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A banner night for the Louisville Basketball Program



The very first event my son attended with me (he was about 5 months old) was the 2012 Final Four celebration at 4th Street Live. That was such a fun season and I became a father. I drove to every game in the Cardinals run in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and then drove back home to be with my wife and then 1yr old. My wife was an angel for letting me do that. Sacrifices made…

I tell these stories because so much of our lives and time is invested into the sports teams we follow and love. So many memories and so many personal experiences that are attached to it all. That’s why we all took it so personally when the NCAA leveled the Louisville Basketball Program.

I had a lot invested in the two seasons, Final Four and National Title that was vacated by the NCAA. And really liked our Hall of Fame coach that got fired. It’s like I woke up one day and had 3 important years erased from my life. I know that might sound extreme but I’m passionate about my Cardinals. It’s God, Family and my Cardinals who take up most of the real estate in this heart.

It’s that way for most of us. That’s why the Louisville fan base is one of the best in the country. It’s not just a past time it’s a part of us. And that’s why a night like Tuesday night meant so much. We didn’t get back all those wins, the Final Four banner or the National Title Tuesday night. We did get some redemption.

The symbolism of it all was amazing. Louisville coming into the game against Michigan as the #1 team in the country. The first number one ranking since that 2013 season. The Final Four MOP Banner being hung in the rafters. That gracious speech by Darrel Griffith. Leaning on that tradition helped in a rough time. And seeing Luke get his moment back. Then for him to turn around and give that moment to us all.



The night wouldn’t have been the same if the #1 Cardinals hadn’t taken care of business. Take care of business they did. They locked down one of the hottest offensive teams in the country on way to the 58-43 victory. They put the exclamation on the night.

This group of players deserves a lot of credit for their resilience. Ryan McMahon had three different coaches and Jordan Nwora got caught up in a coaching change that could have resulted in him transferring. That 2017-18 season was tough for him. They have all endured and overcome the obstacles that can plague a coaching change in the midst of chaos.

I don’t think Coach Mack gets enough credit for the job he has done. The guy came in amidst all the sanctions and chaos. Not to mention the beating we took before all that happened. The program was as low as it has been in my lifetime. Two years later and we are again top of the heap. Ask Dave Padgett how easy it is. Mack deserves all the credit in the world. Can’t just glaze over it as if anyone could have done what he has. They couldn’t.

I was at the game on Tuesday night with my son. He is now 8yrs old and loves his Cardinals. He’s asked me a hundred times this week ”daddy are we number one” and proudly I could tell him after this game yes. Our Cardinals are #1. Louisville Basketball is back…

What a night!

Don’t need no déjà WKU today



I saw a conversation on social media this week talking about the offensive prowess of this current UofL Basketball team. We haven’t had too many teams in the last ten years that could score as these guys do.

The 2008-9 group wasn’t too shabby…
That team who was led by Terrence Williams, Earl Clark and Samardo Samuels shot 46% from the field and 37% from the three-point line. They averaged 8.2 threes a game that season. This current team came into this week averaging 8.8 threes a game.

Much like the current group of Cardinals they came into that 2008 season with a lot of juice. They were ranked #3 in the country. And after blowing through their first few opponents that season they headed into Nashville on November 30th Thanksgiving weekend to face WKU.

That day was the last time we lost to a Western Kentucky team. The Hilltoppers won the game 68-54. The Cardinals couldn’t throw it in the ocean. Got outrebounded 48-36, outscored 24-18 in the paint in the loss. It was just an odd day.

Talking about odd… It doesn’t get much odder than having a College Basketball game broadcast on Facebook at 5:00 pm on Black Friday.

Louisville has a 40-39 edge in this series which dates back to 1926, winning the last seven matchups. If they can win this one today they will be the #1 ranked team in the country.

The game against WKU today is the toughest that our Cardinals have played all season. They will be challenged at every level with a team that has sneaky talent like 2016 Kentucky Mr. Basketball Carson Williams. He is the real-life ”Jimmy Chitwood” of my hometown. He had a big game against Kentucky in the NCAA Tourney a few years ago when he played for NKU and is more than capable of helping ruin the Cardinals day in Nashville.

