VOLUME XVI • NUMBER 24 FEBRUARY 9, 2012
FEBRUARY 3, 2011
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
AMERICA’S FOREMOST AUTHORITY ON UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETICS®
VOLUME XVI, NUMBER 25 • FEBRUARY 9, 2012
EDITORIAL STAFF GENERAL MANAGER - Jack Coffee SENIOR WRITER AND EDITOR - Russ Brown OPERATIONS MANAGER - Howie Lindsey ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES - Mickey Clark, Betty Olsen and Blanche Kitchen CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Gail Kamenish, Dave Klotz, Shelley Feller, Howie Lindsey and Chuck Feist CONTRIBUTING COLUMNISTS Matt Willinger, Jeff Wafford, Jason Puckett and Rick Cushing GRAPHIC DESIGNER - Scott Stortz COPY EDITOR - Rick Cushing
The Louisville SportsReport is printed in Kentucky and based in Louisville. It is published weekly in January, February and March, monthly in April, May, June and July and weekly mid-August through late December by Louisville Sports News, L.L.C., in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville Sports News, L.L.C.: Owner and General Manager - Jack Coffee. The SportsReport was founded in 1996. United States Postal Number: 015255 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Louisville SportsReport, P.O. Box 17464, Louisville, KY 40217. Four weeks advance notice is required on old addresses as well as new. Periodicals Postage paid at Louisville, Ky. Subscriptions are priced at $57.95 each (plus 6% Ky. tax) for 32 issues. Members of the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Athletic Fund receive a special group rate of $39.75 for their initial subscriptions and that amount is applied from each annual donation. Year-round firstclass mailing is available for an additional $53 per year. Please call for Canadian and overseas rates. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs unless accompanied by return postage. Publisher reserves right to accept or reject advertisements. Copyright 2008 by Louisville Sports News, L.L.C. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. For subscriber information or circulation questions call 1-502-636-4330. Office hours at 2805 S. Floyd St. in Louisville: By Appointment Only.
GROUP HUG? HEY, WHY NOT? The Louisville basketball team surrounded coach Rick Pitino in a spontaneous group hug after the Cardinals trounced Connectiucut 80-59 Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals crushed the defending NCAA champions in every way conceivable.
5 IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES VS. HUSKIES
7 LASAGNA AND MONEY
Redshirt junior Michael Edwards made the switch from basketball to track and field and is closing in on a UofL school record, having cleared a career-best 7-2 1/2 last month. The record is 7-3 set by NCAA champion Tone Belt.
“That was a display the likes of which I haven’t seen in quite some time,” coach Rick Pitino said after his team trounced defending NCAA champion Connecticut 80-59 Monday night. Louisville was up by 30 at one point.
Freshman Chane Behanan had a career-best 23 points and 11 rebounds against Rutgers Saturday. “He was a monster,” said Rutgers coach Mike Rice. The Cardinals beat the Scarlet Knights 78-66.
11 STRONG ANNOUNCES ‘SPECIAL’ CLASS
21 FIGHTING THROUGH A ROUGH STRETCH
Louisville coach Charlie Strong announced what he termed as a ‘special’ 24-man recruiting class on National Signing Day Wednesday. “Our staff did an excellent job of going out and fulfilling our needs,” Strong said.
The Cardinals dropped two games last week, losing to DePaul by 25 and West Virginia by 16. The Cardinals have six games left in the Big East schedule, three are RPI top 20 and three are RPI 125-plus.
HOOPS TO HIGH JUMP
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COVER DESIGNED BY SCOTT STORTZ COVER PHOTO BY GAIL KAMENISH
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ANOTHER TOP RECRUITING CLASS
Louisville recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt and coach Charlie Strong have assembled another solid recruiting class. The Cardinals’ 2012 class includes four four-star players, three of whom are already on campus.
6 LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL: BY THE NUMBERS By Howie Lindsey 6 VILLLANOVA, SETON HALL BOX SCORES 9 CARDS’ FATE WILL BECOME CLEARER AFTER WVU, ‘CUSE By Russ Brown 10 THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY By Howie Lindsey 12-14 LOUISVILLE’S OFFICIAL 2012 RECRUITING CLASS By Howie Lindsey 15 STRONG LIVES UP TO ‘PERFECT FIT’ BILLING By Howie Lindsey 15 2012 FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS LIST
16 17 18 19 20 22 24
BIG EAST FOOTBALL RECRUITING CLASS RANKINGS By Rivals.com TOP 250 FOOTBALL RECRUITS IN THE NATION By Rivals.com OPPONENT PREVIEW: WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS By Rick Cushing OPPONENT PREVIEW: SYRACUSE ORANGE By Rick Cushing MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE, BIG EAST STANDINGS CARDINAL STARS OF THE WEEK By Howie Lindsey CARDINAL KIDS PHOTO GALLERY
FEBRUARY 2, 2012
LOUISVILLE TRACK AND FIELD
UOFL JUNIOR OWNS ONE OF NATION’S BEST MARKS
MOVING FROM HOOPS TO HIGH JUMP PAYS OFF FOR EDWARDS
Redshirt junior Michael Edwards has jumped 7 feet, 2 1/2 inches this indoor season -- third-best in the nation this season -- and is capable of going much higher, said his coach, Jake Jacoby. The school record is 7-3 by Tone Belt in 2007.
By Russ Brown Michael Edwards freely admits that his favorite sport is basketball, but he won’t be stepping on the court again anytime soon. Not after a little impromptu hoops action a year ago temporarily sidelined the progress of his University of Louisville track and field career. Edwards, a premier high jumper from Florida by way of England, narrowly failed to earn a spot in the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, so as a diversion he went to the UofL Student Activities Center to play some pickup basketball, RUSS BROWN a sport he had grown fond of in high school. “I missed going to the NCAAs by one spot,” he said. “I wanted to take my mind off track and field for a while so I wouldn’t get caught up in what could have been. I decided to go play at the SAC.” Big mistake. Edwards landed badly and sprained his ankle -- “one of those unfortunate things,” he called it. UofL assistant coach for jumps Jake Jacoby had another take on it. “Michael lost focus,” Jacoby said. “He learned a valuable lesson, and he’s built on that.” After his injury in early March, Edwards didn’t jump again until mid-April, missed three meets and was rehabbing for half of the outdoor season. “I was jumping, but nowhere close to full
health or potential, more or less just seeing if I could go,” he said. In a tribute to his talent and determination, though, Edwards recovered nicely, got consistently stronger and won the Big East long jump championship with a jump of 6-11 3/4 last May 8 at Villanova as UofL also captured the team title. Edwards, a redshirt junior, competed in his native England last summer, had a good fall and then got his indoor season off to a fast start by clearing a career-best 7-2 1/2 in the Indiana Open in Bloomington on Jan. 7 -- the first time in 10 months he had jumped without ankle support. Not only does that mark rank third nationally, it is just two inches off a national-qualifing mark (7-4 1/4) and is the third-best in UofL history. Most recently, Edwards jumped 6-11 3/4 over the weekend in the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational. “He’s all about track and field now,” Jacoby said of Edwards. “He’s a great student of the sport, works extremely hard and is open to everything I ask him to do.” Jacoby knows a little something about high jumping. He won an NCAA championship at Boise State in 1984, was an AllAmerican there all four years and followed that with strong performances on the international level. His best jump was 7-7 1/4, and he thinks Edwards could be on the same fast track. “I think he has a huge upside, just from watching him do the things in training,” Jacoby said. “I jumped 7-7 1/4, and he’s doing things in training I never was capable of doing. He’s doing those very frequently, so I’ve got to say he’s a great jumper. I don’t want
to put a ceiling on it. If he goes into a meet mentally tough and isn’t intimidated by other jumpers, he’s got the physical ability to be a national champion. He might even be on the Olympic team for England.” Like his coach, Edwards is reluctant to predict how high he might jump this season. “I don’t want to throw numbers out,” he said. “I’m real comfortable with how my training is going, and I’ll let my jumping do the talking as the season goes on. I’m real comfortable and confident with how the season is going, so I expect to see some good marks.” Edwards is a citizen of Great Britain, having been born in that country and having spent the first 10 years of his life there. He hopes to qualify for the Olympics and represent England in the Olympics in London this August. Edwards moved permanently to the Orlando area with his mother, a nurse, and and three sisters as he was entering junior high school. Tall for his age, he naturally migrated to basketball and immediately fell in love with the sport. As a sophomore, the track coach at Poinciana (Fla.) High School, having seen his leaping ability on the basketball court, persuaded him to join the track team. “He told me a few things that would help increase my leaping ability in basketball,” Edwards said. “I was all about basketball, so it was a no-brainer to go out and dabble in high jumping. I thought it was pretty neat. I looked at it as one big dunk competition. That was sort of my drive, to see how high I could go. That was really it.”
Edwards didn’t start getting serious about a career in track until he began receiving recruting letters and calls from colleges. He saw that track and field was a ticket to a college education and reluctantly gave up basketball as a senior to concentrate on high jumping. “It was a really big decision,” said Edwards, a communications major at UofL. “I committed myself to the sport entirely, and it has paid off.” Edwards was recruited by Alabama, North Carolina, Auburn, UCLA and USF, among others, and enrolled at ‘Bama. He redshirted as a freshman, then competed in 2009-10. But a change in head coaches prompted him to transfer. He had become friends with then-UofL high/long jumper Tone Belt, who encouraged him to call the Cardinals coaches. He did and was welcomed onto the team. Now Edwards is chasing Belt’s school high jump record of 7-3, set in 2007. “I did some research myself on UofL’s program, and when I saw coach Jacoby’s bio with his accolades as an athlete and coach, I felt it would be easy for me to feel comfortable here and he could make me into the best jumper I could be,” Edwards said. “It’s definitely a decision I’m grateful for.” Regardless of how Edwards’ indoor and outdoor seasons go this year, one thing is certain: You won’t find him dribbling and dunking at the SAC. “I haven’t touched a basketball since that day last March,” he said. “I know how dangerous it is and how horrible my season ended up, and I don’t want to go through something like that again.”
FEBRUARY 2, 2012
RECRUITING NOTEBOOK LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL 10 AMAZING AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF THE 2009-2010 SEASON
IT’S A FUN TIME AS LOUISVILLE RIPS UCONN, 80-59 By Russ Brown No one knows for sure, of course, how Louisville’s basketball team will fare during its critical back-to-back challenges this weekend, but one thing is certain: The No. 24/23 Cardinals shouldn’t lack for confidence when they head to West Virginia Saturday, then return home to face No. 2 Syracuse on ESPN’s Big Monday. Not after demolishing Connecticut 80-59 Monday with a devastating performance in front of 21,804 fans in the KFC Yum! Center. Winning their fifth in a row, the Cardinals (19-5, 7-4 Big East) sliced and diced the hapless Huskies (15-8, 5-6) with a brilliant second half during which they outscored RUSS BROWN the visitors 51-35 while shooting 50 percent both overall and from three-point range (7 of 14). “Our guys continue to have a lot of fun,” UofL coach Rick Pitino said. “That was a display the likes of which I haven’t seen in quite some time. In the second half we didn’t turn the ball over much, rebounded terrific, played aggressively. I think the passing was phenomenal. The unselfishness of that passing was incredible. The guys put on a tremendous performance. They’ve been practicing great, having a lot of fun playing the game, and that’s what college basketball is all about. “I’m happy we’re playing great defense. I think for all our guys this was a very good confidence-builder. Going into a very rough stretch at West Virginia and Syracuse at home, it’s good for the guys to see that when you play great defense good things can happen offensively.” And believe it or not, it wasn’t as close as the 21-point final margin -- largest ever in the 13-game series -- indicates. UofL had built a 70-40 lead and was scoring at will when Pitino sent in his substitutes at the four-minute mark. “We were making the extra pass and finding the open man,” forward Kyle Kuric said. “I really feel things are starting to click for us now.” Was that the best this team can play, Peyton? “It was definitely a great half,” Siva said. “Everybody played great. It really started at the defensive end, because when we got stops we were able to get on the break and push it. UConn is a talented team, but we just played together and did our work. We’re at our best when everybody is having fun.” Fun? Leave it to Russ Smith to put it in perspective. For the sophomore guard from Brooklyn it was like a childhood trip to Coney Island. “I haven’t had this much fun since I went to the amusement park,” he said. Now it’s on to Morgantown, which definitely doesn’t resemble an amusement park -- more a house of horrors lately for the Cardinals, who have dropped three-point and two-point decisions on their last two
Sophomore Gorgui Dieng dunked two of his 15 points over UConn’s Andre Drummond. Dieng also had six rebounds and six steals while Drummond was held scoreless and had just four rebounds. photo by Gail Kamenish
trips to WVU Coliseum. Then the deep and talented Orange (231,10-1) await a little over 48 hours later. “It’s going to be a tough stretch,” Siva said. “Both these teams are top teams in the Big East, they battle, they go hard. We’ve got to continue to concentrate on defense and hitting the glass. It’s all fun and games now, but it will be back to business tomorrow and get prepared for West Virginia.” “That’s what we’ve got to do,” Russ said. “That’s our schedule, and we’ve got to take care of business. We’ve got to lock into West Virginia, then prepare hard for Syracuse because we know how good they are. It’s going to come down to us executing our game plan. We know what we’re capable of when we’re locked in, and that’s what we’ve got to do. That’s the best we’ve played but, hopefully, we can play even better. Hopefully, we can do that in the first half and then keep it up in the second half.” Going into the UConn game, the biggest question was whether sophomore center Gorgui Dieng would be able to play after
spraining his right ankle in Saturday’s 78-66 victory over Rutgers. Turned out there was very little doubt, and if he was playing on one leg, he looked better than most players with two healthy legs. Although he finished without a blocked shot for just the second time this season, Dieng scored 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds and six steals in 31 minutes. “It bothered me a little bit in the beginning of the game, but when we started running back and forth, I was good,” he said. “No matter what, I was going to play. We were getting a lot of stops, and we had a lot of fast breaks. It was a lot of fun.” One of the many offensive highlights came when Dieng spun around Alex Oriakhi on the baseline and drove to the basket for a reverse left-handed dunk early in the second half. “I just used my length,” Dieng said. “I love that move, I love doing it, but Coach never lets me do it, but I just said if he takes me out, he takes me out, I’m going to do it.”
Siva, who matched his season high with nine assists and also had seven points, said nobody was surprised that Dieng wound up not only playing, but playing well. “Gorgui is a tough kid,” Siva said. “If he goes down he’s kind of an overdramatic guy; he acts like he got shot in the leg. We always say a sniper got him, but he’s going to play through it.” UofL also got strong performances from Chris Smith, who contributed 16 points and six rebounds; Kuric, with 10 points and nine boards; Chane Behanan, who grabbed 12 rebounds; and Jared Swopshire, who scored nine points in 14 minutes as a reserve. This was one game UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who is on an indefinite medical leave, is probably glad he missed. “One of the things about this league is that you don’t want to play teams when they’re on an uptick, and Louisville is really on an uptick,” said UConn associate head coach George Blaney, who is filling in for his boss. “That was a pretty good beating in the second half. They embarrassed us.” After leading just 29-24 at halftime -- “I thought we were in pretty good shape,” Blaney said -- the Cards turned up the heat at the start of the second half and dominated the final 20 minutes. They put the game away with a fiery 20-4 run that turned a 40-30 lead into a 60-34 cushion with 7:15 left. UConn shot only 35.1 percent for the game, including 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from beyond the arc. Its two leading scorers, Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond, were held scoreless in the first half, and Lamb wound up with just seven points, while Drummond missed all six of his shots and failed to score. Together, they were averaging 28 points per game. “When you hold Drummond and Lamb to zero points at halftime, you’re playing great defense,” Pitino said. “We were just clicking today,” Siva said. “Everybody is healthy and playing together, everybody is in tune and paying attention in practice. It felt like everything was going right for us. We got a lot of stops on defense, and when they scored we didn’t get down and hang our heads, we came right back at them.” IRISH LOOKING GOOD Elsewhere in the Big East, Notre Dame took a huge step toward an improbable NCAA Tournament bid with its 76-59 blowout of No. 15 Marquette Saturday in South Bend, Ind. The Irish now have beaten five top-25 teams, including Louisville, which has three more victories than Notre Dame but none against top-25 clubs. “Why not us?” asked ND coach Mike Brey. “We have one heck of a strong resumé. Our resumé is very strong with what we’ve done. It’s exciting to think about what is possible with this team after where we were. But I think our guys are very focused on showing up on Selection Sunday. And God bless them, they should be, because they’ve put us in this position with their focus and business-like approach to go get it.”
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
BY THE NUMBERS
Louisville has won 100 percent of the time this season when shooting 49 percent or better. The Cardinals are 6-0 when that happens. They have outshot their opponents in the past seven games, six of which are wins.
Louisville has won 87 percent of its games when Gorgui Dieng plays 31 minutes or more. The Cardinals are 13-2 when that happens. He had seven blocks against Rutgers and now stands just 21 blocks away from Pervis Ellison’s school record of 102 blocks in a season. Dieng is averaging 31.4 minutes per game.
Dieng is shooting a team-high 58.3 percent from the field this season. He has hit 98 of his 168 shots. By contrast, shooting guard Russ Smith has made two fewer baskets (96) but has taken 87 more shots. Smith is shooting 37.7 percent. Gorgui is ranked 24th nationally in rebounds (224) and sixth in blocks (81).
Freshman Chane Behanan has been Louisville’s leading scorer three times this season, including Saturday’s 23-point performance against Rutgers. He’s been the Cardinals’ leading rebounder eight times, including the first
Junior Mike Marra, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, comforted Gorgui Dieng as trainer Fred Hina worked on his injured ankle Saturday against Rutgers. Dieng returned to the game later and played 31 minutes against Connecticut Monday night. - photo by Gail Kamenish
three games of the season. Behanan is averaging 9.6 points and 7.7 rebounds through 23 games this season. He’s averaging 24.9 minutes per game.
Behanan is very talented, but he may need to retire his three-point shot for a while. Against Rutgers he hit 11 of 12 shots, with the only miss a three-point shot from the corner. He hit 1-2 vs. UConn. For the season he has missed 25 of his 30 three-point shots, a percentage of 16.6. He is shooting 48.6 overall.
Sixteen players have seen action this season. Nine of them average more than 10 minutes per game, but that includes two who are out for the season with injury: Mike Marra (12.5 mpg in two games) and Rakeem Buckles (13.5 mpg in 11 games). Kyle Kuric leads the team at 37 minutes per game.
Behahan is improving on his foul shooting but still has a ways to go. He’s not the only freshman struggling from the line. Of Louisville’s four freshmen who have played, none has an average higher than Behanan’s 60.5 percent (52 of 86). Kevin Ware has hit just 3 of 9, Zach Price 2 of 9 and Angel Nunez 2 of 4. In all, the freshmen are shooting 54.8 percent from the line (59 of 108).
