—Louisville’s first matchup in the Empire Classic will be against Texas, with Indiana and UConn squaring off in the other semifinal. The Nov. 19 double-header will begin at 1 p.m. Tickets are available here.
—C.L. Brown shares his thoughts on Trentyn Flowers leaving Louisville basketball for Australia before the first day of the fall semester.
—The Athletic’s college hoops staff dives into the Flowers news from every angle.
Why does going to the NBL make sense for Flowers?
There are two reasons here. First, in his new situation in Adelaide, the NBL and 36ers head coach C.J. Bruton pitched Flowers on getting to initiate the offense and play as a big lead guard. According to an NBL source, that was a big part of the sell from Flowers’ perspective. The plan, at least to start the year, is for Flowers to run the point. That appealed to him.
I’m a little skeptical that he’s ready to do that for a professional club right now. He has real talent in transition but needs a lot of work in half-court settings. There’s more to running the show and being a point guard than natural talent. Being big and being able to handle the ball isn’t enough. Flowers needs to work on his overall pace of play and ability to play regularly out of ball-screens. In the settings I’ve seen, he’s also been very reliant on scoring in the paint. He needs to add more of a reliable jumper and midrange game, as well as adjust to playing against bigger bodies consistently. Essentially, he needs time to develop.
The good news? The 36ers have one of the smartest, most reliable point guards in the league in Mitch McCarron. McCarron is the kind of player who is totally unselfish and gives it all for the team, whatever he’s asked. That means this doesn’t have to be a full-time endeavor in the vein of Ball or Josh Giddey for Flowers. The two should blend well together and be able to play on the court at the same time. Having McCarron around to get the offense running for a majority of the possessions in the halfcourt while Flowers gets to push the ball early in transition, then secondarily initiate in scramble settings will be valuable to his development. That kind of situation would position Flowers better than just rolling the ball out for him and letting him do whatever he wants, which is more what Illawarra did for Ball.
Additionally, the fit at Louisville for Flowers wasn’t ideal in terms of the roster. Flowers is a player that thrives on playing in transition and being able to attack in a well-spaced court while making decisions as a passer and driver. The Louisville roster has a ton of non-shooters. The two other best long-term prospects on the roster, Tre White and Dennis Evans, are both guys who struggle to shoot it. Guys like J.J. Traynor and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield at the 4 have yet to show that they can consistently shoot it. That means any big lineup with Flowers playing at the 1 or 2 with one of those guys, White and Evans, would have had zero space to operate. I think he even would have had difficulty simply in any lineups where he, White and one of those other three players were out there. In a condensed college court where big wings just generally have problems finding space to drive, it was always going to be tough for Flowers to show his best self with the Cardinals.
I think this is a better fit for Flowers’ talents than just going to Louisville given what Payne recruited around him. — Vecenie
—Louisville Report’s Matt McGavic looks at what losing Flowers means for the season ahead.
—Flowers’ mother has claimed that Trentyn has received death threats since yesterday’s announcement. U of L has contacted the family and recommended that they report any forms of harassment to the proper authorities.
—Eric Bossi of 247 Sports says losing Flowers will shed more light on Kenny Payne’s confusing refusal to recruit ball-handlers.
—Skyy Clark is still extremely confident about the season ahead.
—Indiana is officially trying to get out of its 2025 football game against Louisville in Bloomington. The Cards and Hoosiers are playing this year in Indianapolis, and next season at L&N Stadium.
—Rick Bozich agrees with the move for IU.
—ESPN’s Paul Biancardi served up his take on Trentyn Flowers’ game here.
—College football is barreling toward a super league, no matter what might be lost.
—God has been sending the Flowers family in a number of different directions in a very short span of time.
—A good explainer of the Michael Oher drama here.
—Crimson Quarry has an ode to the ACC-Big 10 Challenge (RIP).
—No Louisville player cracks ESPN’s list of the 100 best college football player for 2023.
—I have a birthday in less than two weeks, and a Lions “Bridgewater No. 50” jersey would look glorious.
The NFL only allows quarterbacks to wear a number between 0 and 19. But all of those numbers are either taken or retired on the Lions.— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 15, 2023
So Teddy Bridgewater is currently wearing No. 50.
: @Lions pic.twitter.com/k0QyUikvCN
—The Athletic’s preseason college football All-America squad is here.
—No Cardinals make The Athletic’s “freak list” for 2023.
—Anyone who has watched Louisville’s quarterbacks at any point during fall camp has come to the same conclusion: Jack Plummer is the guy.
—CJ Moore takes a closer look at Trilly Donovan, the college hoops insider whose identity no one knows.
—Thank goodness for football season.
“This isn’t only our football team, it’s OUR football team. Everybody that’s here and in this city wants to be apart of it.”#Louisville head coach @JeffBrohm on why he opened practice to the public and how it showcased his teams intensity #GoCards @WHAS11 pic.twitter.com/G4OCLBB8B1— Mason Horodyski (@MasonHorodyski) August 14, 2023
Please beat Georgia Tech, Jeff.
—Chris Vannini of The Athletic writes that the ACC needs to do whatever it has to do in order to add Stanford and Cal.
—The Kentucky State Fair has a special deal for JCPS students who won’t be in school on Thursday.
—Sydney Curry talked about Kenny Payne and Trentyn Flowers’ decision here.
—I am so ready for the first Jeff Brohm locker room video.
