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VOLUME XV • NUMBER 29 MARCH 10, 2011

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LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

FEBRUARY 3, 2011


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

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WHAT’S INSIDE AMERICA’S FOREMOST AUTHORITY ON UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETICS®

VOLUME XV, NUMBER 29 • MARCH 10, 2011

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 Dave Klotz, Shelley Feller, Gail Kamenish, 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 $56.95 each (plus 6% Ky. tax) for 38 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: Mon-Wed. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

THE BIG PICTURE: BODY PAINT ALWAYS MAKES A GOOD FIRST IM-PRESTON Shirtless college guys in the front row of the student section showed their love for senior Preston Knowles by painting his name in large letters across their chests on Senior Night last Wednesday. The P-R-E-S-T-O-N crew were seen dancing and cheering throughout the game. Knowles pointed to them at one point. - photo by Dave Klotz

5 CARDS HAVE EYE ON NCAA SEED

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As the No. 3 seed in the Big East Tournament, Louisville could improve its NCAA seeding with a run in New York City. “We expect a high seed,” Pitino said. “... There is still a lot of basketball to be played.”

Up by five points with 18 seconds left, Louisville lost its lead, then lost the game on a pair of free throws by Truck Bryant with 0:00.6 seconds on the clock. The heart-breaking ending was replayed all evening on ESPN.

Kyle Kuric had 25 points and nine rebounds against Providence. He was 11 of 18 and had three steals and two assists during Louisville’s 87-60 win. “I’m working on doing more than just shooting threes,” he said.

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CARDS FALL AT WEST VIRGINIA

11 NO LONGER JUST STANDING IN CORNER

For advertising information call (502) 636-4330 in Louisville, or send correspondence to the: Louisville SportsReport P.O. Box 17464 Louisville, KY 40217

Office Phone: (502) 636-4330 Fax: (502) 636-9265 E-mail: howie@cardinalsports.com

Official Web site:

www.cardinalsports.com THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT WILL BE MAILED MARCH 15

COVER PHOTO BY SHELLEY FELLER BY SCOTT STORTZ

CSPA COLLEGE SPORTS PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION

AMLUNG’S A WALK-ON STAR

Sophomore Justin Amlung has gone from begging to be on the team as a walk-on to the Cardinals’ Saturday starter. The St. X product is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in three starts this season. 4 6-7 8 10 13-14 15

WOMEN AWAIT THEIR FATE

The 6th-seeded Louisville women fell to No. 3 seed Notre Dame Sunday night in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. The 20-12 Cardinals will now have to wait until next Monday night to find out their NCAA destination.

BIG EAST TOURNAMENT BRACKET BIG EAST TOURNAMENT BREAKDOWN By Russ Brown NEW YORK IS MY KIND OF TOWN, BUT ONLY FOR A VISIT By Jack Coffee THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY By Howie Lindsey MEN’S BASKETBALL SENIOR NIGHT PHOTO GALLERY FOOTBALL STAFF DISHES OUT EARLY OFFERS By Jeff Wafford

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INJURIES TO HAMPER SPRING PRACTICE

Charlie Strong is just weeks away from the March 23 start of spring practice, and he already knows of seven players who will be limited by injuries. “We’ll just try to manage practice (to avoid more injuries),” he said.

SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULES MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON STATS BIG EAST TOURNAMENT NOTEBOOK By Russ Brown CARDINAL STARS OF THE WEEK By Howie Lindsey MAKE YOUR PICKS


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LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

BIG EAST TOURNAMENT BRACKET

MARCH 10, 2011


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL 10 AMAZING AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF THE 2009-2010 SEASON

REMATCH WITH WEST VIRGINIA COULD BE ON TAP

CARDS ENTER BIG EAST TOURNEY WITH EYE ON NCAA SEED By Russ Brown The University of Louisville’s basketball team long ago established its credentials for the NCAA Tournament. Now the only question is how high the Cardinals (23-8) will be seeded, and they can help themselves with a strong showing in the Big East Tournament this week in Madison Square Garden. Before Saturday’s 72-70 loss at West Virginia, UofL coach Rick Pitino suggested that his team was probably looking at a 4-seed, but with a victory over the Mountaineers coupled with a conference tournament championship could possibly rise as high as a 2-seed. After the loss at WVU, however, a 3-seed is probably the max the Cards can expect. “We expect a high seed,” Pitino said. “Even our losses, at Notre Dame in overtime in one of the toughest places to play in college basketball, we took Georgetown to the wire.... We’ve had great games with a lot of people. It all depends on what other teams do. There’s still a lot of basketball to be played.” UofL tied for third in the Big East with St. John’s and Syracuse at 12-6 and, by virtue of regular-season victories over both of those clubs, earned a double bye in the tournament. The Cards will tip off their quest for their second title in three years in the quarterfinals Thursday night about 9. In UofL’s bracket, 11th-seeded Marquette (18-13) will take on No. 14 Providence (1516) in the first round Tuesday. Marquette beat visiting Providence 86-62 three games ago. Should the Golden Eagles win again, they’ll play No. 6 seed West Virginia (20-10) Wednesday night. The Mountaineers lost at home to Marquette 79-74 on Jan. 1. So UofL could meet WVU for the third time this season, and both of the earlier games went down to the wire, the Cards surviving 55-54 at home on Peyton Siva’s last-second layup on Jan. 26 before the twopoint loss last Saturday in Morgantown. The UofL-Marquette game also was a cliffhanger, with the Cards rallying from 18 points down in the final six minutes and winning 71-70 on Kyle Kuric’s layin in the final seconds on Jan. 15 in the KFC Yum! Center. If UofL advances to the semifinals, either No. 2 seed Notre Dame or No. 7 Cincinnati, both of whom beat the Cards this season, figure to be waiting Friday night. One concern is that even though the Cards have exceeded expectations and won some difficult games in the best league in the land, they’re inexperienced in tournament play. UofL was one-and-done in both the Big East and NCAA tournaments last season, and only Preston Knowles and Kuric saw significant action. Siva played a total of 16 minutes in the two games in relief of Edgar Sosa. That’s one reason Pitino would rather have skipped the double bye and started playing in the second round Wednesday night. “The more you play, the more you improve,” he said. “We’re not very experienced, so I’d rather play. If I was Pittsburgh, with all that experience, I’d rather have the double bye. “The young players, they don’t understand tournaments. They think it’s their time to perform. They get caught up with performing rather than winning. That’s why

For Louisville to make a strong run in the post-season Terrence Jennings and his post-mate Gorgui Dieng will need to come up big, especially in the rebounding department. - photo by Dave Klotz

I like experience. It’s a matter of having the right players who really want to understand.” Whatever happens in the Big Apple, though, Pitino thinks that going through the rigors of the Big East’s 18-game regularseason schedule, coupled with the demands of the conference tournament, will prepare his team well for the NCAAs. “The nice thing about the Big East Tournament is there’s so much pressure you’re ready for the NCAA Tournament when you come out of there,” he said. “I love it. It’s the ultimate challenge. There were some games in Conference USA you’re up a lot at halftime. You never take a game lightly, but there are lopsided scores. And that’s just not the case (in the Big East Tournament). For people who love to compete, it’s the ultimate. “That’s what makes the Big East so unique. You’re always playing for so much. You would have thought Seton Hall was going for No. 1 in the country the way that game was being played against St. John’s (an 84-70 win by the Pirates last Thursday), and that’s what makes the Big East -- tremendous pride, basketball players who bring it all the time. “I always think competition makes you better. The Big East Tournament could be as tough as the NCAA Tournament, if not tougher. Whether it grinds you down or not, I don’t think that’s true with us because of all the time our guys have missed with injuries. We should be the freshest team in America.” To avoid sitting around a hotel room, Pitino said he is going to treat the first game of the tournament as a typical road game. The Cards won’t leave for New York until Wednesday after practice. They’ll conduct their Thursday walk-through at Bernard Baruch College in Manhattan, just a block or so away from where Pitino grew up. “This isn’t a party,” Pitino said. “We’re not getting too excited about the double bye, we’re going up there to win the tournament.” Despite two defensive lapses in the final 20 seconds that allowed WVU’s Casey Mitchell to hit back-to-back three-pointers on Saturday, strong defense has been the major factor in the Cards’ winning four of

their last five games. All of the Cards’ last five opponents have shot under 35 percent, and Providence coach Keno Davis believes UofL’s 2-3 matchup zone will continue to cause problems for teams in the Big East tourney and beyond, saying it is “unique compared to any other team in the conference.” “It is tough to be able to play against it and even tougher to execute,” Davis said after UofL waxed his team 87-60 last Wednesday. “I think Louisville will bother some teams they face in Madison Square Garden, and hopefully they will bother some teams in the NCAA Tournament.” Coaches constantly talk about balance and parity, but this year’s Big East tourney is genuinely wide open. Regular-season champion Pittsburgh has to be a slight favorite, but there are a half-dozen teams with legitimate shots, including UofL. Also in that mix are St. John’s, Notre Dame, Syracuse and perhaps Cincinnati and defending champ West Virginia. Pitt has appeared in seven of the last 10 Big East Tournament finals and has captured titles in 2003 and 2008. Pitt is 19-9 in Big East tourney games since 2001 and was named Madison Square Garden’s “Team of the Decade” because the Panthers are 2612 there since the 2001-2002 season. Syracuse has won five straight and is coming off a 107-59 rout of DePaul in which it shot a season-high 71 percent (45 of 63). It was the Orange’s largest margin of victory ever in Big East play and the most points it has scored in the league since a 108-95 victory over Connecticut in 1994. “These guys really pulled it together defensively and hopefully are getting better offensively,” SU coach Jim Boeheim said. “From 7-6 to get to 12-6 in this league is a tremendous accomplishment for these players. I think we go to New York with a lot of momentum.” Another team entering the tourney with confidence is Cincinnati (24-7), which finished a surprising sixth in the conference and has won five of its last six. “Early in the Big East we were a little shell-shocked with the games we had to play,” UC coach Mick Cronin said. “I don’t think we had the confidence to win those games. Our guys are really confident (now).

You got to believe in your talent. My goal with this team is to get them to believe in themselves. You are seeing it now. They are really starting to believe in what they are capable of.” Said Pitino: “I look at it this way. If I had to pick a team I want to play, they would be from a different conference. I don’t know who I’d want to play. Somebody said, ‘You could get Syracuse,’ and I said, “Geez, I don’t want to play Syracuse.’ They said, ‘Well, you could get Notre Dame.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to get Notre Dame.’ They said, ‘You could get Pitt again.’ I said, ‘I don’t want Pitt, give me someone else.’ That’s the way I look at the Big East. You just play the game.” Much of the talk about the tourney centers around the resurgence of St. John’s, which has a significant homecourt advantage. Not only have the Red Storm under first-year coach Steve Lavin played most of their games in the Garden, beating five ranked teams there, but the crowd should be heavily in their corner. “St. John’s fans have been scarce in the Garden in recent years,” Pitino said. “Now they’re going to come out in droves because they think they’re the best team there. It’s very exciting for them.” Lavin says he tells his team, “This is Madison Square Garden. You’ve got this place electrified and you’re playing with your best friends. This is fun.” “I think our players can already feel proud of the run that they have had to position St. John’s for the opportunity to do something special in the postseason,” Lavin added. “But no one is satisfied with where we are. It’s a very hungry and determined group that we’re working with on a daily basis.” Going into the tournament, the consensus among coaches and ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi and other experts is that the Big East will get an unprecedented 11 berths in the Big Dance. The only shaky one among the 11 candidates is Marquette (18-13), which has lost two straight. “We’re probably going to have 11 teams in the NCAA, and it’s not for discussion, either,” Pitino said. “It’s 11 locks. There are no bubble teams. Eleven teams are in. That tells you how strong this conference is. That’s very impressive.” PITINO PICKS HANSBROUGH Pitino said his vote for Big East Player of the Year (which hadn’t been released when LSR went to press) went to Notre Dame senior guard Ben Hansbrough over UConn’s Kemba Walker, Georgetown’s Austin Freeman, Providence’s Marshon Brooks and Dwight Hardy of St. John’s. “Hansbrough is the one who sticks out the most to me because from start to finish he has been a dominating player,” Pitino said. “He hasn’t had peaks and valleys, as most people do. What player do I not want to play against is the criteria I use, and I don’t want to play against Hansbrough at all. I hope I never see him again. “It’s a difficult thing this year. You could make an argument for every one of those guys. It was one of the most difficult votes I’ve had to make, but Hansbrough is that type of player you don’t want to play against. He makes free throws, he doesn’t rush things, he passes, he’s really a tough kid.”


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LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

MARCH 10, 2011

RECRUITING NOTEBOOK LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL 10 AMAZING AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF THE 2009-2010 SEASON

BIG EAST TOURNAMENT AT A GLANCE (MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, TUESDAY-SATURDAY)

COMPILED BY RUSS BROWN

NO. 1. PITTSBURGH

NO. 5. ST. JOHN’S

Coach: Jamie Dixon, 8th season, 214-58 (8th season overall, 214-58). 2010-11 record: 27-4. Ranking: 4/5. Streak: Won 2. Last 10: 8-2. RPI Rank: 7. Big East record/finish: 15-3, first. Big East Tournament record: 25-26. Championships: Two (Last, 2008).

Coach: Steve Lavin, 1st season, 20-10 (8th season overall, 165-88). 2010-11 record: 20-10. Ranking: 15/15. Streak: Won 1. Last 10: 8-2. RPI Rank: 14. Big East record/finish: 12-6, t-3rd. Big East Tournament record: 25-24. Championships: Three (Last, 2000).

Bottom Line: Pittsburgh, a veteran team with four returning starters, was the consensus pick of Big East coaches in the preseason to win the championship, and the Panthers didn’t disappoint, even though they had to survive three games without injured leading scorer Ashton Gibbs. Pitt’s only rough stretch came when it lost two out of three games late in the year -- at St. John’s and at UofL -- by a total of four points. The Panthers aren’t going to overwhelm anyone with their offense but don’t have to because they lead the league in rebounding margin (plus 11.0) and are second in scoring defense (61.0 ppg).

