Walz Named to Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Watch List Wednesday, Feb 17 2021 

By Nick Evans–

University of Louisville women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz has been named to the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List.

Walz is one of 15 coaches named to the list and one of two from the Atlantic Coast Conference – joined by NC State’s Wes Moore.

Despite losing five seniors from last year’s team and returning just two starters, Walz has led the Cardinals to a 19-1 overall record, 12-1 in ACC play. Louisville won its first 16 games and reached No. 1 in the Associated Press and USA Today polls for the first time in program history.

The Cardinals enter this week ranked No. 3 in the AP and No. 2 in the USA Today polls.

Louisville travels to play at Pittsburgh on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.

For the latest on Louisville women’s basketball, visit GoCards.com, follow the team’s Twitter account at @UofLWBB or on Facebook at facebook.com/UofLWBB.

Story and Photo Courtesy of GoCards

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U of L basketball’s head coach tests positive for COVID, U of L vs Pittsburgh postponed Tuesday, Feb 9 2021 

By Joseph Garcia —

Tomorrow’s men’s basketball game against Pittsburgh has been postponed following additional positive tests for COVID-19 within the program, including head coach Chris Mack. In a press release, the University of Louisville said the postponement also comes following subsequent quarantining and contact tracing within the men’s basketball program.

The athletics department reported that Mack is experiencing mild symptoms and is communicating with team members and staff virtually while he quarantines.

Mack will be absent at Louisville’s match against Virginia Tech on Feb. 13, however assistant coach Dino Gaudio will take his place during practice this week and Saturday’s game.

Kenny Klein, spokesman for U of L athletics, said that last week the athletics department conducted more than 1,100 tests, four of which were positive. Since testing began in June of 2020, the department has reported 235 positive tests.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L basketball legend now serves as university ambassador Monday, Feb 8 2021 

By Madelin Shelton —

Darrell Griffith, legendary U of L basketball player, has come back to U of L to serve as a university ambassador. Griffith will be working out of the President Neeli Bendapudi’s office, specifically on her diversity, inclusion and anti-racism efforts. He will also work with the University Advancement office to help cultivate donors and will coordinate on legislative issues important to U of L, among other duties. Griffith began on Nov. 16.

When asked what he was most excited for in his new role, Griffith said, “Reconnecting with the university, doing my part to make the university better and to make a change.”

Griffith also discussed what kept drawing him back to U of L and the city of Louisville.

“I was born and raised here. I played ball here at the University of Louisville and got my degree here, and I just want to see the university do better,” he said. “I want to have a part in helping kids get their education. The university has a footprint in the community. There are so many good things it can do, and it has done, and I just want to further that mission.”

In regard to the university’s anti-racism agenda, Griffith discussed what was most important. “The main thing you have to do when dealing with an anti-racism agenda is to have open ears. You have to listen to the pain and the concerns that people have when it comes to racism. That’s the first step.”

He went on to describe the importance of having an inclusive campus. “It’s good to have an inclusive university from all angles and to make feel everyone feel welcome,” he said.

Nicknamed “Dr. Dunkenstein,” Griffith was the leader of the 1980 Cardinal basketball team that won a national championship. He was also a first-team All-American and national collegiate player of the year. Following his collegiate career, Griffith was drafted into the National Basketball Association as a member of the Utah Jazz. During his NBA career, he earned the rookie of the year award. Following his 10-year career, the Utah Jazz retired his jersey in 1993.

Upon retirement, Griffith returned home to Louisville to pursue a successful business career.

Griffith was previously associated with U of L from 2006 to 2017 as special assistant to the president and director of community relations but was let go due to a reduction in force.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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“Cardboard Nation” stands in for Cards to cheer during U of L games Monday, Feb 1 2021 

By Tate Luckey —

When COVID-19 hit the sports world, officials scrambled to find a solution to allowing fans at games. The NBA first proposed the idea of having “virtual fans.” Fans could pay to have a “seat” during the game and show up on the big screen, watching live. The NFL, and by extension the NCAA, now feature fan cutouts, alongside limited capacity. The University of Louisville calls their section of cutouts “CardBoard Nation.” 