Charles Bassey is the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with WKU. Last season’s Conference USA Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year will be the toughest challenge for the Louisville post players yet. We got Malik Williams back just in time. Gonna need him in this one today. Enoch will also have his mettle tested.

Coach Rick Stansbury is the kind of coach that can draw something up on ya. And it doesn’t hurt when his team is hitting 41% from the three and 52.8% from the field ranking 5th in the country.

The Cardinals entered the week ranked 2nd in the country shooting 53% from the field. Jordan Nwora has been the most consistent offensive player averaging 21.3 points per game. I think the best player in the country will be the key today.

This one has me really nervous folks. I’d love to see my dude Carson Williams score 30 points and my Cardinals win by 10. I’ve said all week that we will find out a lot about our guys today. They will be tested in every way.

Hopefully, by days end our Cardinals will be headed for the #1 ranking and WKU isn’t celebrating their biggest win in school history. Their current biggest win is against the #3 Cardinals in 2008. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat it’s self. Don’t need any déjà WKU today.

Go Cards!

GO CARDS GAMEDAY PREVIEW:

They can’t all be pretty. Cards are 5-0.


Early November in college basketball can be perplexing. It’s that time of year where the smaller D1 schools are traveling all over the country playing the role of patsy and getting that big paycheck. But sometimes these guys don’t get the memo that they are supposed to take the dive and a real dog fight breaks out.


Boston U and Evansville are two teams that have recently flipped the script on college basketball. On Wednesday night USC Upstate was trying to write their own script. They came out shooting 50% hitting 6 of 12 three-point shots. Their hot shooting staggered the #2 team in the country. Our Cardinals had the look of ”oh shit” in their eyes…

Getting the chance to cover my first game of the season I also had an ”oh shit” moment. I didn’t want to be writing that postgame. But after some back and forth in the second half our Cardinals remembered who they were.

They started doing what they do. ”Junkyard Dog” Sutton pulling down 15 rebounds, Darius Perry dishing out 9 assist with only one turnover, Ryan Mack shooting 5-8 from deep, and Jordan ”swag” Nwora just scoring. He finished with a cool 28.

The Cardinals were also sparked in the second half by the triumphant return of David Johnson and Malik Williams. Johnson had two big dunks and Malik grabbed three big boards that helped shift the momentum. It’s hard not to get giddy thinking about what these two are going to mean to this team once they get their sea legs back. Their return couldn’t have come at a better time.


The schedule doesn’t get any easier with Akron on Sunday and the Cardinals will face a very competitive Western Kentucky team next week in Nashville in a game that’s already got weird written all over it. A five 0 clock game on Black Friday that will only be broadcast on Facebook Live.

If this team keeps building on what they do it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat them. There are so many weapons on this Louisville team and so much versatility that they can absorb a blow like they did tonight and still win by 26… And two big-time players are back in the rotation.

Tonight was my first up close and personal basketball game. I thought I was going to be front row to a shit show but when this team flexed its muscle the shit hit the fan. My up close and personal evaluation is that these guys are really good. How good their season goes will depend on other variables but they got the goods to give us our Atlanta redemption. Cards are 5-0. I’m here for it…

Go Cards!

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Sycamores will not pull an Ace tonight


Louisville fans have had a great time on social media and around the water cooler today at the expense of our blue rivals. Pun intended. Our arch rivals are blue today after watching their #1 ranked Wildcats lose to the Evansville Aces at Rupp last night… Guess you could say “They played like Aces.”

Tonight their Missouri Valley Conference counterparts Indiana State will try to make Louisville fans feel the same way. But don’t expect the Sycamores to pull an Ace on the river.

Don’t get me wrong… I have much respect for The Valley and the Sycamores should do really well in that conference this season. They are a team that returns their top 4 scorers from a season ago. They are coming off a heckuva game against Dayton where they took the Flyers to the wire.

In that game, Indiana State shot 47% from the floor and 40% from 3-point range and outrebounded the Fyler’s 39 to 34. They are a tough gritty team that will play hard. But they don’t have the bodies to go toe to toe with the Cardinals.

