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Pitino and Crean release statements on new Assistant Kenny Johnson


Photo: Indystar.com

Photo: Indystar.com

 

The University of Louisville and Indiana University both released statements today on new UofL Assistant Basketball coach Kenny Johnson.

Rick Pitino Statement:

“We’re very excited to have Kenny in our program,” said Pitino. “The first thing I did whenKevin Keatts left to become the head coach at UNC Wilmington was to ask my son Richard (Pitino, head coach at Minnesota) to find the best rising assistant coach in the business. He spoke to a lot of people and they led directly to Kenny Johnson and others think he is outstanding as well. He is extremely bright, having studied cell, molecular biology and genetics in college.”

Full University of Louisville Statement

Tom Crean Statement:

 

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Louisville officially announces Anas Osama Mahmoud


 

247sports.com

247sports.com

Press Release from Louisville SID Kenny Klein:

7-1 Mahmoud Signs With Louisville Basketball

      LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Anas Osama Mahmoud, a 7-1, 205-pound forward/center from Cairo, Egypt who played last season at West Oaks Academy in Orlando, Fla., has signed a national letter-of-intent to continue his basketball playing career at the University of Louisville.

      “Anas is an extremely versatile seven-footer,” said UofL Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Pitino.  “He is a very skilled athlete who is a very good scorer and passer.  His only weakness is strength.  We will base a consideration of redshirting him on how quickly he can gain necessary strength to be effective.  We’re delighted to have Anas at the University of Louisville.”

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IU Assistant Kenny Johnson Will Replace Kevin Keatts at Louisville


Photo: Indystar.com

Photo: Indystar.com

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson will be hired at Louisville to replace Kevin Keatts on Rick Pitino’s staff. Johnson is most known for his ability to recruit, and most see this as a huge hire for Pitino.

To learn more about Johnson, here is his bio from IUHoosiers.com:

• Joined head coach Tom Crean’s staff on May 1, 2012, after spending the previous season as an assistant coach at Towson University.

• A native of Oxon Hill, Md., served as associate head coach at Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Virginia for four years prior to joining the Towson staff.

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ACC to announce Men’s Basketball pairings tomorrow


acc

Tomorrow the ACC will announce the Men’s College Basketball pairings for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. The Cards will begin their first season of play in the ACC this season and it is one that will set up some blockbuster match ups for Pitino and company. A lot of questions will be answered tomorrow:

Who will the Cards play twice?

Will the Cards go to the Dean Dome or Cameron?

Will the ACC take the Big East approach and have the Cards play Duke, UNC, and Cuse all twice?

All these questions and more will be answered tomorrow at 11 AM so have your calenders out and ready!

The ACC pairings will be released on their website TheACC.com

Another potential replacement for Keatts?


urlic

According to CBS Jeff Borzello SMU’s Ulric Maligi is another potential replacement for Kevin Keatts at Louisville.

Maligi is a great recruiter with major ties to the Texas area. Just this season Maligi beat out UK for the service’s of top rated player Emmanuel Mudiay. Maligi will be a name worth keeping an eye on in the coming days. Follow Ulric Maligi on twitter @Coach_Maligi

 

 

Has Rick Pitino found Keatts replacement?


 

Hoosiersportslive.com

Hoosiersportslive.com

 

Multiple reports have come out today that Indiana University Assistant Coach Kenny Johnson has emerged has the front runner to replace Kevin Keatts on the Louisville sideline.

Johnson would be a great addition to the Cards staff and would fill a much needed recruiting spot on the bench. Johnson has many Nike ties and at one time was over “Team Takeover” a Nike circuit AAU team. At IU Johnson was responsible for landing the likes of: Troy Williams, Noah Vonleh, James Blackmon Jr. , and Robert Johnson. So to say this would be a home run hire is an under statement. This will defiantly be something to watch in the coming days. Follow Kenny Johnson @kjrelentless

For More on Kenny Johnson and his possible landing spots:

Kenny Johnson IU Bio

Indy Star Article: IU prepared to fight to keep Kenny Johnson

 

 

Wayne Blackshear Named Captain for 2014-15 Season


(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Press release from UofL:

April 14, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville forward Wayne Blackshear has been named team captain for the 2014-15 Cardinals’ men’s basketball team.

