Cardinal Basketball

Louisville Hoops Picked To Finish Third In Their Debut Season In The ACC

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Rick Pitino and the Louisville Basketball program participated in their first ever ACC Media Day on Wednesday in Greensboro, NC. Pitino’s club has high expectations in their first season in the league.

Louisville was picked to finish in third place by the media members in attendance. Junior forward Montrezl Harrell was voted to the league’s preseason first team and was the runner up for preseason player of the year.

ACC Operation Basketball 2014-15 Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
Team & Points
1. Duke (41): 935
2. North Carolina (12): 870
3. Louisville (3): 847
4. Virginia: 824 (7)
5. Syracuse: 706 (2)
6. Pitt: 592
7. Notre Dame: 515
8. Florida State: 506
9. NC State: 478
10. Miami: 442
11. Clemson: 330
12. Wake Forest: 221
13. Georgia Tech: 195
14. Boston College: 184
15. Virginia Tech: 155

2014-15 Preseason All-ACC Team
(votes in parenthesis)
Marcus Paige, North Carolina (63)
Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (58)
Jahlil Okafor, Duke (57)
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia (55)
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame (24)

ACC Preseason Player of the Year
Marcus Paige, North Carolina

ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year
Jahlil Okafor, Duke

Video: Pitino Looking Forward To New Challenge In The ACC

On Wednesday afternoon Rick Pitino made his first ever appearance at the ACC’s annual media day. In this brief clip, Pitino talks about what he feels Louisville can bring to their new conference and what it means to be in the company of coaching legends.

Video: Montrezl Harrell & Wayne Blackshear At ACC Media Day

Montrezl Harrell and Wayne Blackshear represented the Louisville program at today’s annual ACC Media Day in Greensboro, NC. Below you’ll see highlights from their individual press conferences, courtesy of the ACC Digital Network.

Watch Live: Montrezl Harrell & Wayne Blackshear Speak At ACC Media Day

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

The Louisville basketball program is making their first ever appearance at the ACC basketball media day in Greensboro, NC. Wayne Blackshear and Montrezl Harrell are set to take the podium a little after 9:30 AM this morning. Click here to view from your mobile device.

You can stream the press conference live courtesy of the ACC digital network. Rick Pitino is schedule to speak at 2:52 PM.

Dick Vitale Tabs Montrezl Harrell As An All Gold First Team All American

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

With the 2014-15 college basketball season just weeks away, ESPN’s Dick Vitale released his All American Teams on Tuesday afternoon. Dickie V has tabbed Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell as an “All Solid Gold First Team All American.” Harrell was the only Louisville player listed on Vitale’s 25-player All American teams.

He chose to not include any freshmen on his teams. “I do not include Diaper Dandies on my preseason teams; let them put on that collegiate uniform and prove that the hype is legit before honoring them,” Vitale said in his ESPN article.

First Team

Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin 13.9 6.3 1.3
Montrezl Harrell Louisville 14.0 8.4 1.2
Marcus Paige North Carolina 17.5 3.2 4.2
Aaron Harrison Kentucky 13.7 3.0 1.9
Malcolm Brogdon Virginia 12.7 5.4 2.7

Second Team

Josh Scott Colorado 14.1 8.4 0.6
Georges Niang Iowa State 16.7 4.5 3.6
Terran Petteway Nebraska 18.1 4.8 1.6
Kevin Pangos Gonzaga 14.4 3.3 3.6
Fred VanVleet Wichita State 11.6 5.4 3.9

Third Team

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 9.1 5.7 1.4
Branden Dawson Michigan State 11.2 8.3 0.9
Perry Ellis Kansas 13.5 6.7 1.0
Chasson Randle Stanford 18.8 3.6 2.1
Caris LeVert Michigan 12.9 14.3 2.9

Fourth Team

Winston Shepard San Diego State 11.6 4.9 2.1
JayVaughan Pinkston Villanova 14.1 6.1 1.4
Bobby Portis Arkansas 12.3 6.8 1.5
Yogi Ferrell Indiana 17.3 3.0 3.9
Ryan Boatright Connecticut 12.1 3.5 3.4

Fifth Team

Aaron White Iowa 12.8 6.7 1.8
Sam Dekker Wisconsin 12.4 6.1 1.4
Tyler Haws BYU 23.2 3.8 1.5
Juwan Staten West Virginia 18.1 5.6 5.8
Andrew Harrison Kentucky 10.8 3.1 3.8

Louisville Hoops Ranked No. 7 In ESPN’s Preseason Power Poll

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

The College Hoops crew at ESPN released their 2014-15 preseason power poll on Monday morning and have the Louisville Cardinals at No. 7. The Cards are one of four teams from the ACC in ESPN’s top ten — Duke #4, UNC #7, Virginia #9.

