Monthly Archives: March 2017
On Saturday, April 15th, Louisville football will hold it’s annual Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Spring Game. This will be our last chance as fans to see the team for about 5 months.
It’s tough to determine in this glorified scrimmage just how much the team has improved or how well certain players will adapt in their new roles, whether it be as a starter or at a new position. The coaching staff will be trying different personnel packages, implementing different schemes and calling a variety of experimental plays.
Take it for what it is, a chance to see our guys in action. Even though it’s tough to gauge how great this team can be by the outcome or stats from this game, we can get a look at certain players of interest and individual position battles. Here are 10 things that I will watching with great interest. Read the rest of this entry
Cort Dennison, Dee Smith and Stacy Thomas are all featured in today’s post practice interviews.
Interviews of coaches and players after practice number 4. Coach Summers talks about making progress and the battle at the center position, Jawon Pass talks about learning from Bolin and Jackson, playing with his brother and getting in the weight room.
The Cards continued their dominance against in-state foes, pushing their winning streak against Bluegrass State foes to 12 as U of L (22-2) downed Western Kentucky 11-1. U of L has not lost a game against an in-state foe since losing to WKU in 2015, and has won 53 of its last 56 games at home.
As usual, Brendan McKay shined during the game. McKay batted 3-of-4 at the plate with an RBI double in the seventh inning, and two runs scored. Ryan Summers had a stellar day as the nine-hole hitter, batting a flawless 3-for-3 with a run scored. Tyler Fitzgerald and Colin Lyman each scored two hits and an RBI, while Devin Hairston went 2-of-5 at the plate with two runs driven in.
After a school-record 19-0 start to open 2017, the Cards set their sights on the road for their first true road game out of Louisville.
Unfortunately, U of L suffered some roadblocks along the way this week. Louisville would drop their first regular-season weekday game since 2015 with a 6-3 loss at Cincinnati, and then fall 3-1 on Friday at NC State. U of L responded with taking two out of three in Raleigh, ultimately winning the series against the Wolfpack.
Up next, Louisville returns home tonight to play WKU, while returning on the road for a weekend series against Virginia.
The Batting Order
1. Cards Fall Out of #1 Ranking
With going an even 2-2 last week, the Cardinals still maintain an impressive 21-2 record entering tonight’s game against WKU. The Cards only fell one spot in every poll despite the two losses, entering this week as the #2 team in five of the six major polls. Only the Coaches Poll does not have U of L in the runner-up spot, as the Cards sit at third behind consensus #1 Oregon State and Texas Tech.
2. U of L with an Impressive ACC Record
Since joining the ACC, Louisville has won 20 of its 23 series against conference foes, after taking two of three at NC State. All of Louisville’s three series losses have been on the road.
3. Nick Bennett Shining as Sunday Starter
With the series-clinching win on Sunday, freshman Nick Bennett has flourished in the weekend rotation since earning a Friday start against Eastern Michigan. Bennett is currently 3-0 with an ACC-leading .69 ERA, .138 opposing batting average and 25 strikeouts as a freshman. Bennett has assumed the Sunday spot in the pitching rotation since then, and has earned the win in two of his three Sunday appearances.
4. Another Clutch At-Bat for Hairston on Saturday
Saturday’s 7-6 win over NC State needed more late-game heroics from junior Devin Hairston. The junior hit a go-ahead RBI single in the tenth inning to give the Cardinals the deciding run in extra innings, giving Hairston his third game-winning at-bat in the last 50 games. Hairston also scored an RBI sacrifice that helped Louisville pull out a 3-2 win over Eastern Michigan on March 4th, as well as a walk-off against Kentucky last season.
Hairston currently leads the team with 25 RBI and is batting .337 for the season.
5. Cancer Awareness Night Promotion:
With tonight’s game being the home game scheduled for the Cards, U of L is having their cancer awareness night promotion at Jim Patterson Stadium. The first 500 fans in attendance will receiver Cancer Awareness shirts for the game, while also having a chance to win prizes as well as buying game-worn jerseys from previous games.
6. First Ranked ACC Test for Louisville
The Cards will travel to Charlottesville to face Virginia, which will be their first ranked opponent in ACC play (and as a true road series). U of L is currently 1-0 against ranked teams in 2017, beating then #22 Maryland 10-7 on February 18th in a neutral-site game. Since joining the ACC, Louisville is 13-9 against ranked teams away from home.
