Author Archives: Nick Coffey

Vegas Insider: Louisville Opens As 2 1/2 Point Favorite Over Miami

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

We’re now five weeks away from the first game of the 2015 Louisville football season. Pretty exciting, right?

With college football season approaching, the boys in Vegas released odds for some of the weekend’s first games. VegasInsider.com has Louisville as a 2 ½ point favorite over the Miami Hurricanes.

For those that aren’t very knowledgeable when it comes to sports betting, 2 ½ is what they call a pick-em, as the home team is always given 2 ½ points to start with.

It appears that most fans are pretty shocked to see the Cards as just a 2 ½ point favorite, however I don’t think it’s as surprising as others do. Although Louisville crushed the Hurricanes in last season’s bowl game, these are two different teams.

Louisville returns quite a bit of weapons from a season ago, but this is an entirely different staff and the Cards have a brand new quarterback. I think Louisville wins and I think they’ll cover the spread, but with that said, I can see Vegas’ reasoning on the opening spread. Don’t be surprised if it changes quite a bit before kickoff.

Despite getting crushed by Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl last season, Miami has high expectations in 2015. They return quite a bit on defense and are very well coached.

As I said, I expect a Louisville win, but I’ll admit I don’t think it’ll be quite as easy as some fans are anticipating.

Montrezl Harrell Shattered Another Backboard On Sunday Afternoon

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

In just a few months time, Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell has managed do break a backboard while dunking a basketball. In late April, while working out in Florida, Harrell broke a backboard at a high school while playing pick-up basketball.

It turns out Harrell did it again on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati during a summer league game. Below is picture from Cincinnati photographer Anthony Tribble.

I’m sure the rims and backboards at the Yum! Center are more capable of handling dunks than high school gyms, but with that said, I don’t think anyone would be surprised if this happened during a real game.

Confirmed: Former Washington St. QB Tyler Bruggman Is Headed To Louisville

Photo | Washington State Athletics

Photo | Washington State Athletics

On Wednesday afternoon, The Cardinal Connect reported that former Washington State quarterback Tyler Bruggman was in the process of transferring to Louisville, per sources. Just hours later it’s now been officially confirmed that Bruggman will in fact enroll at Louisville.

The Phoenix, AZ., native will have to sit out during the 2014 season due to the NCAA’s transfer rule, but is expected to participate in the fall camp. With Penn State transfer Tyler Ferguson also on the roster, Bobby Petrino and Gerrick McGee now have two quarterbacks that will participate in practice, but won’t be able to play in games this season.

Bruggman redshirted as a true freshman for Washington State this past season. With Connor Holliday entering his senior season, Bruggman was competing for the back-up spot in Pullman, Washington.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound, signal caller was rated as a four star prospect coming out of high school.  He chose to play for Mike Leach and Washington State over Arkansas, which was when Petrino was still the Razorbacks head coach. Arizona State also made a strong late push for Bruggman.

Once it was announced that he would be transferring from Washington State, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reported that Louisville Duke, Indiana and Arkansas were the four schools that Bruggman was granted a release to. Fortunately, he chose to finish his college career under Bobby Petrino.

As a senior, Bruggman was named Phoenix Metro Player of the Year by Arizona Republic after completing 156-of-259 passes for 2,497 yards and 37 touchdowns and two interceptions. Rivals.com tabbed him as 18th best quarterback prospect in the country.

There isn’t much of a serious battle for the starting quarterback position in 2014, but if Will Gardner doesn’t have a strong showing this season, we’ll be in for a big time battle in 2015 with Bruggman and Ferguson in the mix.

Video: Bobby Petrino At ACC Media Day

Petrino ACCDN

It’s been an extremely busy day for Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino. At the UofL’s first ever appearance at the ACC Kickoff, Petirno conducted more than 30 interviews throughout the day. Here is his interview with Jeff Fischel of the ACC Digital Network.

Video: DeVante Parker & Lorenzo Mauldin Speak At The ACC Kickoff

ACC Mauldin Parker

If you missed DeVante Parker & Lornezo Mauldin’s press conference at Sunday’s afternoon’s ACC Kickoff, here is the video in it’s entirety, courtesy of the ACC Digital Network. Host Jeff Fischel talked with the senior’s about their first season in the ACC. Parker predicted his stats for the upcoming season while Lozo practiced his broadcasting skills.

Watch Live: DeVante Parker & Lorenzo Mauldin At The ACC Kickoff

Photo | @UofLFootball

Photo | @UofLFootball

The Atlantic Coast Conference’s Media Day, AKA the “ACC Kickoff,” is currently underway in Greensboro, N.C. Players from each team in the league will be speaking to the media today, while the coaches will take the podium on Monday. Louisville senior’s DeVante Parker and Lorenzo Mauldin will both speak to the media at 5:30 PM EST. See link below to stream live.

