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College Football back this week… Kinda.



This week marks the unofficial start of the college football season for us here in the ACC and others across the country. It’s a lean time of the year for college sports but conference media days is a thirst-quenching event for all avid fans. Coach Satterfield will have WR Seth Dawkins and LB Dorian Etheridge with him at the 2019 ACC Football Kickoff, July 17-18, at The Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. Two players that will have to play a major role in the Cardinals 6th season in the ACC.

Louisville enters year six in the ACC with a winning record. At 21-19 the Cardinals have established some ground in the conference. We took our licks last year for sure (0-8) but have been competitive overall. The Cardinals have added a few new trophies to the case since being ACC members and have taken it right to the blue blood of the conference.

This year a new challenge. Louisville has never headed into a season in a Power 5 conference with a losing record from the previous season. To add to this challenge a complete overhaul of the coaching staff. The last time things were this bad in Louisville the Cardinals were coming off a 15-21 record in three years under Kragthorpe and the schedule was a little more forgiving for the first-year head coach Strong.

Coach Satterfield was named the 23rd head coach to lead the Cardinals back in December. He had a remarkable 51-24 record at App State including a 38-10 conference mark in six seasons with the Mountaineers. His conference record of 34-6 in five Sun Belt seasons is the best in the league over that span. The winning recipe has arrived in Louisville but will there be enough ingredients in the mix for a successful year in the ACC.

With 19 returning starters the cupboard is far from bare for Satterfield and his staff heading into the 2019 campaign. With 7 starters on offense and 10 on defense returning to the line-up, I’d like to believe that the program can be competitive in conference play and string together enough wins to make it into a postseason Bowl game.

We got rid of what was supposed to be the problem. The only thing left from that 0-8 ACC debacle last season is these players. How will they respond? Could it be that some of them were the problem last year? There are a lot of questions for this team heading into another ACC Football season. We’ll get answers to some of the trivial stuff this week as Coach Satterfield and players make the rounds at media days but the real answers will come between those lines this fall.

Coach Satterfield and the players with him at ACC Media Day will be at the podium on Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:00pm. You can catch all of the live video and coverage at ACC KICKOFF CENTRAL.

Coach Satterfield has faced Clemson, Miami and Wake Forest from the ACC going 0-3 in those games.

Louisville Basketball has its Swag back…

(Photo courtesy LouisvilleMBB)


Touting a consensus top 10 recruiting class and a solid group of returning veterans Coach Mack met with the local media on Tuesday afternoon to provide a summer update. Along with Coach Mack two potential ACC all teamers Jordan Nwora and Steven Enoch. None of these guys shied away from from the National Title talk and seem to be embracing the high expectations that already surround this team.

“I think you come to a place like Louisville to embrace those kinds of expectations…We’re not going to run from those expectations. Those guys that came here came to win a national championship.” – Chris Mack

Louisville basketball coach Chris Mack discusses Nwora and Enoch opting out of the NBA draft to stay at U of L and expectations for next season.

Both Nwora and Enoch echoed these sentiments as they addressed the media. I love it! This is the Louisville Basketball program I grew up watching. A consensus preseason top 5 team heading into the summer even the talking heads have jumped back on the Louisville bandwagon. Jeff Goodman is one of the few of them I pay attention to and he has Louisville ranked #3 in his latest preseason poll. Saying in a tweet ”And yes, I also have Louisville in front of UK.”

”Louisville in front of Kentucky”… That didn’t take long. But talk is cheap and this team’s first task will be to take back some of the respect lost in the rivalry.

Adding freshmen like McDonald’s All American Samuell Williamson and the freakishly athletic basketball sensation known as the ‘Irish Hulk’ Aidan Igiehon along with a grad transfer named ”Fresh” who comes in averaging 15.6 points in NCAA competition to a roster returning 56.7 points, and 28.1 rebounds you can’t blame Louisville for having their Swag back. Right?

It’s about time Louisville basketball and its fans get in a little chest thumping. The practice gym on Floyd Street will be bursting at the seams with basketball talent this winter. I’ve heard the players say Coach Mike Peques often refers to a quote found in Proverbs 27:17 “iron sharpens iron”. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” There is mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper.

You can talk with any coach in America and they’ll tell you that its the competition in practice that makes a team better. I don’t think you’ll find another gym in the country with a more competitive environment than the Planet Fitness Kueber Center will have.

