An ugly win is better than any kind of loss. Go Cards!
On Sunday evening, the 4th ranked Louisville Cardinals (8-0) will return to action in the 13th Annual Billy Minardi Classic, which honors Rick Pitino’s late brother-in-law who died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. This year the Cards will face UNC Wilmington (3-2), who are coached by former UofL assistant Kevin Keatts. He was with UofL for 3 seasons.
Louisville enters the game as heavy favorites, I believe by around 28 points or so. But in just five games this season, the Seahawks of UNC Wilmington have scored over 100 points twice already. They beat VMI 110-93 and St. Andrews 105-47. Their last game was on December 3, so they have had 11 days to prepare for this game.
This week on 55…………
We talk Basketball watch party. We talk big win over Notre Dame. We talk ranked teams and end of seasons. I will share a story of my trip to Notre Dame, a gallery of the trip and more tidbits as we go. We talk kentucky football and much, much more. So without further adieu, get ready for the ride. Without further interruption, here are the things from this week that stood out to me the most. The most ridiculous, interesting and factual things I came across. This is 55……….
Photos by Tim Haag (@UofLBirdsNest)
This week on 55………………..
I am going to switch it up a little bit. After doing 55 for about a year now, I wanted to do something a little different. I know, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I just want to give this a try. Instead of bringing you 55 facts each week, I am going to write a column that I break down into 4 quarters. 1st Quarter: Football, 2nd Quarter: Basketball, 3rd Quarter: Cardinal Athletics, 4th Quarter: Our best stories and weeks best tid-bits that doesn’t fit into the first three-quarters. In weeks there are no Football games, I will make that week a quarter where one fan will be chosen to have a guest spot on 55 and discuss anything UofL. I feel like this will give 55 a fresh look and if you guys don’t like it let me know and I will go back. Like I said, I’m just looking for new ways to do the same thing and that’s entertain you. Wonder who will be the first fan columnist for the 11/17 Episode? Tweet me and hashtag #55GuestSpot. I will only pick out of these people. If you tweet me at @Jeremy_CSZ and say I want to but don’t include the hashtag #55GuestSpot then you are out of luck. Simple directions people…. Without further interruption, here are the things from this week that stand out to me the most. The most ridiculous,interesting and factual things I came across. This is 55……….
Halftime of the Derby Festival Basketball Classic is always an entertaining one. It is when they have the finals of the dunk contest and 3-point contest. At the Night of the Future Stars on the night before, they have the early rounds of those contests and then that sets up the finals for Friday night.
Tonight’s competitions both include future Louisville Cardinals. In the dunk contest, Jaylen Johnson will face off against Isaac Copeland (Georgetown) and Devin Robinson (Florida).
Here is a video of Johnson’s first dunk from Thursday night with a little help from his future teammates. Video courtesy of Jody Demling from Scout.com.
From the KDF Press Office:
April 14, 2014. Louisville, KY. – Tickets are still available for the 41st annual Derby Festival Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s this Friday, April 18. The roster includes one McDonald’s All-Americans, 2 Parade All-Americans, as well as University of Louisville signees Chinanu Onuaku, Quentin Snider and Jaylen Johnson and Indiana recruits Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel. The game features 10 players ranked in the Top 30 nationally by recruiting services Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sports.com. Nearly all of the players scheduled to participate are ranked among the Top 50 nationally. The players will also participate in the Horseshoe Foundation Night of the Future Stars on Thursday, April 17, at Floyd Central High School.
Admission to the Horseshoe Foundation Night of the Future Stars is free with a ticket to the Basketball Classic. Some of the event’s most exciting moments have occurred during the Slam Dunk, 2-on-2 and 3-Point Shooting competitions. There will also be a one-hour autograph-signing session following the event, with a two-item limit for signing.
Today, this years KDF game rosters were announced and both teams have a lot of familiar faces that have graced the Cards recruiting board at one time or another.
(credit Evan Daniels)
Number at the end indicates national rank
Keita Bates Diop – Ohio State – No. 19
Leron Black – Illinois – No. 47
Trevon Bluiett – Xavier – No. 41
Chris Chiozza – Florida – No. 44
Bonzie Colson – Notre Dame
Brandone Francis – Florida – No. 37
Jaylen Johnson – Louisville – No. 62
Chinanu Onuaku – Louisville – No. 69
Devin Robinson – Florida – No. 24
Quentin Snider – Louisville – No. 32
Jonah Bolden – UCLA – No. 30
Angel Delgado – Seton Hall – No. 43
Isaac Copeland – Georgetown – No. 48
Max Hoetzel – Indiana
Robert Johnson – Indiana – No. 55
JaQuan Lyle – Undecided – No. 22
Dwayne Morgan – UNLV – No. 20
Goodluck Okonoboh – UNLV – No. 39
Romelo Trimble – Maryland – No. 35
Dion Wiley – Maryland – No. 28
Monday was a good day for a couple of Louisville basketball signees. Early in the day, Shaqquan Aaron was named to the Jordan Brand Classic roster. The in the evening, 6’10 center/power forward Chinanu Onuaku and his Riverdale Baptist team won the private school state championship in Maryland. On top of that, Onuaku was named MVP of the game.
