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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Card fans are out in full force in Diamond Head.

—U of L freshman center Dennis Evans has officially signed his national letter of intent.

—In his way too early season predictions for Louisville football, Matt McGavic sees Jeff Brohm’s first Cardinal team posting an 8-4 record.

—Rob Cassidy of Rivals believes Louisville is the most likely landing spot for former Duke signee Mackenzie Mgbako.


There’s been contact between the Cardinals and Mgbako’s camp, so the momentum Kenny Payne is building this offseason shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to the chase to land the five-star prospect. Neither should the fact that it’s common knowledge that Louisville is armed with a cannon full of NIL money. Top-flight 2023 signees

Dennis Evans and Trentyn Flowers in addition to key transfer Skyy Clark, whom the Cardinals welcomed in from Illinois, should be plenty to convince Mgbako he has a chance to win as part of a revamped roster.The thought of Mgbako and Evans playing frontcourt minutes together should be tantalizing for a fan base desperate for something to cling to in the wake of a 4-28 season that was lightyears worse than anyone could have imagined.

It’s too early to view this as a lock, but the Cardinals seem to have an inside track of sorts when it comes to landing the former Blue Devil signee, due in part to a deep relationship with Mgbako’s NJ Scholars grassroots program.

Rivals has Mgbako as the No. 6 overall player in the class of 2023.

—Travis Branham agrees that Louisville appears to be the No. 1 option for Mgbako.

—Congrats to Zan Payne, Hercy Miller, Mike James, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Fabio Basili on being named to the All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team.

—Wednesday night was a special one at Jim Patterson.

—Kentucky Blood Center will host a blood drive this weekend in conjunction with Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC in the wake of the tragic events downtown earlier this week.

Donors can stop by Lynn Family Stadium from 12-4 p.m. Saturday, with parking available in the Purple Lot off Adams Street. Appointments are encouraged to be made in advance by visiting, but walkups are also accepted.

—USC’s Reese Dixon-Waters, the Pac-12’s Sixth Man of the Year and a Louisville transfer portal target, is headed to San Diego State.

—Arkansas has landed both Khalif Battle (Temple) and Jeremiah Davenport (Cincinnati) in the transfer portal over the last 24 hours. You guys can stop now.

—Eric Bossi of 247 Sports sees the battle over five-star 2024 recruit Karter Knox being another Louisville vs. Kentucky affair.

Kentucky: “It was crazy. I went for Big Blue Madness so the fans were going crazy. Everybody was trying to get me to go there talking to me “Karter come here, Karter go here” type stuff. They have a great coaching staff. The players over there were great and they loved each other like brothers so it was really good. Coach Calipari loves me and he treats me like family. He’s known me since I was 12 years old so he’s almost more like an uncle.”

Louisville: “Coach Payne, I’ve known him a long time. Ever since Kevin was being recruited I’ve been around him so since I was like 12 years old. He really helped my big brother get to the NBA. You know he snapped on him when he needed to, got him out of his comfort zone and he’s like another uncle to me. What stood out on the visit was the coaching. They are a really great coaching staff. They weren’t as good as a team in the first year but I’m worried about the future. That first season is in the past, I’m not worried about that.”

—The U of L women’s tennis team will face a pair of top 50 opponents this weekend.

—Starting next Saturday, WAVE-3 will begin airing Racing Louisville games.

—Beanie Bishop, a DB transfer from Minnesota who is a Louisville native, picked West Virginia on Wednesday.

—Eric Crawford serves up a prayer for the city.

—Hush, Ben.

—A balanced attack led Louisville baseball to its decisive win over Bellarmine on Wednesday.

—The latest episode (video) of College Basketball Recruiting Weekly has some thoughts on Louisville and Mackenzie Mgbako.

—Mark Ivey and K.J. Cloyd talked to the media after spring practice on Wednesday.

—Some palpable buzz that Indiana and Miami are two of the schools focusing the heaviest amount of attention on Louisville transfer El Ellis.

—Hey, same.

—C.L. Brown is excited to be back in his “second home.”

—Louisville has offered a scholarship to Jackson State transfer LB Jurriente Davis.

—Former Louisville recruit AJ Johnson has decommitted from Texas and will instead spend his one year out of high school playing in Australia.

—And finally, women’s college hoops writer Donnie Woods has Hailey Van Lith as the second-best player in the transfer portal. He ranks Louisville signee Jayda Curry as the 14th-best transfer of the offseason.