Pitino Eyes Return To Threes

The three-point shot has been an integral part of Rick Pitino’s offense over the past two decades, but it has often been missing in action at Louisville. He hopes to remedy that with some of the players he is currently recruiting.

The word today from Inside the Ville and the Courier-Journal’s Jody Demling is that Pitino has landed a verbal commitment for the 2009 recruiting class from Mike Marra, a 6-4 sharpshooter from Northfield, Rhode Island:

According to Zagsblog, a New Jersey-based web site, Marra is quite a catch. He was also being pursued by Wake Forest, Florida, Miami and Michigan.

Marra is averaging 27 points over his last 10 games, including a 36-point performance in which he went 10-of-11 from 3-point land against Devin Ebanks and St. Thomas More.

“He’s an elite offensive player,” said his coach, John Carroll. “He’s no longer limited to being a 3-point shooter. He’s wildly athletic and he’s been putting up big numbers against everybody in New England.”

The same source also reports that Melquin Bolding remains committed to U of L for the 2008 class but that Pitino may no longer be interested in Bolding’s services.

Get ‘Er Done, Jim Host!

Jim Host, chairman of the Arena Authority, is not one to let bureaucracy get in the way of the new University of Louisville basketball arena. Apparently going to ignore a request from a state agency to delay demolition of buildings on the site.jim host

“We don’t have time to wait for two or three months until somebody, somewhere makes a decision,” he told the Courier-Journal. “We’ve made it and we’re going ahead.”

At issue is a protest filed last week with the state by CRS Demolition, a Louisville company that unsuccessfully bid on the job the authority awarded to O’Rourke Wrecking at its January meeting.

In a letter to Finance Secretary Jonathan Miller, CRS Demolition claims that the authority failed to meet state procurement law when it selected a demolition contractor through competitive bidding.

According to the CJ, price accounted for half of the selection criteria, and experience made up about one-third of the 100-point evaluation. Other factors included a proposed schedule and minority business participation.

Jim Host. A lot to like about this guy, letting nothing stand in the way.

Oldie But Goodie: Everick Sullivan

While waiting for the opening baseball, softball, lacrosse games on Friday and the all-important basketball game against Pittsburgh on Sunday, you might want to watch this reverse dunk by Everick Sullivan in a U of L overtime game against Florida State in 1989. Talk about holding your breath, a family member actually hyperventilated after the winning shot fell through as the horn sounded.

Pitching Rotation Set

U of L Baseball Coach Dan McDonnell has set his starting pitcher rotation for the opening weekend. No surprise that senior Zach Pitts, who compiled a 10-3 won-lost record last season, will be on the mound for the first game against Cleveland State. Sophomore Justin Marks will start Saturday and senior captain B. J. Rosenberg on Sunday. Read all about it on Coach McDonnell’s blog, Words From The Coach. He started the blog last year but hadn’t posted for a while, probably preoccupied toward the end of last season.

Baseball Cards Return Friday

Forecasters are calling for snow in Louisville. So the ground may be white Friday, with temperatures hovering in the 25- to 30-degree range. Welcome to Jim Patterson Stadium for opening day of the 2008 college baseball season.

Nobody expects good weather, it’s always bad in Februar1757451y. The Cards play on field turf so the game will go on unless it’s raining, sleeting or heavily snowing. Be surprised if a capacity crowd is not on hand for the opening game of a three-game series against Cleveland State.

The Baseball Card took local fans on quite a ride last season, all the way to the Final Four and the College World Series. Get wrapped up in your old Liberty Bowl stuff if necessary. Cold weather should not be a factor in the decision.

This season also marks the 100th anniversary of University of Louisville baseball. A special logo has been created to commemorate the fete, featuring John Heldman, who coached for 28 seasons, and former Cardinal standouts Jim LaFountain and Trystan Magnuson.

Be there. Opening pitch is 2 p. m.

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Friday is also a huge day for women’s athletics on Belknap Campus.

The softball team (4-4) also plays its first home games this Friday — a doubleheader, taking on Northern Illinois at 2 p. m. and Nebraska at 4 p. m.

The lacrosse team opens a new chapter in U of L athletics when the Cards play their first official game in the school’s history. They will be squaring off against Bryant University of Rhode Island at 1 p.m. at the new lacrosse field.