BOX SCORE: LOUISVILLE, 78 VS. RUTGERS, 66
BOX SCORE: LOUISVILLE, 80 VS. CONNECTICUT 59
LOUISVILLE, 78 ## 14 24 10 03 05 01 02 12 21 22 23 TM
PLAYER KURIC, KYLE BEHANAN, CHANE DIENG, GORGUI SIVA, PEYTON SMITH, CHRIS NUNEZ, ANGEL SMITH, RUSS PRICE, ZACH SWOPSHIRE, JARED JUSTICE, ELISHA WARE, KEVIN TEAM TOTALS
CONNECTICUT, 59 P F F C G G -
TOTAL FGM-FGA 3-11 11-12 3-5 3-5 1-5 0-0 3-9 0-0 0-1 0-0 1-3 25-51 49.0%
3-POINT FGM-FGA 3-9 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-3 0-0 1-4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 4-18 22.2%
REBOUNDS FTM-FTA OFF-DEF TOT 5-6 0-3 3 1-3 8-3 11 2-2 1-3 4 4-6 0-3 3 6-7 3-10 13 0-0 0-0 0 5-6 1-3 4 0-0 0-1 1 1-2 0-0 0 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 0-1 1 0-0 0 24-32 13-27 40 75.0%
PF 0 2 3 2 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 12
TP 14 23 8 10 8 0 12 0 1 0 2 78
A 2 0 1 2 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 13
TO 3 5 1 1 0 0 4 0 1 0 3 1 19
BLK 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
STL 1 2 0 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 8
MIN 39 35 31 25 27 1 20 5 6 1 10 200
## 11 55 15 01 05 04 10 21 22 35 TM
PLAYER MILLER, Dane BIRUTA, Gilvydas RANDALL, Derrick SEAGEARS, Jerome CARTER, Eli MACK, Myles POOLE, Mike JOHNSON, Austin JACK, Kadeem LEWIS, Greg TEAM Totals
P f f c g g -
3-POINT FGM-FGA 2-4 0-0 0-0 1-3 3-9 3-6 1-3 0-0 0-0 0-0 10-25 40.0%
REBOUNDS FTM-FTA OFF-DEF TOT 2-2 1-4 5 3-4 0-1 1 0-0 0-0 0 0-0 2-1 3 3-3 0-6 6 0-0 0-1 1 0-0 2-1 3 0-0 0-1 1 0-0 0-1 1 0-0 0-1 1 2-1 3 8-9 7-18 25 88.9%
PLAYER LAMB, JEREMY OLANDER, TYLER DRUMMOND, ANDRE BOATRIGHT, RYAN NAPIER, SHABAZZ DANIELS, DEANDRE GIFFEY, NIELS SMITH, ROSCOE ORIAKHI, ALEX TEAM TOTALS..............
P F F C G G -
TOTAL FGM-FGA 3-9 1-3 0-6 5-10 3-11 1-4 0-0 3-7 4-7 20-57 35.1%
3-POINT FGM-FGA 1-5 0-0 0-0 2-3 0-4 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 3-14 21.4%
FTM-FTA 0-0 0-0 0-0 6-8 3-4 0-0 0-0 4-6 3-4 16-22 72.7%
P f f c g g -
TOTAL FGM-FGA 3-12 3-8 7-12 3-10 5-7 2-2 3-8 0-1 0-1 4-7 2-2 0-2 32-72 44.4%
3-POINT FGM-FGA 2-7 1-2 0-0 1-1 4-6 2-2 0-2 0-0 0-1 1-3 0-0 0-1 11-25 44.0%
FTM-FTA 2-2 0-0 1-2 0-0 2-3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-0 5-8 62.5%
REBOUNDS OFF-DEF TOT 0-5 5 1-1 2 1-3 4 1-5 6 1-2 3 2-1 3 0-0 0 3-2 5 1-6 7 1-0 1 11-25 36
PF 2 1 2 1 3 3 1 0 0 13
TP 7 2 0 18 9 2 0 10 11 59
A 1 0 0 5 1 0 0 0 0 7
TO 3 1 1 3 2 2 0 1 2 15
BLK 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 5
STL 0 0 3 4 4 0 0 0 0 11
MIN 35 14 16 34 35 14 3 19 30 200
REBOUNDS OFF-DEF TOT 4-5 9 5-7 12 3-3 6 0-1 1 0-6 6 0-0 0 1-3 4 0-0 0 0-0 0 0-1 1 0-0 0 1-0 1 3-2 5 17-28 45
PF 1 2 2 1 1 0 2 2 0 1 3 1 16
TP 10 7 15 7 16 6 6 0 0 9 4 0 80
A 2 2 0 9 2 1 2 0 2 0 0 2 22
TO 0 4 2 2 1 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 13
BLK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
STL 0 0 6 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 10
MIN 32 27 31 32 26 5 14 8 3 14 3 5 200
RUTGERS, 66 TOTAL FGM-FGA 2-4 1-4 0-2 3-10 9-17 3-6 4-12 2-4 0-0 0-0 24-59 40.7%
## 03 10 12 11 13 02 05 22 34 TM
PF 1 4 1 1 3 4 3 4 0 0 2 23
TP 8 5 0 7 24 9 9 4 0 0 66
A 1 1 0 5 3 1 1 0 0 0 12
TO 1 3 1 0 5 1 1 0 1 0 1 14
BLK 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
STL 3 0 0 3 0 3 1 0 0 0 10
MIN 32 24 14 31 35 24 22 11 5 2 200
## 14 24 10 03 05 01 02 12 15 21 22 23 TM
PLAYER KURIC, Kyle BEHANAN, Chane DIENG, Gorgui SIVA, Peyton SMITH, Chris NUNEZ, Angel SMITH, Russ PRICE, Zach HENDERSON, Tim SWOPSHIRE, Jared JUSTICE, Elisha WARE, Kevin TEAM Totals..............
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
TWO OF BEHANAN’S FAVORITE THINGS: LASAGNA AND $$$ By Russ Brown Chane Behanan has his pre-game meal and his rebounding incentive all figured out for the remainder of the season: “Lasagna and dollar signs, that’s my theme,” the Louisville freshman said. A little explanation is in order. Behanan’s remarks came after his best performance of the season, a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds in UofL’s 78-66 victory over Rutgers last Saturday in the KFC Yum! Center. In the food category, the 6-7 forward was referring to the Italian dish he ate earlier that afternoon. As far as the money, he was talking about the mountain of cash that could await him in the pros if he has a successful collegiate career. “My pre-game meal is always going to be lasagna from now on,” Behanan said after his sixth doubledouble of the season. As for the $$$, BehanRUSS BROWN an said he has read that former Pittsburgh standout DeJuan Blair, who now plays for the San Antonio Spurs, says he treats every rebound like dollar signs. “So that’s what I’m doing now,” Behanan said. Ca-ching! All but three of Behanan’s rebounds Saturday came off the offensive boards, which is why all of his field goals were on dunks or layins. He hit his first 10 shots and wound up 11 of 12. “He was a monster,” said Rutgers coach Mike Rice, who watched most of Behanan’s damage on TV in the visitors’ locker room after being ejected with 2 1/2 minutes left in the first half. “He made so many simple plays with his effort and with his efficiency. He had quite a game.” Which Behanan sort of predicted. He admitted telling a few of the Rutgers players during pre-game warmups that they were too small to block him out and keep him off the boards. “I ain’t going to lie,” he said. “Before the game I kind of told a couple of players that they were too little. It seemed like every rebound was just coming my way. I attribute it to heart, just going and getting the ball.” Now if Behanan can just starting treating the ball more carefully -- he had a team-high five of the Cards’ 19 turnovers. “I think Chane has added new dimensions to his game,” UofL coach Rick Pitino said. “You saw it against Villanova from that game on. He was always just the strongest guy on the team and relied on his athleticism, and now he is doing things fundamentally well like going from the baseline out and timing his jump. “He is realizing now that instead of floating around on the perimeter how much he can score by being an offensive rebounder. He is treating every shot like it is a pass to him.” Said teammate Gorgui Dieng: “He played like a forward today. He used to play like a guard and want to shoot the ball from outside. I really liked his game today.” Behanan’s only miss was a wide-open threepoint attempt from the left corner, Kyle Kuric’s favorite spot. Later, he looked as if he was going to launch another trey from the right wing but resisted the temptation. On the season, Behanan is 4 of 28 from behind the arc. His previous high point total was 19 in a
Freshman power forward Chane Behanan (24) put back a missed shot for one of his 11 baskets (in 12 attempts) against Rutgers last Saturday. He scored 23 points in UofL’s 78-66 victory, and he also grabbed 11 rebounds. “He was a monster,” said Rutgers coach Mike Rice. - photo by Gail Kamenish
73-62 victory at Pittsburgh on Jan. 21. Going into Monday night’s game against Connecticut Behanan was averaging 14.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in his last five games while shooting 65.2 percent (30 of 46). CHRIS FOCUSES ON REBOUNDS Behanan wasn’t the only Cardinal who enjoyed a big rebounding day as UofL clobbered Rutgers 40-25 on the boards. Senior guard Chris Smith grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds, a half-dozen or so of them on long caroms from missed three-point tries by Rutgers. “I was just playing aggressive,” he said. “I came with the mindset of, ‘OK, if I don’t score, I’ve got to hit the boards or get assists or something.’ At one point in the game our bigs didn’t have that many rebounds, so I had to help them out. If Gorgui changes the shot or blocks it, I’ve got to run and get the ball, throw it out to Peyton (Siva) and get on the break.” One of those breaks resulted in a vicious left-handed dunk by Smith that drew the loudest cheers of the day from the fans. “I have that in me; I just show flashes of it from time to time when I’m in position to show my athleticism,” he said. “But most of the time I’m just trying to play within the team.” Despite scoring only eight points on 1-of-5 shooting, Smith turned in one of his best allaround performances of the season. He had
six assists, three steals and no turnovers in 27 minutes. “That team (Rutgers) takes a lot of long jump shots, and there will be a lot of rebounds that are going to come to the ground,” Pitino said. “It is up to the guards to chase those rebounds down, and that is what Chris was doing.” DIENG’S PAIN REAL THIS TIME Despite UofL’s run of injuries this season, Smith wasn’t particularly worried when he saw Dieng go down midway through the second half holding his right ankle. Smith figured it was just Gorgui being Gorgui. “I was like, ‘Oh, he’s all right,’” Smith said. “He goes through that about two times a month in practice. He’ll go, ‘A-r-r-g-h (or something like that), fall down, gets back up, hobbles off, puts an ankle brace on and runs back out.” Sure enough, after lying on the court for several minutes while writhing in pain, Dieng hopped off the court on one foot with his arm around trainer Fred Hina’s shoulder at the 14:55 mark. But, after being taped up, he was back just 2 1/2 minutes later and played until the final 1:30, finishing with eight points, four rebounds and tying his career-best with seven blocked shots. “Gorgui showed a lot of toughness,” Smith said. “A lot of people call him soft, but he’s not soft. He’s just a different guy. We need him on the floor every possession, and
he came back strong for us today.” It’s no coincidence that the Cards’ decisive spurt came when Dieng returned. Leading just 53-50, UofL went on a 12-0 run capped by Kuric’s three-pointer, and Rutgers (12-12, 4-7) never recovered. “When I went down, I didn’t think I would come back,” Dieng said. “But when Coach told Fred, ‘We need him back in the game,’ as soon as he said that, I forgot about myself and thought about the team. I’m not going to lie, I was in a lot of pain, but it’s not about me. I’ve got good teammates, everybody works hard, so I don’t want to let anybody down. I was thinking about the game more than the pain. If we lost this game, we couldn’t get it back.” As far as his “injuries” in practice that Chris referred to, Dieng pleaded guilty. “I do fall down a lot, but this time I was really hurt,” he said. RICE TOSSED FOR FIRST TIME Rutgers second-year coach Mike Rice didn’t even last until halftime. With 2:31 remaining in the first half he exploded over a non-call on a layup attempt by leading scorer Eli Carter and drew a technical from Evon Burroughs. When Rice continued to berate Burroughs, he was given a second T and automatic ejection by Ed Corbett. At that point, Rice was so irate he had to be restrained by his director of basketball operations, Jim Carr. Associate coach David Cox took over for the remainder of the game. “I vehemently disagreed with a couple of calls and got carried away,” Rice said in expressing remorse over his first career ejection. “You always regret when you act like an idiot.” Rice appeared to make a choking gesture to Burroughs as he walked off the court but denied it later, saying he was just trying to clear something in his throat. Sure. More than likely, Rice’s outburst reflected a buildup of his frustration over Big East officiating, which began with a 52-50 loss at Georgetown, after which Rice took issue with the disparity in fouls and the number of free throws the Hoyas took. He has since talked to conference head of officiating Art Hyland about his complaints.
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
COFFEE BREAK WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Strong has assembled another impressive recruiting class Now that the University of Louisville has completed its 24th sport -- football recruiting -- Cardinals fans can relax, let out their breath and enjoy another impressive victory. By any measure, Charlie Strong and his hard-working staff did it again and put the Cards on top or near the top of the Big East Conference (the standings vary by ranking service) for the third straight year. As time passes and the coaches have time to build relationships with high school coaches, the quality of recruiting classes will improve even more. The student-athletes in this year’s recruiting class are highly ranked players on the defensive side and match the strength of last season’s offensive-minded performers. The geographical areas harvested by UofL are providing some valuable fruit for the improvement of the program. Strong, assistants Clint Hurtt, Vance Bedford and the other coaches are having great success in Florida, especially in the Miami area. As a matter of fact the entire lower East Coast of Florida from Homestead to Port St. Lucie is turning out to be a gold mine for UofL. Doing their part for the environment, the coaches save gas by venturing into Southern Georgia, Southern Ohio and Southern Indiana, JACK COFFEE along with Kentucky. The majority of UofL’s recruits come from these areas, even though recruiting in Florida in January certainly beats most other areas. Just ask the hundreds of UofL fans who head south when the weather turns cold. But it doesn’t matter where student-athletes come from, it matters how good they are, will they improve, will they work hard and make Louisville a winner? Based on the performance of the first two recruiting classes, this group looks to be of the same caliber in ability and attitude. Like earlier classes, the young men that I have met in the 2012 class are very impressive both physically and verbally and in how they conduct themselves. First appearances are that Louisville has another outstanding recruiting class. There appear to be at least five freshmen who will step right in and make a contribution on defense. Each year this staff recruits over some existing players, and that may be true again. Eventually the team will be so strong that only the very accomplished recruits will make the field as freshmen. But that is probably another year or two away. For the third straight year five offensive linemen were signed. Since arriving at UofL this staff has emphasized rebuilding the offensive line, which was a weakness of the 2011 Belk Bowl team. Including walk-ons, the Cards now have 20 offensive linemen on their 105-man roster. Most likely the five new signees will be redshirted in order to spend a year in the weight room and receive extensive practice time. Another position that lacked depth was tight end, usually a strong position for Louisville. After recruiting no tight ends in 2010 and 2011, four were added for the coming seasons. Some will be expected to contribute right away. For those of you who favor the rating services that provide stars and numbers, there are very encouraging signs in regard the trend in Louisville recruiting. The Rivals.com system uses a numerical system to rank players, with each assigned a number from 4.9 to 6.1 (don’t ask me, I don’t know why it simply isn’t 1-10). A player with 4.9-5.4 rating gets two stars, 5.55.7 three stars, 5.8-6.0 four stars, and 6.1 five stars. In 2012 there are 32 students nationally with five stars. The Cardinals brought in four players rated with four stars, three of which are already on campus. UofL has never had at least three four-star recruits show up on campus two years in a row. If numbers are meaningful to you, another fact supports the strength of UofL’s recruiting: Not counting kickers and junior college transfers, Strong and his staff have recruited only two players with a numerical rating under 5.4. One of those was Jamaine Brooks, who saw extensive action as a freshman, once again putting the numerical ratings in question. From 2007-2009 UofL recruited 12 players rated under 5.4, and from 2003-2006 54 players were recruited with a rating under 5.4. This is an indication how much the recruiting has been elevated. No one knows for sure how good this class is until the players enroll in school, get on the field and perform with the team. But based on video and the awards received by this incoming group, Louisville appears to have another very strong group of high school players. Some look physically ready to make immediate contributions. Another positive is this staff’s ability to “coach up” players. That means they improve rapidly after spending time on the field with the coaches. We will know more after spring practice when the six early enrollees compete with their teammates and this fall when the others show up for practice. It’s already clear, however, that UofL football is headed in the right direction.
Recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt was named one of the Big East’s best recruiters for the second consecutive season after being the primary recruiter for 10 of Louisville’s signees. - photo by Howie Lindsey
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FEBRUARY 9, 2012
SECOND PLACE UP FOR GRABS IN ‘UNFORGIVING’ BIG EAST
CARDS’ FATE WILL BECOME CLEARER AFTER WVU, SYRACUSE By Russ Brown The race for second place in the Big East Conference heats up this week for the University of Louisville’s basketball team. Second, you say? Yes, second. Echoing every coach in the league, it says here there is absolutely no way anybody has the juice to catch the Syracuse juggernaut. So the real battle is for runner-up, one of the four spots that earns a double bye in the Big East Tournament next month in Madison Square Garden and the best possible seeding in the NCAA Tournament. And despite their wobbly 2-4 start, the No. 24/23 Cards have played themselves into the thick of the mad upper-division scramble, which finds eight teams within two games of each other heading into the last four weeks of the regular season. “With the exception of Syracuse, almost every team is the same,” UofL coach Rick Pitino said. “You could go from the teams in the last three spots to the teams in the second, third or fourth spots and anybody could win, anybody could lose.” Pitino speaks with authority because his team’s second-worst loss in Big East play was administered last month by Providence (9059), which is in last place at 2-9. We’ll know a lot more about UofL’s status after next Monday night caps a tough eightday stretch that began with Connecticut’s visit to the KFC Yum! Center last Monday. The Cardinals (18-5, 6-4) began the week in a three-way tie for fifth with future foes Cincinnati and South Florida, but only one game in the loss column out of second place. Next up is a trip to Morgantown to face West Virginia, which was 16-8 and 6-5 going into Wednesday’s home game against redhot Notre Dame (15-8, 7-3). Then comes the much-anticipated battle with No. 2 Syracuse (23-1, 10-1) for a 7 p.m. Big Monday clash in the KFC Yum! Center. Going into the UConn game UofL had won four straight, equaling Notre Dame and Pittsburgh for the longest current winning streak in the conference. Not that it matters, according to Pitino. “I don’t think this team ever got down and I don’t think they’re up right now,” he said. “I think they understand the Big East. You look at Pitt, they were losing, now they’ve won four straight. Connecticut goes into a little bit of a slide. You have to understand the Big East. We don’t get high, we don’t get low, we just play one game at a time. I know it’s a cliche’, but in this conference it has to be that way. “It’s all about playing your best basketball at the right time. I couldn’t tell you where our next win is going to come, and I couldn’t tell you if we’re going to lose another game. “This league is so unforgiving. When we were in Conference USA, I think you could look at your talent and say, ‘If we play well, we could get this win.’ You just can’t do that in the Big East. A week or two weeks ago nothing was making sense in the Big East. Today the home team is blowing out everybody. The dynamics are changing. I don’t know what to think.” One thing Pitino might be thinking is that Louisville needs a marquee win or two to strengthen its NCAA resume’. The Cards have yet to beat any team currently ranked in the top 25, and their strength of schedule entering the week was only 50th. At this point, ESPN.com Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has UofL penciled in as a No. 6 seed in the West Re-
Sophomore center Gorgui Dieng attracted a Rutgers double team last Saturday. He scored just eight points and had only four rebounds but blocked a career-high seven shots, giving him 81 for the season. - photo by Gail Kamenish
gional. About two weeks ago Pitino set a goal of two road wins and a perfect record at home, but now that UofL already has three road triumphs -- with four road games to go -- he is looking for wins in five of the last nine games to assure an NCAA Tournament berth. That would give the Cards a 22-9 record, with a chance to pick up more victories in the Big East Tournament March 6-10. “We’re going to be in good shape if we win five out of nine,” Pitino said. “We are going to try and win every single game, obviously, but if you win five out of nine you’re going to be in pretty good shape going into the Big East Tournament.” Recent history is on the side of a strong finish for the Cards, who in recent years have been one of the Big East’s best teams down the stretch -- they’re 30-6 in February since 2007. “The February part of the schedule is the one where you hope to improve as a basketball team,” Pitino said prior to the UConn game. “Not necessarily looking at wins, but just to go into March as a better team, and I think we’re doing that. We’ve had great practices; our guys are almost having too much fun. They really enjoy practice as much as any team I’ve coached, so that’s a good thing. We’ve had consistent practices, which is a great thing, and we’re coming off some good wins.” While Syracuse is the most appealing game, UofL must take care of business in a hostile environment first when it meets West Virginia at noon (ESPN) Saturday in what should be another close, hard-fought battle. The last four games between the two have been decided by three points or less, including last season’s last-second 55-54 win in the KFC Yum! Center. The Cards have dropped their last two visits to Morgantown, 72-70 and 77-74. The Mountaineers snapped a three-game losing skid with an 87-74 overtime win Sunday at Providence. Among those three losses was a 63-61 heartbreaker against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome after a controversial non-call on what was an obvious goal tend by the Orange. The Mountaineers beat Providence on Truck Bryant’s three-pointer with 3.3 seconds
left after overcoming a 32-17 first-half deficit. Bryant scored 24 of his 32 points after intermission. Turkish center Deniz Kilicli added a career-high 22 points for the winners. “If we didn’t win this, we’d be playing in the NIT,” Kilicli said. “If we don’t win another four games, we’re going to the NIT.” UofL’s biggest problem against WVU will be containing 6-8 senior forward Kevin Jones, who leads the Big East in both scoring (20.8 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg) and is the odds-on favorite for Player of the Year in the conference. Kilicli said the two games this week against the Irish and Cards are crucial to his team’s postseason hopes, so UofL is certain to be facing an inspired group. “We’re not in good shape right now,” he said. “We’ve got to win enough games if we want to make the NCAA Tournament. We have to fix it. We’re the ones playing. Huggs (coach Bob Huggins) can run us until we puke, but if we’re going to do what we want to do, we’ve got to put our minds to it and fix this.” Said freshman guard Gary Browne, “We put ourselves in a hole, and we need to win these games coming up.” Said Jones: “We have to start winning games again. It’s getting late.” Huggins said he doesn’t put any more importance on February games than he does on earlier contests. “I try to make it like that all the time, to be honest with you,” he said. “I think the longer you do this the more you realize that (the NCAA tournament selection committee members) look at your overall body of work. So a win in November is as good as a win now. We’ve just got to win some games. I think we’re fine. We just have to win some games -- like everybody else.’’ After returning from Morgantown, UofL will have a short turnaround before hosting Syracuse in a game that should have the Yum! Center rocking. If it’s any consolation, the Orange faces a formidable task, too -- Louisville will be its third tough game in six days, the other two being home contests against No. 12/11 Georgetown Wednesday and UConn Saturday. Deep and talented Syracuse’s only loss came on the road at Notre Dame, 67-58 on
Jan. 21 when the Orange was playing without 7-foot center Fab Melo, who was suspended for three games for academic reasons. Melo was back in the lineup Saturday against St. John’s and scored a career-high 14 points in 21 minutes in a 95-70 romp in the Garden as coach Jim Boeheim tied Dean Smith for third place on the NCAA victory list with No. 879. “I had fun,” Melo said of his return. “I felt a little rusty and I wanted to do everything at once, but Coach told me to slow down and I did.” Melo is one reason Syracuse leads the Big East, and is third nationally, in blocked shots with 7.4 per game. The Orange also is in the top 15 in the country in four other major offensive or defensive categories. “He’s our anchor,” SU guard Scoop Jardine said of Melo. “We’re a totally different team when he’s on the floor with us.” Said guard Brandon Triche: “Fab gives us those charges and blocked shots. He protects the middle so great that the other team is a little bit nervous going down there, so that makes it easier for the rest of us. The three games he was out everything seemed interrupted, but now that he’s back everything is normal again.” Despite Syracuse’s record and ranking, though, Boeheim is worried about the fact his team has struggled to make threes for the past two weeks. The ’Cuse made just 7 of 21 treys against St. John’s, 4 of 20 in the 63-61 victory over West Virginia and 3 of 12 in a 6053 victory at Cincinnati Jan. 23. The Orange also is vulnerable on the boards -- it is 13th in the Big East in rebounding margin at minus-4.2 per game. “I don’t think there is a great basketball team out there,” Boeheim said. “Last year I thought there were two --— Ohio State and Kansas --— and neither made it to the Final Four. Everyone talks about parity, but this year there really is parity. “It’s going to make for a wild (NCAA) tournament. There are a lot of mid-major teams that can play. If you get to the second round, you can count on facing a difficult team --— San Diego State, St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, Wagner.’’ Louisville has been Syracuse’s biggest nemesis in recent years. The Cards have beaten the Orange seven straight times, several of which were considered major upsets because the ‘Cuse was ranked higher, including the 78-68 stunner in the final game in Freedom Hall on March 6, 2010, when Syracuse was ranked No. 1 and Kyle Kuric had his coming-out party. Whatever the outcome Monday, the loser will have a shot at revenge in the regular-season finale on March 3 in the Carrier Dome. WILLARD, REF AT ODDS It will be interesting to see whether Big East coordinator of officials Art Hyland assigns Gene Steratore to a Seton Hall game the rest of the season after coach Kevin Willard didn’t hesitate in expressing his distaste for Steratore. Willard was handed two technical fouls by Steratore and ejected during Saturday’s loss to Connecticut. In a post-game interview, Willard said he got tossed after wishing Steratore a happy Valentine’s Day, “and he didn’t like that.... There’s one of them I don’t get along with. I don’t mind getting blown out, but I do have an issue when the refs enjoy a blowout. I don’t think they should be smiling or enjoying one team getting their butt kicked and another team not. That’s what I saw.”
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
C O M M E N T A R Y
We loved seeing Louisville basketball announce its participation in the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas. The eight-team tournament (Nov. 22-25) will be staged at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. This tournament is going to quickly knock the Maui Invitational off the top spot as the premier early-season basketball tournament in the nation. This year’s field of eight includes six teams that have participated in the NCAA Final Four in the last 15 years -- Duke, Louisville, Memphis, Missouri, Stanford and Virginia Commonwealth -- and three that are currently ranked in the top 25 -- Duke, Missouri and Louisville. The 12-game tournament will be televised by NBC Sports and HD Net. This year’s Battle 4 Atlantis included UConn, Florida State and UCF, but Harvard won the tournament. Check out www.Battle4Atlantis.com for more information about the tournament and travel arrangements.
Louisville fans had a big scare when sophomore center Gorgui Dieng went down with an ankle injury with 14:55 left in the second half against Rutgers and the Cards up 53-47. He lay on the court for several minutes, writhing in pain, as doctors attended to him. As he was helped off the court by trainer Fred Hina, the crowd started chanting “Gor-gui, Gor-gui ...” to encourage him. Dieng checked back in with 12:21 to go, and the crowd stood to applaud his return. He remained on the court, although he was noticeably limping, until he left the game for good with 1:34 to go. Dieng returned to the court against UConn Monday night and scored 15 points to go along with six rebounds and six steals.
We’ll take a win over those Bluebellies from Lexington any way we can get it, and Louisville swimming and diving provided our fix last weekend. The men beat the Cats 188-107 and the women won 182-107. It was a clear demonstration of which program is the best in the state and, with Louisville’s sparkling facilities and national-level swimmers and divers, it seems logical that the top local recruits will give Louisville more thought during their college decisionmaking process. This state has produced Olympic-level talent in the past, and Louisville is far and away the best training ground in the state for future Olympians.
We couldn’t actually hear the UGLY language being used by Rutgers coach Mike Rice, but we could read his lips. With just over three minutes left in the first half, he thought his player was fouled on a layup attempt. He proceeded to scream and berate the refereeing crew until he was assessed a technical with 2:31 left. He exploded in anger after the technical, walking to midcourt to point his finger in the face of an official before he was assessed another technical and thrown out of the game. Rice was forced to watch the rest of the game from the Scarlet Knights’ locker room under the stands at the KFC Yum! Center.
During the under-12 media timeout, one of Louisville’s nationalchampion Ladybirds, Courtney Lewis, was shown on the big screens at the Yum Center. Her boyfriend, Justin Line, dropped to a knee and proposed. Courtney said yes, and the crowd applauded as the couple hugged and kissed. Line, a civil engineering student at Louisville and a baseball coach at Christian Academy of Louisville, sent out this message Saturday night via Twitter: “Thank you to everyone for all of the congrats and nice words! I have the greatest Fiancee in the WORLD!”
Certainly the coaches deserve a lot of credit for UofL’s recruiting success in Florida, especially Clint Hurtt for his ability to pull top talent out of Miami. But quarterback Teddy Bridgewater also deserves some credit. “We have probably six or seven guys on our staff that have recruited the state of Florida,” coach Charlie Strong said. “And when you look at Teddy Bridgewater and the success he had and Eli Rogers and the success he had and John Miller comes in and has success as a freshman, other guys in Florida know those guys. When you go in to recruit those schools and you go to Northwestern and Central and Booker T. Washington and Southridge, those guys know Deuce (Andrew) Johnson and they know Gerod Holliman. When they see their success, they think ‘Hey, I have a chance to go there and play, and I can be successful myself.’” Louisville has landed 28 players from Florida in Strong’s first three recruiting classes.
Former Louisville star Deion Branch was hoping for another Super Bowl ring Sunday against the Giants, but it was not to be. The Patriots fell 21-17 on a late fourth-quarter touchdown by the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. While Branch didn’t have a BAD game, he also didn’t catch everything thrown his way - a no-no for an NFL receiver. New England quarterback Tom Brady had four or five catchable balls dropped by his receivers, including one clear drop by normally sure-handed Wes Welker, but after the game he was gracious, saying: “I said after the game I’ll keep coming to this game and keep trying. I’d rather come to this game and lose than not get here.
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Hopefully, we’ll be back at some point. We had a great year. We just didn’t make enough plays.” His super-model wife, Giselle Bundchen, was less gracious. After the game she was heard saying loudly: “You (have) to catch the ball when you’re supposed to catch the ball. My husband cannot (expletive) throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.” We can’t feel too bad for Brady, though. He and Bundchen just bought a $20 million mansion in Los Angeles, and she is worth more than $150 million.
Dr. Bernice Sandler -- the “Godmother of Title IX” – was to be celebrated Tuesday night at the Louisville-UConn women’s basketball game in Louisville. Sandler is responsible for proposing Title IX in 1970, which implemented sexual impartiality “within education programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance.” Sandler proposed the bill in 1970 as a response to her frustration with her job at the University of Maryland, which was replacing competent female workers with less-qualified male counterparts. Title IX was passed in 1972. While the bill doesn’t explicitly state a concern with female athletics, many women’s sports programs around the country owe their existence to Sandler. Given that this is the 40th anniversary of Title IX, it’s appropriate that Sandler be recognized for her activism through the years. The anniversary also has captured the attention of the National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an annual celebration that honors the greatest promoter of women and sports. Because of this, UofL athletic director Tom Jurich was to present Sandler at halftime with an esteemed honor. Julie Hermann, UofL’s senior associate athletic director, was thrilled about Sandler’s impending visit. “I think, regrettably, it took a federal statute to get the nation to pay attention to the inequity of institutions – especially in sports,” Hermann said. “We (UofL) had ignored a lot of Title IX until Tom Jurich arrived in ’97. He brought us very quickly into Title IX compliance. So on our campus, the champion has been him.”
We were saddened to get the BAD news last week that former St. Louis University, UNLV and Southeast Missouri basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour had passed away at the age of 72 after battling a lung affliction for two years. Spoonhour had been in and out of the Duke University Medical Center for the past couple of years after getting a lung transplant there in 2010. He had been diagnosed with idopathic pulmonary fibrosis -- a scarring of the lungs. Spoonhour was one of the good guys in coaching and was very well-liked and respected by his peers, fans and the news media. “I don’t think you could find anybody who disliked Charlie,” said Henry Iba Jr. A former player, Scott Highmark, said Spoonhour was “like a pied piper. He had a way of connecting with people better than anyone I’ve ever been around.” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, a longtime friend, said: “There was nobody better. There’s never been a better person. He’s a really special guy.” Louisville met Spoonhour’s St. Louis teams eight times when both were members of Conference USA, with the Cards owning a 5-3 edge. Spoonhour coached the Billikens from 1992-99, compiling a 122-90 record with three NCAA Tournament appearances.
We also send out thoughts and prayers to the family of Charlie Ruter, who passed away last week. Ruter, who used to work the scorer’s table at NCAA basketball games at Freedom Hall, spent more than 30 years as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Jefferson County Schools System, working at Okolona, Fern Creek and Eastern high schools, as well as in the Board of Education offices. He became a nationally respected track and field official at the state, national and international levels. USA Track & Field’s annual award recognizing the sports’ outstanding running-event official is named in his honor. One of the co-founders of the prestigious Mason-Dixon Games in Louisville (one of indoor track’s great events for many years), Ruter became a prominent figure at the Olympics, Pan-American Games, USATF, NCAA, NAIA and KHSAA, as well as at various collegiate conference and invitational track meets. He also was active in training track officials through the years. Ruter is a member of 12 halls of fame, including the National Federation of High Schools Sports Hall of Fame, the USATF Officials Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, the Dawahares/KHSAA Hall of Fame and the NAIA Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ruth Evelyn Wise Ruter, whom he met on the Western Kentucky campus in 1942.
The No. 15 Louisville baseball team will host a Red-Black scrimmage on Friday at 3 p.m.at Jim Patterson Stadium. This will be the final weekend prior to the Cards’ 2012 season-opener on Feb. 17. Admission is free to Friday’s intra-squad scrimmage, which will be preceded by batting practice at 1:50 p.m. The scrimmage will provide the players as well as fans with the usual game-day atmosphere at Patterson Stadium, including music, player introductions and scoreboard. Led by the return of preseason All-American pitcher Justin Amlung, Louisville welcomes back nearly the entire pitching staff and numerous position players with starting experience from last year’s squad. The Cardinals return 19 letter-winners from the 2011 team, which finished 32-29, while adding a talented class of newcomers for 2012.
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FEBRUARY 9, 2012
R E C RU I T I NG
STRONG ANNOUNCES ‘SPECIAL’ 24-MAN RECRUITING CLASS By Jeff Wafford he acknowledged that the Cards are on the guys on the coaching staff who have University of Louisville football coach Charlie right track. recruited Florida at some point in their Strong announced his 2012 signing class last “You like to just build your football team,” careers, and when you add to that the Wednesday, a 24-man group he described as he said. “Now it’s all about who’s going to positive experiences Florida natives Teddy “special” and that includes 18 who signed step up and be the leader of this program. Bridgewater, John Miller and Eli Rogers have Wednesday. Six other players already have Do you have enough in place that now it’s all had, it really helps in recruiting players from enrolled and are on campus. m the Sunshine State. about guys who have been in this program The class includes a trio of four-star players, and know what the coaches are looking g 17 three-star players and a trio of two-star for? We shouldn’t have to coach effort. t. prospects. Also counted in the class are a pair Guys know how we go now. It’s all aboutt of transfers from the University of Florida, one accountability and what is expected of of whom was a four-star prospect coming you. You got a piece of the title last year, r, out of high school, while the other was rated now let’s continue to build this team and d with three stars. see where we can go.” “I’d just like to commend our staff,” Strong said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “Our staff did an excellent job of going out and fulfilling our needs. QB WILL GARDNER The state provides us players we AND FAMILY can go recruit, but then we have to go outside of our boundaries and beat programs. We have to recruit against the best and beat the best.” The class currently is rated No. 37 in the nation by Rivals.com, which doesn’t include the transfers in its ranking system. It also currently is ranked No. 2 in the Big East, behind only Rutgers. “If you look at this group, we havee five offensive line, three defensivee g linemen and four linebackers,” Strong ur said. “This is what we really need in our t, program. The game is won up front, OL JOE MANLEY WITH HIS ve so you have to go get those defensive PARENTS ON SIGNING DAY ke linemen and offensive linemen. It’s like I tell our coaches, you can go find a skill guy - they’re everywhere.” That philosophy certainly was Strong on evident because the Cardinals signed only the offensive linemen in this class: three skill position players - a quarterback, a “You have guys that are big guys wide receiver and a running back. and big-bodied guys. They’ll come in “It’s about continuing to move this program here and continue to develop and DB KEVIN HOUCHINS IN HIS LOUISVILLE forward,” Strong said. “You have to have a get better. This year we played a RED AND BLACK WITH A TEAMMATE WHO plan, a vision, and know where we want to true freshman in John Miller, a true SIGNED WITH OREGON go. In order to win championships here, we freshman in Jamon Brown, and a have to go recruit the right people.” redshirt freshman in Jake Smith. I The most heralded prospects in this class don’t know how much those (new) are four-star linebackers Keith Brown and guys will figure into our plan. In the last three On the “three seasons” of college Nick Dawson. Add in three-star linebacker years we’ve signed 15 offensive linemen, football: James Burgess and you have three linebackers which is good for your program.” Strong said there are three seasons in who could play anywhere in the country. Strong on Florida transfers Robert college football - recruiting season, the fall “James Burgess and Keith Brown - there Clark and Christian: season and the offseason. He explained are two guys who are on our campus right “Robert Clark is a little guy who has a that all three are related because you have now,” Strong noted. “And then Nick Dawson lot of speed, and Gerald is big and going to to battle teams to get recruits, then use the has been highly recruited and talked about. get better because you have a year with him offseason to build those players up in order He’s not here yet, but it’ll be interesting to see (before he can play). When you get a transfer to beat the teams you are battling in the fall how he works with those guy this summer.” in like that, you hope down the road they’ll season. “That’s a position where we do need help be able to help us.” Clark is an athlete who Strong on AD Tom Jurich’s support: right now,” Strong added. “If you look at could play either offense or defense or return “Tom Jurich provided us with all the what we have coming back, Preston Brown kicks. resources we needed so we could go and Daniel Brown played a lot, but now Strong on getting the commitments recruit anywhere we wanted, whoever we you have five guys who can ... compete for from Brown and Dawson on national wanted.” playing time.” television: Strong also mentioned the support of The other position where Louisville “I don’t know if that’s ever happened UofL President James Ramsey and how the desperately needed help was at tight end, around here like that, but it shows you where academic side of things at the university has and the Cards signed four: Ryan Hubbell (6- the program is headed when two guys have helped the staff recruit, how the academic 5, 235), Hunter Bowles (6-6, 245), Gerald the Louisville hats up there and take the majors that the recruits want are available, Christian (6-3, 240) and Larry Jefferson (6-4, hat and put it on. It was really, really special and how the parents of recruits are impressed 220). for the program because everybody had a with what the university has to offer. While Christian is a Florida transfer and chance to see it. And it didn’t shock people On recruiting in state vs. out of state: can’t play next season, the other three will because they know the kind of recruiters we Strong noted that last year three of the compete for playing time right away. Strong have on this staff.” top players in Kentucky left the state, and was asked whether any of the other tight Strong on players enrolling early: this year the top player left the state. In both end signees would change positions. “When you get a guy in early they get a cases, the players didn’t even let Louisville “It’s a position where we’re going to need chance to work out and understand the pace recruit them. guys to stay there,” he replied. “We don’t of how things work, and they get a jump He went on to say that if we want rivalries have enough right now. It’s a position we on conditioning. Then they get a chance to to be special in this state, Kentucky and need to build on.” work out with the team and know where Louisville need to keep those guys in the Strong admitted that he is probably one they are.” state so they have that familiarity with each recruiting class away from having his roster On recruiting success in Florida: other during rivalry games. the way he ideally would like it to look, but Strong noted that there are six or seven Strong on whether playing true
freshmen benefits the Cards on the recruiting trail: “It does because what happens is you don’t talk about redshirting. We don’t even mention it. If you’re good enough, you’re going to go play. On offense we had six es e start at one time (last season), freshmen and on d defense we had five. We don’t play favoritism here, guys.” He added that the best aambassadors for UofL are the ccurrent players, who tell recruits h how it is honestly and how all of the p positions are up for grabs, no matter h how young the recruit is. Strong on having space av available for more recruits: “We do have a space available, so we’re always going to look at the nex next available player. We’ll take them, wh which is hard now because all of the pla players are going where they’re going at tthis point. We’ll see if we can make it w work.” S Strong on whether he’s where he wan wants to be at numbers-wise: “We’re probably one more class away from being balanced where we need to be. Next year won’t be very big, and if you look at it we only have about 12 scholarships because we had to build it up the past two years.” Strong on the feeling of the staff when Signing Day is over: “You get that sigh of relief.... We spent time and money and got what we needed for this program. The great thing about all of these guys is they wanted to be in this program. That’s fulfilling as a coach when you don’t have to beg somebody and twist their arm to come in.” Strong on Central’s Anthony Wales, who signed with WKU: Strong said he couldn’t talk about Wales specifically because “he isn’t a part of our class.” “You recruit a young man and offer them a scholarship. It’s up to them to make a decision on where they want to go. If they think someone is better for them than Louisville, then that’s up to them.” Strong also noted that you want to take care of home first - meaning Jefferson County. But at the same time he mentioned that if local players don’t want to come play here, the Cards will go to other cities and try to get the best players out of those cities, as they’ve done in Miami. Strong on whether conference affiliation came up on the recruiting trail: “It never came up. It was somehting no one ever asked about. We just talked about selling this program right now, the Big East, this city, getting a great education, and having the chance to go play.” Strong on recruits who missed their senior years because of injury: “It goes back to the doctors and you ask them how successful (the surgery) was. Our trainers do a great job of looking at it and telling us if we should take them or not take them. We’re not good enough to take a young man who would come here and not be able to play.” Strong on players who come in weighing well over 300 pounds: “What Coach (Pat) Moorer does is pull the weight off and build it back the right way. A lot of times that weight is not proportioned the right way. Coach Moorer wil take it off and build it back on the right way.”