“The main goal with Cardboard Nation was to create the closest thing to a packed arena for our men’s and women’s programs so they still feel that love and support and give our fans the chance to still feel like they were a part of this season and to. Everything we do is for the fans and our athletes,” Austin Hertzler, assistant director of marketing for U of L Athletics, said.

The 2020 football season featured limited capacity, as well as pumped in crowd noise. It was safer in this scenario due to the fact the arena is outdoors. Katie Berry, director of marketing for athletics, said that they wanted to focus on on things they could control. The challenge with basketball games though, is that the courts are all indoors.

The solution came in the form of allowing anyone to pay 60 dollars and submit a picture of themselves to have a cardboard cutout in the stands for the whole season.

Any appropriate image is allowed, ranging from your pet who watches alongside you to those who want to keep their decade long attendance streak alive, to those who are miles away. “In true Louisville fashion, we even have a racehorse featured in one of the cutouts!” Berry said. 

It’s unclear if having said cutouts helps maintain the ever-important “home-court advantage,” but the lack of fans definitely makes players and Card Nation more appreciative of their dedication. While many of the staff are hoping that the 2021-2022 sports season will allow more of a full capacity, it is likely that the ’21 baseball season will feature some members of CardBoard Nation as well.  

“We’re hopeful members of Cardboard Nation can (eventually) be replaced with members of Card Nation,” Berry said. 

Fans can view their cutouts in a Facebook Album on the GoCards Facebook page.  But “If you’re watching one of our games on TV there’s a chance you’ll see it that way too,” Hertzler. The photos are updated as the season progresses. If you request it in your order, you can even have your cutout sent to you once the season is over.

File Graphic // GoCards Facebook

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U of L awaits response from NCAA on Notice of Allegations case Friday, Dec 18 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has requested referral of its case against the NCAA regarding alleged violations in the men’s basketball program to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process. According to U of L, this development is the latest step in the ongoing NCAA enforcement matter.

“The university expects to receive a decision from the Infractions Referral Committee and ultimately looks forward to the fair resolution of this case,” U of L said on its NCAA Notice website.

This referral follows the university receiving the NCAA enforcement staff’s response to the institution’s response to the Notice of Allegations issued in May 2020.

The NCAA response, received by U of L on Dec. 7, dismissed the university’s argument and rejected its claimed status as a victim of a criminal conspiracy. “It also disagrees with the notion that Adidas was not acting in U of L’s interests when executives in the company were connected to the recruiting fraud probe,” according to Louisville Business First.

The Notice of Allegations included one Level I and three Level II violations relating to the sex and recruitment scandal under former head coach Rick Pitino. The university challenged these allegations Sept. 16 and maintained that they are not supported by facts or NCAA bylaws.

The university is currently waiting for a response from the Infractions Referral Committee to move forward with reaching a resolution to the case.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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UofL women’s basketball game against Miami postponed after positive COVID-19 test Thursday, Dec 17 2020 

Last Friday, all team related activities were paused indefinitely due to the positive case and contact tracing in the program.

        

KFC Yum! Center will host Wade Houston Tipoff Classic Monday, Nov 23 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team had to hurdle many obstacles to host the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alas, the schedule for the season-opening event at the KFC Yum! Center is on.

U of L will begin their season on Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. against Evansville University. Prairie View A & M vs. Little Rock University will follow.

But Louisville’s season opener on the 25th is only the beginning of the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic. U of L will face off against Seton Hall on Nov. 27. Prairie View A & M will challenge the Cardinals on Nov. 29. Western Kentucky University will come into town to face U of L on Dec. 1. To wrap up the event, UNC Greensboro will come to Louisville to face the Cardinals on Dec. 4.

