When 5 star SG Antonio Blakeney received an offer from UK earlier this month some wondered if Rick Pitino would back off and move on. Today Pitino answered that question with a resounding NO! Pitino was front and center for all three of Blakeney’s games today and the 6’4 SG did not disappoint.
Blakeney flirted with a triple double in game one before ending with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assist. While shooting around before game two I let Blakeney know just how close he was to the triple double to which he responded with a smile “I’ll get it this game”. Blakeney then took a few minutes to chat with current Louisville SG Terry Rozier. Over 3 games today Blakeney went for 60 plus points and showed the smooth stroke that has #CardNation hoping when it’s all said and done he’s in Red and Black.
The pre season All-ACC team was announced today and Louisville’s DeVante Parker was the only Card to make it. Parker was named one of the Wide Receivers along with FSU’s Rashad Greene and Duke’s Jamison Crowder. Was kind of surprising to not see Jake Smith or Lorenzo Mauldin on that list but you have to think this makes the Cards even that more hungry. Nevertheless a huge congratulations to DeVante!!
Full All-ACC team below:
According to multiple outlets 4 star SG Prince Ali will visit Louisville September 6th. The Louisville football team will host Murray St. that Saturday night (7pm) so it should be a great weekend for Ali to take in all Louisville has to offer. Since de committing from UCONN the 6’4 SG has been playing as good as any guard in the nation and that has caught the eye of many coaches. Louisville, UCLA, Indiana, and Michigan are in the race for Ali with UCLA slightly out front. Ali will head to UCLA the weekend before so this will be a great chance for the Cards to impress. Follow Prince Ali on twitter @PrinceSmoove23
Today at ACC Media Days the ACC released their preseason voting lists and they are as follows:
The Cards coming in at 3rd in the Atlantic Division is about spot on if you ask me. Don’t see many scenarios where the Cards should be ahead of FSU or Clemson in this preseason. With that being said I (even if in the minority) expect the Cards to walk out of Clemson with a W. So lets not forget this is just preseason ;)
Maybe I am just extra giddy about the fact that Louisville is in the ACC, but I am loving all the coverage from ACC Kickoff (media day). In the past, I have usually just said that I am a Louisville fan and that I really don’t care about the rest of our conference. Even in years when we needed the other teams to win games to get respect for the league, which is nearly every year. But now that isn’t the case. We are finally in a great league. And for the time being, and this will probably last a long time, I am a fan of the conference.
In saying that, yes this is a Louisville blog, and yes we start the season with Miami. So why would I post some random stuff about Jameis Winston? Because honestly, if there was a face of an entire conference, it’s him. Heisman Trophy winner, National Champion, and great with the media. Like him or not, this guy is the face of the ACC heading into this season.
It has been a very busy day for seniors DeVante Parker and Lorenzo Mauldin as they are at the ACC Kickoff (media days) in Greensboro, North Carolina. They have been doing different interviews and photo ops all day long. They just met with the media for a little Q & A, and here it is.
Q. What’s it like being a receiver in Bobby Petrino’s offense?
DEVANTE PARKER: It’s a good experience. We know that Coach Petrino, he likes to put up points on the board, so that’s the best thing about being a receiver in coach Petrino’s offense.
Q. What’s the reception been like from the ACC and what do you expect in the opening game against Miami?
DEVANTE PARKER: We just expect to come out and play hard like we did in the bowl game, even though we’ve got new players and coaches and stuff, but we’re just going to come out and play hard and try to get a W.
It is becoming very clear that the Cards plan on signing a shooting guard in the 2015 class. This point became even clearer when Coach Pitino offered former UCONN commit Prince Ali (Insert your Aladdin joke here). Ali is rated as a 4 star SG by all services and lands as high as top 30 overall. It looks like The Cards, UCLA, Michigan, Arizona and IU are the teams in the race for the 6’4 guard and should all receive visits. We will have more on Ali Monday in our CSZ Recruiting Notebook.
As you have read in our CSZ Recruiting Notebook today 2015 SG Dwayne Bacon is climbing fast up the Cards wish list. Sunday Bacon went off for 43 points and showed why myself and others are getting on board with seeing Bacon in a Louisville jersey.
Rick Pitino said at his press conference what we are all expecting and that is that Terry Rozier is set up for a “Breakout year”. Rozier, who is in Vegas for the LeBron James skills academy sat down with CBS’s Jeff Borzello to talk about what he needs to to fill the shoes left my Russ Smith this season.
“If I told you replacing Russ would be easy, I would be lying to you,” Rozier said at the LeBron James Skills Academy. “It’ll definitely be tough. He played there for four years, and he’s tough. But that’s something that we’re doing right now, playing constantly, getting to know each other. Someone has to step up and do it.”
