Author Archives: Shawn Barbour
After all the drama swirling around UofL Men’s Basketball because of yet another tawdry scandal, it’s my pleasure to present to you, my fellow UofL fans, an article about the actual basketball team. That’s right. There’s no death penalty yet. UofL gets to play basketball this year.
And boy do they have a God Deng good team. A near perfect blend of youthful talent and gritty experience. A new captain leads the unit. His name is Padgett and to our opponents I must warn you, he does not come in peace. He has come to annihilate you on the court. Beware the conqueror has arrived.
Now, let’s review the Red-White scrimmage from last Friday. I will speak on some individual players that I focused on. Players like Deng Adel. The junior forward returned to school after testing the NBA waters. Improvement in his game was needed and what better place to improve than here.
Photo Courtesy Greg Paulus/Twitter
Today, Acting Head Coach David Padgett and Acting Athletic Director Vince Tyra are set to announce the addition of Greg Paulus to the UofL Men’s Basketball coaching staff per Courier Journal reporter Jeff Greer.
Paulus played 4 years under legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. 3 of his 4 years were as Duke’s starting Point Guard before he was relegated to the bench for his senior year.
Photo Courtesy of Duke Photography/goduke.com
Paulus then took an interest in football and, as a graduate transfer, transferred to Syracuse and was their starting Quarterback for one season. He led the team to a 4-8 record.
*one of those losses to Steve K***** at Louisville. K’s final victory
Photo Courtesy of Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press
After trying out for the NFL, Paulus joined the ranks of college basketball again. This time as a coach. In 2010, he was hired as an assistant coach at Navy. Then in 2011, he was hired by Thad Matta to the position of video coordinator for the Ohio State University basketball team. Eventually, in 2013, Matta promoted him to assistant coach and he coached there through last season.
Paulus was born in Ohio and raised in Wisconsin until his family settled in Syracuse, NY, where he attended high school at Christian Brothers Academy.
You can read more about UofL’s newest assistant coach in Jeff Greer’s article below.
UofL has officially announced Greg Paulus’ hiring. Here is the official press release from Kenny Klein on gocards.com.
Photo Courtesy of Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo
Coaches and other members of UofL’s Athletic Department are saddened and sullen now that the leader they had all known for so long has been unceremoniously fired.
Courier Journal reporter Danielle Lerner wrote an article detailing the general mood of sadness around the UofL Athletic Department formerly run by Tom Jurich.
Photo Courtesy of Matt Cashore/USA Today Sports
Terry Meiners of 84 WHAS Radio and WHAS 11 TV, is reporting that UofL Men’s Basketball employees are being ordered to no longer have any contact with the recently fired Rick Pitino.
The person or entity at the University who ordered this is not mentioned by Meiners.
It appears UofL is moving to sever all ties to its former Hall of Fame Head Coach.
Photo Courtesy of WDRB.com
All good things must come to an end. I didn’t see Tom Jurich’s tenure coming to an end in such an inglorious fashion. I enjoyed having him as Athletic Director of my Alma Mater because I believe he cared about UofL Athletics as much as I do.
I was born here in Louisville, raised here in Louisville, and I graduated from Louisville. I am Louisville. UofL sports is woven into the intricate fabric of Louisville. I love the games, the atmosphere, the camaraderie of fans, the players, and the games. It’s all wondrous to me. And to me, the face of UofL Athletics wasn’t a coach, it was Tommy “The Turtleneck” Jurich.
David Padgett doesn’t get to sit in the Head Coach’s office at the Yum Center. It remains locked due to the ongoing FBI investigation engulfing the University of Louisville. So too, do the offices of suspended Associate Head Coach Kenny Johnson and former Assistant Coach Jordan Fair. Padgett is still relegated to his old, small office according to an article written by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.
Padgett talked to Borzello recently about this and various other subjects including how his first practice was a blur and how he is focused on the season and not the future of his employment.
Padgett addressed the fact that he was around the program in some capacity during both the escort scandal and the newest scandal. He assured Borzello, and by proxy we fans, that he’s done nothing wrong and has told the truth throughout.
Padgett told Borzello about how he thinks the team is “such a close-knit group.” He discussed the talents of the team and why he thinks they will be good.
Photos courtesy 247sports.com
Birds of a feather stick together they say. That is the case for 2018 UofL Football commits Robert Hicks III and Chandler Jones.
Hicks is the number 18 inside linebacker in the country and Jones is the number 45 cornerback in the country according to 247sports.com.
Jim Halley, a USA Today High School Sports writer, wrote an article about the Miami Central High School teammates. He writes about how they received their Under Armour All-America Game jerseys together and how they remain committed to UofL.