Bottom Line: St. John’s is basically playing on its home court, Madison Square Garden, where it has beaten five top-13 teams, including Duke and Pitt. The Red Storm figured to come into the tourney riding an eight-game winning streak but stumbled at Seton Hall last Thursday. St. John’s has one of the conference’s most explosive players in senior guard Dwight Hardy and is headed to its first NCAA Tournament since 2002 behind first-year coach Lavin. Postseason Prediction: No. 4 seed in NCAA Tournament.

Postseason Prediction: No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament.

NO. 2. NOTRE DAME

NO. 6. WEST VIRGINIA

Coach: Mike Brey, 11th season, 236-118 (16th season overall, 335-170). 2010-11 record: 25-5. Ranking: 8/7. Streak: Won 4. Last 10: 9-1. RPI Rank: 11. Big East record/finish: 14-4, 2nd. Big East Tournament record: 7-15. Championships: None.

Coach: Bob Huggins, 4th season, 100-40 (29th season overall, 690-251). 2010-11 record: 20-10. Ranking: NR. Streak: Won 3. Last 10: 6-4. RPI Rank: 21. Big East record/finish: 11-7, t-6th. Big East Tournament record: 12-13. Championships: One, 2010.

Bottom Line: The Irish are a veteran team that is tournament-tested, has a Player of the Year candidate in senior guard Ben Hansbrough and has ridden its seniors, three-point shooting and “burn offense” to unexpected heights. Notre Dame hasn’t been noted for defense in the past but has improved dramatically in that department. Three of the Irish’s four losses came during a tough stretch in January -- all on the road -- at Syracuse (70-58), Marquette (79-57) and St. John’s (72-54), when they were missing injured junior forward Carleton Scott.

Bottom Line: There’s never a dull moment with Huggins, and West Virginia has wrestled with injuries and suspensions and the sarcastic comments of Huggy Bear most of the season. But the Mountaineers are at full strength now and appear to be headed in the right direction, with wins over Notre Dame, UConn and UofL in the past two weeks. Still, WVU is a long shot to become the first team to repeat as tourney champion since Syracuse (2005-06). Postseason Prediction: No. 6 seed in NCAA Tournament.

Postseason Prediction: No. 2 seed in NCAA Tournament, although Irish might earn a No. 1 seed by winning the tournament.

NO. 3. LOUISVILLE

NO. 7. CINCINNATI

Coach: Rick Pitino, 10th season, 243-94 (24th season overall, 595-218). 2010-11 record: 23-8. Ranking: 11/11. Streak: Lost 1. Last 10: 6-4. RPI Rank: 17. Big East record/finish: 12-6, t-3rd. Big East Tournament record: 4-4. Championships: One, 2009.

Coach: Mick Cronin, 5th season, 85-75 (8th season overall, 154-98). 2010-11 record: 24-7. Ranking: NR. Streak: Won 2. Last 10: 6-4. RPI Rank: 39. Big East record/finish: 11-7, t-6th. Big East Tournament record: 1-4. Championships: None.

Bottom Line: UofL has proven it is competitive with the top teams in the league, but the Cards have virtually no tournament experience and only one decent win away from the KFC Yum! Center -- a 79-78 double-overtime victory at Connecticut. UofL’s other three road wins came against the bottom of the league. The Cards have little margin for error and will have to string together three of their best performances of the season to win their second title in three years.

Bottom Line: Former UofL assistant Cronin is saying, ‘I told you so,’ after his team fooled preseason prognosticators and put together a strong finish to wind up in a tie for sixth in the league. The Bearcats have won five of their last six, three of them on the road, to assure their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005. They lead the league in scoring defense (58.5 ppg) and are probably second only to Pittsburgh when it comes to playing smash-mouth basketball.

Postseason Prediction: No. 3 or 4 NCAA Tournament seed.

Postseason Prediction: No. 7 seed in NCAA Tournament.

NO. 4. SYRACUSE

NO. 8. GEORGETOWN

Coach: Jim Boeheim, 35th season, 852-298 (35th season overall, 852-298). 2010-11 record: 25-6. Ranking: 12/12. Streak: Won 5. Last 10: 7-3. RPI Rank: 16. Big East record/finish: 12-6, t-3rd. Big East Tournament record: 45-26. Championships: Five (Last, 2006).

Coach: John Thompson III, 7th season, 160-71 (11th season overall, 228-113). 2010-11 record: 21-9. Ranking: 17/17. Streak: Lost 3. Last 10: 6-4. RPI Rank: 8. Big East record/finish: 10-8, 8th. Big East Tournament record: 48-24. Championships: Seven (Last, 2007).

Bottom Line: Syracuse lacks the firepower of last year’s top-seeded team, but the Orange has a history of playing well in this tournament and has overcome a fourgame mid-season losing streak to get into position to challenge for the championship.

Bottom Line: This is shaping up to be another disappointing finish for the Hoyas. In 2009 they fell from the top 10 into the National Invitation Tournament, then last season as a third seed in the NCAAs they lost in the first round to 14th-seeded Ohio after reaching the Big East Tournament final. This year, Georgetown, wounded by the loss of injured point guard Chris Wright, has dropped four of its last five.

Postseason Prediction: No. 3 or 4 seed in NCAA Tournament. Postseason Prediction: No. 5 seed in NCAA Tournament.


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

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NO. 9. CONNECTICUT

NO. 13. RUTGERS

Coach: Jim Calhoun, 25th season, 596-230 (39th season overall, 844-367). 2010-11 record: 21-9. Ranking: 16/16. Streak: Lost 2. Last 10: 4-6. RPI Rank: 20. Big East record/finish: 9-9, t-9th. Big East Tournament record: 29-24. Championships: Six (Last, 2004).

Coach: Mike Rice, 1st season, 14-16 (4th season overall, 87-47). 2010-11 record: 14-16. Ranking: NR. Streak: Lost 1. Last 10: 2-8. RPI Rank: 119. Big East record/finish: 5-13, 13th. Big East Tournament record: 5-11. Championships: None.

Bottom Line: UConn was one of the stars of the non-conference season, rising as high as No. 4 in the polls after winning the Maui Invitational. But the Huskies have been just another team in the Big East. They rely too much on point guard Kemba Walker, and it has been too big a burden for the junior, who is shooting just 31 percent lately.

Bottom Line: Like Willard, Rice has found out how daunting a rebuilding job can be after moving from Robert Morris to succeed Fred Hill at Rutgers. Nevertheless, the Scarlet Knights, who have lost nine of their last 11, aren’t outclassed in their opening game against Seton Hall. Rutgers split the two regular-season meetings, winning 66-60 on the road and losing 69-64 at home.

Postseason Prediction: No. 5 or 6 seed in NCAA Tournament.

Postseason Prediction: Possible NIT, CBI or CIT bid.

NO. 10. VILLANOVA

NO. 14. PROVIDENCE

Coach: Jay Wright, 10th season, 224-109 (17th season overall, 346-194). 2010-11 record: 21-10. Ranking: 19/19. Streak: Lost 4. Last 10: 4-6. RPI Rank: 32. Big East record/finish: 9-9, t-9th. Big East Tournament record: 31-29. Championships: 1 (1995).

Coach: Keno Davis, 3rd season, 46-49 (4th season overall, 74-54). 2010-11 record: 15-16. Ranking: NR. Streak: Won 1. Last 10: 2-8. RPI Rank: 149. Big East record/finish: 4-14, 14th. Big East Tournament record: 16-29. Championships: 1 (1994).

Bottom Line: Like Georgetown, Villanova has fallen on hard times recently, due in part to key injuries. The Wildcats were breezing along with a 16-1 record and a top-10 ranking but have since lost 9 of 14 in a collapse reminiscent of last season when they started 20-1 and finished 5-7. Injured starting guards Corey Fisher (hamstring) and Corey Stokes (tendinitis in knee) will probably play in the tourney but won’t be full strength.

Bottom Line: Providence’s atrocious defense makes it almost a certainty that the Friars will make an early exit. They are surrendering 80 ppg in conference play and allowing opponents to shoot 47 percent, not exactly a formula for success. However, the Friars do possess one of the most entertaining players in the Big East in senior guard Marshon Brooks, who leads the conference in scoring at 25 ppg. Postseason Prediction: Possible NIT, CBI or CIT bid.

Postseason Prediction: No. 6 seed in NCAA Tournament.

NO. 11. MARQUETTE

NO. 15: SOUTH FLORIDA

Coach: Buzz Williams, 3rd season, 65-35 (4th season overall, 79-52). 2010-11 record: 18-13. Ranking: NR. Streak: Lost 2. Last 10: 5-5. RPI Rank: 51. Big East record/finish: 9-9, t-9th. Big East Tournament record: 6-5. Championships: None.

Coach: Stan Heath, 4th season, 50-76 (10th season overall, 162-153). 2010-11 record: 9-22. Ranking: NR. Streak: Lost 2. Last 10: 2-8. RPI Rank: 158. Big East record/finish: 3-15, 15th. Big East Tournament record: 1-2. Championships: None.

Bottom Line: Marquette blew a golden opportunity to go into the tourney on a high note, losing at home to Cincinnati and at Seton Hall last week after putting together its longest conference winning streak of the season at three. The Golden Eagles lead the league in scoring at 77.4 ppg but rank 14th in scoring defense (70.0). They should get past opening-round foe Providence but then would face surging West Virginia.

Bottom Line: USF has played several of the league’s top teams tough but has been unable to break through with a significant victory. It’s not likely to happen in the tournament, either. The Bulls enter with losses in eight of their last nine games. USF can hold its own on the boards but is next-to-last in scoring at 63.1 ppg. Postseason Prediction: None.

Postseason Prediction: No. 11 seed in NCAA Tournament, but opening-round loss puts MU in NIT.

NO. 12. SETON HALL

NO. 16. DEPAUL

Coach: Kevin Willard, 1st season, 13-17 (4th season overall, 58-66). 2010-11 record: 13-17. Ranking: NR. Streak: Won 2. Last 10: 5-5. RPI Rank: 100. Big East record/finish: 7-11, 12th. Big East Tournament record: 21-28. Championships: Two (Last, 1993).

Coach: Oliver Purnell, 1st season, 7-22 (23rd season overall, 401-301) 2010-11 record: 7-22. Ranking: NR. Streak: Lost 4. Last 10: 1-9. RPI Rank: 228. Big East record/finish: 1-17, 16th. Big East Tournament record: 1-3. Championships: None.

Bottom Line: After a mostly rocky debut season for former UofL aide Willard, Seton Hall finished strong with homecourt upset wins over St. John’s and Marquette last week. Despite being the worst-shooting three-point team in the Big East (24.7 percent) and its lowest-scoring club (62.8 ppg), the Pirates showed what they can do when they get hot, drilling 12 treys in last Thursday’s 84-70 win over the Red Storm. Senior sharpshooter Jeremy Hazell scored 31 in that win and is capable of giving any defense problems.

Bottom Line: Former Clemson coach Purnell has had a rough first season with the Blue Demons, and it doesn’t figure to get any better in the tournament. DePaul’s only Big East win came at Providence. Shame on the Friars.

Postseason Prediction: Possible NIT, CBI or CIT bid.

Postseason Prediction: None.


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LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

MARCH 10, 2011

COMMENTARY BY JACK COFFEE JACK@CARDINALSPORTS.COM

NEW YORK IS MY KIND OF TOWN, BUT ONLY TO VISIT As you read this story, Rick Pitino’s surprising University of Louisville basketball team is heading to New York and Madison Square Garden to prepare for a third-round Big East Tournament game after finishing third in the league in the regular season. Who would have ever thought it? This team has been a testament to the “high and low expectations” theory. That is, the fans are much happier when their team does better than expected than when it does worse than expected. And this team has definitely done better than even Pitino predicted, having conditioned the fans for a mediocre year with his “bridge” analogy in the preseason. But let’s talk about New York City. If you’ve never been or were there many years ago, you need to plan a trip, preferably during the Big East Tournament. I love to visit the city. Notice I said “visit.” I have no desire to live or work there and don’t understand people who do want to be there permanently. But spending a few days in Manhattan is a marvelous experience. The three times that UofL played at Army in football, many JACK COFFEE of us from the Parrish House stayed in the Edison near Times Square and caught the train to West Point. It was a lot of fun, and staying in midtown enhanced the trip. Many have a jaded view of New York based on old stereotypes and some movies and TV shows. Mayor Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the streets, got rid of the panhandlers, locked up the criminals and made it a pleasant experience to visit America’s greatest city. There are plenty of places to stay near Madison Square Garden, including a Hampton Inn and Holiday Express. If you don’t like to eat at fancy restaurants, there are many (and I mean many) reasonably priced restaurants -- especially Italian -- near the arena. There also is a deli on nearly every corner, which is my eating establishment of choice in NYC. These are not delis like we have here but are full restaurants with salad bars, meat counters and a very large selection of food. It is more expensive in NYC, but not enough to dissuade you from going one time and having the experience. The subway system will take you anywhere, and there are an unlimited number of places to see. MSG is located atop Penn Station and is accessible from anywhere in the city via subway. If you haven’t gone before, give it a try. If you are going to the Big East Tournament, get your tickets early, it’s almost always a sellout. If you have any questions about NYC, ask our own Howie Lindsey, he’s been there and can tell you about his subway trip to Coney Island. Speaking of the Big East Tournament, it may have more top-25 teams than the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals have finished their first season in the new KFC Yum! Center, and it was everything we as fans had hoped for as a premier basketball-viewing venue. Parking problems never materialized, and the traffic control was splendid. It did take a long time to get out of some of the parking garages, but it always does no matter the event. But I do have a couple of suggestions to the folks in charge. No. 1. Get rid of the Louisville skyline over each side of the “video wall” as Sean Moth calls it and replace with a smaller stat board like the large ones in the arena. Progressive stats are very helpful in viewing the game but cannot be seen by thousands of fans in the upper deck. No. 2. Get rid of some of the greeters or whatever they are. I know they were necessary initially as fans found their way around the massive arena, but now that everyone is familiar with the place we don’t need so many people on the payroll. We still have the issue of paying off the debt, and it seems that cutting payroll where possible is the order of the day. I enjoy the games, but is it really necessary to have so many saying hello and goodbye before and after every game? Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice touch and the people are very nice and congenial, but my nose for efficiency is offended every time someone is paid to tell me “Have a nice day” or “Welcome to the Yum! Center.” In my article last week about former coach John Dromo, I made an omission and a mistake. Two captions under pictures in the article were not included and failed to identify Dennis Deeken and Jerry Smith as they signed their letters-of-intent with Dromo. Both played for Flaget High School and were friends of mine from the West End. Their high school coach was former UofL All-American Phil Rollins, the captain of the 1956 NIT championship team. The mistake was in stating that interim coach Howard Stacey “wasn’t popular with the players.” Several have called to say they liked coach Stacey and hated to see him leave the university.