7. Kentucky Game Tickets
Next week’s game against Kentucky will be one of two games where admission is charged. Fans can buy tickets to the game on April 4th, with $12 tickets for a reserved chairback seat and $8 for a general admission seat in the Berm.
Fans can also buy tickets for U of L’s upcoming game against Northern Kentucky at Louisville Slugger Field on April 26th, as well as the ACC Baseball Championship from May 23-28.
8. U of L Looking to Push In-State Winning Streak
Louisville has won 11 straight against in-state foes, their last win a 20-2 landslide victory against Morehead State. U of L will look to make it 12 against WKU, who is the last team from the Bluegrass State to beat the Cardinals (a 7-3 WKU win at Jim Patterson Stadium in 2015).
9. About Western Kentucky and Virginia:
WKU enters tonight’s game with a 9-16 record, coming off taking two of three on the road against Middle Tennessee State. The Toppers have a stellar one-two power hitting duo in Hunter Wood and Thomas Peter, who lead the team in batting average (.310 and .306, respectively). Wood also has seven doubles and four home runs, while Peter has six doubles and five home runs in 2017.
Virginia, as mentioned, will be Louisville’s first true road test this week. The Cavaliers enter this week ranked as high as 16th in the NCBWA and Coaches Poll, having won four of their last five (the lone loss last Friday in a 19-3 blowout against Duke). UVA reached the College World Series four times since 2010, including a runner-up finish in 2014 and winning it all the following year. UVA was also the only team to beat Louisville at home in the regular season.
Adam Haseley figures to be the main focal point for UVA this weekend, as like McKay, he is a two-way player for the Cavaliers. Haseley is batting .409 (tied for second in the ACC behind McKay) with eight home runs, and is also 4-1 at the mound with a 3.60 ERA and 26 strikeouts. Outfielder Jake McCarthy also leads the ACC in stolen bases, taking 16-of-17 in 2017.
How to Watch/Listen:
Tonight’s game against the Hilltoppers starts at 6 p.m., with radio coverage on 93.9 and on ESPN3 with free admission to the game at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The weekend series against UVA starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, with coverage on ESPN3 and on 93.9 throughout the weekend. Saturday and Sunday will start at 4 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
Going into this past week, the No.1 Louisville Baseball Cardinals had set a school record for best start to the season, going 19-0. However, the Cards had yet to play a road game this season, and faced two equally solid teams in Cincinnati and North Carolina State on the road this past week. They finished the week 2-2 after dropping the game to Cincinnati as well as the series opener to NC State, but went on to and win the series 2-1, to put them at 21-2 on the season.
The NCAA had 60 days to respond to Louisville’s response, that they filed on January 17th, to the notice of allegations. Louisville’s response contested the NCAA’s fourth allegation, which stated that Cards head coach Rick Pitino “violated NCAA head coach responsibility legislation” as a result of infractions committed by former director of basketball operations Andre McGee from 2010-14.
Per Eric Crawford. (WDRB) – “The NCAA has rejected the University of Louisville’s claim that men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino adequately monitored the program, concluding that Pitino did not seek routine feedback about activities in a dormitory where a onetime aide arranged for strippers and prostitutes to entertain players and recruits.” Read the rest of this entry
The season is over and this the time when I am usually Mr. positive. This is the time when I would remind you that football practice has started and our team is led by the reigning Heisman trophy winner. This is the time I would also remind you that our baseball team is ranked #1 in the nation. This is also the time where I would point out that the swim and dive team just crowned another national champion for the sixth year in a row. I would also point out that the basketball team has some great recruits coming in and the team will probably be pre-season ranked in the top 3. Even though this is the time for me to be positive and lift you up, I just can’t do it. Not yet. I’m still hurting. I’m disappointed. I’m sad. I’m wounded. I need a hug. Read the rest of this entry
After seeing an overwhelming amount of freak outs about NBA Draft entries, I’d just like to clear the air and hopefully provide some calming insight on Louisville’s current situation.
Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Jaylen Johnson and what could likely be others, have decided to enter the NBA Draft. While reading that sentence may cause a panic, I can assure you that is very premature. With the NBA’s new rule, implemented only last year, undergraduates are allowed to “enter the draft” and still come back. “How can this be?”, you might ask. As long as the player doesn’t sign an agent, and pulls his name out before May 24th, he will not lose eligibility.
After months of speculation, Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell has declared for the NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
Mitchell declares for the draft after a stellar sophomore season. The first-team All-ACC player averaged 15.6 PPG, 2.1 steals per game and shot 35% from three point land.
