Author Archives: Nick Coffey

Teddy Bridgewater & Calvin Pryor Have Accepted Invitations To Attend The 2014 NFL Draft

Pete Cautilli - The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli – The Cardinal Connect

It’s been well noted that there will be some serious Louisville Cardinal representation in this year’s NFL Draft.

On Tuesday we learned that two former Cardinals have accepted invitations to attend the draft on May, 8 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Former quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and safety Calvin Pryor will experience their dream become reality live and in person.

Bridgewater and Pryor are two of a league record 30 players invited to this year’s NFL Draft, which is considered to be one of the deepest drafts in recent years.

Louisville is one four programs to be represented with multiple prospects at the draft. Texas A&M, Ohio State and Alabama are the others.

Bridgewater’s draft projections have been all over the place in recent weeks. He was once thought to be the best QB in the draft, but his stock has somewhat dropped based off of mock drafts.

Since Louisville’s 2013 season ended, Pryor has widely been regarded as one of the top two safeties in this year’s draft alongside Alabama’s HaHa Clinton-Dix. Pryor is considered to be a near lock for the first round.

Kenny Johnson Will Join Rick Pitino’s Staff

Photo | USA Today Sports

Photo | USA Today Sports

On Monday evening we learned that Rick Pitino has found the replacement for former assistant coach Kevin Keatts, who recently left Louisville to become the head coach at UNC Wilmington.

Kenny Johnson will leave Tom Crean’s staff at Indiana to become an assistant for Rick Pitino at Louisville.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com was the first to report the news.

Johnson had been one of the top targets in recent weeks. Other potential candidates had been mentioned, but Johnson appeared to be the top choice.

The Maryland native reportedly met with Coach Pitino over the weekend and was offered the job on Monday.

Johnson was also being courted by Mark Turgeon at the University of Maryland who also has an opening on his staff. Fortunately, Rick Pitino was able to keep Johnson from going back to his alma-mater.

He just finished his second season with Tom Crean and has played a huge role in the Hoosiers recruiting. He’s a former AAU coach that has strong ties to the national recruiting scene. Johnson helped IU land guys like Noah Vonleh, Robert Johnson, Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson.

UofL is expected to make an official announcement later in the week.

Highlights: Snider, Onuaku & Johnson Shine At Derby Festival Classic

Photo | NextUpRecruits.com

Photo | NextUpRecruits.com

Three future Louisville Cardinals were on the winning side on Friday night in the annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic. Quentin Snider, Chinanu Onuaku and Jaylen Johnson were a part of the White Team who defeated the Green Team 128 to 104.

Snider was named the MVP and finished with eight points, nine assists and four rebounds with one steal and zero turnovers. Johnson had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Onuaku finished with seven points and ten rebounds.

Snider competed in the finals of the 3-PT shootout at halftime and Johnson was a part of the slam dunk contest. Unfortunately, neither were able to win the competitions.

Snider couldn’t find his rhythm and played his best basketball during the actual all star game. Johnson was creative in the slam dunk contest, but Georgetown signee Isaac Copeland stole the show.

Here are a couple of highlights from Johnson’s performance in the dunk contest, including two ally-oops. One from his future teammate, Quentin Snider, and the other one from Johnson’s mother.

NextUpRecruits.com got some great highlights from the game, which featured all three future Cards.

Three Future Cards Shine At The Annual Kentucky Derby Festival Clasic

Phoot | @SteveJones_CJ

Phoot | @SteveJones_CJ

On Friday evening at the historic Freedom Hall, Louisville fans got a chance to get an early look at three future Cardinals at the annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic. Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint.

Quentin Snider, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku were a part of the White Team who defeated the Green Team 128 to 104.

Snider earned MVP honors for the White Team. The Louisville native finished with eight points, nine assists and four rebounds with one steal and zero turnovers.

Johnson finished 14 points and 10 rebounds. The hybrid forward showcased his athletic ability and upside. Snider and Johnson played very well together in the open floor.

Onuaku finished with seven points and ten rebounds. He was just 3-of-11 from the floor, but collected four steals and two blocks. As I’ve mentioned throughout the week, it’s tough for big guys like Onuaku to shine in All Star type settings.

We’ll have much more from the Derby Classic posted throughout the weekend.

KDF Box Score

The Country’s Top Up & Coming Recruiter Is Reportedly In The Mix To Join Pitino’s Staff

MaligiEarlier this week we learned that Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson was in the mix for the vacant spot on Rick Pitino’s staff. It doesn’t appear that Johnson has been offered the job at this point, but Scout.com reports that he’ll surely accept if offered.

In the past 24 hours another name has surfaced as a potential replacement for Kevin Keatts. Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports reports that SMU assistant Ulric Maligi is in the mix to join Rick Pitino’s coaching staff.

There are two lower level programs from the state of Texas that have surprisingly done very well in recruiting over the past few years and Ulcric Maligi has played a huge in that.

Prior to joining Larry Brown’s SMU staff in 2012, Maligi helped Houston land two ESPN top-100 signees in Danrad “Chicken” Knowles and 2012-13 C-USA Freshman of the Year Danuel House. Since joining the SMU staff, Maligi has helped Larry Brown bring in two McDonalds All Americans. Keith Frazier in 2013 and Emmanuel Mudiay in 2014, who is regarded as one of the top five players in the class.