Below is an excerpt from ESPN’s write-up on Louisville. Here is the entire top 25 rankings.

Rick Pitino has more than enough perimeter options to choose from — Wayne Blackshear, Terry Rozier, Chris Jones, plus a talented incoming freshman class — but he needed a big man. He got an exceptional one, and better, a proven commodity.

Harrell, who surprisingly eschewed the NBA for one more year, averaged 14 points and eight rebounds for the Cardinals as a sophomore, tossing in 49 blocked shots for good measure.

Louisville still will hover on the outside edge of Final Four picks thanks to a few issues — Jones has to get better with the basketball; Blackshear needs to assert himself more — but if the Cards aren’t a lock, they are certainly better than a longshot.


Chris Jones and Terry Rozier form the nation’s most dynamic backcourt, and PF Montrezl Harrell adds to his 12 double-doubles from last season. G/F Wayne Blackshear finally plays with confidence and consistency, and the Cardinals win a new league’s title for the third straight year.


Disruptive D gets the Cards only so far. They still have to make shots, but instead, they fire up rocks from deep and can’t make free throws. Blackshear’s play is erratic; an athletic Harrell can’t become a go-to scorer.

Here is a video of Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg previewing Louisville’s 2014-15 season.

Harrell & Rozier Too Much For The Red Team In Second Intrasquad Scrimmage

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

In the final of the two Red-White scrimmages, Rick Pitino decided to make some lineup changes. Because Montrezl Harrell and Chris Jones weren’t losing when they’re on the same team, Pitino mixed it up on Sunday.

While Jones his red squad competed, they were simply outmatched going up against the likes of Harrell and Rozier. It’s hard to imagine those two losing to anyone when they’re on the same team.

Second red white box score


Despite the loss and a 8-of-26 shooting performance, Chris Jones led all scorers with 28-points. Jones has improved quite a bit from last year and I love his confidence, but he could have leaned on Wayne Blackshear and Mangok Mathiang a little more today. With the odds stacked against him, I think Jones just tried to do a little too much. I doubt we see that during the regular season.

Blackshear chipped in with 20-points and eight rebounds for the red team. He didn’t shoot it well from behind the three point line, but I thought Blackshear had a solid afternoon.

Mangok Mathiang had a very quiet 13-points and 16-rebounds. Mangok wasn’t able to finish a few of his shots around the rim, but he has shown some improvement offensively.

Anton Gill finished with 15-points and connected on three of six three point attempts. Gill may be the teams best three point shooter when he gets his feet set.

Montrezl Harrell led the winning white team with 24-points and eight rebounds. He also had a game high six turnovers, which is a little uncharacteristic. He’s proven that he can knock down the three point shot, but I’m not sure if Pitino wants him taking six per game.

Terry Rozier had a solid 19-points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Rozier is prime for a huge season. Rick Pitino continues to rave about his sophomore combo guard.

The biggest surprise of the day was freshman Shaqquan Aaron’s performance. Last week Aaron was basically a non factor, but we saw a totally different player this afternoon. Aaron finished with 18-points and connected on 6-of-8 field goal attempts. The Seattle native played with a ton of confidence, which we didn’t see last week. If he’s able to run the floor and knock down open shots, Aaron could see some serious minutes this season.

Matz Stockman also looked better today than he did last week. The 7-footer still has a long way to go, but he’s very skilled and has a ton of upside. Anas Mahmoud wasn’t as impressive as he was last week, but finished with 13-points and four rebounds.

Stats don’t show it, but freshman guard Quentin Snider has played really well in both scrimmages. He actually led the white team in rebounds with 9 and also added five points. Louisville has some really good guards in Rozier, Jones and Gill, but Snider is definitely holding his own.

Louisville will have their first exhibition game next Saturday when they take on Barry College.

Jaylen Johnson Was The Happiest Man In The World When He Was Finally Cleared By The NCAA

jaylen johnson edit

Louisville freshman forward Jaylen Johnson was supposed to arrive on campus in June to start working out with his new teammates. Unfortunately, he wasn’t cleared by the NCAA clearing house until the end of August.

The 6-foot-8, Ypsilanti, MI., native’s academic status was never a true concern when it comes to grades and test scores. The the holdup with Johnson was basically due to a delay in getting proper paperwork to the NCAA clearinghouse.

Prior to his senior season, Johnson’s high school consolidated school districts, which resulted in the necessary documentation not getting to the NCAA as quickly as it should have. Rick Pitino maintained confidence throughout the entire summer and fortunately Johnson was cleared right on time.

“It was horrible,” Johnson said when asked about the delayed process of getting cleared by the NCAA clearing house. “I just love the game so much and to think that you may not be able to play at the level you want to play at. It was crazy and it hurt so bad, but once I found out and got the call that I was cleared, I was the happiest man in the world.”

Jaylen Johnson – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

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