“We have great confidence in Wayne moving toward his senior year,” said UofL Coach Rick Pitino. “I’m sure he will continue the outstanding leadership we have witnessed the last four years.”

A Capital One Academic All-District 2 selection, Blackshear averaged 8.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and shot 39.5 percent from three-point range (45-of-114) for the Cardinals (31-6). He had 14 double-digit scoring efforts last season, including a career-high 23 against Houston, as UofL shared the American Athletic Conference title, won the league postseason tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

Blackshear ranked sixth in the AAC in three-point percentage (.395) and buried a three-pointer in 21 of his 36 games this season. During the Cardinals’ 2013 NCAA Championship season, he was the recipient of the prestigious Elite 89 Award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at NCAA Championships.

Cards Finish 9th in Final USA Today Coaches Poll


usatoday

Here is the final USA Today Coaches Poll of the season. The Cards finish 9th. UConn finishes 1st, just how we all envisioned it a few weeks ago.

USA Today Coaches Poll
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Connecticut (30) 32-8 791
2 Kentucky (1) 29-11 759
3 Florida 36-3 735
4 Wisconsin 30-8 704
5 Arizona 33-5 637
6 Michigan 28-9 594
7 Wichita State (1) 35-1 583
8 Michigan State 29-9 553
9 Louisville 31-6 545
10 Virginia 30-7 539
11 Iowa State 28-8 457
12 San Diego State 31-5 453
13 Villanova 29-5 367
14 Kansas 25-10 341
15 UCLA 28-9 297
16 Duke 26-9 276
17 Syracuse 28-6 263
18 Baylor 26-12 246
18 Dayton 26-11 246
20 Creighton 27-8 190
21 North Carolina 24-10 156
22 Cincinnati 27-7 126
23 Tennessee 24-13 122
24 Stanford 23-13 104
25 Saint Louis 27-7 75

Championships, Drugs, and Transfers: Louisville’s 2011 Recruiting Class


Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

It has been a rough couple of days for former Louisville basketball players. Early Wednesday morning, Chane Behanan was cited for possession of marijuana. Then early Thursday morning, Zach Price was arrested on suspicion of third-degree domestic assault and third-degree assault. This got me thinking about the 2011 recruiting class as a whole for the Louisville Cardinals. Also, I must give credit to my friends Chris Tingley and Hassan Mahdavi for bringing this idea to me so I could then expand on it.

Take a look at who is in that 2011 class. You have Chane Behanan, Kevin Ware, Wayne Blackshear, Zach Price, and Angel Nunez. One of those players is still on the team. Three of them have dealt with off the court issues. We haven’t heard anything coming from Spokane, Washington that gives any indication that Angel Nunez has been a problem.

The 2011 class was ranked 7th in the country by Rivals. com. For what it’s worth, the 2010 class with Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng, and Elisha Justice was not ranked in the Top 25 on Rivals. Keep that in mind the next time you pay attention to recruiting rankings. The title of this post pretty much sums it up. This class won conference titles and the National Championship, have had off the court issues, and most have left the program.

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Louisville vs Indiana Date and Time set for Jimmy V Classic


Louisville Indiana

We posted months ago that the Louisville Cardinals would be facing the Indiana Hoosiers in the 2014-15 season as part of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Today, the date and time were finalized.

The game will take place on December 9 at 9 p.m. ET and it will be shown on ESPN. Villanova will face Maryland at 7:00 p.m., so obviously that 9:00 tipoff will be closer to 9:30 or 10.