- SETON HALL BASKETBALL F O O T BGAMEDAY A LWOMEN’S L PREVIEW RE CR UIT I NG
OC (6-4, 285) • Indianapolis, Ind. (Bishop Chatard)
LB (6-3, 228) • Charlotte, N.C. (Phillip O Berry)
One of Louisville’s earliest commitments, Anvoots chose the Cards over Indiana, Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin. Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Anvoots is ranked as the 14th-best player in Indiana by ESPN.com. Rivals.com currently rates him the No. 10 center in the nation and the No. 4 offensive lineman in Indiana, one spot below fellow UofL commit DeAndre Herron. Anvoots will need to learn the switch from offensive tackle at Chatard to center at the college level. At Chatard he blocked for an offense that scored 521 points en route to a 13-2 mark. Anvoots knows how to win He was a member of Indiana’s AAA state championship teams in 2010 and 2011. He’s got the size needed to be an impact player at Louisville’s level, and he can bench 335 pounds and squat 435.
Rated the No. 2 middle linebacker in America by Rivals.com, Dawson was a U.S. Army AllAmerican and the No. 2 defensive recruit in North Carolina this season. A four-star prospect, Dawson joined former UofL stars Brian Brohm and Michael Bush as Rivals100 honorees, comiing in at No. 89 overall nationally. Rivals.com called him “the most physically impressive” prospect at the U.S. Army All-American practices. An All-State selection in North Carolina, Dawson finished his senior season with 126 tackles, 12 sacks, eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in 11 games. He wasn’t just a one-season wonder, either. He recorded 113 tackles, including 14 for a loss and five sacks, as a junior and had 125 tackles and six interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, as a sophomore. He picked Louisville over offers from Auburn, Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA and Tennessee.
Anvoots: “I’m 100 percent committed to the ‘Ville. I have no other visits and sights on anywhere else. That was my only visit. Now that the visit is over, it’s pretty much signing day and then getting down there this summer.”
JOSHUA APPLEBY K (6-3, 230) • Athens, Ala. (East Limestone) Rated the No. 13 overall kicker in the nation by Rivals.com, Appleby picked Louisville over interest from more than a dozen other colleges around the South, including Kentucky. Appleby played for Jeff Pugh at East Limestone H.S. and has been mentored by Mike McCabe of One-On-One Kicking and former NFL kicker/punter Craig Hentrich. Appleby was rated a five-star prospect by Kohl’s Kicking and was selected to the play in the sixth annual Offense-Defense All-America Game at Cowboys Stadium. With a strong physical frame, he can bench press 225 pounds 20 times.
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
ABRAHAM GARCIA OL (6-6, 339) • Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (University)
Appleby: “(Louisville has) an incredible academic support system to ensure that I succeed off the field; an institution rich in academic achievement and tradition; a variety of study options that will lead to a rewarding career. Athletically, coaches (Charlie) Strong, (Kenny) Carter and (Paul) Gering are passionate about Cardinals’ special teams leading the nation.”
A Florida top-50 selection by the Sun Sentinel, Garcia is one of the largest linemen in the Sunshine State in 2012. A four-star prospect on ESPN, Garcia is rated three stars by Rivals.com, which calls him the No. 55 offensive guard in the nation. Garcia was named first-team All-State by the Sun-Sentinel and was on the South Florida Express traveling team along with current UofL star Teddy Bridgewater. Garcia, who didn’t start playing football until high school, could play either tackle or guard. He chose Louisville over offers from Auburn, Florida and USF.
LAMAR ATKINS LB (6-1, 205) • Miami, Fla. (Norland) CardinalSports.com had been hearing that Louisville had another commitment in the Miami area for more than four weeks. Atkins signed with the Cardinals on Signing Day Wednesday. Atkins, a former Illinois commit along with his brother Keith Brown, who also signed with Louisville, was part of the dominating Norland High was part of a dominating defense that won the Florida 5-A State title.
Rivals.com on Dawson: “Dawson was the most physically impressive true linebacker at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He has a good feel for the game, he flowed to the ball well and he was good at reading and reacting. He had above-average athleticism for such a big linebacker as well.”
Garcia on Louisville: “Louisville’s always been a school I’ve been watching. I actually have a guy I go to school with whose dad played at Louisville. Bruce Armstrong’s son (Nick) goes to our school. He’s been up there before and he’s told me about Louisville and how great a school it is. (My) visit just put a picture to what he’s been telling me.”
Norland’s defense was so tough that Atkins didn’t start, but at least 11 seniors from Norland’s team signed with Division I schools. Norland finished the season with a 15-0
record and the Class-5A state championship this season. In the title game its defense shut out Crawfordville Wakulla 38-0 while allowing only 58 yards of total offense.
WILL GARDNER QB (6-5, 190) • Douglas, Ga. (Coffee County) Gardner got to play only one-half of one game his senior year before he was sidelined with a ruptured ACL. Prior to that the three-star prospect picked Louisville over offers from Alabama and Mississippi State. As a junior Gardner was the top-rated quarterback prospect in Georgia Class-5A and led Coffee County to the state playoffs. He threw for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in a wing-T and option style offense. Rivals.com rated Gardner as the 29th-best pro-style quarterback in the country.
HUNTER BOWLES TE (6-6, 245) • Glasgow, Ky. (Glasgow) A big, physical tight end who is an excellent run blocker, Bowles is a three-star prospect and is the top tight end prospect in Kentucky for 2012. He committed to Louisville back in September over offers from Kentucky, Marshall and others. Played tight end and defensive end for Rick Wood at Glasgow H.S. and helped guide his team to a AA state runner-up finish to Covington Holy Cross his senior season. Glasgow finished 14-1 and Bowles was selected as an All-Star in the Battle of the Bluegrass. He runs a 4.8 40yard dash, had 46 solo tackles and led the Scotties with eight sacks. He also recorded two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. As a tight end he recorded 20 catches for 346 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. He finished his career with 70 catches for 1,018 yards and 13 touchdowns. A three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball), Bowles’ dad played baseball at Kentucky.
Strong on quarterback signee Will Gardner: “Will is rangy. Coach (Shawn) Watson really likes Will Gardner. At his size, about 6-4, he is able to move and he can throw the ball real well.”
Bowles: “You have to see where Coach Strong is taking the program, and now it’s like I’m telling everybody, ‘I told you so.’”
DEANDRE HERRON OL (6-5, 325) • Avon, Ind. (Avon)
DEANGELO BROWN DT (6-1, 285) • Savannah, Ga. (Savannah Christian Prep)
Herron is one of the largest offensive line prospects in the Midwest for 2012. A three-star prospect, he’s rated the No. 3 offensive lineman in Indiana and picked Louisville over offers from Indiana, Southern Miss, Toledo, Ball State, Arkansas State and others. Rivals.com rates him the No. 14 overall prospect in Indiana for 2012 and the No. 48 offensive guard in the nation.
Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Brown chose Louisville over offers from Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and USF. While playing for Donald Chumley at Savannah Christian Prep he was a member of 2011 GHSA Class A state championship team which finished 15-0. Brown was part of a stifling defense that surrendered only 84 points the entire season and allowed only 41 yards of total offense in the state title game. He committed right after the game. Brown can bench press 420 pounds and has been clocked at 4.9 seconds in the 40.
Brown: “I actually played little league ball with Keith (Brown), so I know how he plays, and now (Nick) Dawson, I know he’s supposed to be real good. Then we have (linebacker recruit) Patrick Jean and (James) Burgess, and some other defensive guys like (defensive end) Larry Jefferson. It makes me feel good. I think we’re going to make a run for the national championship, I really do.”
Herron on Louisville: “Me, Joe Manley and Sid (Anvoots) talk almost every day. I’ve built a relationship with all of them, and I just can’t get up and leave if other schools extend me an offer because we all feel at home and we have this brother system going on.”
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
BASKETBALL F O O T B A LWOMEN’S L RE C RU I T I NG
DB (5-11, 175) • South Euclid, Ohio (Brush)
CB (5-11, 165) • Winnsboro, S.C. (Fairfield Central)
Houchins picked the Cardinals in June over offers from Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio, Ohio, Toledo, Central Michigan, Akron and others. His name was just getting big in the area when he accepted UofL’s offer. He missed most of his senior season with a torn ACL, so his offer list never expanded. He played both free safety and receiver for coach Rob Atwood at Brush High and finished his junior year with 50 tackles, three tackles for a loss, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown. He also caught 14 passes for 171 yards and averaged 18 yards per punt return. A member of the Ohio Varsity Mid-Season Top 40, Houchins was honored as one of the best players in Northeast Ohio by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and is ranked as the 43rd-best recruit in Ohio by 24/7Sports.
One of the best junior defensive backs in the nation in 2010, Parnell was ready for a breakout senior season when he suffered a torn ACL. A four-star recruit at the time, he already had offers from Illinois, NC State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and others. Despite the injury, Louisville stuck by him and he expects to make a full recovery by the time summer camp starts in May. After he committed to Louisville, fans from Illinois and Kentucky claimed their schools had backed off of him due to the injury, a rumor that was refuted by both Parnell and his coach. During the 2011 season his ranking fell to No. 30 nationally among cornerbacks and three stars instead of four. He is the fourth-rated defensive back in South Carolina and the No. 14 overall prospect in the state for 2012.
Houchins on Louisville: “It helps, because me and (fellow commitment) Devontre (Parnell) had the same injury and are going to be coming in the same way. We’re going to be trying to lift each other up and help each other out when we get up there.”
One of Louisville’s earliest commitments, committing to the Cardinals in April, Jefferson rose in the national rankings with a strong senior season. Rated one of the top-10 defensive ends in Georgia, Jefferson moved up to the No. 36 weakside defensive end in the nation in the most recent Rivals.com national rankings. He’s the No. 41 overall prospect in Georgia and a three-star recruit. A versatile athlete who recorded 400 receiving yards as a tight end and 13 sacks as a defensive end his senior year, Jefferson picked Louisville over offers from Auburn, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and others. He caught 15 passes for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns as a junior while adding 64 tackles with six sacks and two safeties on defense. Jefferson is also a standout on the basketball court and ran the 200m and 400m in track. Jefferson on Louisville: “They have two tight ends this year and they are leaving because they are seniors, so I will be coming in right away to compete. I love playing tight end.”
TC KLUSMAN OL (6-4, 270) • Cincinnati, Ohio (Elder) Klusman committed to the Cardinals in June over offers from NC State, Pittsburgh and others. Rated the No. 8 offensive line prospect in Ohio and No. 46 overall, the three-star prospect is rated the No. 66 offfensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com. While playing for Doug Ramsey at Cincinnati Elder High, Klusman was named a second-team GCL All-Star and once earned WeFit Athlete of the Month honors. Klusman on Louisville: “I really like the program and the coaches. We talked about it as a family, and I believe the coaches at Louisville can push me and make me into the best player I can be. I liked what I saw on the visit and had a good relationship with the coaches, especially Coach (Dave) Borbely, the offensive line coach.”
JOE MANLEY OL (6-7, 307) • Bowling Green, Ky. (Bowling Green) The top offensive line recruit in Kentucky for 2012, Manley is a mountain of a prospect. He already stands 6 feet 7 and weighs 307 pounds yet appears much larger. While playing for coach Kevin Wallace at Bowling Green, Manley blocked for an offense that rushed for more than 2,200 yards and threw for more than 1,500. He was a Tom Lemming nominee as one of the nation’s top offensive tackles, and his team won the Kentucky 5A state title over Anderson County 55-3 in December. He picked Louisville over offers from Kentucky and Illinois. The three-star prospect is rated No. 7 overall in the final Kentucky top 10 by Rivals.com. Manley on Louisville: “I knew where I wanted to go when I went there and took my mom with me. We sat down with the coaches and she asked a million questions and they told her everything we needed to know. After that visit I felt really good about my decision.”
Parnell on Louisville: “The doctor said the surgery went really well and told me I would be back up and running soon and I would be back at my same speed. It’s over and I’ve gotten through the surgery. I’m rehabbing hard and I’m ready to go; I want to get ready and go into Louisville full throttle next year.”
BRANDON RADCLIFF RB (5-10, 215) • Miami, Fla. (Columbus)
DE (6-5, 218) • College Park, Ga. (Banneker)
The big and physical Radcliff was among an elite handful of running back recruits Louisville had its eye on in the 2012 class. After considering offers from Cincinnati, Maryland, Michigan State, Vanderbilt and others, Radcliff jumped on UofL’s offer on Jan. 16. The No. 45 running back in the nation according to Rivals.com, Radcliff was named a Top 5 Performer at the Tallahassee Jamboree. In a backfield loaded with Division I talent, Radcliff had just 49 carries but averaged nearly 10 yards per carry, totaling 473 yards and nine touchdowns.
Strong on running back signee Brandon Radcliff: “He runs with a lot of power. He’ll get a chance to come in and compete for us. Coach (Kenny) Carter was excited when we took Brandon. You’re looking for a guy who can move the chains and get a chance to outrun somebody.
KIDS F O O T BCARDINAL ALL R EPHOTO C R UGALLERY I T I NG
A mid-year transfer from the University of Florida, Christian was the No. 2 tight end in the nation and a four-star recruit as a senior in 2010, according to Rivals.com. After choosing Florida over offers from nearly every school in the SEC, Christian saw action in eight games as a Gator. He’ll have to sit out the 2012 season but could be an impact player in 2013. He was a 2010 U.S. Army All-American and was rated among the top-100 recruits by Rivals.com. Christian also is a winner, helping lead Dwyer to the Florida Class 4A state title in 2009 with a 14-1 record. He recorded 367 receiving yards on 21 catches and three touchdowns as a senior and played defense, too, totaling more than 170 tackles his final two years at Dwyer.
Rankins on Louisville: “They brought coaches in and spent time with my family. I was already leaning towards Louisville. I had heard from other people that they might move me inside to defensive tackle, but they assured me that I’m their guy at defensive end. That’s all I needed to hear. I made it look like I was going to the bathroom, but I went and got this Louisville hat I had already bought. I came back out with the hat on and everybody went crazy after that.”
★★★★ PEDRO SIBIEA DE (6-3, 251) • Homestead, Fla. (Homestead) Like Rankins, Sibiea is a big, physical defensive end who could easily fit into either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. A three-star prospect without a position ranking by Rivals.com, Sibiea might be the biggest sleeper in the class. In the last few weeks he’s been heavily pursued by Minnesota, Cincinnati, USF, Illinois, FIU and others. A teammate of Louisville commit James Burgess Jr., Sibiea will rejoin Burgess when he reports to campus this summer.
Another mid-year transfer from Florida, Clark is a speedy wide receiver who had seven catches for 69 yards for the Gators last season. He saw action in 11 games as a redshirt freshman (he missed Georgia and Vanderbilt with a right ankle sprain), with catches vs. Florida State, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Tennessee and USF. He also had a reception in the Outback Bowl against Penn State. As a high school senior at Dwyer he had 30 catches for 664 yards and nine touchdowns to help Dwyer to a 14-1 record and the Florida 4A state championship in 2009. He had one rushing touchdown, one receiving touchdown and an interception in that game and chose Florida over Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, South Florida, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He’ll have to sit out the 2012 season.
WR (5-11, 160) • Miami Gardens, Fla. (Norland)
Snell on Louisville: “One of the main things was the relationship I had with Coach Hurtt and Coach Strong. I think they are great coaches and great people. Coach Hurtt can relate to me because he’s from Miami and he played at Miami. I feel real good about it, and that is the school I really want to go to.”
Clark on Louisville: “I just liked the city part of it and had a great time going around through the city. I liked the players and the coaches and Coach (Charlie) Strong.”
ENROLLED IN JANUARY
DB (6-0, 185) • Miami, Fla. (Southridge/Milford Academy)
A four-star prospect and U.S. Army All-American in the class of 2011, Holliman went to prep school for a season and enrolled at Louisville in January. A season away didn’t hurt his ranking as he was again rated four-stars and was rated the No. 1 defensive back and No. 2 overall prep school prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. While not extraordinarily fast, Holliman always seems to be around the ball and is superb with the ball in the air. Originally an Ole Miss commitment out of high school, Holliman switched to Louisville on NBC’s national telecast of the 2010 Army All-American Bowl. He picked the Cardinals over offers from Miami, Nebraska, Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Ole Miss and many others. As a high school senor he was rated the No. 4 safety in America and was a Rivals250 honoree.
