Rankins & Burgess Named to Lombardi & Butkus Lists
Two of University of Louisville football defensive players continue to garner preseason honors as both were named to prestigious watch lists on Tuesday.
Senior linebacker James Burgess was tabbed to the Butkus Award and the Lombardi Award, while senior defensive end Sheldon Rankins was named to the Lombardi Award watch list. This has been a busy week for both players, as Burgess was also named to the Nagurski Award list, and Rankins was selected to both the Nagurski and Bednarik Award watch lists.
Eligibility for the Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage, while the Butkus Award is given to the nation’s top linebacker.
A native of Homestead, Fla., Burgess has been a two-year starter for the Cardinals, totaling 71 tackles in each of those seasons. As a junior last season, Burgess was third on the team in tackles, recording a career-best 11 in a 23-17 loss at Clemson and 10 in the Belk Bowl defeat versus Georgia. He also registered 4.0 sacks and a career-best three interceptions. The Homestead High product has six career interceptions from his linebacker position, including two during his freshman season.
Rankins was named third team all-ACC last season in helping the Cardinals rank in the top-10 nationally against the run and in total defense. He posted a career-best 13.5 tackles for loss and a team-high 8.0 quarterback sacks. A starter in 13 games in 2014, Rankins totaled eight tackles and a sack in a win at FIU, and also had his first two career interceptions in wins over Wake Forest and Boston College.
Both players will represent the Cardinals at ACC Media Day on July 19-21 in Pinehurst, N.C.
Two Medals at Pan Am Games for UofL Swimmers
The University of Louisville Cardinal swimming contingent took home two medals with Kelsi Worrell winning silver and Joao De Lucca taking home gold in the 4×100 Free Relay finals tonight in the first night of competition at the 2015 Pan American Games being held in Toronto.
Brazil won the men’s 4×100-meter free relay for the fifth time in a row at the Pan Ams, while Canada out-touched Team USA for silver. Brazil’s Matheus Santana (49.28), Joao De Lucca (48.06), Bruno Fratus (48.56) and Marcelo Chierighini (47.76) boarded a blazing time of 3:13.66 for the gold. That swim bested Brazil’s previous mark of 3:14.65 from 2011.
Worrell anchored the USA women’s 4×100-meter free relay in the prelims with a split of 54.03 as the United States set a Pan American record time of 3:37.28.
Mangok Mathiang Led World University Games in Rebounding
University of Louisville forward/center Mangok Mathiang completed his participation with his Australian team in the 2015 World University Games on Monday as Australia (5-3) finished 10th in the international event.
Mathiang led the 23-team event in rebounding and finished tied for eighth in scoring, producing five double-doubles. He started all eight games for Australia, averaging 13.5 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent from the field (46-of-82, fourth-best in the World University Games) and adding seven blocked shots. His top scoring effort was 23 points against Chinese Taipei and his best rebounding game was 17 against the home nation Korea.
Mathiang totaled 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots as Australia fell 81-72 to Serbia in its final game of the event on Monday. Australia’s 10th place finish was its second-best possible finish after missing the medal round after emerging as the No. 3 team out of Pool C. The USA won the gold medal with an 84-77 double-overtime victory over Germany.
Mathiang was born in Sudan, Africa, but lived in Melbourne, Australia before moving to the United States in 2010 to attend prep school. Last season at Louisville, he started all four of the Cardinals’ NCAA Tournament games and helped UofL post a 27-9 record, reaching the NCAA Elite Eight for the fifth time in the last eight years. An All-ACC Academic team selection, Mathiang averaged 2.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and was sixth in the ACC with 46 blocked shots last season. The Cardinals’ 2015-16 team co-captain and a rising junior, he hit the game-winning jumper with 2.7 seconds remaining in Louisville’s 59-57 victory over No. 2 Virginia in the regular season finale.
Former Cardinal Luke Hancock had been the last UofL player to participate in the World University Games, averaging 10.8 points and 3.0 rebounds for the USA squad in the 2013 games played in Kazan, Russia.
Mathiang’s participation is also part of the ACC Worldwide initiative that seeks to further the conference’s member institutions internationally through promotion, marketing and athletic competition.
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