—Here’s the U of L recap of Sunday’s hugely important triumph over No. 11 North Carolina.
—Pro Football Network serves up a scouting report on Malik Cunningham.
—U of L game notes for tomorrow night’s tilt against Pitt are here.
—Louisville signee Curtis Williams was in the house for an unofficial visit over the weekend. Williams believes the Cards will be much-improved next season.
“While I was there I talked with the whole staff. Me, coach Kenny, my mom and my uncle all talked for a while as well. He asked me what I saw during the game, asked how my season is going, and gave expectations that he has for me next year.”
“He expects me to come in and be a leader right away,” he said. “He doesn’t want me to come in and think like a freshman. He wants me to come in and think like a second or third year player. He wants me to be super confident in myself so if I make a mistake I bounce right back and keep playing.”
Overall this hasn’t been the season Louisville fans wanted but Williams holds a lot of confidence that this team will turn things around in the near future.
“Im very confident in the staff and players to turn this around. We got a great staff and we’re probably going to get some more players. They have a whole summer to work with us and I think we’ll be very talented next year.”
“Seeing how they play now makes me excited for next year. I don’t like losing and the guys coming in don’t like it either. Kaleb and I talk about that a lot. For us, coming in and being apart of the rebuild is really special because the history behind Louisville basketball.”
—Despite the addition of Jack Plummer, Jeff Brohm says there will be a competition for the starting quarterback position this spring and summer.
—Top-25 wing Jalen Shelley is the latest recruit from the 2024 class to receive an offer from Kenny Payne.
—We are less than two weeks away from the start of a much-anticipated Cardinal baseball season.
—Members of Racing Louisville were in attendance to support the women’s basketball team during their Sunday victory over UNC.
—Tomahawk Nation recaps FSU’s Saturday afternoon win over Louisville.
—The story of the weekend in the ACC wasn’t Duke vs. North Carolina, it was Jim Boeheim continuing his “should already be retired” tour and going scorched earth on the state of college basketball and some of the teams in his own conference.
Boeheim said the continuity of the roster is appealing, but the idea of a total rebuild through the NCAA transfer portal isn’t. He referenced multiple ACC schools that either brought in or retained high-profile players with large name, image and likeness deals. Those deals have become legal in college sports in recent years as NCAA rules have evolved.
“This is an awful place we’re in in college basketball,” he said. “Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My [big donor] talks about it, but he doesn’t give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami bought a team. ... It’s like, ‘Really, this is where we are?’ That’s really where we are, and it’s only going to get worse.”
He added: “It’s crazy. That’s why those guys got out — that’s why Jay [Wright] got out, Mike [Krzyzewski] got out. That’s the reason they got out. The transfer portal and everything is nuts. It really is.”
Upon learning of Boeheim’s remarks, Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes told ESPN the notion of the Demon Deacons buying a team was “one thousand percent wrong” and said he has “never” had a player choose Wake for NIL money.
“I don’t have one player on my team that got NIL money to come here,” Forbes said.
It should be noted that Wake Forest’s best player this season is a transfer from a Division-III school.
Former Pitt Panther Brandin Knight, now an assistant at Rutgers, wasn’t having any of it.
@PeteThamel this sounds like sour grapes. Next time ask @therealboeheim how many teams he bought before NIL was legal. Don’t throw stones in a glass house. Remember you’ve been coaching a lot of years and a lot of us know who got paid!!!! https://t.co/dPAkaF3bBl— Brandin Knight (@bknight20) February 5, 2023
Boeheim put out an apology statement through Syracuse Monday morning.
Just in: Jim Boeheim releases a statement and issues an apology to Miami, Pitt and Wake Forest. pic.twitter.com/hgp0Oaqvg6— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) February 6, 2023
I don’t think you can get away with saying you “didn’t mean to imply” something that you simply said outright, but whatever.
It’s time, Jim.
—Josh Pastner is now a fan of Raleigh pizza.
—On this morning’s ACC coaches teleconference, Kenny Payne said that Brandon Huntley-Hatfield has returned to workouts, but has to timetable for when he might be able to return to the court.
—A name that Cardinal fans might want to start familiarizing themselves with.
The @nbaacademy brought high-level talent to the #NPSI once again but nobody left a bigger physical impression than Churchill Abass— Mike Yagmin (@MikeYagmin) February 6, 2023
Once the 6’8” wingspan big man buries his defender in the post…IT’S ALL OVER but the cryin @abass_churchill = OVERPOWERING RIM-WRECKER‼️ pic.twitter.com/74VoM89ze4
—The latest episode of the Locked on Louisville podcast focuses on some Cardinals who could be sleepers in the upcoming NFL draft.
—The story of Jaden Rashada — the highly-touted QB recruit who signed a $13.85 million deal to go to Florida and then left after the deal was not followed through on, presumably because Rashada had not performed well in the months since signing the deal — is certainly eye-opening.
Four sources with knowledge of the contract negotiations confirmed that the Gator Collective — which typically writes deals for much smaller amounts — never got a guarantee in writing from a donor (or donors) that they would cover the amount in Rashada’s contract. Days after Rashada’s Florida flip, LifeWallet received reimbursement for its $125,000, according to three people with knowledge of the negotiations.
The Gator Collective’s first payment to Rashada, for $500,000, was due Dec. 5. It would have come before Rashada enrolled at Florida. The Athletic asked Gabe Feldman, a Tulane law school professor who specializes in sports law, to review specific clauses in Rashada’s contract with Gator Collective.
“Just the contact with the athlete prior to enrollment and using it as a recruiting inducement, that seems pretty cut and dry based on the timing,” said Feldman. “Under every version of the NCAA policy, that’s problematic.”
Rashada did not receive the payment, and two days after it was due, the Gator Collective terminated the agreement in a letter sent to Rashada. No reason was given for the termination, according to three people who read the letter. The contract includes the following: “Collective may, in its sole and absolute discretion, terminate this Agreement…” and then lists several reasons the collective could immediately terminate the contract:
-If the contract is found to violate Florida law.
-If the contract is found to violate school rules or rules the school must follow (such as NCAA rules).
-If Rashada doesn’t reside in Gainesville.
Rojas declined comment.
—Future Cardinal hooper TJ Robinson just scored the 1,000th point of his high school career.
—The NCAA’s guilty-until-proven-innocent approach to separating NIL from pay-to-play might help with enforcement, but also arguably interferes with NIL dealmaking and is vulnerable to antitrust and state NIL statute lawsuits.
—Louisville just played four consecutive games against opponents with overall losing records. That had never happened before in the history of Cardinal basketball.
The last four opponents' records entering their games against Louisville were 9-11, 9-12, 8-13, and 7-16.— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) February 6, 2023
This was the first time Louisville has ever played four consecutive games against teams with losing records.
—Louisville certainly appears to be going all in on five-star class of 2024 guard Trentyn Flowers. Flowers was in town for an unofficial visit over the weekend and then had Nolan Smith courtside to see him play in Charlotte on Sunday.
—Class of 2024 WR Terrell Anderson has Louisville in his top 10.
—I think this is the right chord for Kenny Payne to be striking right now and the one he should have been striking from the moment the season started to go astray.
—At Saturday night’s Leadoff Dinner, Dan McDonnell talked about the reasons why he chose to stay at Louisville and not jump for seemingly greener pastures over the years.
—Louisville is not last(!!) in the latest ACC hoops power rankings from Busting Brackets.
—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show returns to the airwaves this afternoon from 3-6 on 1450 The Big X. You can stream the show here.