Like every night Jordan Nwora will be the best player on the floor. He led his team with 21 points in the home opener making 10 of his 16 shot attempts. My dude is scoring when he wants to not when he needs to. That will be his mo tonight and this season.

Jordan is going to give us a big advantage every night but he also has a lot of depth and talent playing beside him. This Louisville team is loaded and with guys who have put in the work to improve their game.

One of those guys is Darius Perry. Thru 2 games in 2019, he is averaging 8 assists and only 1.5 turnovers. Got his first career double- double with 10 points, a career-high 12 assists and only one turnover in the home opener.

He came into the week ranked 7th in the country in assist with 16 and ranked 44th in the country in assist-turnover ratio. Darius is the most improved player on this Louisville team. He is going to help generate a lot of offense. And is the best on-ball defender on this team. He’ll be a handful for Indiana State.

Another guy who has improved his game is Steven Enoch. He finished with a double-double in the home opener. Enoch grabbed 14 rebounds, recording 17 points, and also added 3 blocked shots. Known as a scorer Steven has added some meat to his game. When you got him rebounding and blocking shots it’s very good for the Cardinals. Not gonna be so good for the other team. He should dominate again tonight.

Weapons… Weapons… and more weapons are what Coach Mack (Evansville Purple Aces 1988-1990) has with this group of Cardinals. When he gets Malik Williams and David Johnson back it’s only going to add to his arsenal. Like I mentioned above Indiana State will have a good season and might even win their Conference Title but it’s Louisville who will have the winning hand tonight.

Sorry, Cayut Fans… Go Cards!

GO CARDS.COM GAMEDAY PREVIEW

Coach Mack & staff get a head start for 2021


Coach Mack and staff got a win on the court today and have got another win tonight getting an early 2021 commit from 4-star Oak Park (Ill.) Fenwick prospect Bryce Hopkins.

Hopkins is a versatile shooter who can play either shooting guard or small forward, the 6-5 prospect can take players off the dribble creating his own and slash to the basket. He is also a player with some versatility and can post up by the basket.

Hopkins currently falls around the Top 150 players in his class but look for him to keep climbing up the rankings. Hopkins quickly raised his stock over the summer with stand out performances in EYBL. He received scholarship offers from Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Texas and Missouri in June 2019 alone. He also held offers from Kansas, Ohio State, Iowa, Illinois and Cal.

After a slow recruiting cycle things have certainly picked up on the recruiting front for Louisville Basketball. They got a good start for 2021 with this kid.

The Louisville Basketball season starts tonight


It’s around this time every year that I have to remind myself that the College Basketball season is a marathon and not a sprint. There are going to be ups and downs along the way and all I can do is hope that our guys learn what their roles are on this team and that they can bring all of their talents and ability together for that season that we all expect.

The naysayers and prognosticators all said that it would take years for Louisville Basketball to be a real contender for a National Title again. It took two years and this Louisville Basketball team is a contender.

This Louisville team isn’t getting to dip its toe in for a taste of the new season. With the new ACC scheduling format, they’ll dive in headfirst tonight. I don’t think Miami has the depth to beat the Cardinals down the stretch but playing a conference game this early will pose a challenge. Especially with the game being away.

This Louisville team hasn’t had all of its parts together for a game yet. And they won’t tonight. The Cardinals will be without starting center Malik Williams. He averaged just under 10 points per game and 8.4 rebounds in his last 5 games but it will be his defensive presence that is missed the most. He had 41 blocked shots last season. I expect him to be one of the premier shot blockers in the country this season. He will make a big difference once healthy.

Steven Enoch is projected to be in the lineup in place of Williams. Enoch averaged 10 points and over 5 rebounds per game last season and can more than make up for that lack of offensive production but still not the defensive threat that Malik is.

Louisville will have the best player on the floor this season in every game they play. Jordan Nwora will give the Cardinals the edge most nights. The dude is just playing on another level offensively and will score when he wants. He will have an off night along the way and we will have attrition as the season wears on. I think Coach Mack has enough bodies now that he can compensate for this.