ENROLLED IN JANUARY
TE (6-5, 235) • Council Bluffs, Iowa (Iowa Western CC) Louisville needed immediate help at tight end and went after Hubbell. Just a twostar junior college prospect according to Rivals.com, Hubbell picked Louisville over offers from Memphis, FIU, Akron, Northern Illinois and others. He caught 12 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns in six games while playing for Scott Strohmeier at Iowa Western. Hubbell on Louisville: “I just loved my visit and liked everything that I saw.... I’ll be their on-the-line tight end. I won’t be playing the H-back. In high school I was primarily a receiver, but I’ve really been working on the blocking side, so hopefully I’ll be able to come in and make some plays.”
Strong on the possibility of DB Gerod Holliman playing right away: “He’s going to get a chance to, but if you look at the free safety position you have (Calvin) Pryor sitting there right now, too.”
ENROLLED IN JANUARY
LB (6-1, 225) • Miami, Fla. (Norland)
JAMES BURGESS JR.
ENROLLED IN JANUARY
LB (6-0, 200) • Homestead, Fla. (Homestead Senior) Rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.com and a three-star by Rivals.com, Burgess decommitted from his father’s alma mater, Miami, to commit to Louisville instead. He played in only two games as a senior because of a broken hand but was a Dade County All-Star as a junior. He was selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and is rated the No. 62 outside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com. Burgess also had offers from Miami (Fla.), LSU, Florida, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Illinois, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Pitt, Rutgers, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
ENROLLED IN JANUARY
WR (5-8, 185) • Palm City Gardens, Fla. (Dwyer/University of Florida)
Sibiea on Louisville: “There was a lot of love and a lot of fan support from everyone. The football players are straight from Florida, and we were getting love from most of the players there, and it was like a whole fraternity with all of the players. Everybody is looking out for each other and is there for each other. It all kind of clicked and made me interested in Louisville.”
Speed is the name of the game for Snell. Rated the No. 96 wide receiver in the nation, Snell received offers from Illinois, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and others. He picked Louisville last May after catching 47 passes for 723 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. A teammate of UofL commit Keith Brown, who’s already enrolled, Snell was part of a stacked Norland team with at least 11 Division I signees in its senior class, including two Miami commitments, two Louisville commitments and others headed to Washington State, Illinois and UCF. Norland was 15-0 this season and won the Florida Class-5A state championship.
Rivals.com on Christian: “It is really going to be hard for a college to keep him off the field because of his size and strength. Christian has the perfect body and speed to excel on special teams. He had the potential to be a three-year starter (at Florida).”
ENROLLED IN JANUARY
TE (6-3, 240) • Palm City Gardens, Fla. (Dwyer/University of Florida)
One of Louisville’s last commitments, Rankins picked the Cardinals on Jan. 24 over offers from several dozen teams, including Nebraska, Boston College, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, NC State, Stanford, Kentucky, USF, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Illinois, Cincinnati and Wake Forest. A three-star prospect, Rankins is rated the No. 3 strongside defensive end in Georgia and No. 32 nationally. He’s the No. 43 overall prospect in Georgia and was called one of the state’s best defensive linemen by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
DE (6-3, 260) • Miami, Fla. (Columbus)
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
Rivals.com on Burgess: “Burgess is great at watching the quarterback’s eyes and then making a play on the ball once it is thrown. He did just that on an interception during 7-on-7, plus he likes hanging out in an area and then laying a big hit on crossing wide receivers. Burgess doesn’t shy away from contact, but he’s disciplined enough to not go after the big play all the time.”
Rated the best linebacker in the the state of Florida by FlaVarsity.com and the No. 7 inside linebaker in the nation, Brown is a four-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, and a U.S. Army All-American. He chose Louisville over offers from more than 30 BCS schools, including a final three that included Miami and Illinois, both schools to which he’d previously been committed. A Super 75 player by the Times-Union and an Under Armour Junior Combine All-Star, Brown was voted 5-A first-team All-State. He’s rated No. 133 overall nationally and is a member of the prestigious Rivals250 list. Brown was rated the No. 23 overall prospect in Florida and led Norland to a perfect 15-0 record and the Class-5A state championship this season. In the title game Brown’s Norland defense shut out Crawfordville Wakulla 38-0 while allowing only 58 yards of total offense. He recorded 113 tackles, five sacks and returned an interception for touchdown as a senior. He burst onto the national scene his junior season with 142 tackles and four sacks and was rated among the top-50 juniors in the nation by several publications. FlaVarsity’s Tom Loy on Brown: “Brown is a terrific overall player. He may the best middle linebacker prospect in the state and one of the best in the country. He can stop the run with ease and play in coverage with no problem. He was the heart of the Norland state championship defense.”
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
RECRUITING NOTEBOOK WATS O N P R OM OTED TO OC, M OORE H IRE D A S TE COA CH
STRONG CONTINUES TO LIVE UP TO HIS ‘PERFECT FIT’ BILLING By Howie Lindsey When he was considering hiring thenFlorida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong as the University of Louisville’s new football coach, Vice President for Athletics Tom Jurich got an earful from noted horseman Seth Hancock of Claiborne Farm. Hancock, after observing Strong working on the sidelines and his demeanor with his team, saw a spark in Strong that he wanted Jurich to know about. Years earlier Hancock had pushed for Kentucky to hire Strong, but the Cats went with Rich Brooks instead. This time, Hancock found a sympathetic ear. “I don’t know footHOWIE LINDSEY ball, but I know people,” Hancock said. And he wasn’t the only one to vouch for Strong. Jurich said he talked with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, with thenFlorida coach and current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, with former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and with former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, and all of them gave glowing recommendations. “It was unanimous,” Jurich said in December 2009 when Strong was hired. “The character and integrity is there. His coaching ability is unparalleled. He’s hungry and humble. This is a blue-collar job, and he’s the perfect individual to coach this team and lead this team and be a true ambassador for the university. It was a constant. I got so tired of listening how great Charlie was that I went to (Dungy) and said, ‘Tony, you’ve got to be able to find me one negative about this guy.’ Tony couldn’t.” We now understand what all the fuss was about. Fast forward two years and we find that Louisville’s new slugger, Charlie Strong, has been busy knocking homers out of the park for the Cardinals. He salvaged a flagging recruiting class in the first two months of his tenure, and he added future stars Michaelee Harris and Jake Smith. He collected a nationally respected coaching staff that included strong recruiters at every position. He took his team to an unexpected bowl in Year 1 while shoring up the team’s academic standing. Then last spring he signed the Big East’s No. 1 recruiting class, inking a group that included All-American freshmen quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and offensive lineman John Miller and four other Big East AllFreshman studs. In Year 2 he cobbled together a makeshift offensive line with a freshman quarterback and won a share of the Big East championship, blowing away preseason predictions that Louisville would finish second-to-last in the league. Strong held his team together and actually improved it after having to make a change at offensive coordinator in midseason. Now he’s proven his mettle once again, signing another excellent recruiting class
with a four-pack of U.S. Army All-Americans and promoting a new offensive coordinator and tight ends coach from within. Strong just keeps doing good things for Louisville, and Louisville is doing right by him, rewarding him with a new contract last fall that upped his salary to more than $2 million per year. Last week Strong signed the No. 2 class in the Big East and No. 39 in the nation. Among recruiting classes since the Rivals. com system began, it would rank as Louisville’s fourth-highest-rated class ever. The class is even more impressive when you consider Louisville had freshman all-conference players at nine positions (three were redshirt freshmen) and couldn’t assure playing time to any recruits outside of linebacker and possibly tight end. Then on Monday Strong confirmed Shawn Watson as his long-rumored choice as the new offensive coordinator. The former Nebraska offensive coordinator joined Louisville as a quarterbacks coach but took over the play-calling in October when former OC Mike Sanford left. Under Watson’s guidance, the Cardinals increased their scoring output from 18.8 points per game to 23.3 and scored 24 or more points in five of their last eight games, including a season-high 38 in an upset victory at nationally ranked West Virginia. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity that Charlie has given me,” Watson said. “I’m looking forward to working with this outstanding staff and a good nucleus of young and talented players.” Watson has an innovative offensive mind and has been successful at the highest levels of college football. In his first season at Nebraska the Huskers threw for a school-record 3,886 yards, ranking ninth nationally. In 2008 Joe Ganz set single-season school records for total yards (3,826) and passing yards (3,578) while completing 67.9 percent of his passes. Then in 2009 Nebraska averaged 147.1 rushing yards and 175.7 passing yards while first-year starter Zac Lee completed 60 percent of his passes. Given that Bridgewater is Louisville’s likely quarterback for the forseeable future and that Watson recruited QBs Will Gardner (2012 class) and Kyle Bolin (2013 class), he appears to be a perfect fit. Strong also hired Sherrone Moore, a three-year graduate assistant, as the Cardinals’ new tight ends coach and promoted offensive line coach Dave Borbely to running game coordinator. “This is a great opportunity for me and I’m very excited for this challenge,” Moore said. “I’m excited about working with coach Watson and trying to win another Big East championship. I had a great chance to work with the tight ends toward the end of last year, and I’m excited about the challenges ahead with this young group.” Whether it’s recruiting, on-field performance, academic success or even staff changes, Strong continues to live up to his reputation as a “perfect fit” for Louisville. SAVE THE DATE: Strong and the Cardinals will open spring practice on March 21 and hold the Red-White Spring Game
2012 FOOTBALL SIGNEES PROSPECT POS HOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL HT. WT. Sid Anvoots OL Indianapolis, Ind. Bishop Chatard 6-4 285 Big, tough offensive lineman from a strong program in Indianapolis. Lamar Arkins LB Miami, Fla. Norland 6-1 205 Late addition was part of Miami Norland’s tough defense and is Keith Brown’s brother Joshua Appleby K Harvest, Ala. East Limestone 6-3 230 Rated one of the top kickers in the Southeast. Appleby figures to replace senior Chris Philpott. Hunter Bowles TE Glasgow, Ky. Glasgow 6-6 245 Strong tight end with a big frame could easily develop into an offensive lineman. DeAngelo Brown DT Savannah, Ga. Savannah Christian 6-1 285 One of the top 15 DL in Georgia, Brown also had offers from GaTech, Miss. State and USF. Nick Dawson LB Charlotte, N.C. Berry Academy 6-3 228 The most physically impressive LB in the Army All-American game according to Rivals.com Abraham Garcia OL Miami, Fla. University 6-6 339 Big, physical lineman is nicknamed “Nacho.” A three-star lineman with several other BCS offers before he picked Louisville. Will Gardner QB Douglas, Ga. Coffee County 6-5 190 Louisville’s top choice at QB in the 2011 class. Also had offers from Alabama and Miss. State. DeAndre Herron OL Avon, Ind. Avon 6-5 325 Big, heavy and mean offensive lineman set a school record with seven pancakes in one game. Kevin Houchins DB South Euclid, Ohio Brush 5-11 175 Fast with speed to burn. Likely a cornerback, but could also return kicks. Larry Jefferson DE College Park, Ga. Banneker 6-5 218 Reminds of BJ Dubose or Aaron Epps. Tall, athletic lineman who will gain weight, strength. T.C. Klusman OL Cincinnati, Ohio Elder 6-4 270 Clone of Eric Wood? Maybe. Same height, same weight and same high school. Joe Manley OL Bowling Green, Ky. Bowling Green 6-7 307 Has a long way to go to live up to his massive potential. Raw but huge frame. Devontre Parnell DB Winnsboro, SC Fairfield Central 5-11 163 Four-star defensive back is among the best cover men in the nation for 2011. Brandon Radcliff RB Miami, Fla. Columbus 5-10 215 A power back, Radcliff chose Louisville over offers from Michigan State, Cincinnati and Maryland Sheldon Rankins DE Covington, Ga. Eastiside 6-3 260 Monster defensive end turned down half a dozen major SEC offers to pick Louisville Pedro Sibiea DE Homestead, Fla. Homestead 6-3 251 A big, physical defensive end, Sibiea claimed offers from Florida, Cincinnati, Minnesota and USF Brandon Snell WR Miami Gardens, Fla. Carol City 5-11 160 Could he be the fastest wide receiver in Florida for 2011? Maybe. Scouts really like him.
ALREADY ENROLLED PROSPECT POS HOMETOWN SCHOOL HT. Keith Brown LB Miami, Fla. Norland 6-1 Rated the No. 4 inside LB in America by Rivals.com, Brown turned down Alabama and Florida James Burgess LB Homestead, Fla. Homestead 6-0 Decommitted from Miami, he also had offers from UNC, Ole Miss and others. Gerald Christian TE West Palm Beach, Fla. Florida 6-3 The nation’s No. 2 tight end coming out of high school in 2010, according to Rivals.com Robert Clark WR/DB West Palm Beach, Fla. Florida 5-9 A speedy athlete, Clark could return kicks or play wideout or defensive back. Gerod Holliman DB Miami, Fla. Milford Academy 6-0 Four-star defensive back is ranked the No. 2 overall prep school athlete in the class of 2012. Ryan Hubbell TE Council Bluffs, Iowa Iowa Western CC 6-5 Will compete for playing time in spring practice. Matt Milton WR Mascoutah, Ill. Tennessee 6-5 A four-star wideout, he’ll walk on at UofL and sit out 2012 but will have two seasons left.
WT. 225 200 235 170 185 235 200
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
RIVALS.COM RANKS THE BIG EAST CLASSES
5. SOUTH FLORIDA
Headliner: Considering that quarterback Darius Hamilton of Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep was the first five-star signee in the program’s history, he is the obvious headliner in this class. What made his commitment even more impressive is that it came five days after coach Greg Schiano suddenly bolted for the NFL. Hamilton is a technician of the game and equally impressive physically. He should have no problem making an immediate impact for the Scarlet Knights.
Headliner: The coaching staff had to work overtime to keep his commitment solid, but grabbing the services of four-star tight end Sean Price was a huge victory for the Bulls. After committing back in June, Price received serious interest from many of the top regional programs, most notably Georgia. Finally signed, Price gives the Bulls a reliable pass-receiving threat at tight end and also an improving run blocker.
Sleeper: Derrick Nelson of Washington, D.C., was overshadowed by the commitments of Chris Muller and J.J. Denman, but he deserves to be noticed. Nelson is a bulldog of an offensive lineman who also has the athleticism to be a traditional pulling guard in Rutgers’ pro-style offense. Nelson may end up having just as much of an impact as the other offensive linemen in this class.
Sleeper: While still considered raw, there is no denying the potential of defensive end Daniel Perry of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School. Perry (6-7, 220) has to work on his upper body strength and needs time to fill out his frame, but he has shown surprising quickness and burst for someone his size.
Overview: This class would have been impressive if Schiano didn’t leave for the NFL, but considering that he left six days before National Signing Day, keeping this class together was borderline amazing. Then on top of that to add Hamilton, three-star wide receiver Ian Thomas and three-star athlete Jevon Tyree to close things out was even more impressive. The Scarlet Knights also did well in-state, keeping eight of the top 15 home, and in Eastern Pennsylvania, where they took advantage of the upheaval at Penn State. Hamilton joins Savon Huggins as the second consecutive No. 1-rated player in New Jersey to stay at home.
Overview: While he was overlooked by some because of Price, four-star wide receiver D’Vario Montgomery of Winter Park, Fla., will definitely make a name for himself in the Bulls offense. Montgomery (6-3, 215) is a physically impressive receiver who should become an immediate threat in the red zone. Both defensive tackle James Hamilton and defensive back Chris Bivins also have the ability to become early contributors. One of the more intriguing prospects in the Big East is athlete Guito Ervilus (6-5, 225), who can play either defensive end or tight end and hopes to get up to 250 pounds by the time summer camp begins.
Headliner: Coach Charlie Strong is known as a dynamic recruiter, especially in Florida, but he truly proved his talents by landing linebacker Nick Dawson from Charlotte (N.C.) Phillip O’ Berry Academy. Dawson (6-3, 228) moves extremely well for his size, especially laterally, closes very well to the ball and has impressive instincts.
Headliner: Bennie Coney will be counted on by Cincinnati fans to be the Bearcats’ quarterback of the future. Considered one of the top quarterbacks in Florida, Coney has a strong arm, makes good decisions and also is elusive in the open field. Already enrolled, Coney will have a jumpstart on making a positive impression on the coaching staff and fans.
Sleeper: Defensive end Pedro Sibiea committed to Louisville in December but had kept his mind open to other options. After listening to a handful of schools and taking an official visit to Minnesota, Sibiea signed with Louisville. After a tough showing at a few camps this summer, Sibiea turned it up a few notches during the fall and was able to show his true potential.
Sleeper: Listed as a defensive end, Alex Pace of Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville most likely will end up at defensive tackle down the road. Pace (6-2, 284) possesses surprising quickness and agile feet for his size. After a year or two in the strength and conditioning program at Cincinnati, he should be able to combine this athleticism with his improved strength to become a very good interior defensive lineman.
Overview: Although the Cardinals may have missed out on their expected Signing Day surprise, it still was an impressive class. Leading the way is the linebacker duo of Dawson and Keith Brown, while the duo of Larry Jefferson and Sheldon Rankins adds much-needed depth to the defensive line. On offense, Abraham Garcia, DeAndre Herron and T.C. Klusman give the Cardinals a young, talented nucleus on the offensive line, while quarterback Will Gardner, running back Brandon Radcliff and wide receiver Brandon Snell form a potentially dynamic trifecta of skill players.
Overview: The loss of four-star running back Dennis Norfleet to Michigan on Wednesday was definitely a blow, but even without Norfleet the Bearcats still brought in a deep class. The quarterbacks, Coney and Trenton Norvell, both have all of the tools to run UC’s spread offense, while offensive lineman Caleb Stacey has the potential to be an important part of the line for several years. Ey’Shawn McClain is a hard-hitting linebacker, and defensive lineman Ryan Leahy (6-6, 256) is an imposing presence coming off the edge.
Headliner: Being able to grab in-state, four-star running back Rushel Shell was a huge victory for the Panthers. The record-breaking Shell (Aliquippa Hopewell, Tony Dorsett’s alma mater) has the talent to make his mark this fall if necessary.
Headliner: Defensive back Wayne Morgan from Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall is a big name instate and a great get for the Orange. Morgan (5-11, 188) can play cornerback or safety and chose Syracuse over Big East rival UConn.
Sleeper: Defensive back Jahmahl Pardner committed to Pittsburgh without a great deal of hype, but he is the type of player who has the potential to shine early. Possessing the versatility to play either cornerback or safety in college, Pardner also excelled in the return game in high school, which should put him in line to be an early contributor.
Sleeper: Coming from Staten Island, wide receiver Alvin Cornelius slid under the radar of a lot of schools. But he was identified early by Syracuse and committed during the summer. Cornelius (6-2, 190) possesses a nice combination of size, speed and fundamentals, which should make him a candidate for playing time in 2012.
Overview: Even while dealing with yet another coaching departure this off-season, new coach Paul Chryst pulled the class together at the end and produced a solid product. Helping the class on Signing Day was the addition of four-star linebacker Deaysean Rippy, who picked the Panthers over West Virginia. Adding Rippy to in-state stars Shell and offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty, as well as four-star quarterback Chad Voytik from Tennessee, laid the groundwork for future recruiting success at Pittsburgh.