Onuaku finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds and was also 7-8 from the free throw line as his team beat Clinton Christian 71-66. For the season, he had been shooting around 41% from the line, so that is good that he knocked them down in such a big game.
Here are highlights from the game. Onuaku is #32 for the white team.
Just a quick reminder, the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game selection show is today at 6pm on ESPNU. The Cards eligible for selection are Shaqquan Aaron, Quentin Snider, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku. Shaq is an overwhelming favorite to make it with Onuaku coming in second according to popular belief. Good luck to all nominees and Go Cards!
Louisville Men’s Basketball Signing Class Among Nation’s Best
(From UofL SID Kenny Klein)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Four impressive high school products have each signed a national letter-of-intent to continue their basketball playing careers at the University of Louisville, ranking this Cardinal group among the nation’s top recruiting classes.
The list of highly-touted signees consists of Shaqquan Aaron, a 6-7, 175-pound guard from Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Wash.; Jaylen Johnson, a 6-9, 215-pound forward from Ypsilanti (Mich.) High School; Chinanu Onuaku, a 6-10, 230-pound forward/center from Lanham, Md. and Riverdale Baptist High School; and Quentin Snider, a 6-1, 170-pound guard from Ballard High School in Louisville. All four are ranked among the nation’s top 70 prospects.
“This is a tremendous class that is deep, talented and all have great potential to improve,” said UofL head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino. “Not only is it a well-balanced group with outstanding basketball players, but they really fit our system. We look for offensive players who can be a triple-threat — shoot, pass and beat their man off the bounce — and this group can certainly do that.”
(click for more)
The Cards will sign all 3 of their 2014 basketball commits today. According to Steve Jones of the Courier Journal PF Jaylen Johnson (Pictured below) and C Chinanu Onuaku have already inked their name and SF Shaq Aaron will sign later tonight. Look for the Cards to sign 1 or 2 more between now and the spring, but it’s always good to get the names on the dotted line sooner than later.
Pitino got his Center today when 4 Star Chinanu Onuaku announced he will play for the Cards next season. Onuaku, who is ranked as high as the #6 Center in the nation, had many elite offers but ultimately chose the Cards over Georgetown and Miami. Onuaku is a very imprtant piece to the 2014 class and will add much needed depth at the Center position as the Cards head into the ACC next season. The 6’10 Onuaku is an excellent shot blocker but his offensive game has come along strongly over the summer while participating in the NBA top 100 camp and the Adidas Nations. With Onuaku and Jaylen Johnson in the fold, the Cards will still try to sign one maybe two more front court players (Lyles, Bolden) in what could still be one of the most talented classes under Pitino.
This Washington Post released a story with the Coach of 2014 4 Star Center Chinanu Onuaku and coach Lou Wilson many favorable things to say about the Cards. Coach Wilson said that Onuaku liked his recent visit to Georgetown but went on to say this about the Cards:
Wilson reiterated his prior belief that Louisville stands as the front-runner among Onuaku’s choices, citing the school’s strong academics, prestigious coach in Rick Pitino and the Cardinals’ recent success as 2013 national champions.
“From our conversations, it seems he feels like he’ll have an opportunity to play at Louisville, get a good education and be on a winning team,” Wilson said. “He seemed to enjoy being around the coaches and players down there for his visit.”
With Onuaku’s decision Friday it is starting to sound like the Cards will finally get the Center they have been after.
You can read the full Washington Post article HERE
Top 5 Center Chinanu Onuaku recently cut his list down to Louisville and Miami. Onuaku is a very important recruit for the Cards and they are letting him know it, just last week Coach Pitino paid Onuaku a visit and others in the staff were in to see him this week. Onuaku had planed to see IU this week but that visit has also now been canceled. Many believed, including myself, that Maryland was the Cards biggest competition for the 6’10 Center and with the recent news it looks like he is the Cards to lose. It sounds as though Onuaku wont wait very long to announce his decision so keep your eyes open over the next week CardNation as we may just have the next piece to the 2014 class.