Author Archives: Nick Coffey

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.

It’s Official, Kevin Ware Will Transfer To Georgia State

Pete Cautilli - The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli – The Cardinal Connect

Just two weeks after it was announced that he’d be leaving the Louisville basketball program, Kevin Ware has found a new home. The Atlanta native will transfer to Georgia State.

Ware was on an official visit to the school over the weekend and made his decision on Friday night. Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported on Saturday that it wasn’t official just yet. However, Ware confirmed to The Cardinal Connect shortly after 12 PM that he would in fact be transferring to Georgia State.

“It’s going to be really tough for me to be playing somewhere else,” Ware said via text.

After making a miraculously quick recovery from his gruesome injury in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Ware returned to the court for the Cardinals during exhibition play in late October.

Ware played briefly at the beginning of the regular season before Rick Pitino announced that the Atlanta native would be sitting out for the remainder of the year and requesting a medical redshirt. Once the Cardinals hit conference play, Ware simply vanished.

Towards the middle of January, Ware no longer sat on the Louisville bench during games and didn’t attend team practices. Soon after that, Ware then returned to social media, which is a red flag if you’re a part of Rick Pitino’s program.

Rick Pitino said in his final press conference of the season that there wouldn’t be any restrictions on Ware transferring. He also noted that Ware needed to get closer to home to be near his family and the decision was mutual. Louisville never made any type of announcement regarding Ware being dismissed, but I can confirm that he wanted to stay.

Ware can seek a medical redshirt for the 2013-14 season, which may make him eligible for next season.

We certainly wish him the best.

Red 56 – White 13: First String Offense Too Strong For The Second String Defense

Pete Cautilli - The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli – The Cardinal Connect

The second Bobby Pertrino era at the University of Louisville officially kicked off on Friday night in front of a crowd of 27,500 fans. Spring Games aren’t traditionally competitive and last night’s game was no different, however there was plenty of offense. In the end, the first string red squad was just too much for the second string group.

The starters cruised to a comfortable lead from the beginning and never looked back. Quarterback Will Gardner completed 32-of-37 passes for 542 yards and one touchdown. The redshirt sophomore has some big shoes to fill, but he certainly looked the part last night.

“It was good to see Will in command of the offense, “Coach Petrino said. “I liked the way he carried himself. I liked the way he took charge of the huddle. He looked comfortable delivering the football, and for the most part, was very accurate with his throws.”

Gardner more than took advantage of the solid stable of receiving targets. He completed Four players finished with five or more catches on the night.

Receiving Spring Game

“We had good pass protection and guys getting wide open,” Gardner said, “and when guys are wide open, you can’t miss them.”

It wasn’t just the passing game that helped light up the scoreboard. Michael Dyer finished with a game high 99 yards and finished with three touchdowns. Freshman LJ Scott played for both teams throughout the evening and finished with a total of 88 yards.

Sheldon Rankings led the red team with a total of five tackles on the night. The white team had a big performance from redshirt freshman Chucky Williams who finished with nine total tackles.

[Complete Box Score]

Report: Former Georgia Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons Expected To Enroll At Louisville

Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Mike Hughes of InsideTheVille.com is reporting that former Georgia safety Joshua Harvey Clemons intends to enroll at Louisville and join Bobby Petrino’s program.

Georgia announced in late February that Harvey-Clemons, the team’s third-leading tackler as a sophomore in 2013 had been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. Very little details were made public at the time of his dismissal.

Jody Demling of CardinalAuthority.com reports that Harvey-Clemons is expected to visit this week, but isn’t a part of the program just yet. At this point, it appears that nothing is official, but I’d say the former high school All American will enroll at Louisville very soon.

Since being dismissed from the Bulldog program, Louisville appeared to be one of the most likely landing spots for Harvey-Clemons, considering his former defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, recently took over the Cardinal defense.

Harvey-Clemons played in 25 career games with 11 starts. He was third on the team with 66 total tackles in 2013. The Georgia native also had one interception, broke up five passes, recovered three fumbles and forced two fumbles. He was regarded as one of the best defensive prospects in the country coming out of high school in 2012.

Before being dismissed from Georgia, Harvey-Clemons was already suspended for three games during the 2014 season.  This was a continuation of his suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules that forced him to miss the Gator Bowl.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in January that Harvey-Clemons’ suspension stemmed from violating the university’s drug-use policy for the second time. He also missed the 2013 season opener against Clemson for violating the school’s drug-use policy after admitting to smoking marijuana in his dorm room.

Talent certainly hasn’t been an issue for Harvey-Clemons. He just needs to stay out of trouble.

Montrezl Harrell Climbs To No. 16 On ESPN’s Draft Board

Al Behrman - AP Images

Al Behrman – AP Images

Now that the college basketball season is over, ESPN NBA Draft Insider Chad Ford has released his updated his “Big Board Rankings.” Keep in mind, this isn’t a mock draft, it’s basically the Ford’s power rankings of the best available prospects. Also, not all guys listed have made a decision if they’ll return to school or not.

As Louisville fans look ahead to next season, the biggest question is the future of Montrezl Harrell. The sophomore forward has climbed from No. 18 to No. 16 in ESPN’s rankings.

Harrell Player Card

[ESPN Updated Draft Board]

Harrell has until April 15 to make a decision. He recently traveled home to North Carolina to discuss his future with his family. Harrell is expected to discuss the situation with Coach Pitino this week. He’ll also receive an evaluation from the NBA committee that informs him of where his draft stock truly stands.

An Update On The Radio Show

on the air 1Throughout the week I’ve mentioned this a couple of times via my Twitter account, but in case you missed it, on April 1st I decided to step down from my position with 1450 WXVW as the afternoon 5-6 PM host.

The podcasts from the show became one of the more popular features on the website and I know a lot of folks listened live over the past couple of years.

I’m greatly appreciative of the opportunity that I was given at 1450 WXVW. I started with a twice weekly show in 2011 called “The Cardinal Connection” and was later given the weekday afternoon drive slot.

It was a great run and a lot of fun to celebrate the “Year of the Cardinal” every day from 5-6. It was just time for me to move on and make the best decision for myself.

You haven’t heard the last of me, though. I’ll be sure to keep everyone in the loop if and when things develop.

Until then, we’ll probably be going back to the unfiltered podcast/webcast format on a weekly basis, which is where it all got started.