Overview: With help needed on the defensive line, the Orange hit the JUCO ranks for two prospects, end Markus Pierce-Brewster and tackle Zian Jones, both of whom will be counted on to contribute immediately. Help for the secondary also was brought in with Morgan and Julian Whigham, who should get long, hard looks during summer practice. Offensively, running back George Morris of Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett will bring a skillset to Syracuse that should give him an opportunity for early playing time. Cornelius and tight end Ron Thompson have potential, while Devante McFarlane has game-breaking abilities and can play several positions.
4. WEST VIRGINIA
Headliner: Ignoring late overtures from Ohio State, wide receiver Deontay McManus of Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar brings another explosive weapon to the Mountaineers passing attack. Unlike many of the smaller, quicker receivers they currently have, however, McManus will bring size and strength to the position and an additional weapon in the red zone. Sleeper: Cornerback Nana Kyeremeh of Worthington (Ohio) Thomas Worthington was a very nice addition for the West Virginia coaching staff. Kyeremeh (5-11, 170) needs to improve his overall body strength, but he already has good athleticism, shows natural instincts and plays with impressive field smarts. Overview: As can be expected with coach Dana Holgorsen, obtaining more offensive firepower is always a priority. Aside from McManus, Travares Copeland, Devonte Mathis and Devonte Robinson will add even more depth to the receiving corps, while Will Johnson, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound tight end, should add a new element. Defensively, Karl Joseph is a hardnosed cornerback from Florida and should help on special teams immediately. On the defensive line, Christian Brown and Imarjaye Albury are powerful tackles who have the potential to be productive contributors against the run, while Korey Harris is a prototypical speed-rushing end who loves to get after the quarterback.
Headliner: Grabbing in-state quarterback Casey Cochran was an important victory for the Huskies. Aside from keeping the record-setting player in state, it also gives the Huskies another possible answer to their lingering quarterback concerns. Having enrolled for the spring semester, Cochran surely will be allowed to showcase his talents during spring practice with the hopes of maybe getting him early playing time this fall. Sleeper: Defensive end Brendan Battles may be known more as a wrestler than as a football player at the moment, but he should be able to flourish once he is able to devote all of his time to the gridiron. Possessing fantastic athleticism, toughness and quick feet, Battles may take a little time to make the transition fully, but he has a chance to be a major contributor. Overview: Despite a couple of late losses, this is still a group that should answer a lot of UConn’s needs. Cochran and Chandler Whitmer are quarterbacks with potential, and with both already enrolled, watching that battle through the spring and summer should be interesting. Another early enrollee is running back Joseph Williams, who slipped under the radar for some programs at Fork Union Military Academy. Williams (6-0, 200) is game-ready and should be able to contribute immediately. A stable of talented linebackers was brought in, plus several athletic defensive backs, such as Jhavon Williams and Obi Melifonwu. Not to be forgotten, one of the best kickers in the Southeast, Bobby Puyol, should help continue the Huskies’ solid special teams play.
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
RIVALS.COM TOP 250 2012 FOOTBALL RECRUITS Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125
Name Dorial Green-Beckham D.J. Humphries Mario Edwards Shaq Thompson Johnathan Gray Jonathan Bullard Eddie Goldman Stefon Diggs Noah Spence Jameis Winston Darius Hamilton T.J. Yeldon Tracy Howard Ondre Pipkins Trey Williams Zach Banner Landon Collins Nelson Agholor Kyle Murphy Gunner Kiel Ellis McCarthy Kyle Kalis John Theus Eddie Williams Adolphus Washington Malcom Brown Aziz Shittu Dante Fowler Jr. Jordan Simmons Randy Johnson Josh Harvey-Clemons Andrus Peat Joshua Garnett Thomas Johnson Cyler Miles Chris Casher Devin Fuller Mario Pender Kendall Sanders Jabari Ruffin Cayleb Jones Todd Gurley Reggie Ragland Zach Kline Amari Cooper Max Tuerk Ukeme Eligwe Keith Marshall Deontay Greenberry Eli Harold Channing Ward Isaac Seumalo Leonard Williams Kent Taylor Rushel Shell Jordan Jenkins Alex Carter Chris Black Tanner Mangum Travis Blanks Arik Armstead Durron Neal Mike Davis Tommy Schutt Javonte Magee Shaq Roland Kennedy Estelle Ronald Darby DeVante Harris Marcus Maye D.J. Foster Jonathan Taylor Vince Biegel Avery Young Germone Hopper Tee Shepard Noor Davis Erik Magnuson Cyrus Jones Brian Poole Bryce Treggs Kevon Seymour Deon Bush Joel Caleb Yuri Wright LaDarrell McNeil Gabriel Marks Geno Smith Nick Dawson JaQuay Williams Kwontie Moore Tyriq McCord Jordan Payton Raphael Kirby Se’von Pittman Curtis Riser Alex Balducci Ryan Anderson Ifeadi Odenigbo Chris Muller J.C. Coleman Joey O’Connor Aaron Burbridge Carlos Watkins Dillon Lee Jelani Hamilton Davonte Neal Jessamen Dunker Chad Voytik Amos Leggett Joe Bolden Bralon Addison Elijah Shumate Byron Marshall Camrhon Hughes Angelo Jean-Louis Ishmael Adams P.J. Williams Matt Davis Dante Phillips Hassan Ridgeway Denzel Devall Ricky Parks KeiVarae Russell Torshiro Davis
Pos WR OL DT DB RB DE DT WR DE QB DE RB DB DT RB OL DB WR OL QB DT OL OL ATH DE DT DE DE OL RB ATH OL OL WR QB DE ATH RB ATH LB WR RB LB QB WR OL LB RB WR DE DE OL DE TE RB DE DB WR QB DB DE WR RB DT DE WR OL DB DB DB ATH DT LB OL WR DB LB OL ATH DB WR DB DB ATH DB DB WR DB LB WR LB DE WR LB DE OL DE LB DE OL RB OL WR DT LB DE WR OL QB DB LB WR DB RB OL ATH DB DB QB DT DE LB TE ATH LB
Location High School Springfield, MO Hillcrest Charlotte, NC Mallard Creek Denton, TX Ryan Sacramento, CA Grant Aledo, TX Aledo Shelby, NC Crest Washington, DC Friendship Collegiate Olney, MD Good Counsel Harrisburg, PA Bishop McDevitt Hueytown, AL Hueytown Ramsey, NJ Don Bosco Prep Daphne, AL Daphne Miramar, FL Miramar Kansas City, MO Park Hill Spring, TX Dekaney Lakewood, WA Lakes Geismar, LA Dutchtown Tampa, FL Berkeley Prep San Clemente, CA San Clemente Columbus, IN East Monrovia, CA Monrovia Lakewood, OH St. Edward Jacksonville, FL Bolles Panama City, FL Arnold Cincinnati, OH Taft Brenham, TX Brenham Atwater, CA St. Petersburg, FL Encino, CA Crespi Miami, FL Miami Norland Valdosta, GA Lowndes Tempe, AZ Corona Del Sol Puyallup, WA Puyallup Dallas, TX Skyline Denver, CO Mullen Mobile, AL Davidson Old Tappan, NJ Old Tappan Cape Coral, FL Island Coast Athens, TX Athens Downey, CA Downey Austin, TX Austin Tarboro, NC Tarboro Madison, AL Bob Jones Danville, CA San Ramon Valley Miami, FL Northwestern Santa Margarita, CA Santa Margarita Stone Mountain, GA Stone Mountain Raleigh, NC Millbrook Fresno, CA Washington Union Virginia Beach, VA Ocean Lakes Aberdeen, MS Aberdeen Corvallis, OR Corvallis Daytona Beach, FL Mainland Land O’Lakes, FL Land O’ Lakes Aliquippa, PA Hopewell Hamilton, GA Harris County Ashburn, VA Briar Woods Jacksonville, FL First Coast Eagle, ID Eagle Tallahassee, FL North Florida Christian Elk Grove, CA Pleasant Grove St. Louis, MO DeSmet Stone Mountain, GA Stephenson Glen Ellyn, IL Glenbard West San Antonio, TX Sam Houston Lexington, SC Lexington Pearland, TX Dawson Oxon Hill, MD Potomac Mesquite, TX Horn Melbourne, FL Holy Trinity Scottsdale, AZ Saguaro Millen, GA Jenkins County Wisconsin Rapids, WI Wisconsin Rapids Palm Beach Gardens, FL Palm Beach Gardens Charlotte, NC Phillip O Berry Acad Of Tech Fresno, CA Washington Union Leesburg, FL Leesburg Carlsbad, CA La Costa Canyon Baltimore, MD Gilman School Bradenton, FL Southeast Bellflower, CA St. John Bosco Pasadena, CA Muir Miami, FL Columbus Midlothian, VA Clover Hill Ramsey, NJ Don Bosco Prep Dallas, TX Wilmer-Hutchins Los Angeles, CA Venice Atlanta, GA St Pius X School Charlotte, NC Phillip O Berry Acad Of Tech Tyrone, GA Sandy Creek Norfolk, VA Norfolk Christian School Tampa, FL Jefferson Westlake Village, CA Oaks Christian Stone Mountain, GA Stephenson Canton, OH McKinley DeSoto, TX DeSoto Portland, OR Central Catholic Daphne, AL Daphne Centerville, OH Centerville Boyertown, PA Boyertown Area Senior Chesapeake, VA Oscar Smith Windsor, CO Windsor Farmington Hills, MI Harrison Forest City, NC Chase Buford, GA Buford Fort Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas Scottsdale, AZ Chaparral Boynton Beach, FL Boynton Beach Cleveland, TN Cleveland Miami, FL South Miami Cincinnati, OH Colerain Missouri City, TX Hightower East Orange, NJ Don Bosco Prep San Jose, CA Valley Christian Harker Heights, TX Harker Heights Wellington, FL Palm Beach Central Westlake Village, CA Oaks Christian Ocala, FL Vanguard Houston, TX Klein Forest Venice, FL Venice Mansfield, TX Mansfield Bastrop, LA Bastrop Hogansville, GA Callaway Everett, WA Mariner Woodlawn Shreveport, LA
Stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Ht 6’6” 6’5” 6’4” 6’2” 5’11” 6’4” 6’4” 6’0” 6’4” 6’4” 6’4” 6’2” 5’11” 6’3” 5’8” 6’9” 5’11” 6’2” 6’7” 6’4” 6’5” 6’5” 6’6” 6’4” 6’4” 6’2” 6’3” 6’3” 6’5” 5’9” 6’5” 6’7” 6’5” 6’0” 6’4” 6’4” 6’0” 6’0” 6’1” 6’4” 6’3” 6’1” 6’4” 6’2” 6’1” 6’6” 6’3” 5’11” 6’3” 6’4” 6’4” 6’3” 6’5” 6’5” 6’0” 6’3” 6’0” 5’11” 6’3” 6’1” 6’8” 6’1” 5’10” 6’2” 6’5” 6’1” 6’7” 5’11” 5’11” 6’1” 5’11” 6’4” 6’3” 6’6” 6’0” 6’1” 6’4” 6’6” 5’11” 5’11” 5’11” 6’0” 6’1” 6’2” 6’2” 6’1” 6’0” 5’11” 6’3” 6’3” 6’2” 6’3” 6’2” 6’0” 6’5” 6’3” 6’4” 6’3” 6’4” 6’6” 5’7” 6’4” 6’1” 6’4” 6’4” 6’5” 5’10” 6’6” 6’1” 6’0” 6’2” 5’10” 6’1” 5’10” 6’6” 6’0” 5’10” 6’1” 6’2” 6’6” 6’4” 6’2” 6’3” 6’0” 6’3”
Wt 220 265 275 210 190 255 307 185 245 200 245 205 175 325 175 310 199 180 275 220 311 302 292 204 230 280 275 232 333 180 208 305 295 180 220 225 185 185 175 230 198 195 245 210 175 294 210 190 187 215 250 280 254 220 210 245 193 170 195 195 280 195 200 301 262 170 300 172 160 195 190 315 210 273 165 180 233 275 183 187 171 180 185 201 180 190 175 180 228 204 243 222 199 208 245 283 262 250 210 287 169 295 175 275 220 250 175 315 183 175 225 182 205 195 269 185 185 175 202 268 250 236 230 170 222
School Missouri Florida Florida St. Washington Texas Florida Florida St. list Ohio St. Florida St. Rutgers Alabama Miami (FL) Michigan Texas A&M USC Alabama USC Stanford Notre Dame UCLA Michigan Georgia Alabama Ohio St. Texas Stanford Florida USC Miami (FL) Georgia Stanford Stanford Texas A&M Washington Florida St. UCLA Florida St. Texas USC Texas Georgia Alabama California Alabama USC Florida St. Georgia Houston Virginia Mississippi Oregon St. USC Florida Pittsburgh Georgia Stanford Alabama BYU Clemson Oregon Oklahoma South Carolina Ohio St. Baylor South Carolina Texas Florida St. Texas A&M Florida Arizona St. Georgia Wisconsin Auburn Clemson Notre Dame Stanford Michigan Alabama Florida California USC Miami (FL) Virginia Tech Colorado Tennessee Washington St. Alabama Louisville Auburn Virginia Miami (FL) UCLA Miami (FL) Ohio St. Texas Oregon Alabama Northwestern Rutgers Virginia Tech Ohio St. Michigan St. Clemson Alabama Miami (FL) list Florida Pittsburgh Marshall Michigan Oregon Notre Dame Oregon Texas Miami (FL) UCLA Florida St. Texas A&M Florida Texas Alabama Auburn Notre Dame Texas
Rank 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250
Name Otha Peters Peter Jinkens Scott Starr Orlando Thomas Drae Bowles Sterling Shepard Mike Matthews Keith Brown Barry Sanders Justin Shanks Jovon Robinson John Michael McGee Bri’onte Dunn D’Vario Montgomery Donaldven Manning Eugene Lewis Jaydon Mickens Brandon Beaver Alex Ross Pio Vatuvei Josh Perry Paul Thurston Evan Boehm Dalvin Tomlinson Chad Kelly Tyler Hayes Cedric Dozier Dan Voltz Pharaoh Brown Colin Blake Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick Anthony Alford Sean Price David Perkins Brian Kimbrow Danny O’Brien Deon Clarke Ty Darlington Dwayne Stanford Jake Rodrigues Leonte Carroo Camren Williams Dwayne Thomas Deontay McManus Devonte Fields Dominique Wheeler James Ross Jaleel Johnson Tyler Matthews Michael Starts Ronnie Stanley Leonard Floyd Kyle Dodson Trevor Knight Joshua Holsey Freddie Tagaloa Ryan Ward Ricardo Louis Royce Jenkins-Stone Kenyan Drake Malcolm Lewis Colin Thompson Wes Brown Taylor McNamara Matt Jones Michael Moore Greg McMullen Warren Ball Christo Kourtzidis Jonathan Williams Davante Bourque William Mahone Darreus Rogers Jarron Jones Quay Evans Brandon Fanaika Zac Brooks Adam Bisnowaty Antonio Morrison Ereck Flowers Korren Kirven Graham Shuler Jordan Watkins Ken Ekanem Daje Johnson Devian Shelton Shane Callahan Edward Pope Kyle Kelley Amara Darboh Derrick Woods Trey Edmunds Latroy Pittman Armani Reeves Jeremi Powell Taylor Decker Kenny Lawler Quinshad Davis Terry Richardson Patrick Miller Darius Powe Javon Williams Cedrick Poutasi Deion Bonner Jody Fuller Lamar Louis Corey Coleman Justin Thomas Vadal Alexander Marvin Bracy Dennis Norfleet Reginald Davis Lacy Westbrook Troy Hinds Justin Thomas Shaquille Powell Caleb Azubike Eric Striker Sheldon Day Cassanova McKinzy Jason Croom Avery Johnson Win Homer Faith Ekakitie Jeff Lindquist
Pos LB LB LB ATH WR WR OL LB RB DT RB OL RB WR DB WR ATH DB RB DE LB OL OL DT QB LB ATH OL TE DB TE QB TE ATH RB DT LB OL WR QB WR LB DB WR DE WR LB DT QB DE OL DE OL QB DB OL OL WR LB RB WR TE RB TE RB DE DE RB TE RB ATH RB WR DT DT OL ATH OL LB OL DT OL DT LB ATH DB OL ATH DE WR WR LB WR DB LB OL WR WR DB OL WR WR OL DB WR ATH WR ATH OL WR RB WR OL DE DB RB DE LB DT LB WR WR OL DE QB
Location Covington, LA Dallas, TX Norco, CA Copperas Cove, TX Jackson, TN Oklahoma City, OK Missouri City, TX Miami, FL Oklahoma City, OK Prattville, AL Memphis, TN Texarkana, TX Canton, OH Winter Park, FL Miami, FL Plymouth, PA Los Angeles, CA Compton, CA Jenks, OK Patterson, CA Galena, OH Arvada, CO Lee’s Summit, MO McDonough, GA Buffalo, NY Thomasville, AL Lakewood, WA Barrington, IL Lyndhurst, OH San Antonio, TX Rocklin, CA Petal, MS Citra, FL South Bend, IN Memphis, TN Flint, MI Chesterfield, VA Apopka, FL Cincinnati, OH Rocklin, CA Ramsey, NJ West Roxbury, MA New Orleans, LA O. Baltimore, MD Arlington, TX Crockett, TX Orchard Lake, MI Lombard, IL McPherson, KS Waco, TX Las Vegas, NV Eastman, GA Cleveland, OH San Antonio, TX Fairburn, GA Richmond, CA New Lenox, IL Miami Beach, FL Detroit, MI Powder Springs, GA Miramar, FL Warminster, PA Olney, MD San Diego, CA Seffner, FL Hyattsville, MD Akron, OH Columbus, OH St. Orange, CA Allen, TX Crowley, LA Austintown, OH Carson, CA Rochester, NY Morton, MS Pleasant Grove, UT Jonesboro, AR Pittsburgh, PA Bolingbrook, IL Miami, FL Lynchburg, VA Brentwood, TN College Park, GA Clifton, VA Pflugerville, TX Inglewood, CA Parker, CO Carthage, TX Irvine, CA West Des Moines, IA Inglewood, CA Ringgold, VA Citra, FL West Roxbury, MA Largo, FL Vandalia, OH Upland, CA Gaffney, SC Detroit, MI West Palm Beach, FL Lakewood, CA Chandler, AZ Las Vegas, NV Columbus, GA Monroe, NC Breaux Bridge, LA Richardson, TX Prattville, AL Buford, GA Orlando, FL Detroit, MI Tenaha, TX Compton, CA Kaysville, UT Orange, TX Las Vegas, NV Nashville, TN Seffner, FL Indianapolis, IN Birmingham, AL Norcross, GA Pompano Beach, FL Christchurch, VA Lake Forest, IL Mercer Island, WA
High School Covington Skyline Norco Copperas Cove Jackson Christian Heritage Hall Elkins Miami Norland Heritage Hall Prattville Wooddale Texas Glenoak Winter Park Miami Central Wyoming Valley Dorsey Dominguez Jenks Patterson Olentangy Arvada West Lee’s Summit West Henry County St. Joseph’s Thomasville Lakes Barrington Brush Brandeis Whitney Petal North Marion Washington Memphis East Powers Catholic Lloyd C Bird Apopka Taft Whitney Don Bosco Prep Catholic Memorial Perry Walker Dunbar Martin Crockett St. Mary’s Montini Mcpherson La Vega Bishop Gorman Dodge County Cleveland Heights Ronald Reagan Creekside Salesian Providence Catholic Miami Beach Cass Tech Hillgrove Miramar Archbishop Wood Catholic Our Lady Of Good Counsel Westview Armwood DeMatha Hoban Francis DeSales Lutheran Allen Crowley Austintown Fitch Carson Aquinas Institute Morton Pleasant Jonesboro Senior Fox Chapel Area Bolingbrook Miami Norland Brookville Brentwood Academy Woodward Academy Centreville Hendrickson Inglewood Chaparral Carthage Woodbridge Dowling Inglewood Dan River North Marion Catholic Pinellas Park Butler Upland Gaffney Cass Tech Dwyer Lakewood Chandler Desert Pines Carver Sun Valley Breaux Bridge Pearce Prattville Buford Boone Martin Luther King Tenaha Dominguez Davis West Orange-Stark Bishop Gorman McGavock Armwood Warren Central Woodlawn Norcross Blanche Ely Christchurch Lake Forest Academy Mercer Island
Stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Ht 6’1” 6’1” 6’3” 5’11” 6’1” 5’10” 6’3” 6’1” 5’11” 6’3” 6’0” 6’4” 6’2” 6’3” 5’9” 6’2” 5’8” 6’1” 6’1” 6’2” 6’4” 6’5” 6’3” 6’2” 6’3” 6’3” 5’11” 6’5” 6’6” 6’3” 6’5” 6’1” 6’4” 6’2” 5’9” 6’2” 6’2” 6’3” 6’5” 6’3” 6’1” 6’2” 6’1” 6’2” 6’4” 6’1” 6’0” 6’2” 6’3” 6’4” 6’7” 6’4” 6’6” 6’3” 5’9” 6’8” 6’6” 6’2” 6’2” 6’1” 5’10” 6’5” 6’1” 6’5” 6’3” 6’4” 6’5” 6’2” 6’4” 5’11” 6’3” 5’11” 6’2” 6’7” 6’3” 6’2” 6’2” 6’6” 6’3” 6’6” 6’4” 6’5” 6’5” 6’3” 5’10” 6’1” 6’6” 6’3” 6’3” 6’2” 6’1” 6’2” 6’1” 5’9” 6’2” 6’8” 6’3” 6’3” 5’9” 6’7” 6’2” 6’5” 6’5” 5’11” 6’0” 6’0” 5’11” 5’11” 6’6” 5’10” 5’7” 6’1” 6’5” 6’4” 5’9” 5’9” 6’5” 6’1” 6’2” 6’2” 6’5” 6’2” 6’5” 6’2” 6’3”
Wt 221 208 225 175 198 175 260 225 190 306 215 260 215 215 163 181 170 176 205 265 228 274 290 270 208 215 175 289 220 185 250 205 232 225 165 293 205 275 185 210 205 215 170 215 240 176 209 277 205 282 285 215 315 195 171 300 270 190 215 195 170 255 200 235 225 255 255 200 230 205 200 205 194 308 295 293 180 275 220 315 272 275 265 226 185 185 277 170 230 190 180 205 190 185 200 313 175 180 160 260 186 175 322 185 200 220 180 175 310 162 170 185 300 235 170 195 240 195 286 224 212 180 245 255 235
School Arkansas Texas USC Texas Tennessee Oklahoma Texas A&M Louisville Stanford Florida St. Auburn Oklahoma Ohio St. South Florida Virginia Tech Penn St. Washington Washington Oklahoma Washington Ohio St. Nebraska Missouri Alabama Clemson Alabama California Wisconsin Oregon Florida St. USC Southern Miss South Florida Ohio St. Vanderbilt Tennessee Virginia Tech Oklahoma Oregon Oregon Rutgers Ohio St. LSU West Virginia TCU Texas Tech Michigan Iowa TCU Texas Tech Notre Dame Georgia Ohio St. Oklahoma Auburn California Iowa Auburn Michigan Alabama Miami (FL) Florida Maryland Oklahoma Florida Virginia Nebraska Ohio St. Florida St. Arkansas Tennessee Notre Dame USC Notre Dame Mississippi St. Stanford Clemson Pittsburgh Florida Miami (FL) Alabama Stanford Stanford Virginia Tech Texas USC Auburn Texas A&M Arizona Michigan Oklahoma Virginia Tech Florida Ohio St. Florida Ohio St. California North Carolina Michigan Auburn California UCLA Utah Tennessee South Carolina LSU Baylor Georgia Tech LSU Florida St. Michigan Texas Tech UCLA BYU Utah Duke Vanderbilt Oklahoma Notre Dame Auburn Tennessee LSU Boston Coll. Iowa Washington
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
GAMEDAY PREVIEW - WEST VIRGINIA
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
BREAKING DOWN THE MOUNTAINEERS
FEBRUARY 11 Louisville at WVU 12 PM Noon
By Howie Lindsey This was billed as “a transition year” at West Virginia, but with Bob Huggins as a coach that still means a team that plays disciplined offense, hard-nosed defense, gets after it on the boards and wins more than its share. HEAD COACH BOB HUGGINS The Mountaineers, who were picked to finish seventh in the Big East in a preseason poll of coaches, are in eighth place in the league at 6-5 through last Sunday, when they snapped a three-game losing streak with an 87-84 victory in overtime at Providence. Overall they are 16-8. WVU is doing it with good shooting (45.5 percent, 96th in the country) and rebounding (+6.5 rebounding margin, 25thin the country), unselfish team play (15.3 assists per game, 32nd in the country), and good three-point defense (30.4 percent, 41st in the country). The Mountaineers also have two potent senior scorers in Kevin Jones, who leads the Big East and is 10th in the country in scoring at 20.8 ppg, and Truck Bryant, who is averaging 17.6 ppg, 79th in the country. Against Providence WVU rallied from a 15-point, first-half deficit to force OT on Bryant’s baseline-to-baseline driving layup with 11 seconds left, then won it on Bryant’s three-pointer with 3.3 seconds left in OT. He drove the length of the court on his last shot, too. “We didn’t play particularly well but were able to win,” said Huggins. “…Somehow we are able to figure out a way to win…. I thought once we got it to overtime our guys felt really good about being able to win the game.” WVU now is 4-1 in overtime games this season, beating Kansas State, Missouri State, Cincinnati and Providence and losing to Baylor. “Hopefully, this game will get us back on track and back where we’ve got to go because I think everyone knows how hard our schedule is down the stretch with Notre Dame on Wednesday and Louisville on Saturday,” said Huggins. Both games will be in Morgantown. GUARDS The 6-2 Bryant is shooting just 37.8 percent overall and 32.6 percent on treys, but you wouldn’t have known that Sunday against Providence, when he was 11 of 22 overall, 5 of 12 on treys, and scored 32 points. He’s averaging 2.9 assists a game, third on the team, and 3.0 rebounds, fourth on the team. The other backcourt starter is 5-11 freshman Jabarie Hinds, who’s averaging 8.0 ppg, fourth on the team, and a team-leading 3.46 assists a game. He’s shooting 44.7 percent overall, 33.3 percent on treys. The top backcourt sub is 6-1 freshman Gary Browne, who’s averaging 6.6 ppg and 3.04 assists, second on the team. He’s
shooting 43.7 percent overall but just 29.4 percent on treys. He had a team-high six assists against Providence. BIG MEN The 6-8 Jones, in addition to being a prolific scorer, averages 11.5 rebounds a game, which is fourth in the country. He is shooting 53.9 percent overall, which is 47th in the country, but just 28.0 percent on treys. He made just 1 of 6 treys against Providence while scoring 20 points. The starting center is Deniz Kilicli, a burly, bearded 6-9 senior from Istanbul, Turkey, who is averaging 11.0 ppg, third on the team, and 5.6 rpg. He’s shooting 50.5 percent and has not tried a trey. He had 22 points against Providence. The other starter up front is 6-6 freshman Keaton Miles (1.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg), who’s shooting just 30 percent overall and is 0 for 6 on treys. The top frontcourt sub is 6-5 freshman Aaron Brown (4.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg). Also seeing action are 6-10 freshman Kevin Noreen (2.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and 6-8 junior Dominique Rutledge (1.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg). TEAM STRENGTHS Rebounding and three-point defense, as noted above. TEAM WEAKNESSES The Mountaineers don’t shoot it very well from long range or from the charity stripe. They average 32.5 percent from threepoint range, which is 228th in the country, and 65.1 percent on free throws, 271st in the country. STAR Jones is having a first-team All-American-type season. He has 15 double-doubles, second in the country to Siena’s O. D. Anosike’s 17. Bryant is playing an award-worthy supporting role. COACHING RESUME Huggins, 59, has compiled a 709-261 (.731) record through Sunday and is in his 30th season as a head coach, with stints at Walsh College (1980-83), Akron (1984-1989), Cincinnati (1989-2005), Kansas State (2006-07) and West Virginia (2007-present). He ranks fourth in victories and 11th in winning percentage among active Division I head coaches. Huggins’ teams have participated in postseason play in 26 of his 29 seasons, including 19 NCAA tournaments. He has been to the Final Four twice, once with Cincinnati (1992) and once with West Virginia (2010), his alma mater. His squads have won 20 or more games in all but four of his 29 campaigns, including 30 or more twice. ALL-TIME SERIES UofL and WVU have met 12 times in a series that dates to 1959, when the Mountaineers beat the Cards 94-79 in the Final Four behind the great Jerry West’s 39 points. The teams split last season, with UofL rallying from an 11-point, second-half deficit to win 55-54 on Jan. 26 in the Yum! Center, then blowing a five-point lead with 18 seconds left to lose 72-70 on March 5 at WVU.
2011-12 WEST VIRGINIA BASKETBALL ROSTER NO 12 14 25 20 4 5 13 23 55 24 34 1 3
NAME BROWN, AARON BROWNE, GARY BRYANT, DARRYL FORSYTHE, PAT HINDS, JABARIE JONES, KEVIN KILICLI, DENIZ MCCUNE, TOMMIE MILES, KEATON MURRAY, AARIC NOREEN, KEVIN RUTLEDGE, DOMINIQUE STATEN, JUWAN
POS F G G C G F F F F C F F G
HT 6-5 6-1 6-2 6-11 5-11 6-8 6-9 6-8 6-6 6-10 6-10 6-8 6-1
WT 205 185 195 240 175 260 260 205 205 240 245 240 185
EXP (L) FR (HS) FR (HS) SR (3V) FR (HS) FR (HS) SR (3V) JR (2V) FR (HS) FR (HS) JR (2V) FR (1V) JR (2V) SO (1V)
HOMETOWN (SCHOOL) DARBY, PA (PENN WOOD HS) TRUJILLO ALTO, PUERTO RICO (ARLINGTON COUNTRY DAY) BROOKLYN, NY (ST. RAYMOND’S HS) BRUNSWICK, OH (BRUNSWICK HS) MOUNT VERNON, NY (MOUNT VERNON HS) MOUNT VERNON, NY (MOUNT VERNON HS) ISTANBUL, TURKEY (MOUNTAIN STATE ACADEMY) SAGINAW, MI (SAGINAW HS) DALLAS, TX (LINCOLN HS) PHILADELPHIA, PA (LA SALLE) MINNEAPOLIS, MN (MINNESOTA TRANSITIONS CHARTER SCHOOL) NEWARK, NJ (WESTERN TEXAS COLLEGE) DAYTON, OH (DAYTON)
Coach: Bob Huggins Last Season: 21-12, 11-7 Big East Overall Record: 709-261 (30th year) At WVU: 117-50 (5th year) Huggins has Mountaineers ready for final Big East season
2011-12 SCHEDULE DATE NOVEMBER Nov 11 Nov 15 Nov 17 Nov 22 Nov 28
Oral Roberts Kent St. Alcorn St. Morehead St. Akron
W, 78-71 L, 70-60 W, 97-62 W, 83-48 W, 77-56
DECEMBER Dec 3 Dec 8 Dec 10 Dec 17 Dec 19 Dec 22 Dec 23 Dec 28 Dec 30
@Mississippi St. @Kansas St. Miami (Fla.) Texas A&M-CC Tennessee Tech Missouri St. Baylor Villanova @Seton Hall
L, 75-62 W, 85-80 W, 77-66 W, 84-64 W, 72-53 W, 70-68 L, 83-81 W, 83-69 L, 67-48
JANUARY Jan 4 Jan 7 Jan 9 Jan 14 Jan 18 Jan 21 Jan 25 Jan 28 Jan 30
@Rutgers Georgetown @Connecticut Rutgers @Marshall Cincinnati @St. John´s (N.Y.) @Syracuse Pittsburgh
W, 85-64 W, 74-62 L, 64-57 W, 84-60 W, 78-62 W, 77-74 L, 78-62 L, 63-61 L, 72-66
FEBRUARY Feb 5 Feb 8 Feb 11 Feb 16 Feb 22 Feb 24 Feb 28
@Providence Notre Dame Louisville @Pittsburgh @Notre Dame Marquette DePaul
W, 87-84 9:00 pm 12:00 pm 9:00 pm 7:00 pm 9:00 pm 7:00 pm
MARCH Mar 3
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
GAMEDAY PREVIEW - SYRACUSE
2011-12 SCHEDULE DATE NOVEMBER Nov 12 Nov 14 Nov 19 Nov 29
Fordham Manhattan Colgate Eastern Mich.
W, 78-53 W, 92-56 W, 92-47 W, 84-48
DECEMBER Dec 2 Dec 6 Dec 10 Dec 17 Dec 20 Dec 22 Dec 28
Florida Marshall G. Washington @N.C. State Bucknell Tulane Seton Hall
W, 72-68 W, 62-56 W, 85-50 W, 88-72 W, 80-61 W, 80-61 W, 75-49
JANUARY Jan 1 Jan 4 Jan 7 Jan 11 Jan 14 Jan 16 Jan 21 Jan 23 Jan 28
@DePaul @Providence Marquette @Villanova Providence Pittsburgh @Notre Dame @Cincinnati West Virginia
W, 87-68 W, 87-73 W, 73-66 W, 79-66 W, 78-55 W, 71-63 L, 67-58 W, 60-53 W, 63-61
FEBRUARY Feb 4 Feb 8 Feb 11 Feb 13 Feb 19 Feb 22 Feb 25
@St. John’s (N.Y.) Georgetown Connecticut @Louisville @Rutgers South Florida @Connecticut
W, 95-70 7:00 pm 1:00 pm 7:00 pm 1:00 pm 7:00 pm 9:00 pm
MARCH Mar 3
BREAKING DOWN THE ORANGE By Rick Cushing What can you say about Syracuse that hasn’t already been said? The Orange has virtually been conceded the Big East regular-season championship, it is currently ranked No. 2 in the country after being No. 1 for a good part of the season, and it appears to be a lock for a No. 1 seed in the HEAD COACH JIM BOEHEIM NCAA Tournament. Yet Syracuse lacks an individual star. The Orange does not have a player in the top 20 in scoring or rebounding in the Big East. What Syracuse does have is an aggregation of very good players. “This is the most depth I’ve ever had,” said Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. That depth allows the Orange to go 10 deep, and any one of the 10 can beat you. “The intensity level and competition level (in practice) is out of this world,” said senior forward Kris Joseph. Syracuse does rank highly in a host of team statistics. It leads the nation in turnover margin (+7.2), is second in steals per game (10.3) third in blocked shots per game (7.4), fifth in scoring margin (17.0), 14th in field-goal percentage defense (38.4) and 27th in field-goal percentage (47.8). The Orange opened the season with a school-record 20 straight victories before suffering a 67-58 loss at Notre Dame, which has one of the top home-court advantages in the nation (the Irish have won 31 of their past 32 home games). Additionally, Syracuse was playing without starting 7-0 center Fab Melo, who has since returned. Boeheim has won one national title, but Syracuse has not fared well in the NCAA tourney in recent years. Last year it was bounced in the first round by Marquette. This year’s team has vowed to make amends. Through last Sunday the Orange was 23-1, 10-1. It will play host to Georgetown Wednesday and Connecticut Saturday before visiting UofL next Monday. GUARDS Dion Waiters, a 6-4 sophomore, is second on the team in scoring at 12.3 ppg but comes off the bench. He leads the team in steals at 2.3 a game, which is fourth in the Big East and 23rd in the country. He’s shooting 49.1 percent overall, 35.3 on treys and averages 2.63 assists, third on the team. Brandon Triche, a 6-4 junior who starts, is averaging 10.0 ppg, third on the team, and 2.96 assists, second on the team. He’s shooting 43.7 percent overall, a team-leading 38.4 percent on treys, and leads the team in free-throw shooting at 87 percent. Scoop Jardine, a 6-2 senior who starts, is averaging 8.5 ppg, tied for fourth on the team, and leads in assists at 4.75 a game. He has made just 49 turnovers, giving him an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.48-1, 23rd in the nation. In Big East play he’s averaging 6.3 assists a game. He’s shooting 50.3 percent overall, 32.8 on treys, but has a free-throw percentage of only .511, The other top sub in the backcourt is 6-5 freshman Michael Carter-Williams (3.3 ppg), who did have eight assists in a game this season. BIG MEN This is where Syracuse can really come at you, with six quality players.
Kris Joseph, a 6-7 senior, leads the team in scoring at 13.7 ppg and is third in rebounding at 4.9 rpg. He’s shooting 44.3 percent overall, 33.7 on treys. C.J. Fair, a 6-8 sophomore who comes off the bench, is is tied for fourth on the team in scoring at 8.5 ppg and is second in rebounding at 5.0 rpg. He’s shooting 47.5 percent overall but just 27.8 on treys. James Southerland, a 6-8 junior who comes off the bench, is averaging 7.6 ppg, sixth on the team, and 3.3 rpg, tied for fourth. He’s shooting 47.7 percent overall, 32.9 on treys. He scored 19 points in two games this season. Melo, a sophomore who was rated by many the No. 1 player in the 2010 recruiting class (UofL and Syracuse were his top two choices), has rebounded from a disappointing freshman year (he averaged just 2.3 ppg and 1,9 rpg). But he dropped nearly 20 pounds last summer and is averaging 7.5 ppg, seventh on the team, and a team-leading 5.5 rpg. He also leads in blocked shots at 3.0 a game, which is 23rd in the country. He had a school-record 10 blocks against Seton Hall, and he returned from a three-game absence due to academics to get a careerhigh 14 points in a 95-70 victory at St. John’s last Saturday. Rakeem Christmas, a 6-9 freshman who has started every game, is averaging 3.3 ppg and 3.3 rpg. He’s shooting 57.1 percent and has not tried a trey. Baye Moussa Keita, a 6-10 sophomore who’s the backup center, is averaging 2.9 ppg and 2.8 rpg and is shooting at a 76.5 percent rate. He stays near the basket. He averages just 13.3 minutes a game but has blocked 26 shots. A secret weapon is 6-8 junior Matt Tomaszewski, who has played in just nine games and averages only 1.9 ppg but is shooting 57.1 percent on treys. STAR It varies from game to game. I’ll go with Waiters for his allaround ability. TEAM STRENGTHS Overall depth and the team statistics noted above. TEAM WEAKNESSES Rebounding. The Orange is being outrebounded this season, with a rebounding margin of minus-0.3! Syracuse also is not very good at three-point shooting -- 34.4 percent, 156th in the country. COACHING RESUME Boeheim tied Dean Smith for third all-time in victories with his 879th last Saturday. He is in his 35th season, all at Syracuse, and Rick Pitino was an assistant coach on his very first staff, serving two seasons (1976-78). Boeheim has taken the Orange to the NCAA Tournament 27 times, to the Final Four three times and to the 2003 national title. He has a record 32 20-win seasons. ALL-TIME SERIES UofL and Syracuse have met 17 times in a series that dates to 1964 (Boeheim played in that game), with the Cards holding a 13-4 advantage. They have won the last seven meetings, including 73-69 last Feb. 12 at the Yum! Center. A memorable meeting occurred on March 6, 2010 – UofL’s final game in Freedom Hall -- when the Cards knocked off the then-No. 1 Orange 78-68 behind Kyle Kuric’s then-career-high 22 points, all in the second half.