Nine schools will enter the Wade Houston Classic, playing 16 games in total. The KFC Yum! Center will host all of the games for the Wade Houston Classic, which will stretch over a ten-day span. Louisville, Duquesne, Evansville, Little Rock, Prairie View A&M, Seton Hall, UNC Greensboro, Western Kentucky and Winthrop will all be participating in the event.

Winthrop University was a late entry into the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Southern Illinois University was originally slated to be apart of the event but withdrew because of safety concerns.

The Cardinals will look to tackle Evansville on Nov. 25. U of L will be starting their season without senior captain Malik Williams. Louisville will look to fellow senior captain Carlik Jones to lead the way at home against Evansville.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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David Johnson is the key to success for men’s basketball this season Tuesday, Oct 27 2020 

By John McCarthy–

ACC Men’s Basketball will be alive and well this season and there’s a lot of returning talent, which means big competition.

Louisville, Duke, Florida State and North Carolina will all have returning talent.

Last week the Cardinals named senior Malik Williams and graduate transfer Carlik Jones as team captains. Another emerging leader for the Cardinals is sophomore point guard David Johnson.

Johnson’s performance in the 2019-2020 season was a pleasant surprise for Louisville. He posted a season stat line of 6 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game on 49% shooting. Johnson has made big strides since graduating from Trinity High School in Louisville.

The Cardinals will look to Johnson for more breakout performances in the 2020-2021 season. Johnson is known to show out in big-time conference rivalries.

When the Cardinals traveled to Duke to take on the Blue Devils last January, Johnson had his best game of the season. He broke out for 19 points, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Johnson carried the Cardinals to victory that afternoon, taking the No. 3 Blue Devils down on their home floor.

University of Louisville men’s basketball’s schedule has yet to be released for this season, but expect big things from David Johnson.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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UK & U of L basketball at odds over location of this year’s matchup Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By John McCarthy–

University of Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack recently expressed his concern regarding the location of U of L’s matchup with its in-state rival, the University of Kentucky this season.

Because of complications due to COVID-19, Mack suggested that playing Kentucky at a neutral site would minimize the risk of complications or restrictions.

John Calipari, head coach of UK’s men’s basketball, strongly disagreed with Mack on the rescheduling of this year’s commonwealth matchup to a neutral location.

U of L would have to host Kentucky at the Yum! Center this season without fans in attendance. Kentucky on the other hand would potentially be able to host fans and students when Louisville heads to Rupp Arena for the Cardinals and Wildcats 2021-2022 season matchup.

“Chris and I have talked and he expressed his concerns. While I understand the difficulty and the complications created by the pandemic, we are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season under the previously agreed terms,” Calipari said.

Via U of L and Kentucky’s contract, each school trades off home-court advantage year by year. If the 2020-21 matchup were to be rescheduled to a neutral site, it would cause turmoil prior to next year’s face off.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Malik Williams and Carlik Jones named 2020 men’s basketball captains Thursday, Oct 15 2020 

By John McCarthy–

Senior Malik Williams and graduate transfer Carlik Jones have been chosen as captains for the 2020 Louisville men’s basketball season.

“As voted on by their teammates, seniors Malik Williams and Carlik Jones have been named captains for this year’s team,” Louisville head coach Chris Mack said.

Williams comes into his senior season with the Cardinals showing an impressive collegiate resume. He was the runner-up for the ACC Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2019-2020 season. Williams hit double-digit scoring totals ten times in his junior season. He averaged eight points and six rebounds per game in his junior year.

Jones will come into the Louisville men’s basketball as one of the nation’s more highly-scouted graduate transfers. Jones comes from Radford University, where he averaged 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and one steal per game. He helped lead Radford to their second-straight conference championship with a 21-11 record. Jones is the only Division-I player to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists last season.

The Cardinals will look to Williams and Jones to help lead them toward the top of the ACC standings. “Our team is fortunate to have terrific leadership and it starts with these two. Their experience, ability to lead, and toughness have been evident throughout the offseason and preseason,” said Mack.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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