Hicks told Halley, “I’m sticking with Louisville right now. I have a couple of fun visits with my teammates, like Southern Miss, but that’s about it.”
Jones echoed Hicks’ sentiment telling Halley, “I’m locked into Louisville right now, maybe 99 percent. When Robert transferred (to Miami Central) and we went on our official visit together, we just fell in love with Louisville.”
As you can clearly see, it appears we will be seeing Hicks and Jones together on the field in Cardinal red.
Halley’s article also details the pair’s high school season so far and how they dealt with the turmoil created by Hurricane Irma.
UofL fans can watch Robert Hicks and Chandler Jones in the Under Armour All-America Football Game live on ESPN2 January 4, 2018 at 6 pm.
You can read the full article below.
Photo Courtesy of Kenny Klein/gocards.com
15 UofL coaches, among them Bobby Petrino, Dan McDonnell, and Ken Lolla, have signed a letter sent to Interim UofL President Greg Postel in support of Tom Jurich.
In the letter, the coaches explain that they empathize with President Postel and other leaders of the University. However, they also said they believe the impact Jurich had on the University cannot be discarded.
The coaches state that they “fervently believe that Tom’s leadership has transformed the University of Louisville and has molded thousands of student-athletes who are now graduates of this great institution.”
The letter lays out key accomplishments during Tom’s tenure as proof of his excellent leadership. They include Jurich’s steering UofL into a spot in the ACC, his transformation of campus with the addition of many excellent athletic facilities, and the promotion and support of women’s sports.
It’s obvious the coaches are lobbying for their beloved boss to keep his job.
You can read the full letter below from Kelly Dickey.
Louisville’s own Quentin Snider is one of 20 players around the country named as a preseason candidate for the prestigious 2018 Bob Cousy Award, per ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
The award is given to the nation’s best Point Guard by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Snider is a senior captain and the starting Point Guard for UofL. He is also a native Louisvillian. This is his first appearance on the Top 20 Bob Cousy Award Watch List.
Photo Courtesy of David Lee Hartlage/Courier Journal
The Sports Gods have not graced us UofL fans with much good news these past 2 weeks, but they have chosen to grace us with some today.
Teddy Bridgewater, per ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen, has been cleared to return to practice for the Vikings.
That’s not the end of the good news. Per Ian Rapoport, the national insider for the NFL Network and NFL.com, the Vikings are looking to activate Teddy this week or next week from the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Vikings anticipate Teddy will play this year, according to Rapoport. There is no mention of what game is being targeted for Teddy’s return.
Finally, some great news for UofL fans. We all love Teddy and can’t wait to see him on the field again.
We have an update from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Teddy gets to start practice Wednesday! The great news got even better in regards to Teddy. Here’s hoping we UofL fans get to see him in game action soon.
As we all know, Saturday UofL football suffered a debilitating loss to Boston College. After the game, Bobby Petrino, Lamar Jackson, Reggie Bonnafon, Jaire Alexander, Jonathan Greenard, and Jaylen Smith all spoke to the media.
Coach Petrino mentioned that he thought the team played well in first half, but a missed 3rd down conversion on the last drive before the half changed momentum.
Coach Petrino told the assembled media, “I was really disappointed in how we came out offensively in the third quarter. And defensively we couldn’t really stop them in the second half.”
He also specifically mentioned Jaylen Smith and called him “courageous” for all the work he put in to get back for the game. He said he felt bad for him after the fumble.
As far as the players, they all mentioned how sick and bad they felt after the loss.
They all talked about having to regroup and do better. Jonathan Greenard, when talking about Lamar Jackson, said he’s “arguably the best player in college football.” He also said that the defense has “gotta get the ball to him as much as possible.”
You can view the presser below courtesy of GoCards YouTube account.
Photo Courtesy of Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Unfortunately, UofL lost the football game against Boston College. It hurt. It was terrible. However, there was just a glimmer of goodness in all the gloom. That glimmer was Lamar Jackson.
Lamar once again put up insane numbers, as he nearly always does. He threw for 332 yards and 2 TDs and rushed for 180 yards and 3 TDs. That’s a total of 512 total yards and 5 TDs by himself!
Lamar is a special talent that we UofL fans may never see the likes of again. Take a look at his highlights below courtesy of the ACC Digital Network and GoCards YouTube accounts. Enjoy the art that Lamar has wrought on the field.
University of Louisville football has a few visitors scheduled for today’s game versus Boston College. Check out the list below.