The same can’t be said about Louisville’s opponent tonight. The Hurricanes will be without a key transfer in Keith Stone. And only have three guys that were contributors last season. Miami is led offensively by Chris Lykes, Lykes averaged 16.2 points a game last year. The Hurricanes were not a deep team a year ago and will be looking for newcomers to step in. I think it could take a few games for Miami to start to gel offensively.

I think it’s going to take a while for this Louisville team to gel but think the Cardinals will have more depth and capable depth in this one. I don’t expect it to be an easy game considering how early it is but the Cards should win.

The season is here! Enjoy the ride…

GO CARDS.COM PREVIEW:
No. 5 Louisville Opens the 2019-20 Season at Miami on Tuesday Night

Good Times for Louisville Hoops Recruiting



The 2020 recruiting class started off slow for Coach Mack and Louisville. But in the last few weeks business has picked up and tonight the highest-ranked player in Kentucky gave a verbal commit to the Cardinals. JJ Traynor is listed as a four-star recruit and the No. 79 overall player in the class of 2020 by 247Sports.com.

Just 10 days ago 4* D’Andre ”Dre” Davis, a 6-foot-5, 170-pound shooting forward from Indianapolis verbally committed to the Louisville 2020 Class. Much like Davis JJ Traynor is a player that came out of nowhere during the summer and impressed coaches. I even read one article where recruiting guru Evan Daniels raved about Traynor. He referred to the Kentucky native as “the biggest sleeper in the country.”

JJ has made a name for himself with his impressive size, length, athleticism, quickness and scoring ability for a primary ball handler. Sure sounds familiar. Traynor’s father, Jason Osbourne, a former Kentucky Mr. Basketball and a legendary Cardinal in his own right used to wow the Freedom Hall crowd with his athleticism. Jason is one of my favorite all-time Louisville players and I’m certain that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

Traynor averaged 11.2 points and 8.6 rebounds last season for a Bardstown team that went 15-16. Traynor is coached by another Louisville legend Bardstown head coach James “Boo” Brewer. I got a chance to interview Boo a few years ago. Coach Mack really kept it in the family with this recruit. A few weeks ago folks were thinking this 2020 class would be a wash but things are certainly looking up and I’m here for it all.

Traynor also held scholarship offers from Cincinnati, DePaul, Evansville, Missouri, Northern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, and Xavier.

Coach Mack & staff land another “We” guy

(Photo: Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar)


College basketball recruiting has been a hot discussion on social media. Some Louisville fans getting themselves all worked up because the NCAA cloud still hanging over the program is seemingly having an effect on the staffs recruiting efforts. I don’t see it that way.

Sure it’s not ideal to have an NCAA cloud hanging over your program but I think it serves as a way of only getting the guys who want to really be a part of your program. Guys that are buying into the “we” part of the recruiting pitch instead of the ”what can you do for me” approach.

Coach Mack and his staff have been really good at finding the “we” guys. Today they found another one. 4* D’Andre ”Dre” Davis, a 6-foot-5, 170-pound shooting forward from Indianapolis has verbally committed to the Louisville 2020 Class. Davis was originally committed to Tim Miles and Nebraska but decided to open back up his recruitment last week.

Ranked as the 96th player in the ESPN 100 the Davis decomittment garnered a lot of attention. Several Power 5 programs including Louisville jumped in the mix pretty quick. Coach Mack beat out Purdue and several others for the long athletic 3 man’s services. Davis is known as a player who can drive to the lane and create his own as well as shoot the step-back three. I think he is a guy that will fit well into Coach Mack’s system.

A guy who started out inside the top 200 Davis is a blue-collar player that has worked his way into the conversation with a great AAU season. Give me these Top 100 guys all day long. They are kids that it takes to win a championship and usually make up the backbone of a college program. I hope those Top 10 guys have all the success in the world but I just think they have too much of that ”ME” mentality to give a program the long term commitment it sometimes takes to win a championship. We see this play out every year at our arch-rival Kentucky. Not much of a backbone there.

