—Tonight’s Super Regional game between Louisville and Texas A&M has been moved from ESPNU to ESPN. First pitch is still set for 8:30 pm ET.
—You can catch video of Dan McDonnell’s final comments before heading off to College Station here.
—McDonnell has compared this year’s Louisville baseball team to the 2007 squad several times this postseason. If you haven’t read Art Carmody’s oral history of that ’07 team’s run to the College World Series, you need to change that at some point today. It’s one of the best things that’s ever been on the site.
—The Courier-Journal’s Brooks Holton identifies three players from Louisville and three from Texas A&M that will define this weekend’s series.
—Updated CWS odds from BetOnline:
—AD, formerly known as Asia Durr, is headed back home after being traded from New York to Atlanta.
—Stanford Samuels was named recruiting coordinator and Shawn Love was elevated to director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer, U of L football announced on Thursday.
—Gabriela Leon became Louisville’s first women’s outdoor national champion in history with a first-team All-American height of 4.60m (15-1) in the pole vault on day two of the 2022 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Oregon’ sHayward Field.
”I am speechless, this is a dream come true!” said Leon. “Having all the hard work and dedication pay off means the world to me. I am not the only one who deserves the applause. I want to thank God for being by my side through this process and giving me strength to show the world what he can do when you work hard and let him do the rest. I also want to thank Coach (Brooke) Rasnick, staff, teammates, fans, trainers, and family.”
Leon became the fourth collegiate women’s pole vaulter with three clearances of 4.60m (15-1) and the only this season with three marks over 4.57m (15-0). Earlier this season, the redshirt senior set Louisville’s outdoor school record of 4.61m (15-1.5) which stands first in the ACC and second nationally. It also ranks as the second-best all-time ACC women’s outdoor pole vault mark and eighth-best all-time outdoor performer mark in collegiate history. Leon also won her second straight ACC women’s outdoor pole vault title and was named ACC Women’s Field Performer of the Week three times this season.
“Tonight’s women’s pole vault competition was the perfect capstone to Gabriela Leon’s collegiate career,” added head coach Dale Cowper. “She has accomplished so much during the last five years and now we have the privilege of calling her a National Champion. This does not happen without the guidance of Coach Rasnick and the tireless effort of our support staff. I am truly thankful for everyone that helps our student-athletes compete at the highest level.”
—Big off the field news for the Louisville baseball program as the U of L Athletic Association has approved a $1 million expansion to Jim Patterson Stadium, most of it funded by a gift from Patterson himself, to expand the main entrance and 3rd base concourse. So much for the “these guys will all be taking their money elsewhere now” fear.
—Five-star point guard Dior Johnson (2022) made a surprise decommitment from Oregon on Thursday. Johnson is a close friend of potential U of L signee Emoni Bates, and also has ties with former Oregon now current Louisville assistant Josh Jamieson.
Let’s make this happen, fellas.
—Not bad for a program that had been to one NCAA tournament and won a grand total of zero NCAA tournament games before that 2007 season.
Most Super Regional appearances since 2007:
9 – USL
8 – Cal State Fullerton
—Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) June 7, 2022
—Good read here from The Athletic on early lessons learned from the “new” transfer portal.
—Here’s the official U of L preview of this weekend’s series in College Station.
—Jeff Greer takes a player-by-player look at the current Louisville men’s basketball roster in the latest installment of his newsletter.
Kamari Lands, wing/forward
Built to contribute right away in college, Lands is a true combo forward at 6-8, 200 pounds. He is a straight-line driver and a great finisher on pull-up jumpers. If you peruse his old Peach Jam numbers, you’ll find that Lands is capable of microwave games — 9 of 15 from the field with four 3s — or volume games — 9 of 24 from the field with four 3s. Yeah, you get 22 points from both of those shooting marks, but one of them requires nine more shots.
I’d pencil Lands in as a starter for this group. He’ll be a valuable threat in transition. He’s a good rebounder, with double-double potential in most settings. He’s a solid defender. Like Ree, he’s not really a ballhandler or creator for others. Still, he can do things with the ball in his hands, and that should help free up Ellis to work off the ball at times.
The early buzz (read: only buzz I’m getting) out of the early days of summer practice is that Lands is pretty clearly the real deal.
—Travis Graf of Rivals is the guest on the latest episode of Greer’s podcast.
—I want the clock in my front yard.
—Former U of L walk-on and assistant coach Logan Bauman is joining Trent Johnson’s staff at Cal State Northridge.
—The latest 3rd & Central podcast is previewing this weekend’s Super Regional in Texas.
—AJ Johnson, a 4-star point guard from the class of 2023, says Louisville is one of three schools he has set official visits with.
AJ Johnson was one of the biggest stock-risers coming out of the Pangos All-American Camp. The 6-foot-4 point guard used his blazing speed to average 16.3 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game on 74.1-percent shooting from the field and 42.8-percent from three.