So far, this gives Louisville a few marquee non-conference games. They open the season against Richard Pitino and Minnesota, and of course they face Kentucky, and now Indiana.

From GoCards.com:

All-time, Louisville and Indiana have met 16 times, with the Hoosiers holding a 10-6 advantage. The Cardinals won the last matchup 95-76 on Feb. 1, 2003, at Freedom Hall. Francisco Garcia came off the bench and scored 23 points, while Reece Gaines (17), Ellis Myles (13), and Luke Whitehead (11) each tallied double-figure points.

Tickets for the Jimmy V Classic will go on sale at a later date this fall. Ticket prices range from $15-275 and will be available for purchase at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, Ticketmaster charge by phone at (866) 858-0008, and online at http://www.Ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com.

Basketball Video: The End Of An Era


Well this video is just awesome. Great job by Evan Westendorf.

Rick Pitino wraps up 2013-14 season and previews 2014-15


Photo: wlky.com

Photo: wlky.com

Coach Rick Pitino met with the media on Monday afternoon for about 30 minutes to have his final press conference of the season. He wrapped up the season and also talked about next season a little bit.

He talks about Montrezl Harrell and the decision he has to make. He pretty much called out Wayne Blackshear by saying that he is the only player that he has had in the last four years that hasn’t made substantial improvement.

Mike Rutherford (Card Chronicle) did a great job of highlighting the main things that Pitino said. The video of the full press conference is below.

UofL fans “Wanted” it, UK fans “Needed” it


 

guardianlv.com

guardianlv.com

Nobody was shocked by the fact that last Friday was an epic encounter between 2 teams playing great basketball. What did shock us however was what followed.

UofL has always been perceived as “Little Brother”, a role that we and our AD Tom Jurich are perfectly fine with. Little Bro has been doing pretty good for himself lately: Men’s and women’s Final Four, National Championships, BCS Bowls, College World Series, and National Champions in many other sports. Louisville has been on an incredible run as a University and doesn’t look to stop anytime soon and that apparently has gotten under the skin of BBN.

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Early look at 2014-15 Louisville Cardinals


zimbio.com

zimbio.com

It is obvious that our team will look much different next year. Losing such key components like Russ, Luke, Montrezl, and SVT will do that to a team. Pitino expects Montrezl to enter the NBA Draft, and I don’t think that will come as a surprise to any of us. Here is a look at what next year’s roster will probably look like. (After typing out the roster and actually looking at it, that whole “looking much different” part is a huge understatement, wow.)

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My Prediction for Louisville vs Kentucky


guardianlv.com

Photo: guardianlv.com

I have been up since early this morning and in the grand scheme of things, I haven’t gotten one thing done today. I have only listened to local sports talk radio and been on social media keeping up with everything UofL-UK for tonight. But isn’t that what I am supposed to be doing today? I suppose it’s finally time to come up with my prediction post, so here we go…

First of all, the December 28th game at Rupp means nothing to me. For one, it was at Rupp. Russ Smith and Luke Hancock shot a combined 10-31 that game. Speaking of Luke, he wasn’t even starting at the time, Wayne Blackshear was. Mangok Mathiang started and played 22 minutes. Chane Behanan played 20 minutes and played that game knowing he was about to be kicked off of the team. Does any of that sound like the Louisville Cardinals that you have seen recently? We are a completely different team, and yes UK is a little different as well, so that is why the last game doesn’t mean much to me. Actually if I do take anything away from it, I am glad that UK doesn’t have a revenge factor for this game. So they can have that game at Rupp, I’ll take this one tonight.