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CARDS LOSE LEAD LATE, FALL AT WEST VIRGINIA By Russ Brown It must have seemed like deja vu’ all over again for University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. For the second year in a row UofL dropped a close game at West Virginia in the closing seconds, absorbing a bitter 72-70 defeat in front of a rowdy Senior Day crowd of 15,032 last Saturday in Morgantown. It was the regular-season finale for both teams. This one, though, was more incredible than last season’s 77-74 loss. And even more improbable than the first meeting between the teams this season on Jan. 26 in the KFC Yum! Center when Peyton Siva’s acrobatic driving layup high off the glass through a tangle of arms with 4.5 seconds left gave Louisville, which trailed by RUSS BROWN 11 in the second half, a 55-54 victory. This time the Mountaineers (20-10, 11-7) won by overcoming a five-point deficit in the final 18 seconds, including the game-winning free throws by Darryl “Truck” Bryant with sixtenths of a second remaining. The No. 11 Cardinals (23-8, 13-5) held a 69-64 lead with 24.3 seconds left after Chris Smith’s two free throws, but West Virginia rallied behind back-to-back three-pointers by Casey Mitchell, who missed the earlier meeting while serving a three-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Mitchell hit his first trey from the left wing with 17.3 seconds left. Siva then made 1 of 2 free throws with 16.4 seconds left to make it 70-67, but the one miss left the door open for WVU, and Mitchell drilled another triple from the left of the key at 0:08.3. “I was praying at the line, ‘Please miss one, please miss one,’” Mitchell said he was thinking as Siva stepped to the line. “I didn’t expect him to miss the first one, and when he did I was like, ‘Yes.’ I just ran down the court saying, ‘I’ve got to hit this shot.’” Preston Knowles took the ensuing inbounds pass, dribbled quickly downcourt and launched a three-pointer with about five seconds left from the right of the key that clanged off the rim, then fouled Bryant at 0:00.6 in front of the UofL bench (85 feet from the basket) after Bryant had chased down the long rebound. “I was just shocked that he fouled me, and he really did foul me,” Bryant said. “I said to him, ‘What are you doing?’ This game was going to overtime and they still had a chance, but that foul was crazy. The end of this game was crazy. “It was the dumbest foul I’ve seen all year. We’re 94 feet from the basket, and I’m just trying to throw it up in the air.” Bryant, an 82 percent free-throw shooter, cooly sank both foul shots to ice the win.

Manhattan transfer Chris Smith has been a pleasant surprise this season, starting 16 games and averaging 9.5 ppg, fourth on the team. He had 14 points against Providence.- photo by Shelley Feller

“I just told Truck to take us home,” said Kevin Jones, who had 25 points and 16 rebounds, both career highs. “I’ll put him at the line in clutch situations any time. I know he’ll make them.” It was redemption of sorts for Byrant, who had missed four straight free throws in the final minutes in the loss at Louisville. “I missed them at their gym,” Bryant said. “I’m not going to miss these.” Said Jones: “We got a lucky bounce and we got a lucky call, Casey knocked down a couple of threes that were huge for us, and then Truck went to the line and knocked two down – we just had a couple of big plays from everybody.” So it has been on one side or another in the past four UofL-WVU games, which have been decided by a total of nine points. “It seems like every time we play Rick it is like this,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. “They have banked a couple in to beat us. They told me when I got into the business that it all evens out, but I think he still owes me a couple.” Pitino wasn’t around to offer his side. He was so upset after the game that he sent director of basketball operations Ralph Willard to both his post-game press conference and radio show while he held a long session with

his players in the locker room. “I think he wanted to reiterate to the guys that the key is focusing on the defensive end of the floor when you have a lead like that,” Willard said. “When you work so hard to have a lead, defense wins you the game in the last minute.” UofL, picked to finish to finish eighth in the Big East preseason poll, already had clinched the No. 3 seed and a double bye into Thursday’s quarterfinals of this week’s conference tournament but had hoped to build toward a high seed in the NCAA Tournament with its fifth straight win and an impressive road victory. Instead, WVU ended the Cards’ streak and clinched a first-round bye in the tournament while winning its third straight and beating a top-20 team for the fifth time this season. That left the Cards, who have shown great resilience all season, four days to regroup before making their debut in the league tourney in Madison Square Garden Thursday about 9:30 p.m. Willard faulted defensive breakdowns for Mitchell’s two late clutch threes. He hit the last one when Siva ducked under a screen and arrived a fraction of a second too late to challenge the shot. The baskets were only the third and fourth

three-pointers of the game for the Mountaineers, who were just 4 of 24 from beyond the arc. “We let Mitchell get off two threes that really hurt us,” Willard said. “Coach made a point in the huddle about making sure we denied the three-point shot, make them go back door or something else. On the last play we should have been switching into the ball screen and we were late on the switch and he (Mitchell) knocked one down. So it’s two tough plays at the end of the game. They were both looks that he never should have gotten.” The outcome might have been different if an out-of-bounds call had gone Louisville’s way on a loose ball scramble at 0:37.9. But officials said Knowles touched the ball while his foot was on the sideline and awarded the ball to West Virginia with UofL holding a 67-64 lead. “I was on the baseline on the bench, and it was clear Preston didn’t touch it and Chris had it,” Willard said. “If that play goes our way, the game is probably over. Unfortunately, it didn’t. But you can’t use that as an excuse.” No, you can’t. Especially when your team gets pounded on the boards like the Cards did all afternoon. The bigger and stronger Mountaineers outrebounded UofL 49-25, including 25-7 on the offensive glass en route to a 22-4 advantage in second-chance points. UofL has now been outrebounded in six of its eight losses -- five of them by 10 or more. Still, it was another game effort by the Cards playing in a hostile environment and having to overcome foul trouble that limited Terrence Jennings to 23 minutes, Siva to 27 and Gorgui Dieng to nine. “Coach said going into the game that we had to neutralize them on the backboards,” Willard said. “If we neutralize them on the backboards, we’re going to win the game. That’s been the case all year. When we don’t neutralize teams, we have a dogfight. It’s too bad, because the effort they were giving on every other part of the defensive end of the floor was great. “Our guys did battle awfully hard and did all the right things except for the last 22 seconds. You hate to lose a game like this; it’s very difficult to take. But hopefully we learn our lesson again and go into the Big East Tournament ready to rectify things.” Along with Jones, who had a double-double in the first half (16 points, 12 rebounds), UofL had a hard time containing senior center John Flowers, who finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. For the Cards, Kyle Kuric continued his late-season scoring binge with 21 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting. Kuric has averaged a team-best 17.1 ppg in the past nine games. Knowles added 15 points and Smith 14.


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GOOD

UofL basketball coach Rick Pitino has been getting mentions for National Coach of the Year, and for good reason. He has done a masterful job with this team so far this season. Louisville had much more talent last season but wasn’t nearly as good as this year’s team. Plus, the Cards had to battle through injuries that caused 10 different players to miss games. The Cards didn’t return a single starter (returning power forward Jared Swopshire missed the entire season with a groin injury), yet they finished third in the Big East, America’s toughest league, after being picked to finish eighth in a preseason poll of league coaches. Instead, they were ranked No. 11 in the nation last week. Pitino may not win the national award (coaches at San Diego State and BYU are getting most of the press), but he should win the Big East award. Yes, we like what Steve Lavin did at St. John’s, but getting 10 seniors to buy in for one final run is a lot easier than coaxing beautiful team basketball out of a group of players who previously had been merely role players. Bravo, Pitino.

UGLY

Wow, what an UGLY finish to an otherwise beautiful regular season. In a season filled with thrilling, last-minute wins, the Cards had the tables turned on them Saturday at West Virginia. Up by five points with 18 seconds left, the No. 11 Cardinals lost 72-70 in a wild, heart-breaking ending. They led 69-64 after a pair of free throws by Chris Smith with 24.3 seconds left. West Virginia cut the margin to two on a three-pointer by Casey Mitchell with 17.3 seconds left. After a Louisville timeout, the Cardinals had an opportunity to stretch its lead back to two possessions when sophomore point guard Peyton Siva was fouled with 16.4 seconds left. Siva missed the front end of a two-shot foul but hit the second to make it 70-67. Mitchell, West Virginia’s leading scorer who missed the first UofL-WVU matchup on Jan. 26, tied the score at 70 at 0.08.3 with another trey after coming off a screen near the top of the key. Louisville had an opportunity to win the game on the final possession, but senior captain Preston Knowles’ 23-foot shot with four seconds left clanged out. Not only that, but Knowles tried to follow his shot and was whistled for a foul on Darryl Bryant with 0:00.6 left on the clock. Bryant hit both free throws to steal victory away from the Cardinals, igniting a wild celebration in Morgantown. The loss dropped Louisville to 23-8, 12-6 Big East and improved the Mountaineers to 20-10, 11-7.

BAD

Knowles’ decision-making at the end of the game was mindboggling. In a tie game with 8.3 seconds left and the ball, the absolute worst-case scenario should be overtime. Even if you hold the ball, pass it around and don’t shoot, the worst that could happen is an extra five minutes of playing time, right? Best-case scenario would be hitting a shot or getting fouled on a drive to the basket. But what happened at West Virginia shouldn’t even be in the conversation. The Cardinals not only didn’t run the clock out, they shot with just over four seconds left and West Virginia got the rebound. Then, the worst-case scenario got worse. Knowles fouled on the rebound at 0:00.6, and West Virginia was able to win the game at the free-throw line.

BAD

Afterward, Pitino was in no mood to talk about the game. He told reporters he would not be talking so that he wouldn’t be tempted to say something that would get him suspended for talking about the officiating. Let’s be clear, none of us wants to blame the officials for a loss and, truthfully, had Louisville handled its business at the foul line, officials’ calls wouldn’t have been a game-decider. But we have to mention how bad the officiating was throughout the game. What makes officiating bad to us is inconsistency, and this game was filled with inconsistent calls. Louisville’s final foul total was 25, and about 10 of them were tick-tack fouls on the perimeter or in the backcourt. Beyond inconsistency, the officials allowed themselves to be influenced by the opposing coach and the home crowd. After Bob Huggins got a technical early in the game, the vast majority of the fouls called were against the Cardinals.

BAD

OK, enough about officiating. Let’s get back to talking about what the Cardinals could have done to prevent the loss. UofL was out-rebounded 49-25. That’s 24 extra possessions! Louisville had no answer for the Mountaineers when they went to the glass, especially on the offensive glass. Forward Kevin Jones came up huge for the Mountaineers, scoring 25 points and grabbing 16 boards in 39 minutes played. At one point, Louisville had been outscored 20-2 on second-chance points. You simply can’t win that way. Frankly, given the rebounding statistics, it is amazing that Louisville was in a position to win. To make a post-season run, Louisville will have to rebound more effectively. The Cardinals will be the No. 3 seed in this week’s Big East Tournament. With a double bye, the Cardinals’ first game will be Thursday night at 9.

GOOD

On to happier topics. For those Cardinals fans who stuck around on Senior Night last Wednesday it was heart-warming to listen to Preston Knowles’ scripted speech. He thanked everyone from athletic director Tom Jurich to his coaches to his cousins to his teammates to his trainers, and rightly so. Knowles is a poster child for the benefit of a four-year college career to a good but not great high school player. He was a late recruit out of George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky., who was passed over by some schools because of a questionable

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attitude. Pitino took a chance on the hustling Knowles and, despite some stumbles along the way, he is the team leader of one of the most beloved UofL teams in recent memory. Knowles easily could have gone the other direction. He had a few momentary lapses - the hairbrush incident last summer - but the way he led this team in games, in the locker room and in practices has been remarkable. What the fans heard was a young man who has matured from a kid who almost lost his way to a much more confident adult. Hats off.

BAD

Let us apologize for an error in last week’s SportsReport. We said that all the women’s basketball team had to do to win the conference’s No. 4 seed and a double bye in the Big East Tournament was to beat Providence Monday night. That part ended up being true, but not for the reason we stated. We had erred in giving DePaul a win over Marquette on Saturday. But Marquette beat DePaul, meaning that the Golden Eagles were tied with Louisville and would win the head-to-head tiebreaker if it came to that for seeding purposes. That meant that Louisville needed to win Monday night and for Marquette to lose to Cincinnati, the last-place team in the league, for the Cards to land the No. 4 seed. Marquette did lose to Cincinnati, leaving the door open for Louisville. Unfortunately, the Cardinals couldn’t get the job done. They fell in the final minutes at Providence and slipped to the No. 5 seed, meaning they had to play an extra game in the Big East Tournament.

GOOD

The track and field team will head to Texas this weekend with an excellent chance to bring home another individual championship trophy at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The Cardinals have two of the top female throwers in the nation in senior D’Ana McCarty and sophomore Khadija Abdullah. McCarty, a weight thrower, is a two-time national indoor title-holder in the event. Abdullah, a rising star in the shot put, will enter the meet with a top-10 national ranking and the opportunity to prove herself on the biggest stage she’s ever performed on. The complete field for the NCAA Indoor Championships was set late Monday night after this week’s Louisville SportsReport went to press. The meet will be held at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium Saturday and Sunday.

