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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Two weeks ‘til Christmas.

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—Spread check (Holiday Bowl): Louisville by 7.5.

—After 10 seasons, Gorgui Dieng — the world’s single greatest human being — has officially announced his retirement from the NBA.

—Louisville football landed a second Ivy Leaguer over the weekend, when Yale OL Jonathan Mendoza committed to the Cards.

—The U of L volleyball season ended Saturday with a 5-set loss at top-seeded Pittsburgh. The Cards came up one victory short of their third consecutive trip to the Final Four.

—Highlights of the women’s basketball team’s win over Kentucky are here:

—Cardinal fans heading to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl or who already live in the San Diego area: Starting today, Bluewater Grill in Carlsbad Village and the over-the-water Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill in Coronado are offering free chowder, appetizers and extended happy hours for Cardinal fans visiting or already living in the area.

—Eric Crawford writes what everyone already knows: Kenny Payne at Louisville isn’t working, and it isn’t going to work.

Payne was asked what momentum for his team would look like from this point. Here’s what he said.

“Play hard every second that you’re on the floor,” he said. “Play together. Make people walk out of the game and say, ‘Wow, Louisville is connected. They’re not disconnected. They play for each other. They love each other. They fight for each other.’ And that’s hard. It’s the last piece of the puzzle. For me, I know we’re capable of beating anybody we play. But I also know we’re capable of losing to anybody we play. They have to know that as well. And they have to know what makes us good. And play that way.”

I guess, in the end, my problem is that the last piece of Payne’s puzzle actually feels like the first piece of the puzzle. You know, the corner pieces and edge pieces that you lay down first. The playing for each other and all that.

At some point, the answer has to be more than “fight.” I could pull five guys off the intramural court who know precisely what it means to put on the Louisville jersey. Don’t know if that would’ve helped against DePaul on Saturday (though it could have, you never know).

Payne is still talking about checkers. His teams have not progressed to chess. And maybe, given the scars in the program and the instability of the last several years, that’s to be expected.

But in this day and age, and given what this program has experienced over its history – a history, I might add, of which Payne is a proud part – this status quo cannot exist for much longer. It just can’t.

—Jeff Walz’s new additions gained some valuable experience during Sunday’s win over Kentucky.

—U of L football hosted nine visitors, including seven transfers, over the weekend.

—Former U of L athletic director Vince Tyra has been named named the incoming CEO at global apparel manufacturer Gildan Activewear Inc.

—The week ahead in Cardinal athletics:

Wednesday, December 13

#18 Women’s Basketball vs Morehead State - 4 p.m. ET (KFC Yum! Center)
Men’s Basketball vs Arkansas State - 8 p.m. ET (KFC Yum! Center)

Saturday, December 16

#18 Women’s Basketball at #17 UConn - 12 p.m. ET

Sunday, December 17

Men’s Basketball vs Pepperdine - 2 p.m. ET (KFC Yum! Center)

—Juwan Howard’s job at Michigan appears to be in jeopardy after a “confrontation” with the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

—The latest Haslam Metrics college hoops rankings have Louisville at No. 255.

—Regardless of who the head coach is after this season, the Louisville native is a recruit to watch for the Cards.

—Sam Vecenie of The Athletic doesn’t have any Louisville players in the top 100 of his latest NBA draft big board. Former sort of Card Trentyn Flowers is No. 80.

—Virginia CB Deuce Edwards has Louisville in his top five. He’ll make a decision next month.

—Former Louisville LB Jackson Hamilton has transferred to Georgia Tech.

—Lamar is still the ultimate teammate.

—Esquire lists the 65 best movies of 2023.

—If Kenny Payne has any hope of earning a third season at U of L, he needs to stockpile some December wins.

—ESPN’s FPI gives USC a 54.2 percent chance of beating the Cards in the Holiday Bowl.

—Chop Chat looks at the five plays that won Florida State the ACC championship game.

—Thor Griffith is ready to “win championships” at Louisville.

—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show is back to full strength this afternoon from 3-6 on The Big X. You can stream it here.