-Richie Hagarty-Cathedral HS-IN
2020-Kalil Branham-WR-Northland HS-OH
-Skyelar Johnson- -Woodford Co HS-KY
-Ziggy Gill- -Woodford Co HS-KY
-Brennon Clark-RB-Woodford Co HS-KY
2019-Jayshaun Coffman-DE-Woodford Co HS-KY
-Ben Nash- -Woodford Co HS-KY
-Cameron Morgan- -Lafayette HS-KY
-Henry Vestal Jr- -Male HS-KY
-Miles Smith- -Bowling Green HS-KY
-Sam Vitale-OL-Bowling Green HS-KY
-Garrett Dennis- -Male HS-KY
-BJ Robinson-QB-PRP HS-KY
-Arius Harris-PRP HS-KY
-Bryson Washington-RB-PRP HS-KY
-Demetri Scott- -Desales HS-KY
Kenny Johnson photo courtesy 247sports.com. Jordan Fair photo courtesy of gocards.com
Kenny Johnson’s and Jordan Fair’s Letters of Suspension were obtained by the Courier Journal through an Open Records request yesterday. The letters were actually composed by Acting Athletic Director Vince Tyra and sent out to both coaches on October 6th.
Of course, we all already know Jordan Fair has now been fired without cause and Johnson remains on paid administrative leave.
Photo Courtesy of Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Dez Fitzpatrick was a highly touted, highly sought after high school recruit. A 4 Star Wide Receiver with offers from the likes of Michigan, Nebraska, and Pittsburgh, to name a few. In the end, it came down to UofL and Nebraska.
We all remember the very stylish commitment video when Dez held up a football emblazoned with the familiar UofL Cardinal head. UofL coaches got the receiver they desperately wanted. UofL fans were ecstatic to get a 4 Star Wide Receiver and beat out a “blue blood” for him.
Fitzpatrick seemed to be an incredible route runner that always found himself open. He seemed to have the speed to break long ones. Most importantly, he seemed to have great hands. If the ball was in his vicinity on the field, 9 times out of 10 he was catching it.
Of course, this was in high school. As we all well know, the brutal truth of football is that success on one level does not necessarily translate to the next level. We have all seen highly regarded recruits that end up busts in college.
Dez, however, is not a bust. He is living up to the hype that surrounded him as a recruit. Actually, you can say he’s surpassing it. Lamar Jackson trusts him so much that Dez has arguably become his favorite target. Number 87 is now Lamar’s security blanket.
Half way through this season, Dez Fitzpatrick has 26 receptions for 414 yards and, most importantly, 6 TDs per gocards.com. Dez leads the entire team in total receptions, receiving yards, and TD receptions. He has 4 more TDs than the next closest receivers on the team. All impressive stats.
However, what’s even more impressive is where his 6 TDs ranks him both in the ACC and nationally. According to ACC Digital Network, his 6 TD receptions are 1st in the ACC and tied for 8th in the entire country. Those ranks are insane for a guy who is just Redshirt Freshman.
I had a pretty good idea Dez would be special, but not so quickly. I thought he would have some nifty catches and maybe one huge game. I did not expect him to step in his first season and become arguably the team’s best receiver. Nor did I expect him to become arguably the second best player on the offense behind Lamar Jackson.
It’s wonderful to think that we likely have Dez Fitzpatrick for 2 more years. The young man is a budding star. Cardinal Sports Zone’s own Jeremy Wahman has come up with a pretty good nickname, Dez Sixpatrick. It’s a befitting nickname for this young man. He’s averaging a touchdown per game…as a Redshirt Freshman Receiver on a squad full of talented receivers.
The future for Dez Fitzpatrick is brighter than the glorious majesty that is the Sun. Believe it or not, I think next year he may put up more ridiculous numbers than he will likely end this season with. It matters not whether Lamar Jackson or Jawon Pass is throwing the ball; all that matters is that Dez will catch it.
All hail Dez Sixpatrick. For we who are about to watch UofL football games, salute you.
Nik Bonitto, a consensus 4 star OLB/DE, has announced via his Twitter account that he has been officially named an Under Armour All-American.
Bonitto is a highly coveted recruit UofL has targeted at a position of need. His offer list is a who’s who of college football’s elite including Alabama, Florida State, and Oklahoma according to 247sports.com. 247 Sports lists Cort Dennison as UofL’s lead recruiter for Bonitto.
The Under Armour All-American Game will be held in Orlando, FL on January 4, 2018 and can be viewed live on ESPN2 per uafootball.us.
You can see Nik Bonitto’s announcement tweet below.
