Rick Pitino’s Return to Louisville is “Highly Likely”

Several Media outlets today in a had columns stemming from Ian O’Connor’s story on ESPN asking “Are these the final days of Rick Pitino at Louisville?”  It seems as if Rick Pitino is planning on sticking around.

Read Eric Crawford from WDRB on Pitino’s future. 

Adam Zagoria on Pitino’s Coaching Future 

The Sporting News’ Kami Mattioli on Pitino’s future.  

Hines-Allen, Moore, and Durr Earn ACC Post-Season Honors

University of Louisville women’s basketball’s Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore, and Asia Durr each earned Atlantic Coast Conference postseason honors, league officials announced on Tuesday.

Hines-Allen and Moore were selected to the Blue Ribbon Panel all-ACC first team, marking just the third time in program history the Cardinals landed a pair of players on the league’s first team. Durr was tabbed to the eight player all-ACC freshman team.

The trio helped No. 7 Louisville (24-6) earn the No. 2 seed at this week’s ACC Tournament, where the Cardinals begin play on Friday in Greensboro, N.C., at 6 p.m. Louisville has won 21 of last 22 games and secured the second-most league wins in school history with 15.

The sophomore, Hines-Allen is a three-time ACC player of the week and paced the Cardinals in scoring (17.0) and rebounding (8.1) and connected on 53.7 percent of her shots. She compiled nine double-doubles this year, five in league play, and reached the 20-point plateau on nine occasions.

Hines-Allen’s play has pushed her name into the top 15 in multiple ACC categories: fourth in scoring, third in rebounding, sixth in field goal percentage, ninth in free throw percentage (.771), fourth in defensive rebounds (5.2), and seventh in offensive rebounds (2.9).

Moore, a two-time league player of the week, was second in scoring at 14.6 and had a team-best 137 assists. The sophomore currently is tied for 10th on the school’s single-season list for 3-pointers with 74, and she also boasts 46 steals.

A Hercules, Calif., native, Moore is ninth in the ACC in scoring, fifth in assists, 10th in free throw percentage (.761), 13th in 3-point field goal percentage (.366), and seventh in assist-turnover ratio (1.6).

Durr, who battled back from injury early in the year, was one of the key contributors to this year’s success. In conference play, she averaged 12.4 points on 48-percent shooting to go with 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

During the year, Durr was named the school’s first U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Freshman of the Week. She also secured ACC Rookie of the Week twice.

The ACC will announce its Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year as selected by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Wednesday (March 2). The ACC coaches Defensive and Sixth Player of Year will also be announced on Wednesday.

Men’s Soccer Recognized As ACC Game Changers

Members of the University of Louisville men’s soccer team have been recognized as Atlantic Coast Conference “Game Changers.”

The “Game Changers” initiative was introduced last year to recognize and highlight specific ACC teams’ involvement with their local communities.

“We are pleased to honor this outstanding initiative by one of our member institutions,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “I applaud the Louisville men’s soccer players, coaches and staff for their commitment to what is certainly a terrific initiative.”

For the last five years, the men’s soccer program at Louisville has teamed up with the special needs community to celebrate life. The team, under the guidance of head coach Ken Lolla, annually hosts a special needs soccer clinic called Kickin’ It With JT & Friends, a service event in the community focused on creating an unforgettable experience for its participants.

The clinic has grown over the years, and operates at capacity with 50 participants and over 100 volunteers. In addition to the clinic, the program has recently formed a partnership with the Churchill School for special needs children, located in the backyard of Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.

In the spring of 2015, the leadership from the two organizations came together and developed an adapted, soccer-specific curriculum for students ages 5 to 21 with special needs. Members of the team and staff volunteered on a weekly basis, implementing the curriculum in a five-week workshop. The workshop included soccer demonstrations and an overview of soccer rules, fundamental skills, and adapted skill drills. The workshop concluded with a modified soccer competition. Throughout the workshop, the soccer players became more adept at working with students who have disabilities and learned how to modify the sport to allow access for students with even the most significant disabilities.

The project culminated in the soccer program hosting a field trip for the Churchill School at Lynn Stadium, providing them with a tour, showing highlight videos, and taking them on to the game field to play games and share time together.  Many of the members of the school have gone on to attend Kickin’ it with JT & Friends and also attend the home matches to cheer on the team.

Louisville’s Tim Kubel, the 2014 ACC Freshman of the Year and an All-ACC First Team honoree in 2015, describes his time with working with the programs as “life changing.”

“I think it has been a very humbling experience,” added Louisville senior defender and SAAC president Jerry Ramirez. “It has helped us value the things we take for granted.  It has also challenged us to have enthusiasm even when we don’t have immediate, recognizable feedback.  It is so moving when a kid with special needs finally smiles at you!  Also, we have learned from these relationships how important it is to have a great attitude, because they themselves are so positive, and they do their very best despite their special needs.”

The partnership has also proved rewarding for staff members from the Churchill School.

“Teachers from Churchill Park saw the U of L students make efforts to engage with the sport and players at a level they had not seen before,” said Churchill resource teacher Leah Radatz. “It was a mutually beneficial experience for everyone.”

The Cardinals begin their spring exhibition schedule by hosting Louisville City of the United Soccer League on Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m., ET at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. Tickets for the match are on sale now for $5 and can be purchased online here or by calling the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office at 502-852-5151. Admission to the match will be free for UofL students with a student ID. Gates at Lynn Stadium will open one hour prior to kickoff and concessions will be available for purchase throughout the evening. Free parking will be available at nearby Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

7 Men’s Basketball Players Honored As All-ACC Academic Team

Player, Class, School                         Hometown                      Major

Deng Adel, Fr., Louisville                  Melbourne, Australia    Undeclared
Trey Lewis, Gr., Louisville                  Garfield Heights, Ohio  Higher Education
Mangok Mathiang, Jr., Louisville     Melbourne, Australia   Communication
Donovan Mitchell, Fr., Louisville       Greenwich, Conn.        Undeclared
Chinanu Onuaku, So., Louisville        Lanham, Maryland      Communication
Quentin Snider, So., Louisville            Louisville, Ky.                 Communication
Raymond Spalding, Fr., Louisville      Louisville, Ky.                 Undeclared

In the fall semester,  13 of 15 men’s basketball student-athletes achieved a 3.0 or better grade point average. The Cardinals posted a collective 3.36 GPA for the 2015 fall semester, just short of the team record of 3.47 achieved in 2013.

Brendan McKay ACC Baseball Pitcher of the Week

Louisville sophomore lefthander Brendan McKay was chosen on Monday as the Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, while NC State’s Chance Shepard and Pitt’s Nick Yarnell shared Player of the Week honors.

McKay registered his first collegiate complete game to lead the Cardinals to a 4-0 road win over Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon. A native of Darlington, Pennsylvania, McKay had eight strikeouts and allowed just three hits with no walks to improve to 2-0 on the season and 11-3 in his collegiate career. Saturday’s outing marked the ninth time McKay has struck out eight or more in his career. In his two starts this season, he has 16 strikeouts with just four walks and has surrendered only six hits and no runs in 14.0 innings. McKay, whose shutout streak has reached 19.0 consecutive innings dating back to last season, has a 1.55 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 110.2 career innings.

The honor for McKay marks the second straight week a Louisville players has earned a weekly award from the ACC as junior outfielder Corey Ray was tabbed as Player of the Week last week.

Up next, No. 4 Louisville returns to Jim Patterson Stadium to begin a 10-game homestand on Tuesday at 3 p.m., ET against Morehead State and admission is free.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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