“I make plays for others,” Johnson told On3. “I can make plays for myself; getting in the paint whenever I want. I have fun and play free. I watch a lot of Ja Morant because of his leadership and Lamelo Ball with his freedom.”
The point guard at Woodland Hills (CA) Taft High plays for Jalen Green Elite on the Adidas 3SSB Circuit. On3 talked with AJ Johnson at the Pangos All-American Camp to talk about recruitment and visits.
“I’ve not taken any visits yet,” Johnson said. “But I plan on taking them soon. I have visits set with USL, Southern Caland Louisville. I’ll take my first official visit to ArizonaState while I’m there for Section seven (June 16-18).”
Johnson talks recruitment
Louisville: “I like the new coach, Coach Kenny Payne, a lot. Every time I talk to him, he keeps it real, keeps it one-hundred. I can tell he will coach me hard and push me to be the best I can be. I respect that. The ACC is a tough conference, one of the best out there.’
—Before he arrived on campus last week, Louisville football freshman Maurice Turner had phone blow up over the viral video of him going stride for stride with Tyreek Hill.
—Texas A&M baseball fans are notoriously rowdy, but this won’t be Louisville’s first rodeo in a hostile environment.
—Cardinal closer Michael Prosecky has been having an unbelievable season so far.
—Video department still crushing it.
I’ll say it: Monty’s got some acting chops.
—U of L men’s basketball schedule updates: The Cards will open the season at home against Bellarmine on Nov. 9 and host Appalachian State on Nov. 15.
—The CJ looks at how Dalton Rushing evolved into U of L’s top slugger.
—Kenny Payne had an extended conversation with Andy Katz earlier this week.
—Congratulations to Logan Beard on being named a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American.
—Apparently Boo Brewer saved a man from a burning truck earlier this week.
—On the latest installation of “We’re all 100 Years Old”:
STORY: Jordan Urrutia – the son
of forming Cardinal Mario Urrutia – camps at Louisville. He’s a cornerback from Bob Jones High School in Madison, Ala. https://t.co/XK3HL7SLMl
—Jody Demling (@jdemling) June 7, 2022
—Dan McDonnell’s most experienced players are the ones who have come up the biggest for him thus far in the postseason.
—Cardinal Authority has a Q&A with Louisville legend Michael Bush.
—Sydney Curry will be hosting the “First Annual Big Ticket Basketball Camp” next month at Highview Baptist.
Card Nation, Proud to announce my First Annual Big Ticket Basketball Camp this summer at Highview Baptist Church – Fengenbush.hope to see all our future cardinals in attendance to hang out with me July 30th.Register as spots are filling fast https://t .co/lc3AesERao #gocards pic.twitter.com/pYxjy4fhXB
— Sydney Curry (@Bigticket_sc) June 8, 2022
—Ohio lefty Nolan Smoot (2022) has committed to Louisville baseball.
—On3’s latest college football team recruiting rankings for the 2023 class have Louisville at No. 13.
—The way Louisville has honored Lamar Jackson has made a large impression on Miami Northwestern wide receiver star Andy Jean.
—Goal college basketball is dying.
Most watched basketball games of the year so far:
17.0M UNC vs Kansas
16.2M UNC vs Duke
13.6M UNC vs. St. Peter’s
11.9M NBA Finals Game 2
11.4M NBA Finals Game 1
11.2M Duke vs Mich St
11.1M Villanova vs Kansas
10.3M Duke vs. Arkansas
10.1M Purdue vs St Peter’s
— Danny Neckel (@DNeckel19) June 7, 2022
—I ranked the 40 best teams in college basketball after the NBA draft withdraw deadline.
—Good Bull Hunting sets the stage for this weekend’s series in College Station.
—Very cool story here on Bellarmine signing 7-year-old cancer survivor Seth Walsh yesterday.
—Dan McDonnell’s Cardinals are embracing their role as “road team villain” this weekend.
—Some notes here from Louisville’s second elite camp, which was held on Thursday.
—Love seeing some preseason TuTu hype.
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp have now both shouted out Tutu Atwell’s intentionality this spring. Both impressed with his effort.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) June 8, 2022
—KBTX in College Station previews the Louisville-Texas A&M series.
—Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle has high praise for Louisville, calling the Cardinals “pretty close to a complete team.”
—Big Mike guy.
—Malik Cunningham and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce are guests on the latest episode of the Cardinal Authority podcast.
—Andrew Hattersly of the Texas A&M 247 site serves up a Super Regional preview.
—Best city in the world.
—U of L says it’s ridiculous that the ESPN-style recruiting videos made during the Chris Mack era are being treated as a Level II violation by the NCAA.
—Cherokee Golf Course is safe, at least for now.
—Top notch video right here.
—A 10-year-old Louisville girl has one of the creepier support roles in the new season of “Stranger Things.”
—The Houston Chronicle previews Louisville-Texas A&M.
—The Mike Rutherford Show wraps up the week from 3-6 this afternoon on 1450 The Big X. You can stream the show here. I’ll be out on vacation next week.
—And finally, beat Texas A&M.