2011-12 SYRACUSE BASKETBALL ROSTER NO 1 25 10 23 5 4 13 11 21 32 12 14 51 33 24 2 43 34 20 3
NAME CARTER-WILLIAMS, MICHAEL CHRISTMAS, RAKEEM COONEY, TREVOR DEREMER, RUSS FAIR, C.J. HART, NOLAN HOFFMANN, GRIFFIN JARDINE, SCOOP JONES, MOOKIE JOSEPH, KRIS KEITA, BAYE MOUSSA LYDE-CAJUSTE, MATT MELO, FAB NASSAR, ALBERT REESE, BRANDON RESAVY, NICK SOUTHERLAND, JAMES TOMASZEWSKI, MATT TRICHE, BRANDON WAITERS, DION
POS G F G G F G G G F F C F C F G G F F G G
HT 6-5 6-9 6-4 6-4 6-8 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-6 6-7 6-10 6-4 7-0 6-6 5-11 6-2 6-8 6-8 6-4 6-4
WT 176 222 185 210 203 152 178 190 220 210 213 205 244 195 160 201 210 215 205 215
EXP (L) FR (HS) FR (HS) FR (HS) SO (1V) SO (1V) SO (1V) JR (2V) SR (4V) JR (2V) SR (3V) SO (1V) JR (2V) SO (1V) FR (HS) SR (3V) SR (3V) JR (2V) SR (4V) JR (2V) SO (1V)
HOMETOWN (SCHOOL) HAMILTON, MA (ST. ANDREWS HS) BRYN ATHYN, PA (ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH) WILMINGTON, DE (SANFORD SCHOOL) WRENTHAM, MA (XAVIERAN BROTHERS HS) BALTIMORE, MD (BREWSTER ACADEMY) ALBANY, NY (ALBANY ACADEMY) NEW YORK, NY (YORK PREP) PHILADELPHIA, PA (NEUMANN-GORETTI HS) PEEKSKILL, NY (PEEKSKILL HS) MONTREAL, PQ (ARCHBISHOP CARROLL HS) SAINT LOUIS, SENEGAL (OAK HILL ACADEMY) MOUNT VERNON, NY (IONA PREP) JUIZ DE FORA, BRAZIL (SAGEMONT HS) STUART, FL (SOUTH FORK HS) DAVIE, FL (PINE CREST SCHOOL) WEST MILFORD, NJ (WEST MILFORD HS) BAYSIDE, NY (NOTRE DAME PREP) SEABROOK, NH (HOLDERNESS HS) JAMESVILLE, NY (JAMESVILLE-DEWITT HS) PHILADELPHIA, PA (BURLINGTON LIFE CENTER)
Coach: Jim Boeheim Last season: 27-8, 12-6 Big East Overall record: 879-302 (35th season) At Syracuse: 879-302 (35th season) Started 20-0 this season
FEBRUARY 13 Syracuse at Louisville 7 PM MARCH 3 Louisville at Syracuse 4 PM
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
Big East Basketball Standings 1. Syracuse
The Orange, with starting center Fab Melo having returned last Saturday, play host to Georgetown Wednesday and UConn Saturday before visiting UofL Monday.
2011-12 MEN’S SCHEDULE
After beating DePaul Monday, Golden Eagles host Cincinnati Saturday.
OCTOBER 10/14/11 Red-White Scrimmage KFC YUM! CENTER 10/22/11 Red-White Scrimmage KFC YUM! CENTER 10/26/11 vs. PIKEVILLE * KFC YUM! CENTER NOVEMBER 11/03/11 vs. BELLARMINE * KFC YUM! CENTER GLOBAL SPORTS INVITATIONAL 11/11/11 vs. TENNESSEE-MARTIN KFC YUM! CENTER 11/13/11 vs. LAMAR KFC YUM! CENTER 11/19/11 at Butler Indianapolis, Ind. 11/22/11 vs. ARKANSAS STATE KFC YUM! CENTER 11/25/11 vs. OHIO KFC YUM! CENTER 11/28/11 vs. LONG BEACH STATE KFC YUM! CENTER DECEMBER BIG EAST / SEC CHALLENGE 12/02/11 vs. #19 VANDERBILT KFC YUM! CENTER 12/07/11 vs. IUPUI KFC YUM! CENTER 12/10/11 vs. FAIR. DICKINSON KFC YUM! CENTER BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME SHOOTOUT 12/17/11 vs. MEMPHIS TV KFC YUM! CENTER 12/20/11 vs. C. OF CHARLESTON KFC YUM! CENTER BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC 12/23/11 vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY KFC YUM! CENTER 12/28/11 vs. GEORGETOWN # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 12/31/11 at Kentucky TV Lexington, Ky. JANUARY 01/03/12 at St. John’s # TV New York, N.Y. 01/07/12 vs. NOTRE DAME # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 01/10/12 at Providence # TV Providence, R.I. 01/14/12 vs. DE PAUL # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/16/12 at Marquette # TV Milwaukee, Wis. 01/21/12 at Pittsburgh # TV Pittsburgh, Pa. 01/25/12 vs. VILLANOVA # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 01/28/12 at Seton Hall # Newark, N.J. FEBRUARY 02/04/12 vs. RUTGERS # KFC YUM! CENTER 02/06/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/11/12 at West Virginia # TV Morgantown, W.Va. 02/13/12 vs. SYRACUSE # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/18/12 at DePaul # Chicago, Ill. 02/23/12 at Cincinnati # TV Cincinnati, Ohio 02/26/12 vs. PITTSBURGH # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/29/12 vs. USF # KFC YUM! CENTER MARCH 03/03/12 at Syracuse # TV Syracuse, N.Y. BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden) 03/06-10/12 TBD * - Exhibition game, # - Big East Conference game
TIME / RESULTS
White, 86-85 Red, 105-60 W, 74-55 W, 62-54 W, 83-48 W, 68-48 W, 69-53 W, 54-27 W, 59-54 W, 79-66
W, 62-60 W, 90-60 W, 80-58 W, 95-87 W, 69-62 W, 70-68 L, 71-68 L, 69-62 W, 73-58 L, 67-65 L, 90-59 W, 67-59 L, 74-63 W, 73-62 W, 84-74 W, 60-51 W, 78-66 W, 80-59 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 12:00 noon 9:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Hoyas at Syracuse Wednesday, host St. John’s Sunday.
4. Notre Dame
Irish, winners of four straight, at WVU Wednesday, host DePaul Saturday.
Cards, winners of five straight, will play at WVU Saturday, host Syracuse Monday.
Bearcats, having snapped three-game losing streak, at St. John’s Wednesday, at Marquette Saturday.
6. South Florida
Bulls host Pittsburgh Wednesday, at Providence Saturday.
8. West Virginia
Mountaineers, having snapped three-game losing streak on Sunday, host Notre Dame Wednesday, UofL Saturday.
Huskies at Syracuse Saturday.
10. Seton Hall
Pirates, on a six-game slide, at Rutgers Wednesday, host Pittsburgh Sunday, St. John’s Tuesday.
Knights host Rutgers Wednesday.
10. St. John’s
Red Storm hosts Cincinnati Wednesday, at Georgetown Sunday, at Seton Hall Tuesday .
Panthers, on a four-game winning streak, at USF Wednesday, at Seton Hall Sunday.
Wildcats host Providence Tuesday.
Blue Demons at Notre Dame Saturday.
4:00 p.m. TBA
15. Providence Friars at Villanova Tuesday, host USF Saturday.
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
LOUISVILLE WOMEN FIGHTING THROUGH ROUGH STRETCH By Howie Lindsey EDITOR’S NOTE: Tuesday night’s LouisvilleUConn women’s game tipped off 14 hours after this week’s magazine went to press. For updates and results from that game, log on to CardinalSports.com or UofLSports.com. University of Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz knew there’d be days like this. His Cardinals fought through the first half of their Big East schedule with a remarkably good 6-2 record. But now, after losing at DePaul by 25 and at West Virginia by 16, UofL faces No 3 UConn Tuesday night in the KFC Yum! Center. That’s life in the Big East Conference. “It’s going to be a very tough game, and we know that,” Walz said. “It’s even tougher because we are coming off a couple of losses, but our kids are excited to get back out on the court for the game, and we are expecting a great effort from our team.” Despite the last two losses, the Cardinals are still a respectable 17-6 (6-4 in league) and 20th in the RPI. Walz said his team will need to give great effort and have a huge crowd to battle a UConn squad that is big, physical, athletic and currently 21-2 and 9-1 in the league. “We’ll need all the help we can get, so we’d love to get 14,000 to 20,000 fans in here (Tuesday night),” Walz said. Fans were given a chance to trade in their men’s basketball ticket stub after (Monday’s UConn men’s) game for a free ticket to the women’s game Tuesday night. The Cardinals are No. 2 in the nation in attendance, averaging more than 10,000 fans per game. SCHEDULE SPLIT Louisville has three games left against RPI top-20 teams - Tuesday against RPI No. 3 UConn, a Feb. 20 showdown with RPI No. 5 Notre Dame and a rematch with RPI No. 20 DePaul on Feb. 25. The Cardinals also have three games left against teams ranked 125+ in the RPI (Syracuse on Feb. 11, at Pittsburgh on Feb. 14 and at Seton Hall on Feb. 27). If Louisville splits those six games it would finish 9-7 in the league and be assured of an NCAA Tournament bid. Anything worse than 3-3 in the remaining games and the Cardinals might sneak closer to the NCAA bubble with a .500 league record. CARDS FALL TO WVU Then-No. 12 Louisville was upset 66-50 at West Virginia (17-6, 7-3) last Saturday. Asya Bussie scored 18 points and grabbed 11 re-
bounds to lead West Virginia as Louisville hit just 20 of 50 shots and missed 13 of its 20 three-point attempts. “(We) came out and followed the game plan very well,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “They played hard for 40 minutes, and I am very proud of them. Louisville has a lot of talent and they are ranked, so it is a good win.” Louisville committed 24 turnovers, including five each by freshmen Bria Smith and Shawnta Dyer. The Cardinals were the first ranked team to fall at West Virginia since 2008 when the Mountaineers beat then-No. 4 Rutgers 63-54. Shoni Schimmel scored 16 points and Antonita Slaughter chipped in 14 off the bench for Louisville, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Cardinals fell behind by 14 by halftime and trailed by as many as 21 early in the second half. Louisville finally cut the deficit to 12 with 1:35 remaining, but by then it was too late. “They do a really good job of denying the wing pass,” Walz said. “They’re very aggressive with that. You miss as many wide-open layups as we did and you can’t expect to win.” CARDS ROUTED AT DEPAUL Last Tuesday the Cardinals took their worst loss of the season, 86-61 at DePaul (17-6, 5-4). The Blue Demons snapped a threegame Louisville winning streak in crushing fashion. “That was a good old-fashioned (butt)whippin’,” Walz said. “We didn’t try. We didn’t defend worth a lick. That played h-o-rs-e. They had wide-open shots.” Nothing seemed to go right for the Cardinals and everything went right for DePaul. Anna Martin scored 19 points and Katherine Harry had a career-high 20 rebounds to go along with 14 points and six assists for the Blue Demons. Brittany Hrynko added 18 points, Jasmine Penny 14 and Megan Rogowski 11. DePaul never trailed in the game, and Louisville never seemed ready to challenge. Schimmel scored 14 points and Asia Taylor had 12 points and 10 rebounds in a forgettable performance by the Cardinals. DePaul scored 10 more points than Louisville had allowed any opponent this season and improved to 10-1 at home, the only loss coming to No. 3 Connecticut. CARDS DROP IN RANKINGS UofL fell to No. 20 in the rankings released on Monday.
2011-12 WOMEN’S SCHEDULE DATE
OCTOBER 10/30/11 VS. LINDSEY WILSON * KFC YUM! CENTER NOVEMBER 11/13/11 at Missouri State Springfield, Mo. 11/15/11 at #4 Texas A&M College Station, Texas 11/17/11 at Eastern Kentucky Richmond, Ky. 11/20/11 vs. XAVIER KFC YUM! CENTER 11/22/11 vs. AUSTIN PEAY KFC YUM! CENTER 11/25/11 at #24 Florida State Tallahassee, Fla. 11/26/11 at Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla. 11/29/11 vs. MURRAY STATE KFC YUM! CENTER DECEMBER 12/04/11 at Kentucky Lexington, Ky. 12/10/11 vs. GARDNER-WEBB KFC YUM! CENTER 12/14/11 at Cincinnati # Cincinnati, Ohio 12/17/11 at Portland Portland, Ore. 12/19/11 at Washington State Pullman, Wash. 12/28/11 vs. UT-MARTIN KFC YUM! CENTER JANUARY 01/03/12 vs. MARQUETTE # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/08/12 at St. John’s # TV Queens, N.Y. 01/11/12 vs. SOUTH FLORIDA # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/14/12 at Rutgers # Piscataway, N.J. 01/18/12 vs. PROVIDENCE # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/22/12 at Georgetown # Washington D.C. 01/28/12 vs. VILLANOVA # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/31/12 at DePaul # \ Chicago, Ill. FEBRUARY 02/04/12 at West Virginia # Morgantown, W.Va. 02/07/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/11/12 vs. SYRACUSE # KFC YUM! CENTER 02/14/12 at Pittsburgh # Pittsburgh, Pa. 02/20/12 vs. NOTRE DAME # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/25/12 vs. DEPAUL # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/27/12 at Seton Hall # South Orange, N.J. MARCH BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Hartford, Conn. 03/02-8/12 TBD
TIME / RESULTS
W, 118-41 W, 73-64 L, 76-58 W, 77-53 W, 62-44 W, 78-60 W, 85-76 W, 86-66 W, 105-62 L, 74-54 W, 92-27 W, 64-59 W, 71-42 W, 75-71 W, 70-57 W, 70-53 L, 72-64 W, 63-57 L, 68-71 (OT) W, 64-48 W, 64-61 W, 62-58 L, 86-61 L, 66-50 7:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
KEEP UP ON ALL THE LATEST CARDINAL NEWS!
CARDINAL STARS OF THE WEEK
CHANE BEHANAN - MEN’S BASKETBALL The freshman from Cincinnati was named the Big East co-Rookie of the Week after his performance in UofL’s 78-66 victory over Rutgers last Saturday. In the Cardinals’ only game of the week, Behanan tallied a career-high 23 points while collecting 11 rebounds and two steals. He was 11 of 12 from the field. It was Behanan’s sixth double-double of the season and, among freshmen in the Big East, he is one of four who ranks in the top 10 in scoring and top five in rebounding in the league (others: Moe Harkless, St. John’s; LaDontae Henton, Providence; and Connecticut’s Andre Dummond). Over his last five games (before UConn) Behanan is averaging 14.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game while shooting 65.2 percent (30 of 45). JOAO DE LUCCA - MEN’S SWIMMING The sophomore from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, won two individual events (200-free and 100-free) and helped Louisville win the 400-free relay Saturday against Kentucky. UofL’s men trounced the archrival Wildcats 188-107 at the Ralph Wright Natatorium. De Lucca won the 200-free in 1:37.31, which is an NCAA B-cut, and won the 100-free in 44.65. The Cardinals finished first and third in both events. De Lucca teamed with Samuel Hoesktra, Caryle Blondell and Brendon Andrews to win the 400-free relay in 2:57.78, another NCAA B-cut. De Lucca was directly responsible for 18 points and helped the Cardinals score 11 more with the relay win. BRENDON ANDREWS - MEN’S SWIMMING The senior from West Palm Beach, Fla., won the 100-back and helped Louisville win the 200-medley and 400-free relays Saturday. He won the 100-back in a blazingly fast 48.77, 2.26 seconds ahead of runner-up Blondell. In the 200-medley, Andrews, Kameron Chastain, Tim Collins and Matt Schlytter won in 1:28.75, an NCAA B-cut. Andrews also finished third in the 100-free. He helped Louisville score 35 of its 188 total points. FANNY LILLIESTROM - WOMEN’S SWIMMING The senior from Stockholm, Sweden, won the 100- and 200-breaststroke to help the Louisville women beat UK 183-107 Saturday. Lilliestrom won the 100-breast in 1:03.35, out-pacing teammate Gisselle Kohoyda by more than a second. She earned an NCAA B-cut in the 200-breast, finishing in 2:14.77, nearly two seconds ahead of the runner-up. She also finished second in the 200-IM, helping the Louisville women sweep the top three spots in the event as Tanja Kyllainen won and Stephanie Juncker finished third. TANJA KYLLAINEN - WOMEN’S SWIMMING The freshman from Towson, Md., won the 200-fly and set a pool record with an NCAA B-cut time of 1:58.27. She won the 200-IM in 2:02.43, helping the Louisville women sweep the event. Kyllainen also was part of the the Cardinals’ second-place 200-medley relay team. She’s the Finnish national record holder in the 400-IM and a 2012 US Olympic Trial qualifier in the 200-fly and 400-IM. She holds dual citizenship from the United States and Finland and could swim for Finland in the London Olympics. LUKE LOVELACE - MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD Running in the Ryan Shay 3,000m race at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet, the junior from Chapin, S.C., earned his second Big East qualifying mark by posting a time of 8:10.70 in the event for an 11th-place finish. He shaved 28 seconds off his season best of 8:38.05 and now ranks fifth in the league in the 3,000m. Lovelace gives UofL’s men 22 qualifying marks as they head to the Big East Indoor Championships in a couple of weeks. HOLLY KNIGHT - WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD The senior from Ashburton, Devon (UK), broke a 16-year-old school record with a second-place finish in the women’s 5,000m at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame Friday. A three-time All-American while at Auburn, including one indoors, Knight was timed in 16:24.70 for 5,000m. She broke the mark of 16:25.71 that was set by Michelle Borgert in 1995. Knight’s time easily meets the Big East qualifying standard and is her third qualifying mark. It also ranks among the top 10 nationally.
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
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FEBRUARY 2, 2012
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT’S CARDINAL KIDS Cardinal Kid Kylie Hovious at the UofL-Long Beach State basketball game.
Cardinal Kid Joe Drahozal from Davenport, Iowa, is the nephew of Cardinal Pride Pep Band director Al Greener. He was joined by a UofL cheerleader for this picture. James Stein, cousin of UofL quarterback Will Stein, is a student at St. Agnes School. His mother, Heather Stein, works at UofL and his father, Gene Stein, is also a Cardinal fan.
LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT • PERIODICAL POSTAGE PAID
Louisville fan Tia cheered on the Louisville women’s basketball team. Photo submitted by Aaron Ice.
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Six-year-old Cardinal Kid Presley Emerson loves Gorgui Dieng so much she had her parents, Chad and Tracy, help her make a T-shirt.