GOOD

Our office was absolutely flooded last week with news from around the South. What kind of news? Good news. Apparently, UofL’s football coaches completed their early 2012 evaluations and began sending out offers to their top prospects. The excitement exhibited by those who received offers was great to see. It shows that Louisville is a rising name on the recruiting trail. The Cardinals were just on the cusp of the top-25 recruiting rankings for 2011, and coach Charlie Strong said he wants this next class to be better. To do that, Louisville will need to get in on elite prospects early, and that is just what it did last week.

BAD

Louisville’s depth chart is looking pretty thin for spring football practice coming up at the end of this month. Strong confirmed last week that he expects at least seven potential starters to miss spring drills due to injuries. On offense, running back Jeremy Wright, center Mario Benavides and wide receiver Damian Copeland will miss spring practice. On defense, tackle Greg Scruggs, end B.J. Butler, defensive end William Savoy and cornerback Darius Ashley will be out. Depth will be extremely limited on the offensive line and at quarterback, where Louisville lost seven seniors - five linemen and its top two quarterbacks. Most expect junior Will Stein and freshman Teddy Bridgewater to battle for the top spot at quarterback. Stein is a walk-on from Trinity High who has been pressed into starting situations the past two seasons due to injuries. Bridgewater is a four-star, Elite 11 recruit ranked among the top signal-callers in the country as a senior at Miami Northwestern High. On the line, we expect another top-notch walk-on --Alex Kupper, also from Trinity -- to fill in at center while Benavides is out.

GOOD

Kudos to former UofL assistant Jerry Jones, who shares some of the credit for a VERY GOOD performance by the Jeffersonville (Ind.) High School girls’ basketball team this season. For the last three years, Jones -- Denny Crum’s right-hand man for 30 years -- came out of retirement to serve as a volunteer coach for head coach Chad Gilbert. Jones, 77, installed the high-post offense the Cards ran under Crum, and last Saturday the No. 7 Lady Devils (28-2) won their first Class 4-A state title, beating No. 3 Penn 47-29. Going into the game, Jeff was averaging 61.2 points and shooting 51.3 percent. “It’s the most unselfish group of kids I’ve ever been around,” Jones told The Courier-Journal. “They pass the ball to each other and don’t care who scores the points.... That’s what makes them good.” One of the stars on the team is 5-10 senior Brooke Valentine, daughter of former UofL player Robbie Valentine. She had 14 points and eight rebounds in the title game.

TWEET OF THE WEEK @LarryOBannon: As much as we lost it, U must give Mitchell credit for hitting two tough 3 pointers in the clutch for WV. I love college basketball! #It’sMarch!


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CARDS’ KURIC NO LONGER JUST STANDING IN THE CORNER By Russ Brown Louisville’s impressive 87-60 rout of Providence last Wednesday night in the KFC Yum! Center was notable for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the continued strong play of junior forward Kyle Kuric. The No. 11 Cardinals (23-7, 12-5) celebrated Senior Night by clinching a double bye in this week’s Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden and assuring themselves of no worse than a fourth-place finish in the league heading into last Saturday’s regular-season finale at West Virginia. And in winning its fourth in a row, UofL became only the second Big East team to finish its conference home slate unbeaten at 9-0, joining Notre Dame, a remarkable feat considering that four of those victoRUSS BROWN ries came against teams ranked in the top 15 nationally in a brutal league that almost certainly will send 11 representatives to the NCAA Tournament. It’s the first time the Cards have finished unbeaten in their league at home since a 6-0 record in the Metro Conference in 1922-93, and the nine league wins at home is a school record. “Sometimes you miss coaching players like this,” UofL coach Rick Pitino said. “They kind of restore your faith in everything you believe in as a coach. It was wonderful to coach them this year. I owe them a great debt of thanks, because it was a really wonderful, wonderful season.” Of course, one of the most feel-good seasons in UofL history isn’t over yet, but the win over Providence provided a prime example of why Pitino is so infatuated with this group -- tenacious defense, unselfish passing and uncountable hustle plays, even when the lead reached blowout proportions. Preston Knowles, the team’s only senior starter, turned in a performance befitting Senior Night and his season-long contributions by getting 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the first double-double of his career. “I wanted a triple-double,” he said. “Other than that, I’m just glad everybody’s in a great mood and we got the win.” Knowles, his teammates and coaches also have to be encouraged by the recent play of Kuric, who is playing out of position at power forward but has been a force on both ends of the court recently. With Rakeem Buckles sidelined with a torn ACL, the 6-foot-4 Kuric could be a key factor in Louisville’s postseason success. Against Providence (14-16, 3-14), Kuric narrowly missed his first double-double with 25 points and nine rebounds, the latter his career high in a Big East game and tying his overall best accomplished against Radford last year. He hit 11 of 18 shots and also had three steals and two assists. Kuric scored 19 of his points in the second half when he was the catalyst in a UofL surge that put the game out of reach. He scored in a variety of ways, not just on his trademark

Junior Kyle Kuric is leading the team with averages of 17.1 points and 5.8 rebounds over the last nine games, and coach Rick Pitino has compared him to Larry O’Bannon, who starred on the 2005 Final Four team.- photo by Dave Klotz

three-pointers from the corner, showing he is building his repertoire of weapons with mid-range jumpers and layups and dunks off turnovers. “I’m working on doing more than just shooting threes,” said Kuric, an Evansville (Ind.) Memorial High School product who originally was a preferred walk-on at UofL but was offered a scholarship after Indiana started showing interest in him. “I’m trying to work on my mid-range game, develop my game a little bit more and add something to it. I used to have more of a (versatile) game in high school, but when I got here I wasn’t as comfortable. “Coach Pitino has drilled it into me that I had to do something more, work on my ballhandling for one thing. So the assistant coaches have been working with me on that, and I’m bringing it into the games more.” During one devastating second-half stretch Kuric scored 11 of the Cards’ 18 points, an outburst that included two threepointers, a steal that led to a dunk, and a putback of his own miss that resulted in an old-fashinoned three-point play when he charged down the baseline from the corner to corral his errant shot, scored and was fouled. When he finished, UofL had increased a 50-40 lead to 68-49. A few minutes later he went on another spree, scoring six points in two minutes on a pair of layups and a dunk. “Kyle is probably the most improved player in the Big East,” sophomore point guard Peyton Siva said. “He’s relentless on the glass, he knocks down shots. He’s just getting better every day.” Kuric said he didn’t realize his point production was so high in the second half, when he also got all three of his steals. “I didn’t know that, but we picked up our defense more, started crashing the glass, played aggressive and got easy baskets because of it,” he said. “We wanted to attack them, not let them attack us.” Kuric has certainly been on the attack the last few weeks. Over the past eight games he has been UofL’s leading scorer and re-

bounder, with averages of 16.6 points and 6.2 rebounds. He’s shooting 53.8 percent (50 of 93), including 44.9 (22 of 49) from three-point land, and has risen to second on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game, behind Knowles’ 14.5. Indicative of how well he runs the court to get easy baskets, Kuric is shooting 51.0 percent on the season and also is hitting a team-best 43.8 on treys. “What we’ve really tried to emphasize with Kyle is not to be a ‘Kyle’s corner’ type of player, where you just go to your corner and make your jump shots,” Pitino said. “He’s done a wonderful job of enhancing his game where he is now putting it on the floor a little bit, moving without the ball, getting out on the break more, hitting his mid-range jump shot more, and he’s really added to his game. “He’s still a very quiet, reserved person, but he carries a big stick now. I think he’s very confident, and I think the players are very confident in him. Now he can do more.... If his shot’s not on, he still has ways to score.” Pitino compares Kuric to former UofL standout Larry O’Bannon, who steadily improved throughout his college career until, as a senior, he became one of the mainstays of the Cards’ 2005 Final Four team. At 6-4, O’Bannon was also the same size as Kuric. “If your shot’s not on, how do you get points?” Pitino said. “Can you get to the foul line? Can you put it on the floor? Can you do other things? Kyle’s passing has improved, his defense has improved, his toughness is getting better, so it’s great to see. “I always equate Kyle to Larry O’Bannon. They remind me so much of each other because they have taken the same steps in their careers leading up to their senior year. Larry was inconsistent his junior year, but he had some terrific games, and then his senior year was terrific and he was much more consistent, and that’s sort of the same path Kyle is taking right now.” The path UofL took to victory Wednesday while handing Providence its seventh straight loss and avenging a 72-62 road defeat on Jan. 22 involved starting slow, building

steam, then dominating in the second half. After falling behind 16-9 early, the Cards took command for good with an 18-2 run. The second half was a 20-minute highlight reel of layups, dunks, steals and threepointers that left the Friars’ heads spinning. Providence shot only 32.9 percent (24 of 73) for the game, the fourth time in the last five outings that UofL has held its opponent under 38 percent. “I thought for about 30 minutes we did about all we could,” Providence coach Keno Davis said. “I do not blame our guys for the last 10 minutes, but they ran out of gas. We hit a wall, but you give Louisville credit.” UofL never let Marshon Brooks, the No. 2 scorer in NCAA Division I at 25.1 points per game, become a major factor. Brooks, who had scored 52 points in a one-point loss to Notre Dame the previous week and had burned UofL for 20 second-half points in the first meeting, missed 10 of 13 shots while scoring 12 points, his fewest in a Big East game this season. “We made up our minds we were not going to let him breathe,” Pitino said. “I’m really proud of our guys. We started slow but ended great. A lot of spectacular plays, a lot of unselfish plays again with 21 assists.” The game featured two unusual plays by the Cards that were real crowd-pleasers. The first came when Knowles, with his back to the basket, flipped the ball over his head out of desperation after grabbing a rebound at the buzzer ending the first half. When the ball dropped through the net, Knowles ran off the court laughing. “I’ve never even really tried anything like that (before),” Knowles said. “If you ever even tried anything like that during practice, Coach P would probably throw you off the team.” Near the end of the game, point guard Peyton Siva got credit for a crazy assist. Trying to run down a pass from Knowles on a fast break, Siva slipped, skidded across the floor on his chest, grabbed the ball and threw it to Kuric while sitting on his rear end. “I was trying not to get Preston a turnover,” Siva joked. Said Kuric: “I don’t know how he grabbed the ball and how he managed to see me, but it was a great play. I was thinking he was going to kick it out to somebody on the wing and then he saw me cutting for the basket and made a great pass.” Said Pitino: “That play by Peyton Siva was as good as I’ve seen as a coach. To dive head first, come up with the ball and make a perfect pass -- he’s got a tremendous gash -was incredible.” QUOTABLE -- Most of the Cards wore new, form-fitting jerseys, but Knowles rejected the tighter style, saying, “I’m not wearing that. I thought T.J. (Terrence Jennings) looked stupid. I thought Chris (Smith) looked stupid and I thought Peyton looked extra, extra stupid in that tight uniform. I’d never wear it.” Knowles can rest easy. Pitino says it was a one-game promotion by adidas. “It was supposed to be this cool, stretch thing, lighter and better,” Pitino said. “But the problem with it is the numbers were too small.”


PAGE 12

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

FEBRUARY 3, 2011


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL SENIOR NIGHT PHOTO GALLERY

Senior Preston Knowles embraced coach Rick Pitino after Louisville dispatched Providence 87-60 on Senior Night last Wednesday. Knowles thanked Pitino for giving him “the chance to play Division I basketball.” - photo by Shelley Feller

Senior George Goode shot a jumper from near the top of the key against Providence. Goode hit 2 of 5 jumpers and finished with four points and two rebounds. photo by Dave Klotz

Rick Pitino told fans prior to the game that this team has been a joy to coach as he spoke about each of the seniors on his team. Pitino was glowing in praise of his two senior players and three senior managers. - photo by Dave Klotz

PAGE 13


PAGE 14

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL SENIOR NIGHT PHOTO GALLERY Senior Preston Knowles jokingly asked the crowd to say the phrase, “Can I get a hot tub!� before starting his speech thanking teammates, coaches and managers. It is believed the phrase refers to a State Farm commercial where college students ask for gifts to appear thanks to their State Farm agent. - photo by Dave Klotz

Goode was in good spirits as he thanked the fans, his coaches and teammates during a post-game speech last Wednesday. Goode said he loved his time as a Cardinal. He expects to graduate this spring and transfer to another school for his final year of eligibility. - photo by Dave Klotz

Coach Rick Pitino posed for a picture with Knowles and his family on Senior Night. photo by Shelley Feller

Coach Rick Pitino posed for a picture with senior George Goode and his family on Senior Night. - photo by Shelley Feller

Knowles raised his first to acknowledge the student section chanting his name during a pregame ceremony on Senior Night last Wednesday. photo by Dave Klotz


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

PAGE 15

RECRUITING LOUISVILLE SWIMMING ANDNOTEBOOK DIVING PHOTO GALLERY

FOOTBALL STAFF DISHES OUT EARLY OFFERS By Jeff Wafford University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong and his staff are getting an early start on the class of the 2012, making verbal scholarship offers to some of the nation’s best. Last week we got word that the Cardinals had offered two teammates who may end up being among the top defensive linemen in Georgia. Jonathan Taylor (6-4, 315, tackle) and James DeLoach (6-3, 260, end) already have scholarship offers from loads of programs, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and many others. That doesn’t scare the UofL coaches, however, as they traveled to Jenkins County H.S. (Millen, Ga.) to check in on the pair recently. Taylor, who JEFF WAFFORD is considered by many to be the No. 1 recruit in the Peach State, has said that he hopes to attend the same college as DeLoach. Another UofL target is Jake Meador (66, 280), who was recognized as one of the top offensive linemen at the U.S. Army Junior Combine in January. He picked up an offer from the Cards last week. “My high school football coach told me to call Coach (Vance) Bedford, so I talked to him Monday night,” the Whiteland H.S. (Ind.) product reported. “He said he was going to look at my film and so was the O-line coach. I guess they looked at it and really liked it. He didn’t say a whole lot, just that he really liked my film and how I finished my blocks. He sounded like a good guy and a good recruiter.” Louisville’s campus is just a 1 1/2-hour drive from Meador’s home, and it’s a trip he has made before. “I have been there a couple times when my brother was going through the recruiting process,” Meador said. “My brother goes to Cincinnati, so he also plays in the Big East, and I know it’s a pretty good conference with some good football.” A return trip to Louisville is currently being mapped by Meador and his family, and they expect to be on campus within the next month. “When their spring practices start, I plan on making a trip down there,” Meador said. “Tennessee also wanted me to come and see them for a spring practice. I will have to talk with my parents and see what we can do.” Meador has noticed Wisconsin, Purdue and Indiana picking up their interest, and Northern Illinois could be close to offering as well. His first offer came from Kentucky. Meador is listed as one of Rivals.com’s preseason 250 to watch.

