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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

My guy Nathaniel is a Jordan Nwora fan for life.

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—The Louisville baseball team lost the annual Battle of the Barrel game against Vanderbilt in 12 innings last night.

—If you somehow haven’t heard, Louisville is officially out of the Mackenzie Mgbako sweepstakes. The 5-star freshman-to-be will choose between Kansas and Indiana on Friday.

—A new CC Podcast episode is out.

—Matt Norlander of CBS pens his respects to Denny Crum.

He lifted, then legitimized, Louisville basketball and in doing so kept the Cardinals apace in many seasons with their superior in-state rivals, the Kentucky Wildcats. In fact, as Kentucky faded amid cheating scandals in the 1980s, Louisville hit its peak as a program. The embers of that rivalry, which Crum helped renew in 1983 after it was dormant since the 1950s, helped stoke a Bluegrass State competitiveness that’s led to many in Kentucky swearing by the notion that UK-Louisville — not Duke-North Carolina — is the fiercest/best rivalry in college basketball.

Crum also coached the United States to a gold medal at the 1977 World University games.

In a bittersweet twist of fate, Crum’s retirement came at the same age of his mentor; both Wooden and he hung up the whistle at the age of 64. For Wooden, retiring was entirely his decision, one that, coincidentally enough, was publicly announced by Wooden after UCLA defeated Crum’s Cardinals in the 1975 national semifinals. Crum, conversely, was forced out by university power brokers, led at the time by athletic director Tom Jurich. Crum’s tenure ended in a whimper (the Cardinals’ 12-19 mark in 2000-01 was his worst season in three decades) and as he shuffled off, Louisville courted and landed another Hall of Famer: Rick Pitino.

Despite splitting with some acrimony, Crum never left Louisville, living there into his 80s and continuing two of his most passionate hobbies: hunting and fishing. He also was kept on as a special assistant in the president’s office.

“Since 2001, The Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation and the Denny Crum Scholarship Fund at UofL have awarded over a million dollars benefiting over 425 students,” the school said Tuesday. “The San Fernando, Calif., native made Louisville his home and has lent countless hours of his time for charitable causes throughout the community for over 50 years.”

—After using an anti-gay slur twice on the radio this week, West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins has agreed to serve a three-game suspension, take a $1 million salary reduction, and undergo sensitivity training.

—Louisville softball’s Sarah Gordon, Taylor Roby and Korbe Otis were all named First Team All-ACC on Wednesday. Gordon was named the league’s Freshman of the Year. She is the first U of L softball player to earn the honor.

The Cards kick off postseason play with an ACC tournament quarterfinal game against Virginia Tech on Thursday afternoon.

—My only guess is that this has to do with the logistics of installing and operating a shot clock, because otherwise, I don’t really get it.

—Former U of L hoops recruit Isaiah Miranda (remember that name?) is leaving NC State after just five months.

—Louisville women’s basketball has picked up a late 2023 commitment from center Eseosa Imafidon.

—Multiple sites, including Baseball America, have now listed Dan McDonnell as a candidate for the vacant head coaching position at Alabama.

—Louisville is the fourth choice to win the 2023 ACC football championship according to BetOnline.

—Eric Crawford on his final moment with Denny Crum is certainly worth your time.

—Myisha Hines-Allen is No. 54 on Gaming Society’s ranking of the 100 best players in the WNBA.

—Louisville native and Lou City star Josh Wynder will represent the United States at the U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

A defender from Louisville, Wynder is among the 21 players called up by coach Mikey Varas for the World Cup running from May 20-June 11 in Argentina.

This makes Wynder the second Kentuckian to represent the U.S. at a World Cup following Racing Louisville FC Academy graduate Ella Sanchez, who played in the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. He’s also the first active LouCity player to make a World Cup squad.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in a World Cup,” Wynder said. “It’s exciting to represent the United States – and the city of Louisville – on the global stage. This is another step in my journey, and I’m thankful for everyone who’s helped me along the way.”

—On3 ranks the 10 best cornerback corps for the upcoming season in college football, and Louisville gets an honorable mention nod. Pretty impressive considering the unit was considered a weakness before Jeff Brohm started doing work in the portal.

—Kentucky State has been hit with a lack of institutional control charge from the NCAA.

—There is a new Ghost Tour launching in Louisville.


—It appears the Russ Smith/Peyton Siva backcourt will be reunited during this summer’s TBT.

—Updated NCAA tournament projections do not feature the Louisville baseball team.

—If you want to get even more excited about the state of Cardinal football, check out this interview with Brad Powers.

—If you’re interested in the game of new U of L transfer Tre White, a great breakdown of both the good and the bad starts here and ends with this summary:

—Congrats to Donovan Mitchell on being named Second Team All-NBA. He’s just the second Cardinal ever to achieve the feat.

—Mitchell wasn’t exactly thrilled with the fact that he was left off the First Team.

—Brian Bennett of The Athletic writes about Denny Crum’s passing here.

—Tickets are now available for The Ville’s TBT game(s):

—The ACC Digital Network has three (video) post-spring things to know about Louisville football.

—Brooks Holton of the Courier Journal spoke with Lancaster Gordon and a host of other former Cardinal players about how Denny Crum molded them into leaders.

—John Clay writes that we have Denny Crum to thank for the modern Louisville-Kentucky basketball series.

—And finally, Denny Crum’s dynasty at U of L left UCLA fans wondering what might have been.