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Calipari and Pitino met in a hallway today


So this happened on Thursday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium, and then the fans captioned it…

Photo: @GoodmanESPN

Photo: @GoodmanESPN

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ESPN 10 Bold Predictions for the Sweet Sixteen


ESPN

ESPN’s Myron Metcalf wrote his 10 Bold Predictions for the Sweet Sixteen. Here’s what he had to say about the Cards:

1. Louisville over Kentucky by double digits. The Friday matchup between Louisville and Kentucky will be poetic, really. Two of the top three teams in The Associated Press’ preseason poll stumbled at times during the regular season. Louisville regained its mojo in the final weeks, but Kentucky fell short of lofty expectations all season. John Calipari’s fleet of NBA prospects have since risen in the NCAA tournament. The world-beaters who removed Kansas State and top seed Wichita State from the tourney have looked like they could beat anyone in the field. But the fun will end in Indianapolis. I wasn’t impressed by Louisville’s opening weekend (wins over Manhattan and Saint Louis), but I believe that the Cardinals recognize they had more to give in both games. And they’ll prove it with a double-digit win over Kentucky. More experience. More balance. Rick Pitino’s 11-0 record in the Sweet 16. (Calipari is 5-1 against Louisville since arriving at Kentucky, though.) This game won’t live up to the hype. Russ Smith & Co. will pressure the young Wildcats for 40 minutes and avenge an earlier loss against Kentucky. 

9. The Vols will go down swinging against Louisville in an Elite Eight thriller. Tennessee won’t leave Indianapolis quietly. Although the Vols won’t have enough to upset Louisville and earn a slot in the Final Four, this will be a tough matchup for Pitino’s squad. The Cardinals will need a late comeback to secure their third consecutive trip to the Final Four and a chance to defend their title. 

See everyone isn’t drinking the blue kool aid. I think it’s going to be a fun weekend!

Fans Respond: Who Would You Rather Play in the Sweet 16?


Wichita State logo   Kentucky logo

This is a very interesting topic. As a Cards fan, who do YOU WANT Louisville to play in the Sweet 16? Do you want a rematch with Wichita State? They are undefeated and haven’t lost since the Cards beat them in the Final Four. Or do you want a rematch against Kentucky? No explanation needed on who they are and how big that would be. We took the question to twitter, and here is what you said.

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Initial Thoughts: Louisville beats Manhattan 71-64


Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Chris O’Meara / Associated Press

Everyone take a deep breath. The Cards survived and advanced. We will be playing on Saturday for a chance to go to the Sweet 16. This game will be put behind us and it won’t matter. Here are my initial thoughts just a few minutes after the buzzer…

*I thought Wayne Blackshear played a GREAT second half. While everyone else was struggling, he kept hustling and getting offensive rebounds and put backs. He kept us hanging around until the other guys took over at the end.

*Luuuuuuuuuuke! What can you say? The Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four last year showed up in the clutch and hit two huge threes. Louisville shot 4-13 from three point land, and those two along with Russ’ near the end make up 3 of them.

*Luke also had that big steal on the inbounds play and got fouled to go to the free throw line. I thought all game while people were playing out of control, Luke remained calm and still played his game.

*The body language for about 39 minutes was terrible. We hadn’t seen that from this team in quite some time. Montrezl yelled at Russ. Luke ran back in transition and was the only one back and when Manhattan scored, he looked back as if to say “Anyone else want to play defense with me?” After any foul call against us, our guys looked disgusted and would complain and it just didn’t look like the team that finished the season on such a high note.

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Masiello: “They’re Basically the Bigger, Better Version of us”


Steve Masiello

Photo: thebiglead.com

ESPN.com’s Kieran Darcy published an article on Sunday night about the reaction that Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello had when the bracket popped up on the screen showing that their first round game would be against the Louisville Cardinals and his mentor, Rick Pitino. Needless to say, Masiello was not thrilled.

Just check out this opening of the article…

Steve Masiello didn’t raise his arms. He didn’t pump his fists. He didn’t jump out of his chair when he saw his team’s name pop up on the TV screen Sunday night — what should have been one of the best moments of his life. 

No, Steve Masiello closed his eyes. 

And when he opened them after a moment, he looked as though he’d just been punched in the gut. Because he had. 

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