At yesterday’s press conference Coach Pitino made it clear he has no intentions of retiring any time soon. As a fan (and a Rick Pitino fan boy) this excites me but it still doesn’t change the fact that Rick is 61 and more than likely the Cards will have a new head coach in the next 10-12 years. The million dollar question has always been “Who will be the next coach at Louisville after Rick Pitino?”
Rick Pitino met with the media on Wednesday afternoon to give a summer update on the team. It’s only July, and there wasn’t any breaking news, but it sure was nice to hear Coach talk some hoops and about this year’s team! I expected it to be about a 20 minute press conference, but it ended up being just over 45! You can click here to watch the video of the press conference from CourierJournal.com. Below, I will give you the key notes from it…
The new Pelican…
-Pitino started out by talking about Russ Smith. He said that Russ wasn’t pleased with dropping to the 2nd round in the NBA Draft, and wanted to prove people wrong. Instead, Pitino said he should prove people right, and that’s the people that believe in him.
-Also with Russ, he got a guaranteed contract from the Pelicans. That is huge news, as second round picks have to make the team and are not guaranteed a spot just by getting drafted.
According to his Instagram Louisville guard Terry Rozier will attend the LeBron James Camp in Las Vegas later this week. The LBJ camp takes 20 of the top College Basketball players and over 80 of the best high school players and allows them to go against the best competition. Other than basketball the campers also deal with things such as Marketing, PR, and other media operations.
This is the second big camp Rozier has been apart of this summer. At the Kyrie Irving camp last month Rozier drew much praise from people within the camp including John Lucas. Like I’ve said before these camps are only a good thing for Rozier who most believe will be one of the breakout players this season. It will be fun to keep up and hear the reviews Terry draws this time.
No word on whether any other UofL players will be attending also.
There is no doubt the Cards will be a serious threat to make it to Indianapolis this season and most of that confidence comes from their ability to play defense. ESPN’s Dana O’Neil says the Cardinals will be one of the best defensive teams in the nation this season along with Arizona and Virginia.
I’m not going to say Anas Osama is my favorite Louisville Cardinal……but then again I’m not saying he isn’t either.
ESPN.com blogger Andrea Adelson recently was able to interview Louisville tight end Gerald Christian, and she posted that on the ACC blog on Monday. Christian looks to have a big season under Bobby Petrino, and I couldn’t agree more. While I think every player on offense will have their best season so far, Christian will be a mismatch for nearly anyone that tries to cover him. He should thrive this season.
Here is the interview posted on ESPN.com…
How much more will you be used in the Louisville pass game this year?
A: Coach Petrino, he’s known for using his tight ends and he’s a great coach. I like how he takes his personnel and utilizes their strengths. He’s going to take me and put me in position to be one-on-one against a linebacker and one-on-one against a safety, where he targets me to have mismatches to exploit the defense. Last year, the offense was just learning plays, whereas Coach Petrino takes his playmakers and targets them more to make plays.
Defensive End Lorenzo Mauldin was named to the Bednarik Award watch list. The Bednarik Award is given to the College Football Defensive Player of the Year. Last season Mauldin finished in the top 20 among the nations sack leaders and looks primed finish even higher this season. Under Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme look for Mauldin to get plenty of playing time at the OLB position this season also. One thing is for sure, the name Lorenzo Mauldin is going to make a lot of ACC QB’s lose some sleep this season. Here’s to you Jameis.
Louisville WR DeVante Parker was named to the Maxwell Award watch list. The Maxwell Award is given out to the College Football Player of the Year. Last season Parker caught 55 passes for 885 yards and tied the school record with 12 touchdowns and most are expecting those numbers to be on the rise under Petrino. Something tells me this won’t be the last Award list we see Parkers name on.
There will be plenty of predictions made from now up until the 2014 football season finally starts. As I always say with these, they don’t mean much, but they’re fun to discuss. And also it is interesting to see how national writers view the Cardinals heading into the ACC. I am waiting until kickoff gets closer to make a game-by-game prediction for the Cards this season. But Greg Wallace from bleacherreport.com has predicted the win-loss record for every new college football head coach in 2014.
In this article, Wallace predicts that Bobby Petrino will guide the Louisville Cardinals to an 8-4 record in their inaugural season in the ACC. Here is what he says about Petrino and the Cards:
Bobby Petrino just announced at the ACC Celebration at Fourth Street Live! that the opening football game this season against the Miami Hurricanes will be a Blackout! We are just two short months away from that game on September 1! Here are some photos of the black uniforms.
In preparation for today’s ACC Celebration event at Fourth Street Live!, the mascots from around the ACC got into town yesterday. Needless to say, they were busy and looked like they had a lot of fun. I think this should happen more often.