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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The Cardinal kids are ready for the weekend, and they still love Lamar.

—Louisville and Wake Forest are the preseason co-favorites to win the 2023 ACC baseball championship.

—Jody Demling hands out some superlatives for the 2023 Louisville football recruiting class.

—Louisville Report breaks down the game of newest Louisville football signee Woo Spencer.

—Dillon Brooks hit Donovan Mitchell in the groin last night, Mitchell retaliated, got thrown out of the game, and then did not hold back during his postgame press conference.

Maybe Coach K was actually right to lecture this dude.

—It’s a big one for the U of L women’s basketball team on Sunday against top 15 foe North Carolina. Here’s a preview.

—U of L beat writer Brett Dawson is leaving the Courier Journal, which doesn’t seem able to keep anyone on the beat for more than two seasons these days.

—Class of 2025 power forward Nicholas Randall says Louisville, Kansas State, VCU and Missouri are the schools recruiting him the hardest at the moment.

—Interesting to read this LA Times story from Feb. 5, 1991 when “Denny Crum’s empire was crumbling” because the Cards were 7-11.

Ask him how he’s doing, and the Cardinal coach won’t hesitate.

“Terrible,” he says.

His chest hurts. His university president is nipping at his heels. The local newspaper is all over him about graduation rates. Morley Safer is taking shots at him on “60 Minutes.” His lunch is cold and his team is colder, an absolutely un-Louisville-like 7-11 and getting worse each week.

How bad is it? Not long ago, one of the city’s sportscasters ended his report on Crum’s team by noting, “Folks, only six weeks until spring football practice begins.” At Louisville, where basketball has ruled for decades, the words were as deadly as a shot of hemlock.

Things haven’t looked this bleak since the early 1940s, which was the last time Louisville recorded a losing season. Back then, as World War II raged, the Cardinals were reduced to playing the New Albany Furnituremen, the Ft. Knox Air Force ROTC and the U of L Army Medics. And still they struggled.

Now, almost 50 years later, Crum watches his team unwittingly try to repeat history.

Quite simply, this is the worst Louisville team Crum has coached in his 20 years at the school. Already the Cardinals, last in the Metro Conference, have lost six games at Freedom Hall, the most by any Louisville team in the 34-year history of the building. They have managed to lose every way possible: by close scores, by blowouts, on national television, to teams big and small.

The story goes on to note that things are so bad that the Cards could go on to break the school record for most losses in a season at 18. They wound up finishing 14-16 and nearly won the Metro Conference tournament.

Thirty-two years later the Cards have already lost 19 games and are two defeats away from setting a new school record.

—Dan McDonnell will address the media from the Galt House tonight at 5:45 before the baseball program’s annual Leadoff Dinner.

—Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats has received a hefty contract extension (Athletic link) that is set to keep in Tuscaloosa through the 2028-29 season.

—Louisville baseball is No. 10 in an average of all the preseason top 25 polls that have been released.

First pitch in two weeks.

—The Duke-UNC basketball rivalry resumes Saturday night, but where does it go without Mike Krzyzewski or Roy Williams?

— Louisville’s Aimee Plumb has been named the ACC Field Hockey Scholar Athlete of the Year.

—On3’s Mike Huguenin says that Louisville WR Jadon Thompson is one of the 10 most important under the radar transfers in the ACC for next season.

Louisville WR Jadon Thompson

Transfer from: Cincinnati

The buzz: Jadon Thompson (6-2, 187) would’ve been Cincinnati’s leading returning receiver in 2023. Instead, he’ll be playing for pass-oriented coach Jeff Brohm at Louisville. Thompson was the Bearcats’ No. 3 receiver this past season, finishing with 26 receptions for 383 yards and a TD. He will be in the mix to be the Cardinals’ No. 1 receiver after Tyler Hudson decided to turn pro. Worth noting: Brohm’s offense at Purdue got a bunch of receivers involved. Throw out the truncated 2020 season, and the Boilermakers had a total of 19 players catch at least 20 passes in the past three full seasons.

—Jeff Brohm enjoys using a collaborative approach on the defensive side of the ball.

—Matt McGavic predicting a 72-65 Florida State win tomorrow afternoon.

—Rick Bozich says getting back to .500 next season is a reasonable expectation for Kenny Payne. I vehemently disagree.

Nobody 12 months ago would have argued that whoever Louisville was going to hire should have a bar lower than “make the NCAA tournament” in their second season. To argue that the bar should be lowered because season one under said new head coach has been the worst in the history of the program seems silly, especially when taking into account that the primary argument from so many who wanted Payne was that he could get this thing turned around quicker than anyone because of the caliber of player he’d be able to immediately bring in.

—Aboubacar Camara, Louisville’s leading goal-scorer last season and a First Team All-ACC performer, has transferred to Kentucky.

—Friday Irrelevance, double helping:

—Jeff Brohm is excited about the pieces he has to work with at the quarterback position in his first season.

—There are still plenty of scholarships available for Brohm to add more transfers during this offseason.

—The 2023 Louisville baseball season has started with some unique offseason drills.

—A day that will forever live in infamy.

—Mykasa Robinson is making the little things count in her final season as a Louisville Cardinal.

—The Crunch Zone compares the stats between the Cards and Florida State.

—And finally, beat FSU.