The theme here is Swag. And there hasn’t been a player in the last 10 years with more of it than Jordan Nwora. Since the first day, he walked into a Louisville gym just a young guy that knows how to carry himself. And won’t accept anything less than what he intends. My favorite player I affectionately call him Swag. This dude is the biggest offseason acquisition in college hoops and its not close. Already being mentioned as a potential First Team All American by some. With his size and ability, he is one of the best players in the country. On a team like this, he will be able to just fill his role. I think that will help him become the player he wants to be. That is a good thing for the Cardinals and Jordan.

Jordan Nwora discusses passing on the NBA draft to return to Louisville

In talking about the obvious I’m not ignoring the impact Ryan McMahon (best spot up shooter in the country), Dwayne Sutton (best sixth man in the country), Malik Williams (one of the best shot blockers in the country) and Darius Perry (one of the most energetic guys) will have this season.

Folks this team is loaded and for good reason, the swagger is back. Stick your chest out and look forward to the winter ahead. I expect that the hype will only grow as we get closer. Louisville isn’t just a player in the game this season they just might be the game. Louisville Basketball has its Swag back and I love it. Go Cards!

 

Rooftops, an RV & The Berm It’s June in Louisville



Dan McDonnell took over as head coach of the Louisville Baseball program in 2007 and has turned it into a perennial powerhouse. In fact, Louisville entered 2019 with the most wins of any Division I program from 2007-18 with 554.

The Cardinal 9 (as we call them affectionately) has become a household name nationally enjoying a historic run by remaining ranked in at least one major national poll every week since the release of the 2012 preseason rankings. It is longest such span in school history.

All of that success has equaled to a lot of fun for Cardinal fans and my family looks forward to our trips to Jim Patterson Stadium in June for postseason baseball. Louisville has hosted the NCAA regional round eight of the last 11 seasons. My son is 7 years old and that playground on the Berm has become a staple of his young summer life. I think he has a little click of dudes he sees every summer. It’s awesome.

My wife is not even a sports person and she enjoys our summer trips to Jim Patterson Stadium. I remember the first time she saw the rooftop renegades. She thought it was awesome that folks could sit on top of their house and cheer for their favorite team. Oh, yea we get on the rooftops for our Cardinals. Just one of the many unique and glorious things you’ll see at the University of Louisville’s baseball stadium in June.

I also love seeing fans sitting on the rooftops and that one group of Louisville fans that park their RV down the third base line. They tailgating like it’s September down there. What other ballparks in the NCAA will you see these things?

I’m no college Baseball aficionado. I follow the team loosely through the season getting most of my updates and Louisville Baseball news from @GeneralWasp on Twitter. I am a sucker for nostalgia. And I really look forward to going to Louisville Baseball games with my family in June.

It was awful missing out on our summer tradition in 2018, but the Cardinals are back in the friendly confines of Jim Patterson Stadium, where they have won 15 consecutive regional games. Win, lose or draw, ”Fullerton’s 11th inning always-bending line drive over the left-field wall in 2015”, ”the UC Santa Barbara walk-off home run off Zack Burdi in 2016”, ”that awesome dog pile after beating the Cayuts 6-2 in 2017” the good and the bad all part of the experiences. I have been there for them all.

With guys like Alex Binelas, Tyler Fitzgerald, Justin Lavey and Logan Wyatt leading the Louisville offense and guys like Reid Detmers and Michael McAvene controlling the mound our Cardinals are going to be a tough out at home where the Cardinals are 20-3 in regional games.

Its baseball and there are no guarantees on the outcome. We can only hope we have some guys this season who want to seize their moment. I can guarantee that it will be a great time being around all of the great pageantries that Louisville postseason baseball provides. Enjoy it Cardinal fans. I’ll see you at the Berm!

All Info on NCAA Regional from GoCards.com
Parking, Single Game Tickets, Will Call Info – 2019 NCAA Regional

Louisville Basketball gets a Fresh new commit


Spring has sprung and we have reached a point in the sports season where players are coming and going. A lot of guys have entered what the NCAA calls the transfer portal, some will test their luck in the NBA waters, and some will decide where they want to play their final season of College Basketball. Today graduate transfer Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble decided that he will use his final season of eligibility to play for the Cardinals.

Kimble says that the “Fresh” nickname has followed him around since he was younger. Lamarr says that the Fresh nickname was originally given to his father and he just adopted it over the years. He says that it has meant different things during his life and has been used to describe his skills with a basketball. I don’t know about fresh, but he has proven to be a winner throughout his basketball career and seems to have the character and leadership qualities we have grown accustomed to here at Louisville in regard to graduate transfers.