Avon H.S. (Ind.) offensive tackle DeAndre Herron (6-6, 300) also has started to pick up offers, including one that came recently from the Cardinals. MEADOR “I called them right after school and talked to the O-line coach (Dave Borbely),” Herron said. “We just started talking about my height, weight and that they needed linemen. He said they wanted to offer me, and I made him say it three times to make sure he was serious. I was crazy with excitement.” Now that he has a Louisville offer in hand, Herron said he’s excited to see the school himself and already has made plans to check out Belknap Campus. “Sid Anvoots (an offensive tackle from nearby Bishop Chatard H.S.) got offered by them, too, and me and him are pretty good friends, so we are going to go down on March 23 to check it out,” Herron said. “He is the one that made the plans, so we are going to go down and meet them together.” Herron plans to enjoy himself on the March 23 visit, but he also looks at it as a business trip, and will look to get some of his questions answered about the program and the school. “First, I am going to find out what they are known for as far as majors and education,” he said. “It’s pretty close to home, so I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to go there. It’s one of the schools I will definitely keep in my mind.” Herron also has visits set up to Ball State on March 15 and Toledo on March 19, and he is considering a visit to Michigan on March 26. Other schools showing interest include Michigan State, South Alabama, Wisconsin, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Southern Mississippi. He plans to see as many schools as he can before choosing a college. “I’m still keeping my options open,” he said. “I still have a whole senior year to mess around with it, and we’ll see how far my recruiting status can go.” BASKETBALL TIDBITS UofL basketball signee Wayne Blackshear (a 6-5 guard/forward) was named Chicago Player of the Year by the Chicago Sun-Times last week. The Morgan Park H.S. product averaged 28 points and 12 rebounds for the year. Blackshear beat out Connecticut signee Ryan Boatright (East Aurora H.S.) and Kentucky signee Anthony

Davis (Chicago Perspectives H.S.) for the award. Another signee, Bowling Green H.S. (Ky.) product Chane Behanan (a 6-8 power forward), is HERRON having a solid postseason. He led BGHS to a victory over Franklin Simpson H.S. in the first round of the Fourth Region playoffs by racking up 29 points, 12 rebounds, six steals, five blocks and four assists. Signee Zach Price (Jeffersontown H.S. – Ky.) continues to help the Chargers make a playoff push. After returning from an injury that kept him out of half the season, Price helped J’town reach the Seventh Region finals against Eastern H.S., the No. 1 team in the state. Gary Harris (6-4), a four-star recruit who is rated as the No. 5 shooting guard and No. 24 player overall in the junior class, visited UofL for the Pittsburgh game – his second visit to the KFC Yum! Center for a game this season. “I had a good time,” he said. “I got to see a really good game. I had a really good visit.”

“It was a great atmosphere,” the product of Southeastern H.S. (Fishers, Ind.) added. “You could see all the fans were into it. Everybody was wearing their white, and it really gave them what they needed to get the win.” Harris was one of several talented prospects taking in the contest, including Behanan and 2012 verbal commitments Rodney Purvis (a 6-5 guard from Raleigh, N.C.) and Negus Webster-Chan (a 6-6 forward from Huntington, W.Va.). “We all sat next to each other,” Harris said. “We were just being kids and talking about the game and other stuff. They didn’t put too much pressure on me (to commit) or anything like that.” While the locker room was abuzz after the game with media, players and recruits, Harris said he did get to speak with the UofL coaches briefly about how glad they were to get him back for a visit and back on campus. Harris is a player the Cards obviously want in the 2012 class, especially with his size and versatility at the guard position. “I like them a lot,” Harris said, although he admitted he doesn’t have a “list” set in stone yet. “I like the way they play. And they have a good coaching staff and great facilities.” Harris also is considering Indiana, Illinois, Cincinnati, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and many others.

SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE DATES Wednesday, March 23 at 4 p.m. through Friday, Apr. 15., 7:30 p.m.

ANNUAL

RED-WHITE SPRING GAME Friday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium FREE ADMISSION


PAGE 16

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

MARCH 10, 2011

SELECTED SPRING FALL SPORTS SPORTS SCHEDULES SCHEDULES KFC Yum! Center OPENING PHOTO GALLERY

DATE

OPPONENT / EVENT

BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge 02/18/11 vs. Michigan 02/19/11 vs. Ohio State 02/20/11 vs. Minnesota 02/25/11 vs. TOLEDO 02/26/11 vs. TOLEDO 02/27/11 vs. TOLEDO 03/01/11 vs. MOREHEAD STATE 03/04/11 vs. KENT STATE 03/05/11 vs. KENT STATE 03/06/11 vs. KENT STATE 03/08/11 vs. PURDUE UBS Spring Trip 03/11/11 at Pepperdine 03/12/11 at Pepperdine 03/13/11 at Pepperdine 03/15/11 at USC 03/16/11 at USC 03/18/11 vs. XAVIER 03/19/11 vs. XAVIER 03/20/11 vs. XAVIER 03/22/11 vs. KENT STATE 03/25/11 at Rutgers # 03/26/11 at Rutgers # 03/27/11 at Rutgers # 03/29/11 vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY 04/01/11 vs. WEST VIRGINIA # 04/02/11 vs. WEST VIRGINIA # 04/03/11 vs. WEST VIRGINIA # 04/05/11 at Western Kentucky 04/08/11 at Cincinnati # 04/09/11 at Cincinnati # 04/10/11 at Cincinnati # 04/12/11 vs. KENTUCKY TV 04/15/11 at St. John’s # 04/16/11 at St. John’s # 04/17/11 at St. John’s # 04/19/11 vs. INDIANA (Cancer Awareness Night) 04/21/11 vs. USF # TV 04/22/11 vs. USF # 04/23/11 vs. USF # 04/26/11 at Kentucky 04/29/11 vs. GEORGETOWN # 04/30/11 vs. GEORGETOWN # 05/01/11 vs. GEORGETOWN # 05/03/11 vs. EASTERN MICHIGAN 05/04/11 vs. EASTERN MICHIGAN (Elementary School Day) 05/05/11 at Seton Hall # 05/06/11 at Seton Hall # 05/07/11 at Seton Hall # 05/10/11 vs. VANDERBILT (Patriotic Night) TV 05/13/11 at Connecticut # 05/14/11 at Connecticut # 05/15/11 at Connecticut # 05/17/11 at Indiana 05/19/11 vs. NOTRE DAME # TV 05/20/11 vs. NOTRE DAME # TV 05/21/11 vs. NOTRE DAME # TV 05/25/11 at BIG EAST Championship 05/26/11 at BIG EAST Championship 05/27/11 at BIG EAST Championship 05/28/11 at BIG EAST Championship 05/29/11 at BIG EAST Championship

LOCATION

TIME / RESULT

St. Petersburg, Fla. Clearwater, Fla. St. Petersburg, Fla. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM

W, 6-3 W, 2-0 W, 3-0 L, 3-1 L, 4-2 W, 4-2 W, 6-1 W, 3-2 W, 5-3 W, 1-0 3:00 PM ET

Malibu, Calif. Malibu, Calif. Malibu, Calif. Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles, Calif. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Piscataway, N.J. Piscataway, N.J. Piscataway, N.J. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Bowling Green, Ky. Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Queens, N.Y. Queens, N.Y. Queens, N.Y.

5:00 PM ET 4:00 PM ET 4:00 PM ET 9:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 6:30 PM ET 4:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 12:00 PM ET

JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Lexington, Ky. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM

6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:30 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET

JIM PATTERSON STADIUM South Orange, N.J. South Orange, N.J. South Orange, N.J.

12:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET

JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Norwich, Conn. Storrs, Conn. Storrs, Conn. Bloomington, Ind. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Clearwater, Fla. Clearwater, Fla. Clearwater, Fla. Clearwater, Fla. Clearwater, Fla.

6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 12:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

DATE

OPPONENT / EVENT

Texas Invitational 02/10/11 at Texas 02/11/11 vs. Northern Illinois 02/12/11 vs. Tulsa vs. Tulsa 02/13/11 vs. Texas Bama Bash 02/18/11 vs. Syracuse at Alabama 02/19/11 vs. UTSA 02/20/11 vs. UTSA 02/19/11 at Alabama Louisville Red & Black Tournament 02/25/11 vs. SIUE vs. BOSTON UNIVERSITY 02/26/11 vs. WRIGHT STATE 02/27/11 vs. MIAMI (OHIO) vs. WRIGHT STATE Tennessee Tech Combat Classic 03/04/11 vs. Middle Tennessee State vs. North Carolina State 03/05/11 at Tennessee Tech 03/06/11 vs. Belmont vs. Samford Louisville Tournament 03/12/11 vs. MICHIGAN vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY 03/13/11 vs. MICHIGAN vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY San Diego Classic II 03/18/11 vs. Cal State Northridge at San Diego State 03/19/11 vs. Wisconsin vs. Ohio 03/20/11 vs. Ohio State 03/23/11 vs. KENTUCKY 03/26/11 vs. VILLANOVA # vs. VILLANOVA # 03/27/11 vs. VILLANOVA # 03/30/11 at DePaul at DePaul 04/02/11 vs. SETON HALL # vs. SETON HALL # 04/03/11 vs. SETON HALL # 04/06/11 vs. INDIANA 04/09/11 at Pittsburgh # at Pittsburgh # 04/10/11 at Pittsburgh # 04/13/11 vs. CONNECTICUT # vs. CONNECTICUT # 04/16/11 at Notre Dame # at Notre Dame # 04/17/11 at Notre Dame # 04/20/11 at Kentucky 04/21/11 vs. PROVIDENCE # 04/23/11 vs. PROVIDENCE # vs. PROVIDENCE # 05/04/11 at Georgetown # at Georgetown # 05/07/11 at Syracuse # at Syracuse # 05/08/11 at Syracuse # BIG EAST Conference Championship 05/12/11 TBA # 05/13/11 TBA # 05/14/11 TBA #

LOCATION

TIME / RESULT

Austin, Texas Austin, Texas Austin, Texas Austin, Texas Austin, Texas

L, 6-2 W, 6-1 W, 4-1 W, 5-0 L, 14-4

Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala.

L, 3-2 L, 9-8 W, 2-1 W, 7-3 (10) L, 9-8

ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM

W, 10-0 W, 5-0 W, 8-0 L, 6-5 W, 10-0

Cookeville, Tenn. Cookeville, Tenn. Cookeville, Tenn. Cookeville, Tenn. Cookeville, Tenn.

W, 10-5 W, 3-2 CANCELLED CANCELLED CANCELLED

ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM

12:00 p.m. ET 4:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET

San Diego, Calif. San Diego, Calif. San Diego, Calif. San Diego, Calif. San Diego, Calif. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Chicago, Ill. Chicago, Ill. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh, Pa. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM South Bend, Ind. South Bend, Ind. South Bend, Ind. Lexington, Ky. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Washington, D. C. Washington, D. C. Syracuse, N. Y. Syracuse, N. Y. Syracuse, N. Y.

2:30 p.m. ET 10:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 7:30 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 5:30 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 6:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET

ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM

TBA TBA TBA

LACROSSE DATE OPPONENT / EVENT 02/20/11 vs. BINGHAMTON 02/26/11 vs. OLD DOMINION 03/04/11 vs. OREGON 03/12/11 vs. Jacksonville 03/17/11 at Sacred Heart 03/19/11 at Manhattan 03/24/11 vs. STANFORD 03/27/11 vs. CINCINNATI # 03/30/11 vs. VANDERBILT 04/03/11 vs. OHIO STATE 04/08/11 at Loyola (Md.) 04/10/11 at Georgetown # 04/15/11 vs. RUTGERS # 04/17/11 vs. VILLANOVA 04/21/11 at Syracuse # 04/23/11 at Connecticut # 04/29/11 vs. NOTRE DAME # BIG EAST Tournament 05/05/11 BIG EAST Semifinals 05/07/11 BIG EAST Championship

LOCATION U of L LACROSSE STADIUM U of L LACROSSE STADIUM U of L LACROSSE STADIUM Cumming, Ga. Fairfield, Conn. Riverdale, N.Y. U of L LACROSSE STADIUM U of L LACROSSE STADIUM U of L LACROSSE STADIUM U of L LACROSSE STADIUM Baltimore, Md. Washington, D.C. U of L LACROSSE STADIUM U of L LACROSSE STADIUM Syracuse, N.Y. Storrs, Conn. U of L LACROSSE STADIUM

TIME / RESULT W, 18-4 W, 12-7 W, 15-13 1:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Georgetown) WASHINGTON, D.C. (Georgetown)