From 2003 to 2006, Maligi served as head coach of the Dallas Mustangs AAU program. During his four years with the program saw more than 50 of its players sign scholarships with NCAA Division one programs.

Maligi coached the likes of  Byron Eaton (Oklahoma State), Wesley Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers (Syracuse), Anthony Randolph of the Denver Nuggets (LSU), and Donald Sloan of the Indiana Pacers (Texas A&M). He also coached Austin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers and Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Texas native then spent three seasons (2002-05) as a student assistant coach/video coordinator at Howard University before jumping on to the AAU scene. Maligi spent three seasons (2007-10) as an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin before being hired at Houston.

Coach Pitino has stated multiple times that he is looking for more of a teacher than a recruited when it comes to replacing Kevin Keatts. That may have changed as Ulric is one of the top up and coming recruiters in college basketball.

Three Cardinal Signees Have Arrived In Louisville For The Annual Derby Festival Basketball Classic

Derby Classic 016

Three of the six future Louisville Cardinals have arrived in town for this week’s annual Kentucky Derby Festival Classic. Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku landed in Louisville earlier today while Derby City native Quentin Sndier didn’t need to travel.

Recruiting chairman Mike Gandolfo Tweeted this picture of Snider and Onuaku earlier this afternoon.

There will be practice this afternoon that is open to the media. The real action gets underway tomorrow evening at “The Night of the Future Stars” event at Floyd Central High School. This event features a 2-on-2 competition, three point shootout and slam dunk contest. The finals of the three point shootout and dunk contest will be at halftime of the actual All Star game at Freedom Hall on Friday.

Tickets are $13 and $18 (includes $1 facility fee) and are available at TicketMaster locations (www.ticketmaster.com), by phone (800-745-3000) or the Freedom Hall box office (502-367-5144).

UofL Makes It Official With The Addition Of Former Washington Safety James Sample

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

On Friday evening following the spring game, news broke that former Washington safety James Sample intends to transfer to Louisville. On Tuesday afternoon the UofL made it official in a press release.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville football head coach Bobby Petrino announced on Tuesday the addition of safety James Sample on the Cardinals’ program.

A former safety at Washington, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder played for the Huskies in 2011 and 2012. Sample played in three games in 2012, and also saw action in two games in 2011 before his season ended early due to an injury.

“James is an outstanding football player who will help us fill a void on our football team,” Petrino said. “He has outstanding size at the safety position and will add immediate depth to this position on our football team.”

Before signing with Louisville, Sample attended American River College in California and will be eligible next season with two years of eligibility remaining.

Sample was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, but decided to leave the Washington program in January of 2013. He played in two games as a true freshman in 2011, but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury and received a medical redshirt. He appeared in just three games in 2012.

Petrino has stated multiple times throughout spring ball that the secondary was his main concern. Sample should be able to step in and make an immediate impact, especially with the recent knee injury to Jermaine Reve.

Video: All 96 Montrezl Harrell Dunks From The 2013-14 Season

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Today was a big day for the Rick Pitino and the Louisville basketball program as sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell announced that he’d return to school for his junior season. Coincidentally, just a day before Harrell’s big announcement,  our friend Will Staten of The Louisville Show YouTube channel compiled an incredibly awesome highlight video featuring all of Harrell’s dunks from this past season. Enjoy!

Video: Gorgui Dieng’s Game Winner Against The Houston Rockets

Photo | ESPN.com

LM Etro |Associated Press

Former Louisville big man Gorgui Dieng’s rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves keeps getting better and better. After basically being a non factor for Minnesota for the first half of the season, Dieng has been on an absolute tear in the past month.

Gorgs was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for March after recording multiple double double’s. He ranked fifth among Western Conference rookies in scoring (8.6 ppg) and second among all rookies in both rebounding (8.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.613).

On Friday night Dieng hit the game winner for Minnesota as they knocked off the Houston Rockets. In 38-minutes, Dieng finished with 20 rebounds, 12 points, three assists, two blocks and two steals.

Former Army All American James Sample Will Transfer To Louisville

Photo | Scout.com

Photo | Scout.com

During his press conference on Thursday afternoon, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino mentioned that he and his staff made sure there were a few scholarships for the 2014 class left over following national signing day.

Petrino said he wanted to evaluate the needs for his team following spring ball and fill the scholarships as needed.

It appears that Petrino is doing exactly that. On Wednesday evening we learned that former Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons plans to enroll at Louisville in June.

On Friday evening following the spring game, news broke that former Washington safety James Sample intends to transfer to Louisville as well.

Lars Hanson of 247Sports.com confirmed the news.

Sample was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and was named a 2011 Army All American. He decided to leave the Washington program in January of 2013.

He played in two games as a true freshman in 2011, but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury and received a medical redshirt. He appeared in just three games in 2012.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defensive back later transferred to American River Junior College in California. I assume Sample will be eligible immediately and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Petrino stated on Thursday that he has some concerns with the secondary, especially the safety position. Veteran Jermaine Reve recently had knee surgery and will be out for some time.