recruit Central High star RB Cortez Stone.
—Dan McDonnell is bringing in the No. 3 recruiting class in America for this season.
—Is this year’s Louisville team actually worse than the 2017-18 Pitt squad that went winless in ACC play? For the time being, yes.
Compare those two teams statistically.
The 2018 Panthers ranked 227th in overall efficiency - 278th in offense, 166th in defense and 156th in luck while playing against the 39th-best schedule in the country. With an efficiency margin of -5.76, they occupied a space in KenPom ratings shared with sub-.500 low majors - schools like 8-19 Columbia, 11-21 Colorado State and 10-22 James Madison.
For as barren as the results were, that Pitt team ended in by far a better spot than where this Louisville team is now. The Cardinals are a shocking 282nd in KenPom - 42 spots removed from the nearest high major team. They are 305th in offense, 233rd in defense and 288th in luck against the 37th most-difficult schedule in America. Their contemporaries currently are 7-12 Bucknell, 5-14 Northern Arizona and 6-11 Western Michigan.
18 games into the season, Louisville has won just twice, while the Panthers stumbled upon eight wins at this same point in their campaign. And that handful of extra wins happened for a reason. The Panthers moved the ball better (with an assist rate of 41.1 vs. UL’s 57.8), shot marginally better from everywhere on the floor and while opponents could block their shots at a higher rate, the Panthers were stingy defensively at times and could lean on that to grind out some teams down. they also played at a mind-numbingly slow pace - 351st in Division I - to shorten the game and keep scores as low as possible.
It wasn’t very successful but it was better than what Louisville is trying to do now. All the Cardinals have to lean on is their outstanding free throw rate - 44th nationally - and 71% mark from the charity stripe. But the fact that they commit turnovers more frequently than anyone in America and can’t score from anywhere else on the floor largely neutralizes that advantage.
—Good, nerdy read from The Athletic here on the miracle of Baseball Prospectus ‘96, and its founder, who no longer watches baseball.
—Jeff Capel sees good things happening at Louisville despite the team’s 2-16 record.
—Nolan Smith’s son may need to see the court before the end of the season.
—Former Card Quinn Slazinski’s season at Iona is over after being forced to undergo surgery to repair an injury.
—ACC scores last night:
Wake Forest 87, No. 19 Clemson 77
NC State 78, Georgia Tech 66
Florida State 84, Notre Dame 71
North Carolina 72, Boston College 64
—David Johnson is still getting dramatic buckets.
—Former Card Keith Towbridge is the guest on the latest episode of the From the Pink Seats podcast.
—Five-star recruit Trentyn Flowers says the season Louisville is having right now doesn’t reflect the staff or the program.
—Former U of L WR Tyler Harrell, who left for Alabama but played sparingly for the Crimson Tide last season, is back in the transfer portal.
—247 Sports has Jamari Thrash as one of the 10 best transfer portal fits of the offseason thus far.
Jamari Thrash told Cardinal Authority’s Jody Demling that he feels like he’ll fit in perfectly with what Brian Brohm does on offense. In tandem with his head coaching brother, Brian proved to be quite creative as an offensive coordinator in getting his best receivers the ball at Purdue, playing to skill sets while moving different body types around the field to create isolated matchups.
And Thrash has a skill set worth building around. He’s a speeder, first and foremost. Thrash averaged 18.39 yards-per-catch (18th nationally) and was frequently pressuring secondaries to shade a safety over the top of him…or risk getting burned in 1 vs. 1s.
Thrash, however, is also a twitchy playmaker who can create for himself. His 1,122 receiving yards were 13th nationally despite Georgia State ranking 124th nationally in passing attempts.
Thrash was his team’s passing game last year. Now he’ll go to play for one of the better offensive minds in college football.
—Cardiac Hill previews tonight’s game between Pitt and Louisville.
—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report is picking the Panthers to win by 16.
—Brandon Huntley-Hatfield is still “day to day” and there’s no word on whether or not he’ll take the court this evening.
—And finally, beat Pitt.