Photo courtesy of prephoops.com
After a visit from UofL Acting Head Coach David Padgett yesterday, Courtney Ramey appears to still have a strong interest in UofL despite the FBI bombshell and the suspension of Rick Pitino.
Jody Demling, of Cardinal Authority, spoke with Ramey’s father Terrell Ramey about what Padgett said to he and his son during his visit and where UofL stands in his son’s recruitment.
Terrell Ramey told Demling that the allure of UofL for his son was originally Rick Pitino, but that Courtney eventually fell in love with the city and the fans. Terrell Ramey said that Courtney “bought into the whole L1C4.”
He also said that Padgett was actually more involved in Courtney’s recruitment than Pitino and that during this visit he apologized profusely for the situation.
In the article, Terrell Ramey gives Jody Demling a very interesting tidbit of information some UofL fans may like. According to the elder Ramey, David Padgett has his sights set on becoming UofL’s full time Head Coach eventually and he is trying to rebuild the damaged 2018 class.
You can read Jody Demling’s full article below.
Photo Courtesy of WDRB.com
WDRB’s Bill Lamb, in his “Point of View” editorial segment last night, offered his opinion on the situation between the UofL Board of Trustees and suspended Athletic Director Tom Jurich.
Lamb explains that he believes that Tom Jurich should be retained. He argues that Jurich’s full body of work should be taken into account. Speaking on Jurich, Lamb says, “No person in the history of the University has done more to build it into what it is today than Tom Jurich.” He specifically mentions Jurich’s work in getting UofL into the ACC as a major factor for retaining him.
Lamb believes that the posturing by certain Board members and their rabid attempt to oust Jurich, “has a lot more to do with their egos than what’s right for UofL.”
When speaking of the certain, unnamed Board members, Lamb states, “I believe there are Board members who are willing tear UofL down just to show how powerful they’ve become. It’s all about them, not the University.”
He also mentions that some big money donors hope to persuade other Board members to step up, do the right thing, and vote to keep Jurich.
You can see Bill Lamb’s full “Point of View” segment below.
By Shawn Barbour & Sam Basden
We at Cardinal Sports Zone are starting a weekly feature detailing UofL Football recruits/commits stats for the past week’s games. We will provide stats for some, if not all, commits and target recruits each week.
Travis passed for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 71-18 drubbing of Westminster.
Manuel Allen/WR/Rancho Verde/CA
Allen had 2 catches for 63 yards. He also returned 3 punts for touchdowns for Rancho Verde in their blowout win 75-0 over Canyon Springs.
Hawkins had 8 carries for 76 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns in a 56-0 win over Everglades Prep Academy. He averaged 9.5 yards a carry.
Trenell Troutman/S/St Thomas Aquinas/FL
Troutman had 3 solo tackles and 1 assisted tackle in St Thomas Aquinas’ 14-0 win over Deerfield Beach.
Dejmi Dumervil Jean/DT/St Thomas Aquinas/FL
Dumervil Jean, nephew of Louisville legend Elvis Dumervil, had a good game in St Thomas Aquinas’ 14-0 win over Deerfield. He recorded 5 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles.
Telly Plummer/ATH/Langston Hughes/GA
Plummer recorded 2 solo and 2 assisted tackles in Langston Hughes’ 40-7 win over South Paulding.
Nik Bonitto/OLB/St Thomas Aquinas/FL
Bonitto is a heavily sought after recruit for the UofL coaching staff. He had 3 sacks, 7 total tackles (5 solo and 2 assisted, and recorded an interception in a 14-0 win over Deerfield Beach.
All stats courtesy of maxpreps.com
Photo Courtesy of Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Rick Pitino has been officially notified in a letter sent by UofL Interim President Greg Postel of UofL’s intent to terminate his contract with cause. The letter is dated October 3rd, but was released to the public today.
In the letter, Postel provides the reasons for Pitino’s firing. Some of the reasons listed are a failure to notify the UofL compliance department of a known agent’s (Christian Watkins) presence on campus, a general failure to monitor his staff and promote compliance within the program, and the major violations of NCAA rules.
Postel advised Pitino that, “Your involvement in these recent scandals cannot be considered isolated events. Instead, they are illustrative of a pattern and practice of inappropriate behavior.”
Pitino may appear to present evidence and dispute the termination at a ULAA Board of Director’s meeting scheduled for October 16th at 9 am. He may do so in person, through an attorney, in writing, or via video conference.
If he chooses not to appear, the board will not consider any evidence on his behalf in the proceedings.
You can read the letter in full detail below courtesy of Derrick Rose of WHAS 11.