Although Mitchell declared for the draft, Mitchell is not signing with an agent yet. This opens the door for Mitchell to return for his junior season, if he desires. The new NBA Draft rules allow prospective draftees to enter the combine and get an evaluation, prior to the withdrawal deadline on May 24th.
Sophomore Deng Adel and junior Jaylen Johnson are also going to declare for the NBA Draft but not hire an agent, like Mitchell. Adel averaged 12.1 PPG and 4.5 rebounds per game as a small forward, while Johnson averaged eight points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
As I stared down at the court inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse after the 73-69 loss to Michigan, I felt sad, mad, disappointed and hurt. I stood there in disbelief thinking about what could have been. Then I started thinking about what the players were feeling. You know, the guys who actually put in the hard work and played their hearts out to get this far. They were probably 100 times more upset than I was. Imagine being that upset and disappointed and then having a microphone shoved in your face asking you about the future. Your answer would probably be an “in the moment” response and not a well thought out one.
Moments after walking off the court, Donovan Mitchell was asked if he would be going to the NBA or returning for his junior year at Louisville. His response to the reporters was “I can’t wait to win a national championship next year.” That was exactly what every Louisville fan wanted to hear. However, there is still a lot of time to change his mind. Underclassmen have till April 23rd for the early entry deadline for the NBA draft. If he decides to enter and doesn’t hire an agent, he has until May 24 to withdraw his name and return to school. Mitchell’s mom said that they would discuss his future as a family.
Rick Pitino said in a radio interview on 93.9 The Ville, that he told Mitchell, “If you want to go out there and work out for pro teams, I’d like to see you do it because it’ll make you better.”
Regardless of what he decides, he still loves the University of Louisville and he proved it last night as he (and a few other players) attended and cheered for the women’s team as they beat Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16.
Spring football is underway in Louisville, as Bobby Petrino looks to return with Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and a bevvy of studs. A new defensive coordinator, depth at skill positions and offensive line play will headline the top stories of U of L’s spring football in 2017. Louisville will also have open practice for fans on March 24th, March 28th and April 4th, with the Spring Game set for April 15th.
Yesterday we got to hear from head coach Bobby Petrino for the first time since National Signing Day last month, and we came away with a few interesting tidbits thus far.
Cornerback Shaq Wiggins and offensive lineman Chandler Jones will both be transferring for the University of Louisville. It is unknown whete they will heading, but we wish them both the best of luck.
Cornerback Alphonso Carter has been suspended from the team. Last month, he was found to have a loaded gun in his possession with no license to carry after he was pulled over for running a red light.
Wide receiver Jaylen Smith and outside linebacker Jonathan Greenard will miss all of spring ball due to both of them in recovery from surgeries. Smith had surgery of stress fracture in his foot while Greenard had hip surgery.
On the positive side, Petrino announced that defensive end James Hearns has fully recovered from his surgery and is now a “full go”. Henry Famurewa is still in partial recovery, but will see some action on the practice field. Trevon Young will also see some work on the practice field after missing all of last season with a hip injury.
If nothing else for the Louisville baseball team, they continue to be consistent after the first month of the season.
It was another week, another four wins for the Cards as they push their undefeated streak to 19-0. The record is now the hottest in the program’s 100-year history, passing the 17-0 mark set by the 1957 team.
Up next, the Cardinals will make their road trips of the season, starting with tonight’s clash at Cincinnati. U of L will follow that up with a weekend series at NC State.
“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”
Please be seated, the BHK is back off his weekend bender of wings, basketball and busted brackets to announce that the joy that is football is back for the month of April. Today Bobby Petrino held his presser to give us all a glimpse of what to expect and what the team will be working on. I know I am not the only Card fan that still has a sour taste in my mouth from how last season ended. We went from the highs of curb stomping FSU, receiving a visit from College Gameday, and a prime-time game in Death Valley to seeing Lamar nearly decapitated in Houston, watching the Governor’s Cup get kidnapped, and watching LSU do the cha-cha slide in our backfield for 4 quarters………but I digress.
The thing is, as young as this team was last year they are back and more experienced. More importantly they are pissed off at how they ended the season after being 9-1 on the verge of the playoffs. Lamar winning the Heisman salvaged the disappointing ending but you have to think the team is still very much hungry for redemption. Here some things, and players that the BHK is interested to see in the Spring game.