The University of Louisville will continue its winning ways in the Atlantic Coast Conference, according to an analysis by Patrick Stevens of the Syracuse Post-Standard, and he ranks UofL 23rd nationally in his pre-season picks.
“There’s the who-will-replace-Teddy-Bridgewater subplot, and that answer is sophomore Will Gardner. He has enough toys to toss or hand off to and a sharp offensive coach in Petrino to be in good shape to succeed.
“So what narrative isn’t being looked at enough? The defense, which was brilliantly constructed under former coach Charlie Strong but loses a bunch of talent and shifts to a 3-4. It can regress and the Cardinals will still be fine. But if it somehow stays in the top 20 nationally, Louisville’s ceiling will go up as well.”
Meanwhile, Caleb Calhoun over at Saturday Blitz believes media types are giving Bobby Petrino too much credit because he’s been successful at every college stop.
“There are still some questions about the Cardinals going into the season, including the fact that their schedule is 10 times tougher than it was last year. While we know Petrino will succeed long term, all of these questions have to be addressed before we immediately assume Louisville will be good this year.”
Calhoun may have some valid issues, but one has to wonder how much an ingrained bias against the old Big East and the American Athletic conferences affects his opinions.
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— The Big 10 Conference is reportedly moving to a nine conference games during the 2016 season, making a series with UofL unlikely. according to Rick Bozich, A series with IU would have made so much sense. The Hoosiers keep blowing opportunities to sell out Memorial Stadium.
— Numerous reports over the summer had Akoy Agau making strides to become a contributor for the UofL basketball team. But there’s always at least one significant injury during the off season and Agau’s number was called. He was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday for a sports hernia injury in Philadelphia.
— Jeff Walz is an assistant on the U.S. team in the FIBA Under-18 Basketball Championships to be held Aug. 6-10 at Colorado Springs. South Carolina’s Dawn Staley is head coach. Training camp began Friday and the process of trimming down the roster from 28 players to 12.
— Starr Breedlove, a freshman on the women’s basketball team last season, has transferred to Troy University. Starr suffered a concussion early in the season and saw limited action in nine games.
— Ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Soccer Stadium will be August 27, two days before the men’s and women’s teams make their 2014 debut. The celebration will begin at 3:30 p.m.