Author Archives: Nick Coffey

Louisville Sneaks In At No. 25 In The First Ever College Football Playoff Rankings

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released their first ever rankings on Tuesday evening at 7:30. In somewhat surprising news, Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals were able to sneak in at No. 25, Louisville is one of four ACC teams in the top 25 rankings.

 

WEEK 10, OCT 28, 2014

Rank
Team
Record
1 Mississippi State 7-0
2 Florida State 7-0
3 Auburn 6-1
4 Mississippi 7-1
5 Oregon 7-1
6 Alabama 7-1
7 TCU 6-1
8 Michigan State 7-1
9 Kansas State 6-1
10 Notre Dame 6-1
11 Georgia 6-1
12 Arizona 6-1
13 Baylor 6-1
14 Arizona State 6-1
15 Nebraska 7-1
16 Ohio State 6-1
17 Utah 6-1
18 Oklahoma 5-2
19 LSU 7-2
20 West Virginia 6-2
21 Clemson 6-2
22 UCLA 6-2
23 East Carolina 6-1
24 Duke 6-1
25 Louisville 6-2

The selection committee members will meet weekly, in person, on Mondays and Tuesdays to produce rankings.  The committee’s rankings will be announced on ESPN each Tuesday evening for the next five weeks.

The CFB Playoff Selection Committee’s criteria includes strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, conference championships, common opponents and key injuries.

Although it’s great to see Louisville sneak into the first ever rankings, it’s also a little bitter sweet to think what could have been. Despite not playing all that well for the first 2/3 of the season, Louisville could be undefeated at this point.

I suppose this is the benefit of no longer playing in an awful football conference. With Florida State being at No.2, Louisville’s opportunity on Thursday night just got much bigger.

Cardinal Connect TV – Episode 11: Louisville Hosts The Defending National Champions

Myself and JD Coffey recorded episode number 11 of Cardinal Connect TV on Monday afternoon. Despite the two recent Red-White games, we spent the entire time discussing Louisville’s big match-up with the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles.

Cardinal Connect TV – Episode 11: Louisville vs. Florida State from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

DeVante Parker Is Back & Better Than Ever

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

I think it’s safe to say that Louisville’s offense hasn’t come close to performing at the level that the fans expected this season. Turnovers, an inexperienced quarterback and offensive line miscues have played a huge role in the struggling offense. That said, one of the bigger factors in the lack of points this year has been the absence of DeVante Parker.

The Louisville native missed the first seven games of the season after breaking a bone in his left foot just two weeks prior to the first game of the season. Parker returned in week eight’s game against NC State and didn’t miss a beat.

In Louisville’s 30-18 win, Parker tied a career high with nine receptions and finished with 132 yards. Now that he’s got a game under his belt this season and has been practicing for two weeks, Petrino says Parker is looking really good.

“He looked really good yesterday and today,” Petrino told the media following Monday’s practice. Going into the North Carolina State game, we saw glimpses of it and we’re thinking, ‘how much is he going to be able go out there and how well is he going to perform?’ Obviously he went way above our expectations in that game.”

During last week’s ACC coaches teleconference, Petrino noted that Parker was pretty sore following the NC State game. But that is expected considering how much time he’s missed. It sounds like Parker is now fully back to be himself.

“The last couple days he’s looked back as himself, really exploding off catches and it feels a lot better for him,” Petrino said.

Parker was given 6-to-8 weeks to recover following his surgery, therefore he’s technically right now track. That said, guys who suffer this type of injury aren’t supposed to be performing at this level this quickly.

“He’s amazing, really,” Petrino said. “Most guys would’ve been down right away and real disappointed, but he had a real good attitude right from the start and showed good maturity. He worked really hard with our medical staff and hit the target dates that they had set for when you get to run, when you get to do this, when you get to do that, and just stayed with a great attitude the whole time.”

Earl Clark Lands With The Houston Rockets

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Just two days after being released from the Memphis Grizzlies, former Louisville forward Earl Clark has landed with another NBA team.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced on Friday that the team has claimed Clark off waivers.

Clark signed a free agent/training-camp tryout deal with the Grizzlies in late September. The former Cardinal had a decent showing for Memphis early on the their preseason games, but unfortunately the club decided his services weren’t needed.

He averaged 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists on .474 shooting in 12.5 minutes in four preseason appearances.

Following a breakout season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012-13, Clark signed a free agent deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to provide much production for the Cavs and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers at the NBA trade deadline.

As soon as his rights were traded to Philadelphia, Clark was waived by the team. He later signed a ten day contract with the New York Knicks, but did not finish the season on an NBA roster.

