—NET Rankings Update: #85.
-Tomahawk Nation sums up a “much needed” Florida State victory over Louisville.
— U of L’s loss at Tallahassee was a reminder that this cardinal team has a paper-thin margin of error.
-Louisville’s secondary was already looking thin for 2022, which was before we discovered Kani Walker entering the transfer portal this afternoon.
New football coach Ben Sowders stopped in Louisville on his way to the national title game to convey a message to his future team.
Sowders will spend his last game with Georgia tonight when the Alabama Bulldogs play for the national championship.
-Louisville is one of the top four teams from the NCAA tournament in The Athletic’s latest bracket watch.
-A total of 511 U of L ranked student athletes made the Athletic Director’s honors list.
—Louisville drops out of Andy Katz’s Power 36 rankings.
-Highlights of last week’s destruction of Pittsburgh by the Louisville women’s basketball team can be viewed here.
– Violations in college basketball have decreased this season, but is that actually a good thing?
Jay Bilas doesn’t think so. As the leading college basketball analyst for ESPN, Bilas sees more quality teams play in person than any other person on the planet. He also spends countless hours studying teams on video. In addition, Bilas serves on the NCAA’s Men’s Basketball League Committee, an advisory board of coaches, administrators, and outside experts that studies the game, meets regularly, and makes recommendations to the rules committee. He notes that the steady decline in violations conflicts with the NCAA’s efforts to allow more freedom of movement. Bilas has a very high platform and he uses it to sound a very loud alarm.
“We’ve given up on all the gains we’ve made in the past year and a half,” Bilas told me. “Now we’re basically back to where we were four or five years ago, especially off the ball. There’s more clamping and grabbing on knives. Boys are allowed to blow up dribble handoffs. Too many arm bars away from the post. The officials don’t mention what they called two or three years ago, and the coaches are learning that.”
In an effort to determine if Bilas’s views are widely shared, I conducted a text-messaging survey of head coaches, most of whom are in power conferences, and asked them how well they thought the move to provide more freedom of movement was working. . I got 27 responses, and while the results don’t quite reflect the alarm that Bilas is sounding, they do indicate a great deal of concern:
• It works well: 6
• It works, but not well enough: 11
• It doesn’t work — the game is too physical: 10
—Malik Williams has been the 192nd best player in college basketball this season by Heat Check CBB formula. Williams is the only cardinal to crack the site’s top 500 list.
—Darius Miller is the guest on the latest episode of Larry O’Bannon’s podcast.
-USC QB Jaxson Dart has entered the transfer portal, suggesting Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams is following his head coach to LA.
-Yes Morant is ridiculous and has been for a while.
—A horse named Calipari was the 3-1 favorite in his debut at Gulfstream on Saturday, finishing last.
—Brian Geisinger of ACCSports.com dives deep into the Louisville attack and the question of whether El Ellis could be a bummer for the Cards.
—Georgia-Alabama is “the most competitive lopsided rivalry ever.”
-U of L hoops signee Fredrick King from the Bahamas had an “amazing” first trip to Louisville.
“I just love it all,” King told the cardinal authority. “Everyone is like family down there and they support everyone. I had people come up to me and say, “Hey Fred,” and it was my first time in Louisville. It was like family.”
King’s recruitment to Louisville was swift, the U of L coaches were on top of it from the moment Ross McMains saw him. He was a star at the NBA Academy’s Latin America program in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in mid-October. In that case, King averaged 30 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.
McMains was at that event and got in touch right away, as he and U of L coach Chris Mack flew to the Bahamas to meet King and his parents.
King committed in early November and a week later he signed with the Cardinals.
“The fan base helped put Louisville over the top,” King said of his decision. “Also the facilities they have and the staff are great.”
King is a native of Mangrove Cay, Andros in the Bahamas, but said he knew the Louisville basketball program before the recruitment began.
“I didn’t know much about Coach Mack,” King said. “But I know a little bit about Louisville because I’ve seen Jordan Nwora play (in U or L, in the NBA and on the Nigerian national team). I’m super excited to be a part of this Louisville family.”
-James Madison transfer WR Antwane Wells has been brought to you by U of L.
—Louisville Report discusses how former Cards in the NFL fared during the regular season of the league.
In nearly 20 years, 16 major U.S. universities, including Duke and Notre Dame, have overcharged 170,000 financial aid recipients by “at least hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to a lawsuit filed late Sunday.
-Teddy Bridgewater says he “definitely” intends to continue playing football despite suffering another scary injury.
He has a one year old son. At his Zoom news conference Friday, as he took home the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award for the 2021 season, Bridgewater was asked if his recent harrowing injury prompted him to stop playing this violent sport.
“I always say every time I get hit or every time I hit the ground, I ask God, ‘Why am I doing this?'” Bridgewater said. “Then if I get up on a Wednesday and come to work and this “You see guys hard at work, then you do it. The interactions you have with the guys in the locker room. The smile you put on a fan’s face. The feeling of competition. That’s why you’re doing this.”
So just to be clear, he plans to continue playing football next year wherever that may be?
“Yeah, sure,” he said.
-The U of L women’s team’s scheduled game against Miami on Sunday was postponed due to COVID issues. The Cards are scheduled for Syracuse on Thursday.
—Five former cardinals are on NFL teams that have qualified for the playoffs.
—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.
—RIP, Bob Saget.
-California RB Speedy Luke chose Arizona over Louisville on Saturday. Thankfully, the Cardinals are pretty well set for the position at the moment.
—For the second game in a row, both El Ellis and Sydney Curry gave Louisville a huge spark off the bench.
-And finally, The Mike Rutherford Show is back this afternoon from 3-6 at 1450 The Big X to comment on the loss to the state of Florida and everything else from the weekend that was. You can stream the show here.