I want to get guys at Louisville who want to be here. I want the guys who want to sink themselves in the traditions and lore that surround the Cardinal Nation. I want to get to know these guys and watch them develop and grow. I want the ”we” guys and I think Coach Mack and his staff got a commitment from another one of those today.

Recruiting is fine… And Louisville Basketball will be fine. Go Cards!

The Beak Red & White Scrimmage recap


The Louisville Basketball team took the Yum Center court for the first time on Saturday at the annual Red & White scrimmage. Team 106 is stacked. A preseason top 5 by most publications this team has the talent, depth, and attitude to make a National Title run. It was great to be back in the Yum Center and I’m excited that another basketball season is upon us.


I just watched the Louisville Football team win their first game over a ranked opponent since 2016. The football team has a new physicality about them this year and that has helped them turn things around pretty quick on the football field. Watching the basketball team at the scrimmage I noticed a significant difference in their physicality.

It was so physical on the Yum Center court on Saturday that you could hear it. Guys body checking, putting an arm in someone’s chest and guys looking to create contact on every play offense and defense. It really is crazy the difference a year has made under Coach Mack’s system and it too will start paying off. I don’t see this team getting pushed around by anyone.



I ask the players and Coach Mack about my observation during the scrimmage. Coach Mack said that it was good to hear someone talk about the improved physicality. Says that it’s hard for them to see the difference in the physicality of the team because they are with these guys every day. Ryan McMahon said that practices had gotten so physical that Coach Mack brought in referees to call fouls. This has paid off. Two of the most physical guys during the scrimmage were Dwayne Sutton and Steven Enoch. Between them, they drew 12 fouls but only had 3 personal combined. They are being very physical but not out of control.

The physical nature of this Louisville Basketball team is the biggest thing that stood out to me during the scrimmage but there were other observations.

Jordan Nwora should win Player of the Year. He made the decision to spurn the NBA and come back to Louisville for his junior season. He made the right one. He is surrounded on this team by offensive weapons. This should allow him to focus on his own game and develop his role on this team without having to be the primary source of points. Last year I felt like some games he was forced to take on too big of a role and that slowed his progression.

There will be nights when Jordan has to put the team on his back but it won’t be every night. I saw more quickness in his game on Saturday. And his vertical game has continued to get better. He had the scrimmages only blocked shot today. Jordan’s game has gotten much more active and is less reactive. I call him swag and his game is legit.

Speaking of legit game. Steven Enoch has gone full beast mode. He had an All American stat Line in Saturday’s scrimmage. He earned his 21 points. Aidan Igiehon did not give him any easy ones. Those guys battled in the paint all scrimmage. The Louisville frontcourt is loaded and the competition between these guys is going to make them all better. It already has.

Can’t say enough about Dwayne Sutton. He is such a workhorse. 20 minutes of grind. He is a guy that thrives in a physical game and really knows how to extend the play through contact. He drew a team-high 7 fouls during the scrimmage. Was 9-11 at the free-throw line. He’ll be another guy who will benefit from having a team full of offensive weapons. Sutton is the ultimate role player.

It has been awesome watching Darius Perry figure things out. His newfound self-awareness has carried over into his game on the floor. He is much more poised than he was a year ago and his improved court awareness makes him a more effective player. He had 5 assist to 1 turnover in the scrimmage. A year ago it would have been the opposite.

I’ve looked forward to seeing the Super 6 on the Yum Center court. I think their class is going to be pivotal in the success of the Louisville program during the next 10 years. If Coach Mack and his staff can go on a run like I think they can it will all have started with this 2019 class. Four of the six were in the ESPN 100. Out of the six, I think Williamson, Johnson, and Igiehon will see the most minutes this season. None of them had a stand out performance at the scrimmage.

Fresh Kimble and Ryan Mack also with a quiet scrimmage but you can bet they’ll both stand out as the season progresses.

All in all, there was nothing really surprising about the Red and White scrimmage. This team is going to come into this season with some lofty expectations. They looked the part on Saturday and have the parts to live up to the hype. It will be fun watching it all come together.

Go Cards!