TBA TBA


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

PAGE 17

LOUISVILLE BASEBALL

AMLUNG IS A ‘FREEBIE’ TURNED STAR

By Howie Lindsey University of Louisville sophomore righthanded pitcher Justin Amlung, who is on an academic scholarship, is a “freebie” for coach Dan McDonnell, but he might be the Cardinals’ most valuable player through the first 10 games of the season. Amlung is Louisville’s Saturday starter, meaning he’s the second pitcher in the rotation. In three starts so far this season he’s 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA. He’s given up just two runs in 20 2/3 innings and has notched a teamhigh 13 strikeouts. Yet, he’s not on athletic scholarship. “Honestly, coming to Louisville started with academics,” the Louisville St. Xavier H.S. graduate said. “I got into Speed (Scientific) School, and I got a good academic scholarship. Then I basically begged the coaches to give me a shot at baseball, and I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity as a walk-on.” In baseball, the term “freebie” typically refers to a walk, but in college baseball the term can HOWIE LINDSEY mean something completely different. Most fans would be surprised to learn that most college baseball players aren’t on full scholarship. In fact, the NCAA limits teams to 11.7 scholarships that can be split among up to 27 players, although a roster typically numbers more than 30 players. That means there usually are 5-10 players on any college roster who don’t have athletic scholarships. Those players are preferred walk-ons, and some of them are on academic scholarships. But it is rare that those players are starters, much less one of the team’s top arms like Amlung. “We weren’t sure what we would get out of him, but you saw it last year - as the season went on he just got better and better and better,” McDonnell said. “He put his time in, and this year he is a weekend starter.” A weekend starter who says he had to beg the coaches to let him join the team. “(I begged) a lot,” Amlung said. “I was a preferred walk-on. I found out I had a spot on the team in July before my freshman year, which meant I had a month to prepare before the school year started.” Amlung, who grew up a UofL fan, says he still remembers the day assistant coach Chris Lemonis told him he’d have a roster spot. “I remember the day I found out,” Amlung said. “I was actually playing summer ball with Derek Self and Timmy Hayes, who played for us a couple of years ago. I found out as we were playing in a tournament in Cincinnati. (Coach Lemonis) was up there to watch me throw in the tournament. Everybody was really excited for me, and it was just a cool experience.” McDonnell laughed when told that Amlung said that he begged to be on the squad. “I’m not sure about that, but I know he wanted to be a Cardinal,” McDonnell said. “That just goes to show it is not about when you commit or how early you sign or what you were ranked in high school. I steal the line from Coach (Rick) Pitino all the time --‘You never arrive’ -- and a kid like Justin Amlung is a prime example of that. He never thought he arrived, and he just kept working. He passed a lot of guys along the way

A scholar and an athlete, former Louisville St. Xavier star Justin Amlung is a weekend starter for Louisville, but he doesn’t take up an athletic scholarship. Amlung is ahead of pace to graduate from the Speed Scientific School, according to coach Dan McDonnell. - photo by Shelley Feller

because he never felt like he arrived. A lot of athletes could take a lesson from him. “Something you learn in college recruiting, there is something to be said for kids who want to be here. Don’t get me wrong, you have to be talented, but Justin was a kid that just wanted to come here. That was one of the primary reasons that we looked at him in high school. He had the desire to play here.” But begging - ahem, asking - a baseball coach for a chance wasn’t new to Amlung, who says he went to his high school coach after his sophomore year with a request. “My brother coached me my final two years of high school,” Amlung said of Damon, who was an assistant to John Jefferson. “I didn’t really pitch until my final two years of high school. I was a catcher, believe it or not. “My freshman year of high school I was the backup catcher, and then I split some time as a sophomore. My junior year, moving to varsity, I had a senior All-State catcher in front of me. I knew I wasn’t going to get to play, so I asked if I could throw. He let me and liked what he saw, and it went from there.” That moved worked out well. He was 6-3 his junior year with a 2.09 ERA. A first team All-State selection as a senior, he was 7-1 with a 1.55 ERA and was named his team’s MVP. But that’s where Amlung’s baseball career hit a crossroads. He could have gone with the schools recruiting him or go to his hometown University to pursue academics first and try to

play baseball later. “I wanted to play college baseball for sure, and I didn’t really want to go the Division II or NAIA route,” Amlung said. “I definitely picked UofL for school first and then wound up playing. I feel blessed.” Amlung redshirted his first year, hitting the books and weight room hard. He’s still not physically imposing at just 6 feet and 174 pounds, but he soaked in the instruction from Roger Williams, Louisville’s nationally renowned pitching coach. “He’s taken huge steps in each of his three years here,” McDonnell said. “He’s obviously a bright kid, so the aptitude is there. Then when you combine that with the best pitching coach in the country in Roger Williams, you learn. In his three years he has picked up on things - like working faster, he used to be so slow. Coach Williams worked to tighten up his slider and really worked on his command of the zone. I think he has shown how bright he is in all areas because he keeps getting better.” Amlung said he made a big leap from his redshirt year to his freshman season. “I think I got a lot better during summer ball after my redshirt-freshman year,” he said. “My first year I was just kind of happy to be here. I showed signs that I could play at this level, but I wasn’t really all the way ready to run out on the field and play. Then I took the summer and played in Danville (Ill.), and I felt like I matured so much and got a lot more confidence.” He finished with a 5-2 record and a 4.27 ERA last season while moving into the weekend rotation by the first week of May. He made 20 appearances, including 10 starts, and recorded 55 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings. “Finishing last year I had the inside edge for a weekend spot,” Amlung said. “The way I threw this fall, I pretty much knew. It was just a question of who would be the Friday guy, either me or Matt Koch.” Koch is the current Friday starter, with Amlung taking Saturdays. Amlung is effective because he keeps hitters on their heels with pitch location and speed. He is crafty, pounds the strike zone and has a pretty solid slider. “My slider has been pretty good all year, but the main thing is just about pumping the ball into the zone,” he said. “I want to make them put the ball in play, and our defense has been playing well. I’ll just keep doing that. “Coming in, I never thought I would be in a position like this and playing like I am. I am really thankful. I am blessed.” JUGGLING ACADEMICS, BASEBALL Amlung is a constant in Louisville’s rotation, but he can seem like a ghost sometimes in practice. That’s due to his demanding Speed School schedule. “Scheduling classes is probably the worst thing that I have to do,” he said. “It is absolutely the toughest thing about it. I have to miss Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday practices because of classes. “I’m only here on Wednesdays for practice. We have games on Friday, so my only day is Wednesday. And then each day when I leave practice I have to study. I have a test or homework or something.” Many coaches wouldn’t accept a player missing that much practice time, but McDonnell said he believes Amlung can handle it. “He’s the ultimate student-athlete,” McDonnell said. “He’s a junior essentially and a

bright kid, so he can do that. If he was trying to do that as a freshman, he would be completely lost. He and Coach Williams have a great relationship, and they communicate often.” Amlung said being a pitcher, most of his preparation for a weekend start can be done on his own, or at least without too many teammates. “It is fine, but it is probably a good thing I am a pitcher,” he said. “It is easier for me to get my work in on my own than it would for a position player, by far. I show up and do all of my work in half an hour normally. I get my running and throws in, and I am good to go.” Amlung is ahead of schedule to graduate, and he’s made the Big East all-academic team. “I have seen him in there throwing at 7 at night,” McDonnell said. “He’ll be throwing into the netting because he doesn’t have another partner in there.... Justin is a professional in that he gets his work in day-in and day-out. He knows what he needs to do, and he does it.” McDonnell said he likes what he is seeing from Amlung so far this season. “I am happy because he seems to stay hungry,” McDonnell said. “He hasn’t reached that point where he has arrived. He seems to want to get better all the time, and I think he will continue to get better.” Amlung wants to continue progressing and said his goal is to keep his team winning. “For this season, I would like to keep doing what I am doing now,” he said. “I want to keep putting up zeros (on the scoreboard), and I’d love to keep going out there for five, six, seven and maybe eight innings at a time. I want to be a workhorse.” NEVER TOO LATE As was the case with Amlung, many pitchers in college and the professional leagues didn’t start out as pitchers. McDonnell said it is almost never too late for a good athlete to convert to throwing from the mound. “Pitching is the one area in baseball that you can pick up late,” he said. “If you have the arm strength and can throw it where you want to throw it, you can pick it up quickly.” CARDS SWEEP SERIES Amlung was one of three winning Cardinals pitchers over the weekend as No. 23 Louisville swept Kent State in a three-game series. The Cardinals won 3-2 Friday night in 11 innings, with reliever Derek Self getting the win. He worked three innings after Koch went eight innings and allowed just one earned run. Amlung allowed just one hit in seven innings as UofL won 5-3 on Saturday. There’s never been a no-hitter at Jim Patterson Stadium, but Amlung is one of four UofL pitchers to go seven or more innings with just one hit allowed there, the last time coming April 11, 2009, when Thomas Royse gave up just one hit in eight innings against Pittsburgh. “My fastball was pretty good today, and I thought I was moving it around on both sides of the plate,” Amlung said. “They were fairly aggressive and kept putting the balls in play, which helped me stay out there.” The Cardinals (8-2) completed the sweep Sunday when starter Mike Nastold worked five innings to earn the victory as the Cards won 1-0.


PAGE 18

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

MARCH 10, 2011

SELECTED 2007 LOUISVILLE FALL CARDINAL SPORTS BASKETBALL CARAVAN SCHEDULES KFC Yum! Center OPENING PHOTO GALLERY LOUISVILLE TRACK AND FIELD

2010-11 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON STATS MINUTES

TOTAL

3-PTS

F-THROWS

REBOUNDS

SCORING

##

Player

GP

GS

Tot

Avg

FG

FGA

Pct

3FG

FGA

Pct

FT

FTA

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Avg

PF

FO

02

Knowles, Preston

30

29

904

30.1

148

390

.379

88

229

.384

51

64

.797

19

98

117

3.9

80

3

90

57

6

56

435

14.5

14

Kuric, Kyle

29

15

766

26.4

114

219

.521

61

134

.455

24

29

.828

36

69

105

3.6

50

0

34

24

6

25

313

10.8

03

Siva, Peyton

31

31

865

27.9

100

222

.450

23

82

.280

85

125

.680

8

82

90

2.9

82

3

156

89

5

66

308

9.9

05

Smith, Chris

31

16

787

25.4

104

221

.471

33

80

.413

52

75

.693

48

88

136

4.4

41

0

76

48

3

27

293

9.5

23

Jennings, Terrence

30

19

706

23.5

111

212

.524

0

0

.000

58

91

.637

73

85

158

5.3

79

2

23

31

56

19

280

9.3

04

Buckles, Rakeem

16

10

301

18.8

39

81

.481

11

26

.423

19

31

.613

36

62

98

6.1

38

0

24

36

4

13

108

6.8

33

Marra, Mike

27

11

539

20.0

55

174

.316

38

140

.271

20

26

.769

11

46

57

2.1

36

0

57

32

8

25

168

6.2

10

Dieng, Gorgui

25

10

396

15.8

59

93

.634

0

1

.000

28

50

.560

47

64

111

4.4

52

3

19

26

52

12

146

5.8

44

Van Treese, Stephan 29

12

421

14.5

43

62

.694

0

0

.000

9

28

.321

51

61

112

3.9

49

0

8

18

4

19

95

3.3

00

Goode, George

24

2

200

8.3

31

67

.463

2

6

.333

5

7

.714

15

20

35

1.5

24

0

3

10

10

7

69

2.9

24

Smith, Russ

15

0

93

6.2

14

40

.350

7

17

.412

3

5

.600

1

6

7

0.5

17

0

14

13

1

13

38

2.5

22

Justice, Elisha

25

0

255

10.2

18

52

.346

7

26

.269

19

31

.613

2

24

26

1.0

31

0

30

12

0

8

62

2.5

Henderson, Tim

17

0

62

3.6

7

21

.333

2

9

.222

1

2

.500

0.6

12

0

6

3

0

4

17

1.0

15

TEAM

3

8

11

28

27

55

A

1

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

Avg

7

Total

31

6295

843

1854

.455

272

750

.363

374

564

.663

378

740

1118

36.1

592

11

540

406

155

294

2332 75.2

Opponents

31

6295

676

1708

.396

176

570

.309

467

674

.693

396

721

1117

36.0

531

-

355

509

80

202

1995 64.4

2010-11 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON STATS MINUTES

TOTAL

3-PTS

F-THROWS

REBOUNDS

SCORING

##

Player

GP

GS

Tot

Avg

FG

FGA

Pct

3FG

FGA

Pct

FT

FTA

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Avg

PF

FO

A

TO

Blk

33

Reid, Monique

31

21

843

27.2

196

352

.557

1

8

.125

108

148

.730

77

114

191

6.2

47

0

53

72

9

23

Schimmel, Shoni

31

31

945

30.5

164

421

.390

84

229

.367

34

46

.739

22

87

109

3.5

64

0

161

126

3

25

Gibbs, Tia

31

31

819

26.4

98

235

.417

38

109

.349

26

33

.788

25

93

118

3.8

69

2

45

54

10

11

Burke, Becky

31

17

787

25.4

83

191

.435

56

141

.397

36

39

.923

14

63

77

2.5

23

0

41

37

0

45

Hines, Keshia

31

31

710

22.9

84

155

.542

1

1

1.000

49

94

.521

83

108

191

6.2

114

10

37

75

35

03

Vails, Sheronne

31

10

537

17.3

59

135

.437

1

5

.200

37

53

.698

35

45

80

2.6

61

1

13

36

46

31

Taylor, Asia

27

14

373

13.8

39

92

.424

1

3

.333

26

45

.578

36

45

81

3.0

55

1

20

34

3

20

105

3.9

04

Slaughter, Antonita 30

0

305

10.2

33

80

.413

28

67

.418

14

17

.824

21

34

55

1.8

24

0

11

11

2

13

108

3.6

05

Tay, Charmaine

26

0

369

14.2

23

67

.343

4

15

.267

28

47

.596

21

44

65

2.5

26

0

38

34

5

19

78

3.0

10

Johnson, LaToya

5

0

36

7.2

4

5

.800

1

1

1.000

2

2

1.000

1

5

6

1.2

3

0

3

2

0

1

11

2.2

20

Harrington, Polly

14

0

80

5.7

9

26

.346

2

9

.222

8

12

.667

7

4

11

0.8

12

1

3

8

1

6

28

2.0

01

Harper, Shelby

23

0

269

11.7

5

32

.156

2

22

.091

9

16

.563

4

22

26

1.1

37

1

26

24

1

11

21

0.9

30

Story, Rachel

21

0

127

6.0

4

16

.250

1

5

.200

5

6

.833

3

14

17

0.8

8

0

15

14

0

4

14

43

52

95

3.1

2

TEAM

Stl

Pts

Avg

45

501

16.2

66

446

14.4

80

260

8.4

18

258

8.3

43

218

7.0

22

156

5.0

18

0.7 0

Total

31

6200

801

1807

.443

220

615

.358

382

558

.685

392

730

1122

36.2

545

16

466

545

115

348

2204 71.1

Opponents

31

6200

649

1671

.388

173

582

.297

363

551

.659

392

706

1098

35.4

549

-

393

682

76

241

1834 59.2

* Stats listed prior to Sunday night’s game against Notre Dame

GET YOUR LOUISVILLE NEWS AROUND THE CLOCK On the web at CardinalSports.com

On Twitter @howielindsey

On Facebook facebook.com/louisvillesportsreport

Also check out the Louisville SportsReport’s Howie Lindsey on ION Channel 21 in Louisville Wednesday and Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. Now in Hazard, Elizabethtown, Hopkinsville, Owensboro and Evansville, Ind.