An all-state performer throughout high school he helped his teams win multiple state titles. He carried that ability with him to St. Joseph’s where he earned Atlantic 10 All-Rookie honors helping the Hawks win a conference Title coming off the bench his freshman season. He started to really find his groove averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 assist a game before injuring his foot. This injury would cause him to miss the final 7 games of his sophomore season and all but one game during his junior season.

Despite having to overcome yet another injury to his hand missing another 10 games Kimble had a great final season with the Hawks where he was the second leading scorer with 15.6 points per game…, and ranked second on the team in assists with 2.8 per game… A couple of times last season he had back to back 22-point games and even hung a career-high 31 points on #13 West Virginia.

In doing my research on Kimble two things stood out to me. 1. Is that this dude had 3 game winning shots during his time at St Joseph’s. That tells me that he is a game winner and wants the ball in his hands when it’s all on the line. You can’t have enough guys like this on a team. And 2. Kimble is the only player in St. Joseph’s school history to serve as a team captain for three years. Now that’s Fresh.

We have been very lucky to have some quality young men come into the Louisville program as graduate transfers. Guys with exceptional ability on the court and exceptional character off the court. By all accounts Kimble follows that mold. We have a great group of freshmen coming to campus next season. That group is going to need the kind of leadership and example that Lamarr can provide. Former St Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said: “[Kimble] is not a scoring machine but he is a leader.”

I couldn’t be more excited about the direction of the Louisville Basketball program. Most early prognosticators have them ranked in their Top 10’s to start the 2019-20 season. We needed to add a few more pieces for it to be a special one and Coach Mack is off to a good start here. Welcome “Fresh” Kimble.

Let’s just get Past this first round

(photo courtesy of @LouisvilleMBB)


We missed out on the fun last season but the wait is almost over. Our Cardinals will literally kick off the 2019 NCAA Tournament when they play Minnesota at 12:15 pm. First round games have a history of being a topsy-turvy of events especially in games where the Seeds are more evenly paired. As a Louisville fan, I have some horrible memories of first-round games. I don’t want this to be one of those occasions.

As a fan you want this first game of the NCAA Tournament to be as drama free as it can be. Watch your team cruise to an easy win and move on to battle for a spot in the second weekend. The NCAA Tournament Committee did their part to make sure this first game was anything but drama free for Louisville. Speaking of Past. Louisville can’t seem to get away from theirs.

I have intentionally tried to stay away from all of the ”Pitino” rhetoric this week. Coach Mack said that he had tried to keep it away from his team this week. Listening to some of the comments from the open practice yesterday it doesn’t sound like these players care to much about it either. They appear to be in the moment. This team has been good at staying in the moment all season.

The Cardinals had the misfortune of facing some tough opponents in the tail end of their season, but they really didn’t get blown out in any game and held their own against the top-tier opponents for the most part. They overcame some tough losses along the way but were able to take on the season one game at a time. They’ll have to do that over the next few weeks to survive and advance.

I don’t expect this to be an easy one against the Gophers. They play hard for their Coach. His teams are known for their effective offense, and they make opponents earn points on defense. I can assure you that they will press and press some more. I respect their X’s and O’s and they also have some pretty good Jimmys and Joes. Amir Coffey and Jordan Murphy are a great one/two punch for them. Murphy averages a double-double per game with 14.8 points and 11.5 rebounds. He is the kinda dude that can take one over.

Louisville will have the best player on the floor in this game. I hope that Jordan Nwora can rise to this occasion. It will be his first appearance under these bright lights. He has managed the pressure of being the ”go-to” guy this season but being the ”go-to” guy in the NCAA Tournament is a different pressure. I don’t think Minnesota has anyone that matches up well with Jordan but they’ll have a plan to slow him down.

This Louisville team has done a better job of cultivating offense in other ways than just launching bombs from the outside. But they are a live by the three and die by three type of team. It’s just who they are. Hitting that outside shot effects every aspect of their game and can even dictate their defense at times. We just have to hope they hit em.

It would be nice to see someone emerge from nowhere and get some important production. I feel like a great Tournament team always has this guy. For Louisville, I think that guy could be Akoy Agau. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him impact the game in some way. A big rebound or shot. At this point, it is so cliche to say that VJ King could have a big game. He really could have a big game and a good Tournament. He’s been playing with more confidence lately. This team is only one impact wing player away. Just sayin.