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Cards need win to keep things moving forward


Things are looking up for the Louisville Football program. A much-improved effort and attitude have highlighted the early part of the season. This team had a great second half effort a few weeks ago against Florida State and most felt like they really let a big one slip through their fingers in Tallahassee.

After a much-needed bye week, the Cardinals are back in ACC play on Saturday afternoon at Cardinal Stadium. Depth was a big concern heading into the season and in my opinion cost this team that win against Florida State. So it’s good to get some of these guys healed and rested up. Louisville Football hasn’t won a conference game since November of 2017. This weekend is a great opportunity to break that streak.

The Louisville defense had looked impressive in the first three games of the year, holding opponents to an average of 18.7 points per game and 285.0 total yards in those games. They did struggle a bit allowing the Seminoles to score 35 points and gain 522 yards of total offense. While Boston College doesn’t have the athletes FSU does they still have some playmakers.

Boston College QB Anthony Brown has thrown for 1,057 yards and eight scores this season. And he spreads the love around. Eight different players caught a pass for them last week. And folks AJ Dillon is back for his junior season. Remember him? He had 272 yards and 4 TDs on his last visit to Cardinal Stadium on his way to the ACC Rookie of the year back in 2017. He didn’t play against us last year due to an ankle injury. He currently ranks fourth in the nation with an average of 125.4 yards per game. He has rushed for 627 yards and six touchdowns this season.

Dillon will face a much improved Louisville defense on Saturday. After finishing near the bottom in total defense last season, the Cardinals are the 45th-ranked overall defensive team in the country and rank 45th in rushing defense this season.

Khane Pass recorded a career-high 12 tackles, while linebacker C.J. Avery added nine stops and a sack in the last game holding FSU running back Cam Akers to 112 yards. Below his average. I still worry about depth issues especially in the 4th quarter with this unit but Coach Brown will have them up for this challenge.

The Cardinals have a pretty good rushing attack of their own led by Javian Hawkins. He has been a spark plug for the offense averaging 97.5 yards a game. The Cardinals enter this week 22nd in the country and second in the ACC in rushing offense. They can also go vertical with great playmakers like TuTu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick. Nationally, the Cardinals rank in the top 15 in plays of 30 or more yards while ranking fifth with five plays of 50 yards or more and eighth with three of 60 yards or better.

How good was it to see Fitzpatrick get back in the groove against FSU? He recorded the third 100-yard receiving game of his career, with seven receptions for 133 yards and that 74-yard bomb. That circus catch was the longest of his career. Hope this is a sign of things to come. We need Sixpatrick. Gonna need him Saturday.

The Louisville offense has been pretty balanced averaging 212.2 yards per game through the air and 225.2 yards on the ground. I think they’ll have to be really effective in the ground game Saturday and continue to take those big shots down the field when they can. That might not be as easy against the BC defense.

While Eagles are allowing an average of 438.6 yards of total offense this season, including 183.0 yards on the ground. They are third in the nation with eight interceptions. Their DBs are very active. DB Mike Palmer leads them with two picks on the season. This BC defense has taken it’s licks this season. But there are still some capable bodies. They played much better last week and I expect them to play out of their minds Saturday. That’s how it goes right.

We can talk about guys making plays and individual performances all day long. I don’t think execution will be a problem this season. Reality is this. Coach Satterfield has played nine former walk-ons, including five who have started games this season. And has played 5 true freshmen. Depth is going to be an issue all season. More so on defense than offense. This coaching staff has worked magic moving guys around but it is what it is. Gonna lose games because of this alone.

In saying that Saturday should not be one of those games. Depth should not be an issue coming off a bye week and pound for pound Louisville has the better athletes in this matchup. This team has us all emotionally invested again. They even have the guys in Vegas invested again. Louisville enters the Boston College game as the biggest favorite it has been vs. a Power 5 opponent since the 2017 season. We are all invested. Now make us believe.

The team is wearing some awesome Ali themed uniforms to honor the great one on Saturday. One of my favorite Ali quotes “Don’t count the days; make the days count.” The Cardinals need to make this game count. I think it’s a must-win to keep things moving in the right direction. Lose this one and I think things could go in the other direction.

Cheer loud. Go Cards!