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

PAGE 19

BIG EAST 2007 TOURNAMENT CARDINAL CARAVAN NOTEBOOK BASKETBALL PREVIEW VS. PITT

Sophomore Stephan Van Treese has emerged as a tough guy in the trenches for the Cards. The 6-9 forward has started 12 games and is averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds, 51 of them on the offensive end, which is second on the team.- photo by Dave Klotz

Big East Basketball Standings 1. Pittsburgh

27-4 (15-3)

Needing to win Saturday to gain No. 1 seed in Big East tourney, the Panthers downed visiting Villanova 60-50. Won 66-50 at South Florida Wednesday.

2. Notre Dame

25-5 (14-4)

Irish beat visiting Villanova 93-72 Monday, won 70-67 at UConn Saturday.

t-3. Louisville

23-8 (12-6)

Cards thumped visiting Providence 87-60 Wednesday, gave one away 72-70 at WVU Saturday.

t-3. Syracuse

25-6 (12-6)

Rejuvenated Orange walloped visiting DePaul 107-59 Saturday to earn No. 4 seed and a double bye in BE tourney.

t-3. St. John’s

20-10 (12-6)

Red Storm lost 84-70 at Seton Hall Wednesday to snap six-game winning streak, beat visiting South Florida 72-56 Saturday.

t-6. West Virginia

20-10 (11-7)

Mountaineers beat visiting UConn 65-56 Wednesday, snatched victory from jaws of defeat Saturday against visiting Cards, 72-70.

By Russ Brown TEAM TO BEAT Take your pick. This Big East Tournament is probably more wide open than ever. You would have to give Pittsburgh’s Panthers a slight edge because they’re the regular-season champs, but they didn’t overwhelm anyone, with six of their wins coming by eight or fewer points. And, good grief, they nearly lost to Rutgers (65-62). But Pitt is a veteran team that relies on two staples that could make the difference -- defense and rebounding. DARKHORSE Syracuse certainly has talent and appears to be hitting its stride. Best of all for the Orange, it’s not in Louisville’s half of the bracket, so it wouldn’t have to face the team that has beaten it seven times in a row until the final. MOST AT STAKE Marquette: The Golden Eagles are the bubble team that will determine whether or not the Big East lands 11 clubs in the NCAA Tournament, and they probably need at least one victory to punch their ticket. Marquette has by far the weakest RPI among the 11 hopefuls and is sagging, having dropped back-to-back games to Cincinnati at home and to Seton Hall on the road. TOUGHEST ROAD Cincinnati: Among the teams that have a legitimate chance at the title, the most difficult path belongs to the Bearcats. They would probably have to beat four ranked teams in a row, starting with dangerous Villanova in the second round Wednesday night, then Notre Dame, then either Louisville or West Virginia to reach the championship game for the first time. EASIEST ROAD There are no “easy” routes to the title in this league, and it doesn’t appear that anyone has a significant advantage, although you have to like Pitt’s chances of at least reaching the semifinals. ONE AND DONE DePaul, Rutgers, South Florida, Providence. COACH ON THE HOT SEAT Keno Davis, Providence. PLAYERS TO WATCH UofL’s Preston Knowles, Kyle Kuric and Peyton Siva; Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis; Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs and

Brad Wanamaker; Syracuse’s Rick Jackson; Providence’s Marshon Brooks; Marquette’s Jae Crowder; Connecticut’s Kemba Walker; Georgetown’s Austin Freeman; Seton Hall’s Jeremy Hazell; St. John’s’ Dwight Hardy; Villanova’s Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes. WHO’S HOT Notre Dame comes into the tournament on the best roll, its only loss in the last 10 games coming at West Virginia (72-58), and the Irish won at Pittsburgh (56-51) in late January. The Irish are a veteran team, with nearly everyone back from the group that advanced to last year’s semifinals before being edged 53-51 by eventual champion West Virginia. WHO’S COLD Villanova, once being talked about as a contender for a second Final Four trip in the past three years, has fallen on hard times, just as it did last year, and has injury issues with starting guards Stokes and Fisher. The Wildcats have lost four in a row. Georgetown also falls into this category, with three straight losses and four in the last five. HOW COACHES FARED WITH PICKS Here is how the Big East coaches fared in their preseason poll. They correctly picked the bottom four teams, although in a slightly different order. However, they missed badly on Louisville, Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Villanova, underestimating the first three and overestimating the Wildcats. These are the final standings, with preseason picks in parentheses: 1. Pittsburgh (1) 2. Notre Dame (7) t-3. Louisville (t8) t-3. Syracuse (3) t-3. St. John’s (6) t-6. West Virginia (5) t-6. Cincinnati (12) 8. Georgetown (4) t-9. Connecticut (10) t-9. Villanova (2) t-9. Marquette (t8) 12. Seton Hall (11) 13. Rutgers (15) 14. Providence (14) 15. USF (13) 16. DePaul (16)

t-6. Cincinnati

24-7 (11-7)

Surging Bearcats won 67-60 at Marquette Wednesday, beat visiting Georgetown 69-47 Saturday for fifth victory in six games.

8. Georgetown

21-9 (10-8)

Injury-depleted Hoyas lost 69-47 at Cincinnati Saturday, their third loss in a row.

t-9. Connecticut

21-9 (9-9)

Huskies dropped two last week: 65-56 at WVU Wednesday, 70-67 to visiting Notre Dame Saturday.

t-9. Villanova

21-10 (9-9)

Slumping Wildcats 0-2 last week: 93-72 at Notre Dame Monday, 60-50 at Pittsburgh Saturday. Have lost five of last seven games.

t-9. Marquette

18-13 (9-9)

Golden Eagles on the bubble after losing twice last week: 67-60 to visiting Cincinnati Wednesday, 85-72 at Seton Hall Saturday.

12. Seton Hall

13-17 (7-11)

Pirates had a good week, knocking off visiting St. John’s 84-70 Thursday, beating visiting Marquette 85-72 Saturday.

13. Rutgers

14-16 (5-13)

Knights won 68-64 at hapless DePaul Wednesday, lost 75-74 at Providence Saturday.

14. Providence

15-16 (4-14)

Friars were bashed 87-60 at Louisville Wednesday, edged visiting Rutgers 75-74 Saturday.

15. South Florida

9-22 (3-15)

Bulls lost 66-50 to visiting Pittsburgh Wednesday, lost 72-56 at St. John’s Saturday.

16. DePaul

7-23 (1-17)

Hapless Blue Demons lost 68-64 to visiting Rutgers Wednesday, were clobbered 107-59 at Syracuse Saturday.


PAGE 20

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REID

MONIQUE REID - WOMEN’S BASKETBALL The junior from Louisville’s Fern Creek High had 12 points and 13 rebounds to spark the Cardinals to a 69-47 victory over Villanova in the second round of the Big East Tournament Saturday right in Hartford, Conn. Reid hit just 4 of 11 shots but made 4 of 5 free throws. She played only 19 minutes and had a steal and a turnover. Reid is Louisville’s leading scorer at 16.2 ppg. She also is tied for the team lead at 6.2 rebounds per game. She is third on the team with 45 steals and leads in made free throws with 108. The next-closest on the team is Keshia Hines with 49.

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JULIA FELLERHOFF - WOMEN’S TENNIS The freshman from Deerfield, Ill., beat Cincinnati’s Ksenia Slynko 6-2, 6-2 to win the No. 1 singles point Saturday in Cincinnati, and she teamed with Rebecca Shine to rout Cincinnati’s top doubles team 8-1 as the Cards beat the Bearcats 5-2. On Friday, Fellerhoff scored Louisville’s lone point against No. 50 Ohio State, beating Paloma Escobedo 6-4, 0-6, 10-6 at No. 1 singles. Louisville is currently 8-5 on the season.

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JUSTIN AMLUNG - BASEBALL The sophomore righty from Louisville’s St. Xavier H.S. allowed one run on just one hit in seven innings as UofL beat Kent State 5-3 Saturday, its second straight victory over the Golden Flashes. Amlung retired 17 straight batters at one point. He is the first UofL pitcher to yield one hit or fewer in a start of at least seven innings since Thomas Royse’s eight-inning, one-hit shutout against Pittsburgh on April 11, 2009 (a seven-inning game that went an extra inning). Zack Pitts and Scott Jenkins are the only other Cardinals to accomplish the feat in the last six seasons (all four won their starts). SIMON CHILDS - MEN’S TENNIS The senior from Hillington, England, beat Andy Nguyen 6-2, 6-2 to win the No. 3 singles point and help Louisville (9-6) beat visiting Harvard 5-2 Sunday afternoon at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. Childs also teamed with Alejandro Calligari to defeat Nguyen and Alistair Felton 9-7 at No. 2 doubles to help Louisville clinch the doubles point. “It is tough coming off of six straight road losses, even though five of those losses were to top-10 teams” coach Rex Ecarma said. “It still put some doubt in our heads. Today was like medicine for that doubt, beating a good team like Harvard. I am really proud of us winning the doubles point and the way Alejandro and Simon came out and dominated the match to give us a 1-0 lead.” MARGRET HARRIS - WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD The sophomore transfer from Prairie View A&M won the 60m sprint at the Virginia Tech Final Qualifier event in Blacksburg, Va., last Friday. Harris placed fourth in the preliminaries behind teammate Saravia Richardson, then took third in the semifinals and matched her preliminaries’ time of 7.44 seconds to place first in the finals. It is Harris’ season-best time in the event. At Prairie View Harris competed in seven outdoor and three indoor events as a freshman, finishing second at the SWAC championships in the 100m (11.79 seconds). She is from Lancaster, Texas. MICHELLE THEOPHILLE - WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD The sophomore from Whitby, Ontario, was another Cardinal who turned heads at the Virginia Tech Invitational. She won the women’s high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches. Teammate Megan Schubert was second, clearing 5-7 3/4. Theophille finished third at the Big East Indoor Championships last year as a freshman and was third again this year, and she finished fifth at the Big East Outdoor Championships in the high jump last year. Her 5-8 3/4 jump this year earned the team 5.5 points to help the Cardinals win the Big East Indoor team title for the first time in school history. ASHLEY HERBST - WOMEN’S LACROSSE The freshman goalkeeper from Pittsford, N.Y., who was playing in just her third career game, improved to 3-0 after tallying six saves in 60 minutes of action to help UofL beat visiting Oregon 15-13 last Monday. Herbst was key in crucial moments, making saves in one-on-one situations and coming up with a much-needed stop on a free-position shot with 5:07 left in the first period. With Bergan Foley, Louisville’s leading scorer, held in check in the physical game, the Cardinals got goals from seven other players, including five by senior Liz Lovejoy. The match featured 56 fouls and four yellow cards.


MARCH 10, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

PAGE 21

2007 WOMEN’S BIGCARDINAL EASTBASKETBALL NOTEBOOK CARAVAN

LOUISVILLE WOMEN AWAIT NCAA FATE By Howie Lindsey “They are in, right? Surely they are in.” That’s been the most common refrain over the past two weeks when fans and program supporters are discussing Louisville women’s basketball. After being bounced in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament Sunday night by No. 7 Notre Dame, 65-53, the Cardinals are 20-12 and went 10-6 in league play during the regular season. They were the No. 6 seed in a league that most expect to send 10 teams to the Big Dance and made the quarterfinals of the league tournament. All that should equate to an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. But are they in? We won’t know for sure until next Monday at 7 p.m. (live on ESPN) when the official brackets are released, but count UofL coach Jeff Walz among those who are convinced. “Oh yeah, we’re in,” he said last week after his team closed out the home portion of the season with a victory over Seton Hall. “I mean ... if we aren’t in, I’d be shocked.” According to ESPN’s bracketology expert Charlie Creme (think Joe Lunardi, but for women’s basketball), the Cardinals are safely in the tournament as a No. 7 seed. Creme’s bracket, released Sunday afternoon, has Louisville traveling to Durham, N.C., to take on No. 10 Vanderbilt. The other side of the bracket would have No. 2 seed Duke taking on 15-seed Hampton. The No. 1 seed in Louisville’s bracket would be Connecticut in that scenario. But that’s just Creme’s guess. The real bracket is still a week away. Creme supposes 10 Big East teams will make the tournament. A quick check of the most recent RPI (Sunday, prior to the Notre Dame game), saw Louisville at No. 38 with the 16th-toughest schedule in the nation. Other Big East teams in the RPI are: No. 1 Connecticut, No. 8 DePaul, No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 18 Georgetown, No. 20 Rutgers, No. 24 Marquette, No. 29 West Virginia, No. 32 St. John’s and then Louisville. Creme says Syracuse is in the tournament as a No. 10 seed. Syracuse is No 58 in the RPI. Most people believed Louisville’s young team - the Cardinals started two freshmen for much of the season and played five newcomers regularly - would be better than last season, but most would not have predicted a 20-win season. Walz did. “I think we are about exactly where I thought we would be,” he said. “Take away a few wins that we got that I was not sure we would get, and then I think we have lost a few games that I didn’t plan on us to lose. And when you break it down, we are probably a game away from when I did my pre-season, when I looked at my schedule and I put win loss, win loss, win loss. We are about a game off of that. We have done a nice job, but we still have room to grow. I am pleased with things now, but we are still not satisfied with where we are.” QUARTERFINALS VS. NOTRE DAME Foul trouble limited UofL star Monique Reid to just five minutes in the first half against Notre Dame. But despite Reid’s absence and 13 first-half turnovers, the Cardinals hung tight with the third-seeded Irish for most of the first half. It was a back-and-forth battle early, with

