We hope you enjoyed a beautiful Friday Night at PJCS for Louisville’s Spring Game and Thunder Over Louisville. We certainly did. There is a lot going on at the University of Louisville and we’re going to try and get you caught up:
Damion Lee, Tyus Battle, Sterling Smith, Maverick Rowan, Derryck Thornton
The Cards currently have both Tyus Battle and Damion Lee on campus. Battle came to UofL from a visit to Duke and Lee came to see the Cards from Arizona. Both arrived uncommitted and were welcomed by Cleveland State transfer Trey Lewis who is also in Louisville, which is a great move in trying to pursuade Lee to join the Cards. Damion Lee will be eligible immediately to play for whichever program he chooses and is also trying to coordinate a visit to Gonzaga. Tyus, 6’6, 205 is set to play college basketball in 2016-17 and is one of the premier guards in the 2016 class.
We hear that Sterling Smith (6’4, 185 lbs), who is seeking a program after transferring from Coppin State would jump at an opportunity to become a Cardinal. Smith played 30 minutes per game and averaged 13.9 ppg while shooting 41.8% from 3-point range and his desire to play at UofL complicates the timeline for the Louisville coaching staff.
Also in play here is Maverick Rowan & Derryck Thornton both 2016 talents who are considering reclassifying to the 2015 class. Tyus Battle seems a sure thing to stick in 2016 and Louisville would certainly have a scholarship for him there. But Rick Pitino wants to ‘re-load’ for 2015-16 which puts Damion Lee at the priority position. It’s possible that if Louisville feels that reclassification for Rowan and Thornton would not happen that the staff may take Sterling Smith and still wait on Lee. But there is certainly a timeline issue at play here and the Cards won’t want to get left holding the bag. Louisville has two scholarships for 2015-16 remaining. Who goes when is very important for how this will play out.
Wyking Jones to Cal, Ralph Willard to Back in the Fold?
On Friday you may have heard that Louisville assistant Wyking Jones is headed to Cal (UC-Berkley). Jones was a big-time force on the West Coast for Louisville recruiting and has several connections that make sense for Cal. Wyking was a great asset to the program and a hell of a nice guy. Cardinal Fans will miss him.
His replacement is more than likely going to be Ralph Willard, one of Rick Pitino’s most trusted colleagues and former Louisville assistant. The move makes sense with Mike Balado and Kenny Johnson being a force on the recruiting trail and with Balado and Pitino spending a decent amount of time this summer coaching the Puerto Rico National Team. Willard would give the Cards a solid bench coach that understands Pitino’s style…..and if Louisville fans are questioning whether or not to bring a 69-year old assistant onto the bench those fans should remember that Willard convinced Pitino to take a chance on a short, skinny kid that nobody wanted: Russ Smith.
Louisville 9 Swept Wake Forest
You’ve seen it already…we even did a story on it. But it’s so good we’ve got to mention it again here. Louisville Baseball is now 30-9 overall and 19-2 in ACC play and spent the weekend sweeping the Demon Deacons in the 3-game series. Corey Ray’s walk-off steal of HOME is one of the most rare occurences in Baseball at any level, and Sportscenter actually opened up with the walk-off steal Satruday night/Sunday Morning. Here it is again:
Louisville Baseball travels to Cincinnati tomorrow night before hosting Western Kentucky at Jim Patterson Stadium on Tuesday. This weekend, Bethune-Cookman comes to town.
Louisville Women’s Basketball Has Two Freshman All-Americans
Following two of the most stellar freshmen seasons in program history, University of Louisville women’s basketball’s Mariya Moore and Myisha Hines-Allen earned Full Court freshman All-America accolades on Wednesday.
Moore, the second player in school history to earn first team-honors, paced Louisville in scoring (13.4), 3-pointers (62), free throws (124), and free throw percentage (.805). In addition to registering the fourth-most points in freshmen history at UofL (454), she is one of just four players in the program’s tenure to dish out at least 100 assists in their first collegiate season (121).
The Hercules, Calif., native recorded double-digit points in 25 games, including five 20-point performances, and was tabbed an Associated Press All-America honorable mention at the end of March. She also was named to the Blue Ribbon and Coaches’ all-ACC second teams and all-freshman teams.
In the school’s inaugural year in the ACC, Moore ranked in the top 20 in multiple categories: scoring (No. 20), assists (No. 7), free throw percentage (No. 8), steals (No. 13), 3-point field goals made per game (No. 10), and assist-turnover ratio (No. 7).
Hines-Allen, a third-team honoree, finished the year averaging 11.8 points and 4.9 rebounds. More importantly, the Montclair, N.J., native paced the team in scoring and shooting during the postseason, contributing a team-best 12.8 points on 55.8 percent shooting and 5.0 rebounds per game.
In the Cardinals’ run to their sixth Sweet 16 since 2008, Hines-Allen had three-consecutive games with double-digit points, including a 19-point, eight-rebound performance in the win over BYU. She also was a key component in Louisville’s first ACC Tournament win in program history, notching 17 points and six rebounds in an overtime victory over North Carolina.
Hines-Allen, a member of the Coaches’ all-ACC freshman team, reached double figures in points in 21 games and connected on the sixth-most field goals by a freshman in school history (174). Nationally, her 55.8 percent shooting clip for the year ranked fourth in the ACC and 13th nationally.
Moore and Hines-Allen, who also were named to the all-ACC Academic Team, join Shoni Schimmel (2011, first team) and Bria Smith (2012, second team) as the third and fourth student-athletes to earn freshmen All-America status.
Women’s Basketball Signee Named Jordan Brand Classic Co-MVP
In another game against the most touted recruits in the country, Taja Cole produced another star-studded performance.
The University of Louisville women’s basketball signee recorded 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, four rebounds, three assists and two steals for the West team to earn Jordan Brand Classic co-MVP honors on Friday evening.
Louisville’s Asia Durr and Brianna Jones, though, helped the East earn the win. Durr had five points and six rebounds, and Brianna Jones added two points in the effort.
“Of course you need to get ready physically, but I think this is a mental game,” Cole told reporters at the Barclays Center on preparing for games. “You have to prepare yourself; you have to think about how you are going to help your team. I just want to win. Whatever I have to do to get my team ready to win, at the end of the day, that’s what I’m going to do.”
The contest marked the inaugural women’s Jordan Brand Classic.
“I think we did a pretty good job starting a legacy,” Cole said. “It was a very competitive game.”
In the McDonald’s All-American Game two weeks ago, Durr compiled MVP-worthy numbers with 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists to help the East to a victory. Cole had 13 points, five rebounds, and two steals.