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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The Cardinal kids are ready for some more Yum Center action this evening.

—NET Rankings Update (men’s): No. 186 (up 6)

—NET Rankings Update (women’s): No. 21 (no change)

—It’s another big one for the U of L women’s basketball team tonight at 6 against Notre Dame. Here’s a preview.

—I get that these polls aren’t an exact science, but I was still surprised that the results were this close.

—The CJ ranks the top 10 returning offensive players on the 2024 Louisville football team.

Defensive lapses kept Kenny Payne’s team from starting a “corner turning” narrative Wednesday night.

—Nick Saban is joining “College GameDay,” ESPN announced yesterday.

—Former Louisville WR Tyler Harrell is the betting favorite to run the fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine. Jawhar Jordan is the sixth choice.

—Transition defense basically boils down to focus and effort. There’s no excuse for this.

—After nearly eight years, three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will return to formal competition by participating in a gymnastics event in Louisville later this month.

—The promotional schedule for the 2024 Louisville Bats season is out. The Bats will begin play at Slugger Field on March 29, the earliest start in franchise history.

—Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician has three takeaways from Syracuse’s win over Louisville.

—Syracuse.com recaps the Orange victory.

—After some history making of the right kind with Ty-Laur on Saturday, the Cards were back to making the wrong kind of history on Wednesday.

—The Louisville lacrosse team will kick off its 2024 season with a pair of games in Colorado this weekend.

—The Kentucky Derby doesn’t need Bob Baffert.

—The Dan McDonnell Radio Show is back.

—Here are the 25 best quarterback performances in Super Bowl history, according to Sports Illustrated’s Craig Ellenport.

—The Big East is still the most fun conference in college basketball and there isn’t a close second.

—Former Card Dre Davis dropped 25 and 10 for Seton Hall last night and is looking like a serious All-Big East contender.

—The new ESPN, Fox, WBD streaming venture won’t solve much — at least not yet.

—Despite Tyler Shough’s injury history, Jeff Brohm says he’s comfortable bringing the transfer QB in to run the show.

Because of this, Brohm and the rest of Louisville’s staff - both coaching and support - made sure they did their due diligence during Shough’s recruitment process. They “analyzed everything” regarding his injury, and even conducted a physical during his official visit.

His current fibula injury is one that Brohm drew comparisons to injuries suffered by Plummer and fellow QB David Blough while he was the head coach at Purdue. In the end, Louisville determined that Shough’s injury rap sheet was more so a byproduct of sheer bad luck than being injury prone, and that he will be able to fully recover.

“Yes, he’s had some injuries,” Brohm said. “We studied exactly what they were, we’ve had him in for a physical, we analyzed everything he had. We went through it in great detail. He’s had some unlucky injuries that happened actually during the season that has caused him some missed some action. That sometimes happens, and sometimes it doesn’t, but we’ve all had injuries throughout our time. ... I just think that there’s always going to be a risk for injury, and he’s going to work hard to get his body ready to play, and we’re gonna work hard to put him in a great position, and surround him with great talent.”

—Jay Bilas is the guest on the latest episode of C.L. Brown’s podcast.

—Brooks Holton profiles the Yum Center’s two emcees for men’s and women’s basketball.

—Jeff Brohm talks a little portal with Kendrick Haskins here:

—Notre Dame Insider previews tonight’s women’s basketball showdown in The Ville.

—Rick Pitino says the NCAA no longer serves any value to college athletics.

—Cardinal Authority highlights some class of 2025 defensive recruits for Louisville fans to keep an eye on.

—Some early Kentucky Derby odds here:

—The U of L men’s indoor track and field squad is No. 22 in the latest national poll.

—Vote for the Louisville Zoo as the best zoo in America here.

—C.L. Brown writes that Kenny Payne deserves to finish this season out.

—I will never scroll past these highlights:

—247 Sports ranks Louisville football’s five best additions from the transfer portal.

—Eric Crawford’s postgame write-up from last night focuses on Louisville’s steadily sad defense.

Louisville showed up well in some hustle stats. It outrebounded Syracuse 40-21. It outscored the Orange 23-3 on second-chance points. It dished out 15 assists. But Syracuse overwhelmed Louisville on the fast break, outscoring the Cardinals 33-6. Louisville also was plagued with turnovers, giving up 17 of them, many of them live-ball turnovers, which Syracuse cashed in for 23 points.

But it did not get stops. Syracuse scored on 61 percent of its possessions. Chris Bell scored 30 points for the Orange, on 8-of-10 shooting from three-point range, most of them open.

The defense marred another solid offensive performance from the Cards, who shot 54 percent themselves, 44 percent (11 of 25) from three-point range.

Payne said the coaches have been stressing defense in practice, but aren’t seeing results on the court.

“We keep drilling on defense. We keep working on it. We keep telling them the importance of defending,” Payne said. “We can’t stop doing it. We have to emphasize it. We have to discipline guys when they don’t do what they’re supposed to do, don’t fight through a possession or open up and give a guy a driving lane to the basket. We work on that every day.”

—Forbes says Louisville drivers are the 7th-worst among the country’s 50 biggest cities.

—Tyler Baron is a “huge addition” for the Louisville defense.

—Congrats to Q. Very much-deserved.

—Duke Basketball Report recaps the night that was in ACC hoops.

—Inside the Loud House has some takeaways from Syracuse’s win over U of L.

—And finally, beat Notre Dame.