Cards need this one today. We all need it.


It’s Gameday folks… Sorry I haven’t had much to say about one of the biggest and to some the biggest game of the season. We had a beloved family pet pass away unexpectedly the day after Christmas so haven’t really had much time to think about it. 😩

But good vibes are flowing today and The Beak and son are heading to Rupp Arena to be there for our guys. We will be cheering our hearts out for this team. We really need this and we are at the point in the Rivalry that this Louisville team needs it.

I covered the game the last time we played at Rupp Arena and it was a pretty horrible day. These Louisville players have to remember that ass whipping. I sure do. I am hoping for some vengeance for that experience today. Like I said I need it and this team needs it.

I could analyze this game to death and probably would have. I hope to have a lot to say afterward. But when Louisville wins in Rupp it usually comes down to the rebounding battle and free throws. Cards rank 70th nationally in rebounding. Cats rank 238th nationally in rebounding. Free Throw attempts is a crapshoot at Rupp. Both teams are solid at the line Cards ranked top 50 nationally and Cats ranked 14th.

Kentucky lost that last game, due to the number of times they sent Ohio State to the line. The Wildcats were outscored from the charity stripe, 21 to 8. If Louisville can get some of that action today it bodes well.

I think the biggest factor and have said it all season will be Jordan Nwora. He will be the best player on the floor. If he gets it into that next gear he will dominate. He owes Kentucky. Can’t leave his Louisville legacy taking all L’s to them. He knows what’s up. And that really bodes well.

The Cardinals have the better defense, allowing just 58 points per game. Gonna keep it low scoring today. Kentucky has dominated this series, winning 8 of the last 10 matchups.

It’s time to knuckle up. Can’t lose today…
68-65 Cards.

GOCARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Good vibes are back


I know I really took it hard when Louisville took that L to Texas Tech in New York this week. After a few days, I was able to just chalk it up to one of those fluke games. I want to believe in this team so much.

I don’t really think it was a fluke and know that this team needs to get better and improve their guard play. It’s hard to tell much about teams in the fluff games like Saturday against EKU but Coach Mack said that he felt like his team moved forward and certainly didn’t take any steps backward.


I’m really optimistic about our guard play, especially after Saturday. David Johnson is impressive with his ability to see the floor the way he does. You can’t teach his court awareness and you can’t teach some of those dimes he was dropping in the Yum Center. The big fella finished with only 2 assists but the offense looked more lively with him involved.



I didn’t ask Jordan Nwora a question in the post-game presser but would have liked to tell him he’s still our dude. Keep ya head up. You are the best player in the country. I have believed in this dude since day one. Nothing gonna change after one clunker. He had a solid game Saturday.

Like I said not much to judge or write about this one. But there were a lot of good vibes in the Yum Center on Saturday afternoon. I drove to the game after my son’s first Reconciliation that morning. My heart was full and it was just one of those days trying to luv up somebody. I did my best.



They announced the Football Coaching staff during one of the intermissions and during the half time I was able to show some luv to Coach Dwayne Ledford (gave him a Bear Hug) and Coach Satterfield. I appreciate those guys… Awesome to be able to express that to them.

They didn’t bring EKU Coach AW Hamilton in the big press room after the game. I wanted to ask about his trip around Ky with his team. We are the 6th instate school they’ve played and wanted to ask him about his Coach Mack story (Basically sent him down his path). The last time I was in the same gym as AW he was winning a state title as player with Scott County. He’s got my alma mater playing hard. AW is a solid young coach.

Want to throw a bone to the Junkyard Dawg Dwayne Sutton. This dude became a 1000 point scorer on Saturday. Repping his hometown. He is one of the most selfless players I’ve covered. Just a hard-nosed player and a good young man.



It was also good to see the Super 5 out on the floor at the end of the game Saturday. We were watching the future of the program. I’m not convinced a few of them won’t be developed into solid minutes this season.

The Cards will get one more tune-up with Miami University (OH) on Wednesday night. Then it’s the biggest game of the nonconference with Kentucky. I watched David Johnson win a State Championship in Rupp back in March. I would love to see him have a big day on the 28th. Big-time players rise in big moments. We got some big time.

Today got me over the hump…
I’m over the loss in MSG. The good vibes are back. Go Cards!

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Cards take #1 ranking to the big stage


It’s Gameday! The #1 Team in the country will take the biggest stage of them all tonight at Madison Square Garden. Cardinal fans have seen a lot of great moments in the Garden. That great run in 2012 with the infrared uniforms, and the Big East curtain call against Cuse in 2013… The Garden has been fickle to us but can’t think of a better venue in the world to showcase a team.

There have been many great teams and acts come through the Garden over the years and I’m glad this UofL team has a chance to etch their names among that history tonight. Our Cardinals head into their second week ranked as the number one team in the country. They had that put to the test right out of the gate against Michigan and will be tested again tonight.

The Red Raiders are on a three game skid losing to DePaul, Creighton, and Iowa in that stretch. In their last game against Depaul they committed 22 turnovers. They’ve had 115 on the year ranking in the 100’s in fewest turnovers.

With both of these defenses being really good I can see a similar defensive-minded game that was the case in the Cardinals matchup with Michigan. Possessions will be limited in a game like this so the turnover battle will be big.

This Louisville team has done a good job of taking care of the basketball and maximizing their possessions. They are hovering around the top 50 in fewest turnovers with 105 on the season and are ranked 24th in assist to turnover ratio at 1.3… Fresh and Darius are getting it done for us here.

Looking forward to watching the best player in the country get his moment on the biggest stage tonight. Jordan Nwora is ranked 26th in the country in points scored for his team. He has brought it every game on both ends of the floor and I think we’ll see him have a big one tonight. Texas Tech will have problems defending him. Especially if he decides they aren’t going to stop him. We saw a little of that mode in the Michigan game.

The Cardinals have had zero trouble getting past power 5 opponents. This should be another game where Louisville should be able to flex their muscles and take care of business. Texas Tech is a helluva defensive team but just think the Louisville firepower will be too much for them.

Legends are made at the Garden… The last time Louisville played in the Jimmy V Classic the then #4 Cardinals beat Indiana 94-74 and Montrezl Harrell became Louisville’s all-time dunk leader. I hope the number one team in the country is legendary tonight…

Go Cards!

GO CARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

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.