Junior Monique Reid was named first-team all-conference last week. Reid is fourth in the league in scoring at over 16.3 points per game. - photo by Shelley Feller

Louisville taking a 13-11 lead. Notre Dame pushed ahead by two possessions and led 26-21 with just over two minute left before halftime when a three by Shoni Schimmel cut the Irish lead to 26-24, but that would be the closest Louisville would get the rest of the way. Notre Dame ended the half on a 6-0 run to lead 32-24. The Irish run continued in the second half as back-to-back buckets increased the lead to 36-24. Louisville cut the lead back to nine briefly at 38-29, but the Irish scored the next nine points. “Hats off to Notre Dame and their entire team, I thought they played extremely well,” Walz said. “They did a great job of finding a way to get to the free-throw line and, unfortunately, we could not. They shot a very impressive 20 of 25 from the line, and we go 3 for 7. That’s a big discrepancy in the game when you’re trying to compete with a team as good as them. You’ve got to find a way to get to the free-throw line, and unfortunately we could not. I thought they played extremely hard. They played well.” Down 48-29 with 13:58 left, Walz called a timeout to try to get his team untracked. It worked. The Cardinals scored seven straight points to close within 48-36 at the 12:13 mark. Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw called a timeout to try to stall the Cardinals’ run, but a jumper by Becky Burke cut the margin to 10 after the timeout. A pair of free throws by Lexington, Ky., native Natalie Novosel put the Irish up 50-38 with just over 11 minutes left, but Charmaine Tay hit a jumper in the lane to keep the margin at 10. The teams traded baskets over the next 2 1/2 minutes, then a three by Schimmel cut

the margin to 52-45 with 8:18 left. Notre Dame answered with a three of its own. The lead was 57-47 when Antonita Slaughter hit a layup with 3:12 to go. A jumper by Reid with 2:34 left cut the margin to 57-51. Just when it appeared that UofL was prepared to draw closer, Notre Dame scored the next five points, three on free throws. Despite Notre Dame’s making only one field goal in the final 6:33, its lead would dip under double-digits just once in the final two minutes as the Irish advanced to the semifinals. “I told our players that I am proud of how hard they played,” Walz said. “I am really proud of the fight they showed. We didn’t quit. Now we’ve got to get back at it and get prepared for what we hope will be an NCAA Tournament bid and try and see if we can’t win a few games in that.” Devereaux Peters had 19 points, nine rebounds and six blocks to lead the Irish, who faced No. 2 seed DePaul in the semifinals Monday. The other semifinal matched No. 1 seed Connecticut vs. No. 4 seed Rutgers.. Louisville was led by Schimmel’s 12 points. She had two assists and six turnovers and made just 5 of 17 shots, however. Reid played the entire second half but finished with just six points. She did have 11 rebounds. The Cardinals had 22 turnovers and were just 2 of 18 from three-point range. WOMEN NAB WIN NO. 20 Villanova, the No. 14 seed, got the only upset in the first or second round when it knocked off No. 11 seed Providence in the first round. But the Wildcats weren’t any match for the Cardinals,who romped 69-47 while resting their starters for most of the

second half. The tournament bracket appeared to have a Louisville-Providence rematch in store before Villanova’s upset. Providence was the team that knocked Louisville off in the last game of the regular season, dropping the Cardinals from a No. 4 seed to a No. 6. The Cardinals likely were thankful not to see Providence again, especially considering how easily they pushed past Villanova (1219). Schimmel had 13 points in 22 minutes and Reid had 12 points and 13 rebounds in 19 minutes. With UofL up 14-7 at the 9:45 mark, a three by Villanova cut the margin to four. The Cards responded with a 12-0 run that was capped by a three by Burke to make it 26-10 with 5:28 to go before halftime. The Cards never looked back. The Cardinals led 33-18 at the half, shooting 43.8 percent and outrebounding Villanova 22-12. Then UofL blew the game open with a 10-0 run to start the second half. “It is a relief to get a win after the way we played at Providence (last) Monday night,” Walz said “... It is always nice to win, especially when you can get your 20th win of the season.” THREE HONORED Prior to the league tournament, the Big East announced its All-BIg East teams, an All-Rookie team and other awards. Three Cardinals were honored. Reid, the league’s fourth-leading scorer at 16.2 ppg, earned first-team honors for the second consecutive season. Schimmel earned honorable mention all-league and was a unanimous selection to the All-Freshman team. Freshman Sheronne Vails also was named to the All-Freshman team.


PAGE 22

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

MARCH 10, 2011

EAST 2007 LOUISVILLE WOMEN’S CARDINAL NOTEBOOK BASKETBALL BASKETBALL CARAVAN - FOOTBALL 10 AMAZING AND BIG MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF THE 2009-2010 SEASON D

REBOUND!

Each week members of our esteemed media panel will try to prove they are smarter than average. Longtime Louisville SportsReport subscribers will remember that our media members used to test their basketball knowledge against a dog, but that proved to be far too challenging. The panel will battle it out by trying to pick the winners of 10 games per week during the college basketball season to earn the honor of top dog in the LSR’s Make Your Picks contest. This week, the panel will try to pick the winner of 10 conference tournaments.

Rick Pitino screamed for his team to box out against Providence. UofL got the message then, but were out-rebounded 49-25 against West Virginia Saturday. - photo by Shelley Feller

DREW DEENER WHAS PLAY-BY-PLAY

BIG EAST CONFERENCE BIG TEN CONFERENCE BIG 12 CONFERENCE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE ACC SEC PAC-10 CONFERENCE CONFERENCE USA ATLANTIC 10 WAC

LOUISVILLE OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA KENTUCKY UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

MAKE YOUR PICKS LAST WEEK:

U OF L PRESIDENT JAMES RAMSEY

JACK COFFEE SPORTSREPORT

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 69-41

LAST WEEK:_____ OVERALL:_______

LAST WEEK: 5-5 OVERALL: 62-48

LAST WEEK: 5-5 OVERALL: 70-40

SYRACUSE OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA KENTUCKY UCLA HOUSTON XAVIER UTAH STATE

LOUISVILLE PURDUE KANSAS BYU NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA ARIZONA TULSA XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

FRED COWGILL WLKY TV

KENT TAYLOR WAVE TV

TERRY MEINERS WHAS RADIO

GARRY GUPTON RED AND BLUE REVIEW

RUSS BROWN SPORTSREPORT

HOWIE LINDSEY SPORTSREPORT

JEFF WAFFORD SPORTSREPORT

MATT WILLINGER SPORTSREPORT

ZACH McCRITE 93.9 THE TICKET

LAST WEEK: 8-2 OVERALL: 74-36

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 69-41

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 67-43

ION CHANNEL 21 LAST WEEK: 8-2 OVERALL: 72-38

LAST WEEK: 7-3 OVERALL: 73-37

LAST WEEK: 7-3 OVERALL: 67-43

LAST WEEK: 3-7 OVERALL: 68-42

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 68-42

LAST WEEK: 4-6 OVERALL: 69-41

ST. JOHN’S OHIO STATE TEXAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA KENTUCKY ARIZONA UAB RICHMOND UTAH STATE

SYRACUSE OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE DUKE FLORIDA UCLA MEMPHIS XAVIER UTAH STATE

NOTRE DAME PURDUE KANSAS BYU DUKE KENTUCKY ARIZONA MEMPHIS TEMPLE UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE DUKE VANDY ARIZONA MEMPHIS TEMPLE UTAH STATE

WKRD RADIO

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 68-42

TOM LANE WDRB FOX 41

PITT PURDUE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA KENTUCKY WASHINGTON UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS BYU DUKE FLORIDA ARIZONA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE DUKE FLORIDA ARIZONA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

CHICKEN MAN SAYS DEB HARBSMEIER WHAS TV TEAM

AL PARRISH PARRISH HOUSE 80 UNDER 80

TONY CRUISE WHAS RADIO

LACHLAN MCLEAN WHAS RADIO

DAVE JENNINGS WHAS RADIO

PAUL ROGERS WHAS RADIO TEAM

TONY VANETTI AFTERNOON UNDERDOGS

LAST WEEK: 8-2 OVERALL: 70-40

LAST WEEK: 4-6 OVERALL: 70-40

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 70-40

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 68-42

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 72-38

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 64-46

LAST WEEK: 6-4 OVERALL: 67-43

LOUISVILLE OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA KENTUCKY UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS BYU NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

WKRD RADIO

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

LOUISVILLE OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA KENTUCKY UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

PITT OHIO STATE KANSAS SAN DIEGO STATE NORTH CAROLINA FLORIDA UCLA UAB XAVIER UTAH STATE

Louisville’s student section was the loudest and rowdiest it has ever been this season, due in part to a move that gave the students more seats near the court at the new KFC Yum! Center. Pitino loves the change. - photo by Shelley Feller


FEBRUARY 3, 2011

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

2007 CARDINAL CARAVAN D

PAGE 27


PAGE 24

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT

MARCH 10, 2011

CARDINAL FOOTBALL

INJURIES WILL HAMPER CARDS DURING SPRING PRACTICE Editor’s Note: LSR will have a complete rundown of Louisville’s prospects in its spring football preview issue March 21. By Russ Brown The depth of the University of Louisville football team isn’t anywhere close to where it needs to be, and coach Charlie Strong will be even more shorthanded -- especially on the offensive and defensive lines -- when spring practice opens on March 23. The Cardinals lost 25 seniors from last year’s team that finished with a 7-6 record after beating Southern Mississippi in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in their first postseason appearance in four years. On top of those personnel losses, the senior class for the upcoming season numbers only 12, and it drops to a mere 10 in 2012. The list of available players for this spring has been further pared by injuries. Among those who will miss spring drills are defensive linemen Greg Scruggs (sports hernia), B.J. Butler (shoulder) and William Savoy (hernia), running back Jeremy Wright (hernia), cornerback Darius Ashley (shoulder) and wide receiver Damian Copeland (ankle). Center Mario Benavides, the lone returning starter on the offensive line, also is likely to miss spring drills after undergoing offseason knee surgery. So the trenches in the spring will be nearly empty of experienced players. “We’ll just try to manage practice (to avoid more injuries),” Strong said. “We’ll be looking to get better at fundamentals and technique.” On the O-line, Ryan Kessling and Alex Kupper gained experience as backups last season and have a head start on nailing down starting positions. Otherwise, it’s wide open. Another major concern is cornerback,

UofL football coach Charlie Strong (left) sat in the second row behind UofL’s bench during the Providence game. To his left was New England Patriots receiver Deion Branch, a former UofL star and Super Bowl MVP. - photo by Dave Klotz

where All-Big East first-teamer Johnny Patrick and regular Bobby Burns have departed. When asked who might start at those positions during a meeting with a few writers last week, Strong laughed and said: “That’s a tough question. I don’t know the answer.” With Ashley missing, there are only four scholarship players at cornerback going into the spring -- Anthony Conner, who was injured last season, Preston Pace, Jordan Paschal and Titus Teague. The position most people will be interested in this spring, of course, is quarterback, where UofL lost Justin Burke and Will Froman, who shared the position the past two seasons. Junior Will Stein, a former walk-on from Trinity High School, is the most experienced, although all 14 of his passes last season came in one game. He started twice as a redshirt freshman and was the third-

string QB last year, playing only when both Froman and Burke were hurt. Freshman Teddy Bridgewater is a highly ranked recruit from Miami who enrolled in school in January. Sophomore Dominique Brown lined up at quarterback occasionally last season but was utililized more as a rusher and receiver. The only pass he threw was intercepted. GRADES VITAL TO STRONG Strong said that when he succeeded Steve Kragthorpe a year ago, the factor that most aggravated him was the players’ academic performance. So he ripped into them long and loud during the now-legendary first team meeting after he was shown their grades. “More than anything, what ticked me off was grades,” Strong said. “That’s why I said I want a team meeting right away, because of their grades. You show me a good foot-

ball team, and I’ll show you good grades. You show me a bad football team, and I’ll show you bad grades. “Bad grades show you’re not committed, they don’t care, they’re just going through the motions. A team with good grades has players who want to graduate, who want good things to happen.” (Statistics don’t support that theory in many cases, however. The latest annual NCAA academic scorecard issued last October showed that many of college football’s top-tier programs are below average in graduation rates. Seven of the top 10 -- including national champion Auburn and runner-up Oregon along with Boise State, and 16 of the top 25 in the Bowl Championship Series standings at that time fell beneath the sport’s four-year average. Oklahoma and Arizona graduated fewer than half of their players). Strong said the Cards’ grades have improved since he took over and that the team has had a cumulative GPA above 2.5 the past two semesters. Sixteen UofL football players made the 2010 Big East All-Academic Team, an honor that goes to student-athletes who have completed at least two semesters with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Seniors Pete Nochta and Justin Burke were three-time academic honorees. Strong said he still makes periodic classroom checks himself. He said he walked into a class recently unnoticed and saw one of his players arguing with a professor. The player didn’t see him enter and Strong yelled, “Excuse me? Are you arguing with your professor?” Strong said the player got a shocked look on his face and “was like, ‘Oh, God.’” He added that the player was punished for his transgression.

LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT • PERIODICAL POSTAGE PAID - MARCH 7, 2011

2011 CARDINAL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE DATE

OPPONENT / EVENT

LOCATION

TIME / RESULT

Thu., Sept. 1

Murray State (ESPNU)

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky

TBA

Fri., Sept. 9

Florida International (ESPN)

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky

7 P.M.

Sat., Sept. 17

at Kentucky

Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, Ky

TBA

Sat., Oct. 1

Marshall

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky

TBA

Sat., Oct. 8

at North Carolina

Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC

TBA

Sat., Oct. 15

at Cincinnati

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

TBA

Fri., Oct. 21

Rutgers (ESPN)

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky

8 P.M.

Sat., Oct. 29

Syracuse

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky

TBA

Sat., Nov. 5

at West Virginia

Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV

TBA

Sat., Nov. 12

Pittsburgh

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky

TBA

Sat., Nov. 19

at Connecticut

Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn

TBA

Fri., Nov. 25

at USF (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla

TBA


March 8 issue