Clark was one of the few bright spots for the Lakers in 2012-13 and was one of the NBA’s most improved players once he was inserted into the rotation. He averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 59 appearances for the team.

Hopefully he’ll be able to make the most of his opportunity with the Rockets

Could David Levitch Be The Next Tim Henderson?

Levitch Media Day

During his first season with the program, Louisville walk-on David Levitch appeared in 18-games averaging 2.6 minutes. To say that Levitch was an integral piece to last year’s team wouldn’t be true, but the former North Oldham Mustang played more than a lot of people expected.

Levitch admits that he himself didn’t expect to play as many minutes as he did.

“It really was,” Levitch said when asked if he was surprised by the amount of minutes he played in year one. “But we didn’t have a very good schedule last year so that really helped a lot.”

The Louisville program has had a number of players over the years who have played  big roles, despite not being on scholarship. The most recent walk-on to crack Pitino’s rotation was Tim Henderson. Levitch spent just one season with Hendo, but learned a lot from man we now all know as “Wichita.”

“I’ve really looked up to Tim,” Levtitch said. “He’s told me what it takes to continue working as hard as possible. He says there will be some tough times, but you’ve just got to work through it.”

David Levitch – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Rick Pitino Says He Currently Has A Seven-Man Rotation

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

With the 2014-15 college basketball season quickly approaching, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made the radio rounds on Wednesday. Pitino did a morning interview with 790 WKRD in the morning and 840 WHAS in the afternoon.

In his morning interview Pitino said that after watching the tape from this past Sunday’s Red-White scrimmage he was more disappointed than he was immediately following the game.

Coach Pitino also went on to say that they were very impressed with freshman Anas Mahmoud’s performance but noted that this past Saturday and Sunday were the first time they’ve seen Mahmoud play that well.

“There are certain players who when the lights come on, they just play better because they’re very intelligent,” Pitino said. “He’s one of those players.”

Pitino then went on to say that he’s still unsure if most of the freshmen will be able to play this year, but he did note that Chinanu Onuaku is the one that they’re certain can play right away.

As of now, Pitino says there is a seven-man rotation of players that are ready to play.

“Right now we have a seven man rotation that we know these seven guys can play,” Pitino said. If someone doesn’t join the pack and we dont’ get two other players, then we don’t press as much and we become much better in the half-court defensively. If we can add to the list and get two more guys, we can go back to our normal style.”

You have to assume that the seven man rotation at this point includes Chris Jones, Terry Rozier, Wayne Blackshear, Montrezl Harrell, Mangok Mathiang, Anton Gill and Chinanu Onuaku.

I’d say Quentin Snider would be the next guy that is ready to play. If Anas Mahmoud continues to develop, I believe he’ll also join the pack. Akoy Agau is still recovering from his off-season groin injury. Once he’s healthy, I would’t be surprised to see him crack the rotation if he’s able to catch-on quickly.

Anton Gill Ready For An Increased Role In His Sophomore Season

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Louisville sophomore guard Anton Gill was the first original member of Rick Pitino’s 2013 recruiting class. Unfortunately, of the five signees, only Akoy Agau played less than Gill last season.

Gill, a Raleigh, N.C. native, was highly regarded during his prep career and was tabbed as a five star prospect by Scout.com. Unfortunately for Gill, Louisville’s back-court was loaded in 2013-14 and he wasn’t quite ready defensively to make an immediate impact.

With perimeter players like Russ Smith, Luke Hancock and Tim Henderson gone, there are minutes to be had and Gill is up for the opportunity.

Anton Gill Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Louisville & Notre Dame Extend Football Series

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that the University of Louisville’s football series with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had been extended with three more meetings between the two programs.

Below is the official release from UofL.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.- The Atlantic Coast Conference announced three additional football meetings between the University of Louisville and Notre Dame on Tuesday afternoon.

The Cardinals and Fighting Irish are scheduled to meet for the first time on Nov. 22, 2014, when the Cardinals travel to South Bend, Ind.

The league also announced that Louisville will host Notre Dame on Sept. 2, 2019, at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and the two schools will play at Notre Dame in 2020 and at Louisville in 2023. The dates will be announced at a later date.

The games are part of an agreement between the ACC and Notre Dame to play five ACC teams each year in football.

Notre Dame Football may not be quite as relevant as they once were, but they’re certainly not a slouch. Getting the chance it play in South Bend later this season will be a great opportunity for the program. Hosting the Irish in 2019 could set up to be one of the bigger home games in the history of the program.

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