Back to Minnesota… They really didn’t look great against Michigan, but otherwise, they’ve performed pretty well lately. Still, the Gophers have had some trouble against the more stout defenses out there. This Louisville team has been solid on the defensive end of the floor lately. I think they match up well.

I just want to get past this first round game. I think this team needs to get past this first one. This game could also go a long way of moving us past that other stuff. It really is time to bury it. The program has moved on.

I love the NCAA Tournament and am glad that my Cardinals are back in the big dance. It’s going to be an event filled with drama as 65 games are played over the next three weeks. There will only be one team left standing. I hope that team is Louisville. I can hope.
Can’t I?

Go Cards!

GO CARDS.COM TOURNAMENT GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Cards are in the money round…


I headed into this week pretty confident that Louisville couldn’t really hurt themselves. I do think they are now in a position to help their seeding for the NCAA Tournament. That starts tonight in the money round of the ACC Tournament. It will be a rubber match between the Cardinals and Tarheels

Its been a long time since that game where Louisville trounced UNC by 21 on their home court back in January. A game that was never in question. North Carolina returned the favor in a 10 point win of their own against Louisville in the Yum Center back in February.

North Carolina doesn’t have too many issues heading into this game. They seem to have distanced themselves from those sketchy games in mid-January and have been on a seven-game win streak since. Louisville was able to sneak up on this team early on and were hitting everything they threw up that day. I don’t think anyone will do that to UNC again.

For North Carolina, it was about figuring out that they had to play hard. Louisville is still figuring it out and that has a lot to do with finding other ways to score when the outside shot isn’t falling. Over the last few weeks you can see them working on this but boy they really love that jumper. With this Louisville group, its been live by the three and die by the three. They’ll need a few to drop tonight and will have to crash the boards. They can’t let this UNC squad rebound and get out in front of them. Can’t chase them the whole game as they did back in February.

If Louisville wants to win this game they’ll have to take it. I don’t feel like they’ve gone out and just took one in a long time. Win this game and have a chance to move up a few lines. Play hard and lose this team could still have some great momentum heading into next week.

Go Cards!

Let the College Basketball Postseason begin…


Our Cardinals will start postseason play against Notre Dame in the second round of the ACC Tournament. Louisville was able to defeat Notre Dame in their only match-up of the season as the Cardinals won by a 75-61 margin in the last game of the regular season.

15-seed Norte Dame kept their season alive after defeating the 10-seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 78-71, on Tuesday afternoon. The Irish came into the ACC Men’s Tournament on a 7-game losing streak. They showed some signs of life against Tech in the first half of this game but the Irish team we’ve seen for most of the season showed up in the 2nd half and had trouble holding on for the victory.

Our Cardinals struggled down the stretch, however, they’ve clearly established themselves as one of the toughest teams in the country. We have one of the best players in the country and in the ACC. I feel like Jordan Nwora was overlooked in the ACC accolades announced Monday. But screw em. I think Jordan and this Louisville team could make a deep run this week.

I do think there is still a chance for Louisville to move themselves up a couple of lines if they have a successful ACC Tourney, but don’t think they can hurt themselves much. I do think this team would benefit from some good momentum heading into next week. Some of these guys haven’t experienced the NCAA Tournament. Would like to see them enter with some confidence.

I don’t think they’ll have any trouble in this one as I expect Notre Dame to be out of gas. They gave it all they had just to reach this game. Hope we see a lot of guys score and a lot of smiles. I’m already smiling because I love this time of year. Nothing like College Basketball in March. Just gonna take it all in.

Enjoy folks! Go Cards!

GOCARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Knock knock. Hoo’s there? Virginia again!


It’s been too long since our Cardinals have had a win over conference rival Virginia. The Cavaliers have made their way up my shit list of College teams over the last few years. Not only do they make you set thru their deliberate and frustrating approach on offense and defense for 40 minutes they usually win. The Cardinals have lost the last eight games in this series.

During that time the basketball Gods have been pretty unkind to Louisville with that devastating one-point loss to them a year ago this week. Enough is enough. It’s the Cardinals turn for a win in this game?

A few weeks ago I jumped the gun and pulled out my VJ King prediction. Haven’t we all made that prediction? I had saved it up and really thought the last game against Virginia we might see something. But this team was in the midst of an offensive funk.

A funk so bad that it seen Louisville have some of their worst totals in a while scoring 59 points and a low of 49 over that three-game stretch. It was really encouraging to see them put up 75 against Notre Dame. They scored points and scored in different ways. Oh, and VJ King made his return.