Watch Live

Trinity’s Ray Spalding Has Verbally Committed To Louisville

Photo | 247Sports.com

Photo | 247Sports.com

At this time last week, the Louisville basketball program didn’t yet have a commitments from the 2015 class. In a week’s time, Rick Pitino has landed verbal pledges from two of the top prospects in the country.

Five star swing-man Deng Adel informed the staff of his commitment this past Monday and earlier this afternoon, Louisville native Ray Spalding  formally committed to the University of Louisville.

“It’s a blessing and a dream come true,” Spalding tells Steve Jones of  The Courier-Journal. “For a humble kid like me coming from Louisville, to be able to say I could play at the university some day, it’s an honor.”

Spalding, a 6-foot-10 power forward of Trinity High School has been on the Louisville staff’s radar for the past year or so, but didn’t become a top target until recently. The four star prospect took an unofficial visit to the UofL campus on June, 11, and picked up a scholarship offer Rick Pitino shortly after.

Louisville was expected to be the heavy favorite once Spalding picked up and offer and sure enough it took a little over a month for him to give Coach Pitino a verbal pledge. Pitino and the rest of the staff were on hand to see Spalding each of the past two weekends.

The Louisville native has had a very solid spring/summer on the AAU circuit and is climbing in the rankings. 247Sports ranks Spalding as the ninth best power forward in the 2015 class and the 35th best player over all. He has scholarship offers from Indiana, Butler, Xavier, Boston College, Clemson, Northwestern, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

It’s still very early, but with commitments from Adel and Spalding, Louisville currently has one of the best recruiting classes in the country.

 

Five Star Swingman Deng Adel Has Committed To Louisville

20140714-192646.jpg

Rick Pitino and his coaching staff received great news on Monday evening, as the program picked up their first commitment from the 2015 class. Deng Adel, a 6-foot-7 swing man out of Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton, FL., gave Pitino a verbal pledge earlier this evening.

As we reported on Monday morning, Adel emerged as Louisville clear cut top target in recent works. Pitino and his staff were in attendance on Sunday in Chicago at the Adidas Unrivaled camp for the final day of the open contact period to see Adel in action. Fortunately their hard work paid off.

Adel is one of the highest rated recruits to commit to Louisville in the Pitino tenure. Scout.com ranks him as the 18th best player in the 2015 class. The five star prospect is originally from Sudan, but grew up in Australia. He moved to the United States last year and enrolled at Victory Rock Prep.

Prior to the 2014 spring AAU circuit, Adel wasn’t ranked in the top 100. After a sensational April and May showing, Adel catapulted into the top twenty. He chose Louisville over Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss.

Kudos to Coach Pitino and his staff for landing their top target. Adel is a great starting piece for the 2015 class.

Former Washington State Quarterback Is Considering Louisville

Photo | WSU Athletic Communications

Photo | WSU Athletic Communications

Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino already has a plethora of quarterbacks on his roster. With that said, when you’re an offensive mastermind like Petrino, I’m sure you can never have too many QB’s.

Louisville currently has seven quarterbacks listed on the updated roster and do not currently have a commitment from a QB in the 2015 class. It turns out they may not need to make the quarterback position a high priority in 2015 if they’re able to land another transfer.

Petrino has already landed multiple transfers from other programs since being hired and it doesn’t appear that he’s slowing down any time soon.

Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reports that former Washington State quarterback Tyler Bruggman has Louisville as one of the the school’s he’s considering transferring to.

Washington State has granted a released for four schools — Louisville, Duke, Indiana and Arkansas. When coming out of high school, the four star recruit chose Mike Leach and Washington State over Arkansas, which was when Petrino was still the Razorbacks head coach.

Bruggman was competing for the second string spot for the Cougars this past Spring before decidign to transfer. He redshirted as a freshman in 2013 for WSU. The Phoenix native will have to sit out during the 2014 season due to the NCAA’s transfer school.

It’s still very early to gauge which way Bruggman is leaning, but I’d expect him to take a visit to Louisville before making a decision.

Luke Hancock Making The Most Of His Opportunity With The Rockets

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Russ Smith and Peyton Siva aren’t the only former Cardinals who are making the most of their NBA Summer League Appearances.

On Sunday afternoon, Luke Hancock put together a very solid performance for the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.

In just 13-minutes, Hancock scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the three point line.

The Rockets fell to the Heat 92-81, but Hancock’s three three pointers down the stretch helped Houston claw back into the game, but unfortunately they ran out of gas.

This is Hancock’s second summer league appearance of the week. He competed with the Orlando Magic in the NBA’s Orlando Summer League from July 5-11.

Unfortunately he played in just one of the Magic’s five games. Hancock played four minutes in a game on July, 7 and didn’t score a point.

It appears that he’ll have a better opportunity to showcase his skills with the Rockets and fortunately he’s already off to a good start.

Hancock was one of just two players who made more than two three pointers in yesterday’s game.

He’ll be back in action Sunday night at 8 PM EST.