"I do pray for the man upstairs when I do take the field because I will say things that I will regret" #Louisville head coach @JeffBrohm doesn't just expect competitive intensity out of his players, but also out of himself.@WHAS11 #GoCards pic.twitter.com/G5Naw1x1gG— Mason Horodyski (@MasonHorodyski) August 14, 2023
—Today is the deadline for any school that wants to leave the ACC and compete elsewhere in 2024-25. It ain’t happening.
—Louisville is in the final eight for class of 2024 PF Ryan Jones Jr., a 4-star prospect.
—Ebony.com has a spotlight feature on Russ Smith, bourbon businessman.
—Louisville City and Racing Louisville are establishing (video) a West Louisville Soccer Club.
—Malik Cunningham is the talk of Patriots preseason, just like everyone predicted.
—Bill Cowher will be added to NC State’s Ring of Honor at Carter-Finley Stadium prior to Wolfpack’s Sept. 29 game against Louisville.
—After her stint with the U.S. Women’s National Team at the World Cup, Savannah DeMelo is back with Racing Louisville.
—Dalton Rushing is now the Los Angeles Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect.
—ESPN’s David Hale has a good feature piece on Jeff Brohm’s return home.
“There’s constant people,” Brohm said. “There’s more speaking functions and going out in the community and it’s all important to do that.”
That’s largely meant his wife and kids have enjoyed the perks of being back in Louisville. Brohm’s been on the clock since the moment he accepted the job.
“I tell them I’m glad they’re having fun,” Brohm said. “I’m working my ass off here.”
If it’s time-consuming, Brohm has at least been met with something akin to a red carpet at local high schools, booster club meetings and fan fests. These people know him, and that brings instant cache. That’s the real value of coming home. There’s no sales pitch needed to convince fans to get excited or donors to write a big check or the administration to buy-in on a plan to get better.
Spurrier remembers arriving at Florida in 1990 to a far less optimistic welcome. The Gators had finished 7-5 the year before — and had actually lost at least five games in four straight seasons before he took the job.
Spurrier’s arrival wasn’t accompanied by lofty expectations, so he invited them.
“Some people thought I was a little cocky or brash,” Spurrier said, “because I told them we could win the SEC.”
In his first season, the Gators went 9-2. In his second season, they played in the Sugar Bowl. And for the next 10 years after that, Florida won at least nine games and finished ranked in the top 12 every season.
“There was the pressure I put on myself and the team,” Spurrier said. “We could be Alabama and Georgia and Tennessee and all those guys, but we had to believe. When you believe you can do it, your chances get a lot better.”
Brohm wants fans and his players to believe, too, so he’s not hiding from expectations. He’s embracing them. He’s seen what the town is like when Louisville’s good, when the whole program is humming and the city is along for the ride. To make that happen again in his hometown — what could be better?
So yes, there’s pressure. No one’s set higher expectations than he has.
He grew up here. His family, his wife’s family — they’re from here, too. His kids love Louisville. There’s nowhere else Brohm would rather be. He can’t mess that up.
“The last thing I want to do is be a failure and lose and lose the name I built there because we didn’t win,” Brohm said. “It motivates me to work harder, so that if for some reason it doesn’t work, I can look in the mirror and say, ‘OK, there’s nothing I could have done more to get this done.’”
—Monty Montgomery and Reuben Owens both make ESPN’s list of the 50 most important newcomers for the upcoming college football season.
—The Kentucky high school football season begins Friday, and the CJ ha your guide to week one.
—Speaking of, Trinity football games this season will be streaming live on WDRB+.
—The Crunch Zone takes a closer look at Louisville’s quarterback room.
—Would seem to be a nice bullet point on Jeff Brohm’s resume.
Aidan O’Connell in his NFL debut with the Raiders:— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) August 14, 2023
• got the start
• led 4 scoring drives
• 15-18 comp-att
• 141 yards
That stache is going to be in the league for a long time. pic.twitter.com/hbrTFAi6II
—There are tons of ways for your kids to be involved with the U of L men’s soccer team this season. Find out more here.
—The 502 Circle now has the option for fans to pledge a certain amount of money per wins or per touchdowns this fall.
—Louisville Report looks at how the Louisville secondary moves forward without MJ Griffin.
—MJ’s father says his son will be back.
—Get used to this, Jacksonville.
—Louisville’s running backs have been living up to expectations so far during fall camp.
—At least half of the projected tarting quarterbacks in every power conference this season are transfers.
—Former Louisville pitcher Greg Farone is heading to Alabama for his final season.
—This would be lovely.
If college football adopted the promotion/relegation system. Relegation games would draw so many viewers. pic.twitter.com/8aV9Wn5zws— Projection Sports (@ProjSports) August 11, 2023
—Eric Mac Lain has Bryan Hudson as the best center in the ACC.
—Back in the day, Tim Couch moved out (KSR video link warning) of his parents house because of a fight with his dad over whether he was going to Kentucky or Tennessee.
—Louisville’s loss to Rutgers in ‘06 makes this list of the most heartbreaking defeats in college football history.
—An NCAA film crew recently spent a day with U of L volleyball.
—The 2023 U of L cross country schedule is here.
—Here’s the U of L recap of this weekend’s first football scrimmage of fall camp.
—Mark Hagen and some Cardinal defensive linemen spoke with the media after Tuesday’s practice.
—Rick Bozich says Louisville and Kenny Payne should be fine, even after yesterday’s Trentyn Flowers news.
—Eric Crawford isn’t quite as optimistic.
—And finally, I’ll try and get through three hours of radio without going back to the hospital this afternoon from 3-6 on The Big X. You can stream it here or by calling (518) 931-1125.