VJ really looks like he has regained some confidence. He has had success playing against Virginia averaging 11.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. He scored a career-high 24 points against Virginia during his freshman season. I think he’s capable of a big game today.

Jordan also returned to form with 20 points and 11 rebounds against Notre Dame. It was good to see Malik Williams double-double for the Cardinals in that one with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Think these guys could play a big role today.

This is like a final exam for this Louisville team. They had moments this season where they looked really good and here lately have looked really bad. The live by the three die by the three mentality is fun to watch when it works out. Not so much when it doesn’t.

Maybe this team learned during that losing streak not to rely so heavily on the outside shot. Maybe they ”just learned” during this brutal conference stretch. This team should be pretty tough at this point. They’ve had a week to prepare for this finale.

Today is our day Louisville fans. VJ King will Beast out and will be proclaimed the King Slayer. This Louisville team has been solid on the road. Today we see the return of the Road Dogs. Please, basketball Gods!

Go Cards!

GOCARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Cards need a win on Senior Day


Kinda hard to believe that there are only two games left in the regular season of College Basketball. Our Cardinals came out of the gate strong but have really struggled down the stretch. At one time they were riding a six-game conference win streak and had won those games by an average of 18 points.

In the past few weeks, the wheels have fallen off, which includes losing five of their last six and being outscored by an average of eight points. A drastic turnaround since that great run in January. The difference? During that great run, they were shooting 46.7% from the field. In the last six games shooting just 33.4 percent from the field. Things have really gotten stagnant on offense.

The good news is that we know these guys are capable of walking into any gym in the country and beating anyone. They have at least shown the ability to play at a high level. They can turn things around. Offensive woes come and go and let’s hope we left them in February.

You can’t say the same thing for Notre Dame. The Irish have pretty much been the same team all season. They’ve lost 10 of their last 12, are shooting under 40 percent from the field on the season and are shooting 38.4 percent from the field on the road.

On Sunday afternoon three Cardinals will lace them up for the final time in the Louisville locker room. They are not seniors of the traditional type but there will be a ceremony for Graduate Students Akoy Agau, Christen Cunningham, and Khwan Fore. They had some big shoes to fill following some great grad transfers from past seasons and lived up to those expectations.

In successful programs tradition never graduates and these three guys have added to that great Louisville tradition. Each playing some role in getting the program back to the NCAA Tournament. I want to thank them for deciding to spend their last season of college eligibility playing for the Cardinals. They are all great guys.

I hope they get to walk off Denny Crum Court winners. And this team needs a win. They have secured their spot in the postseason but could really use this game to get back some of that momentum they had early on. I’m ready for March Madness. Go Cards!

GO CARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Can Louisville find an unlikely Hero on Saturday


It’s been over 1400 days since Louisville has beaten Virginia in basketball. You have to go all the way back to March of 2015 to see the Cardinals in the win column in the series led by Virginia 13-4..


I knew the Cards were gonna hit the game-winner that day. That’s why I started taking this video. That was one of those days in the Yum Center I’ll never forget. I just knew they’d win but was just as surprised as everyone when an unlikely hero emerged.

Mangok Mathiang is a Louisville basketball player that had his ups and downs on the court. In the game, before he hit this big shot he had played just 4 minutes fouling out. He was a player that took a lot of grief from the fans so it was good seeing him have his moment. The players were enjoying it too.

Reminds me of another guy who has been struggling…

As Coach Mack was pouring over old game footage preparing for this game he had to notice how VJ stood out against the Virginia pack line D. I think that he could really impact this game and hope he gets some clock.

VJ King has had a tough season and has had a career of ups and downs. But Virginia hasn’t been able to stop him. VJ is averaging 11.8 points and 2.8 rebounds against the Cavaliers in his career. He scored a career-high 24 points against Virginia during his freshman season.

Virginia is one of the best teams in the country but they have shown a chink in the armor over the last few weeks. Including a clunker that almost cost them a home loss to Notre Dame. Our Cardinals have struggled on offense as of late, however, they are still a solid club and can be especially tough at home on the defensive end. Louisville is an impressive 13-3 at home this season.

I think an unlikely hero will emerge on Saturday. I think this Louisville team needs an unexpected outing from someone. Not only for this one but to make any kind of serious run down the stretch. There have been a lot of ”the game VJ King shows up” predictions and this is mine.

Go Cards!

GOCARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN