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Author Archives: Justin Renck

Louisville no longer recruiting Blakeney; Dozier still in the mix?

Photo: Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Photo: Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

According to Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal, UofL has decided to move on from Antonio Blakeney. They will not continue to recruit him after the 5-star shooting guard decommitted. This is not a big surprise, as Coach Pitino very rarely continues to recruit guys that decommit. Quentin Snider was more of an exception and not the rule.

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Jeff Walz Putting Together a Loaded 2015 Class

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

It is easy to just get wrapped up in the recruiting for men’s basketball and football. And in both of those sports, the Cards are doing very well. However, it is about time to start taking a look at what Jeff Walz is doing for the future of the women’s basketball team. He is putting together a class that will likely be in the top 3, and could possibly be #1 when it’s all said and done. That is pretty good for a team that was playing their home games in Cardinal Arena not too long ago.

ProspectsNation.com is a great resource for women’s basketball recruiting. According to their rankings, the Cards have one 5-star player and four 4-star players in the 2015 class. Asia Durr is obviously the gem of the group, but right now the LOWEST ranked commit is 36th in the country! Pretty impressive.

Class Year Overall Rank Position Rank Nat’l Rating Pos Name Statesort icon HT/PPG School
2015 1 1
G
Asia Durr Georgia 5’10″/ L’ville
2015 12 5
G
Taja Cole Virginia 5’8″/ L’ville
2015 23 6
G
Brianna Jones New York 5’9″/ L’ville
2015 26 5
F
Samantha Fuehring New Jersey 6’2″/ L’ville
2015 36 8
P
Erin DeGrate Texas 6’5″/ L’ville

ESPN.com also puts together rankings for women’s basketball recruiting. When you look at that, you see that four out of the five commits are 5-stars! Here is how their list looks…

Asia Durr – #2 overall; 5-star player

Taja Cole – #29 overall; 5-star player

Erin DeGrate – #41 overall; 5-star player

Brianna Jones – #43 overall; 5-star player

Samantha Fuehring – #65 overall; 4-star player

All of this is coming on the heels of the 8th ranked class in 2014 according to ESPN. It’s only a matter of time. That National Championship is coming…

Following the UVA Loss, Cards Have “a really great practice”

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like it is taking forever for the next game to get here. Anytime your team loses, you just want them to get back on the field as soon as possible to get the nasty taste of defeat out of your mouth. Florida International just happens to be that unfortunate team that has to play the Cards on Saturday. Although there is nothing they can do to get the win back at Virginia, you can bet that Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals will come out and play like they are trying to win two games on Saturday, not just one.

According to quarterback Will Gardner, and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, Tuesday’s practice, the first since that loss, was a solid start to the week of preparation for FIU. “We had a really great practice,” Gardner said. “The guys were flying around making plays. I was very accurate. Things were going great today. The offensive line was finishing blocks. It was a great practice out there today.”

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Jeff Walz Lands Another 4-star Recruit

Scout.com

Scout.com

Jeff Walz is putting together one heck of a class for the University of Louisville. The latest is 4-star forward Samantha Fuehring, who stands at 6’3. She plays at Immaculate Conception High School in New Jersey and is the 26th best player in the country according to ProspectsNation.com.

Antonio Blakeney Opens Up Recruitment

Photo: preps.heraldtribune.com

Photo: preps.heraldtribune.com

Antonio Blakeney has just opened up his recruitment, according to ESPN’s Reggie Rankin. Rick Pitino was supposed to go visit him in Florida on Wednesday. Obviously, that will not happen now. Here are some tweets from this happening.

This has a very BLUE feel to it if you ask me.

Video: Bobby Petrino, Sheldon Rankins, and Lorenzo Mauldin Preview FIU

On Monday afternoon, Coach Petrino, Sheldon Rankins, and Lorenzo Mauldin spoke to the media. They recapped the Virginia game and looked ahead to FIU. Special thanks to TheCrunchZone.com for the great video.

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ESPN ACC Power Rankings Have the Cards 8th

ESPN.com released their updated ACC Power Rankings on Sunday, and the Cards dropped down to 8th. With games still remaining against Florida State and Clemson, Louisville definitely will have their chance to show where they belong on this list.

 

The Cards Lost a Game, Not the Season, in Charlottesville

Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com

Well Saturday was just an ugly game, there is no other way to put it. Turnovers left and right by both teams, no real rhythm, just a weird game. After the first drive by UofL, you thought that things were good and we were going to roll to an easy victory. And then the rest of the 1st quarter happened, along with the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

I was at the game, and I haven’t watched it on DVR yet, which always shows some things that you miss while at the game. So I can only go off of things that I saw from the upper level and gathered by talking to other people about the game.

First off, man it’s rough being at a road game and losing. I packed 5 shirts for the trip, all Louisville. So after the game, and on Sunday while still there for a little bit, and the trip home that takes you through West Virginia, I would be in a Louisville shirt. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Honestly the Virginia fans didn’t really say too much. They were more excited for their own team than worrying about disrespecting Louisville fans. At least that is what I saw. Their excitement doubled when they learned that Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina. So overall, they had a pretty good day.

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Justin Time for the Weekend: 9/12/04

Justin Time

Sproutonline.com

This week’s edition of Justin Time for the Weekend may be a little shorter than usual. Of course I did not get this done ahead of time, so it is about 6:45 a.m. on Friday as I type this. But the first topic I cover will explain why this post will likely be a little less content than normal. I hope everyone has a great weekend and it is highlighted by a Louisville victory on Saturday in our second ACC football game.

Heading to Virginia

That’s right. In about an hour or so, I will be hitting the road and heading towards Charlottesville, Virginia to see the Cards in their first ACC road game. I am hoping I am able to make one road trip a year to check out all of the ACC schools. Not sure I will make it to Syracuse for a football game in the Carrier Dome, because blah. I have a lot of friends going to South Bend for the Notre Dame game, which will be amazing I’m sure. But I can’t make it up there this year, so that one would be a while before I could get back. But it will be nice to be able to check Virginia off the list. I hear it is a beautiful campus and town.

Virginia was picked to finish last or at least close to last in nearly every ACC projection that I saw. Now whether they will or not remains to be seen. But that was at least the perception of them heading into the season. In saying that, I am way more excited to see us play Virginia than someone like Temple, SMU, Houston, Memphis, and other teams in our former conference. The middle of the pack and lower tier teams of the ACC are just way more exciting to me than what we are used to. Not to mention, this is just a big game in general as the Cards will try to start out 2-0 in the conference, with the next conference game being against Wake Forest at home.

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Michael Dyer Still Questionable for Saturday

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Bobby Petrino told the media on Thursday that running back Michael Dyer is still questionable for the Virginia game on Saturday. He has practiced the last two days, but is still sore. According to Howie Lindsey, Petrino said that Dyer wants to be back, but there is atrophy in the thigh. Livestrong.com describes atrophy in the leg: The most common reason for atrophy to occur in the legs is disuse. Lack of activity for any reason — illness, injury, seated desk job, sedentary lifestyle — can lead to loss of leg muscle.

When the depth chart was released, it showed Dyer as the backup running back. If he is unable to go for the third straight game this season, L.J. Scott will likely move into the backup role behind Dominique Brown. I think we are all comfortable with Scott as the backup, but it sure would be nice to have Michael Dyer back soon.

ESPN Updates Basketball Recruiting Rankings

ESPN.com has updated their top 100 college basketball recruiting rankings for the class of 2015. The 4 commitments for the Louisville Cardinals are all in the top 51. Here is how they are ranked in the latest rankings on ESPN…

Antonio Blakeney 14) Antonio Blakeney: 5-star; #2 SG

Deng Adel 29) Deng Adel: 4-star; #6 SF

Donovan Mitchell 37) Donovan Mitchell: 4-star; #10 SG (will likely play PG at Louisville)

Raymond Spalding 51) Raymond Spalding: 4-star; #11 PF

And also, the Cards also have the #1 class in the country according to ESPN.

Opponent Breakdown: Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Logo

Special to CardinalSportsZone.com from Andrew Ramspacher.

The following breakdown of the Virginia Cavaliers was sent to me by Andrew Ramspacher, who is the beat writer for the team for the Daily Progress in Charlottesville. Who better to get information from than the guy who covers the team daily? Here you go!

UVa Offense

As of three weeks ago, this was clearly going to be Greyson Lambert’s team. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had been with the first team since day one of spring ball, was named co-captian in April and appeared on the cover of the media guide. He would take over from the brutal David Watford experiment (eight touchdowns, 15 interceptions as the starter in 2013) and was destined to break the on-going QB carousel that defined the Mike London era.

But then came the 2014 season opener in which Lambert was intercepted twice for touchdowns in the second quarter and the UVa staff threw in little-known Matt Johns. All Johns did was immediately lead a touchdown drive and nearly rally the Cavaliers to an upset of the then-No. 7 Bruins.

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Basketball Recruit to Watch: Tyus Battle

Photo: Jason Towlen/Staff Photographer/My Central Jersey

Photo: Jason Towlen/Staff Photographer/My Central Jersey

With the class of 2015 wrapped up for Rick Pitino, the weekly CSZ Recruiting Notebook is also on a break right now. We will return with it around the time that basketball season starts and get you introduced to some of the guys in the 2016 class.

One of the players surely to make the list will be Tyus Battle. He is a 6’6 shooting guard from Edison, New Jersey. He is a consensus 5-star player on the four major recruiting sites. Here is how he ranks on each site:

247 Sports: #11 overall, #3 SG

ESPN: #15 overall, #4 SG

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Depth Charts for Louisville and Virginia

The depth charts for both the Louisville Cardinals and Virginia Cavaliers are listed below. The first thing that sticks out about Louisville’s, and it isn’t a surprise, is Michael Dyer listed as the backup running back. Hopefully this means he is finally healthy. He showed flashes of what he could do in the first game last season and then this spring, but that’s it. Other than that, he has been hampered by injuries. A healthy Michael Dyer gives the Cards a huge weapon for ACC play.

There aren’t really any other surprises on the rest of the depth chart, which is good. Let’s keep continuity and stay healthy. And when you see someone listed as a backup and not a starter, it really isn’t a big deal. We know the main guys who will get to play, whether they start or not.

With Virginia, they will go with two quarterbacks during the game, as they have in the first two games this season.

Louisville Cardinals

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

OFFENSE

QB

11 Will Gardner 6-5 226 So.
7 Reggie Bonnafon 6-3 206 Fr.
12 Brett Nelson 6-4 220 Sr.

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Video from ACC Digital Network: Lorenzo Mauldin Thrives Despite Humble Beginnings

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

The ACC Digital Network released this video just a few hours ago. Lorenzo Mauldin has been a fan-favorite for quite some time. He certainly wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve. Most people know his story about his background, and whether you do or don’t already know, this is worth a watch. I believe this originally aired before the season started on an ACC preview show, but I only caught the last part of it then. Check it out.

Women’s Basketball Releases 2014-15 Schedule

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Yesterday the University of Louisville released the 2014-15 schedule for the women’s basketball team. As much as you hear about Rick Pitino and now Bobby Petrino, Jeff Walz is absolutely getting it done on the women’s side of things. If you are like me, you just get the feeling that he is knocking on the door of bringing a National Championship to Louisville. One great thing about being in the ACC will mean that UConn is not in the conference. However, you will surely still see them at some point in the tournament, but that’s ok. Walz will get the job done sooner rather than later.

“This competition is one of the reasons our program is so excited about going into the ACC,” head coach Jeff Walz said. “The strength of this league from top to bottom is remarkable. We know we’re going to be tested every single night, and that’s only going to make us better as we prepare for postseason. I think our fans are in for a real treat with this schedule.”

Need ticket information? This comes from UofL:

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Virginia Head Coach Previews Louisville

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

On Monday, Virginia head coach Mike London met with the media for his weekly press conference. He talked about the upcoming game against the Cards as well as the state of his own team, and VirginiaSports.com has the full transcript, which you can read below.

COACH LONDON:  We’ll start with a brief comment about Louisville, our ACC opponent this week.  I’ve had a chance to meet Coach Petrino over the last couple of head coaches meetings.  I’ve known him over the years and his coaching accolades and things that he brings to his team.  Their team is playing very well.  This will be a great challenge for us.  We’re excited about the challenge as these guys come into Charlottesville.  So I’ll take any questions.

Q. You guys are second in the country in turnovers forced through two weeks. What does it say about the players?  What’s it say about the schemes that you guys have been able to bring in two years ago, basically, alter everything sort of two years ago. Was there a missing piece of this defense, and now two years later you’re tops in the country two weeks into the season? 
COACH LONDON:  It’s been a mindset, a concentrated mindset on turnovers and how it changes the game.  Obviously we had success last week with the seven turnovers and if you look back – has led to about 31 points.  I don’t think we had that all of last season.  The guys defensively are doing a pretty good job with Eli, and Max Valles coming off the edge and some of the other things that are happening, they’re causing havoc.  And the strip sack, cause fumble, the interceptions, all those things that have been geared towards playing better defense.  The players have bought into that.  We have to continue that.  We have to continue.  It’s great that we had it in two games, but we need to do it particularly this game because this team we’re playing is a very good team.  But the mindset defensively has been to create turnovers and give yourself a chance to win.

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Asia Durr, top women’s player, chooses Louisville

Photo: ESPN.com

Photo: ESPN.com

Jeff Walz just picked up what some people are saying is his biggest recruit ever! Asia Durr, ranked the #1 player in the country by many scouting services, has committed to Louisville over women’s basketball powerhouses Notre Dame, Baylor, Duke, and Maryland.

Durr is a 5’10 point guard from Douglasville, Georgia. ESPN ranks her as the top point guard in the country and the #2 player overall, and a 5-star player obviously.

As good as she is on the court, it appears Walz is getting one heck of a person off the court too. This from ESPN.com:

In addition, Durr, who carries a 3.2 GPA and is interested in studying sports management, is active in her community.

She has volunteered on behalf of the Shoes For Haiti campaign and has written letters to U.S. troops as part of the Works of Mercy service program. She has helped the homeless, working with the Destiny World Church ministry, and the hungry as part of the Meals on Wheels Association of America.

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L.J. Scott named ACC Rookie of the Week

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Louisville freshman running back L.J. Scott had a heck of a game on Saturday against Murray State. He rushed for 126 yards on 11 carries (11.5 yards per rush) and had 1 touchdown. His longest rush was for 68 yards. He also had 1 catch for 8 yards.

Because of that performance, Scott was named the ACC Rookie of the Week. The freshman came into this season with a lot of hype because of how well he has performed since the spring when he got to campus early. He definitely showed what he can do and gave Cards fans a glimpse of what the future will look like at the running back position.

Time/TV set for Louisville-FIU game

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

UofL has announced that the Louisville-FIU football game on September 20 will kickoff at 3:30 pm ET. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The Cards beat FIU 72-0 last season.

A reminder that this week’s game at Virginia will kickoff at 12:30 pm ET and be shown on the ACC Network, or WAVE 3 locally.

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