Louisville men’s basketball team protests through Belknap campus for equality Tuesday, Sep 29 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team marched through Belknap campus Sept. 25, calling for racial equality.

Many members of the community surrounding U of L and students walked alongside the men’s basketball team to help promote equality peacefully. “The turnout was greater than we could have imagined. This is exactly what we envisioned, getting our message out about inequality, discrimination, racism, and hate,” said senior Malik Williams.

Multiple players from the men’s basketball team talked to the crowd before beginning the march. They urged everyone to protest peacefully as they marched. Louisville Metro Police Department was present during the march to help provide barricades along the march path.

The march started at the Thortons Academic Center and toured through U of L’s Belknap Campus. The march lasted for about an hour. Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack attended the march with his players.

“I understand as a white guy, a 50-year old, that Black America is hurting,” said Mack.

The team did not discuss any matters relating to the upcoming 2020-2021 basketball season. Instead, they encourage listeners to register to vote. The Cardinals asked everyone to join them at Shawnee Park Oct. 3 for a voter registration event. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L responds to NCAA notice of allegations Tuesday, Sep 22 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville released a statement in response to the NCAA notice of allegations Sept. 21. U of L is facing serious NCAA violations, especially since the Cardinals are repeat offenders.

U of L’s response on Sept. 21 argues that the NCAA’s allegations against the university “arise out of a criminal conspiracy to defraud the University of Louisville,” said the statement.

The FBI found, during an investigation of U of L, that representatives of Adidas had conspired to pay Brian Bowen, a highly touted recruit. Adidas agreed to pay Bowen $100,000 to play for the Cardinals and sign with the shoe company upon going to the NBA. These allegations resulted in the firing of men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich back in 2017.

The essence of the Cardinals’ statement explains that Adidas attempted to defraud U of L with the deal offered to Brian Bowen and his family. Louisville’s response states that Adidas cannot both be acting in U of L’s best interest while plotting to offer a recruit compensation, resulting in the degradation of the university.

The 75-page response comes after U of L requested a 45-day extension to thoroughly finish their response. Louisville currently awaits a response from the NCAA.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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The Cardinal previews U of L’s women’s basketball season Monday, Sep 7 2020 

By Cole Emery– 

After a 28-4 season with the first outright ACC regular season title in school history, the women’s basketball team is looking to repeat last year’s success. 

With Jazmine Jones and Kylee Shook being selected 12th and 13th in the WNBA draft, the Cardinals will have some big shoes to fill. Both players were members of the All-ACC First Team, and Shook was the first player since 2009 to win a conference “Defensive Player of the Year” award.

Reigning ACC “Player of the Year” Dana Evans is entering her senior year with a lot of confidence. After transferring last year, Elizabeth Balogun and Elizabeth Dixon will be looking to make a bigger impact. Evans and Balogun started many games in the back court, so this experienced backcourt will be very helpful to next year’s squad. 

Three players were on the roster last year  but did not play a game. Nyah Green, a 6-foot-1 guard, redshirted her freshman year, but came to Louisville as a McDonald’s All-American and 12th ranked prospect by espnW Hoop Gurlz in the Class of 2019. Remani Parker, a 6-foot-4 forward, redshirted last year and was the 99th rated prospect by espnW Hoop Gurlz in the Class of 2019. Kiana Smith, a 6-foot guard, sat out last season after transferring from CAL due to NCAA transfer rules. 

The Cards are bringing on Hailey Van Lith, who was the top-ranked guard in the 2020 recruiting class according to espnW HoopGurlz. Van Lith was a member of the under 19 USA squad that won gold in the FIBA World Cup in 2019. She was also named 2019 FIBA 3×3 under 18 World Cup MVP and 2018 USA Basketball under 18 National Championship MVP.

Another big recruit coming next year is Olivia Cochran, a 6-foot-1 forward, who is ranked as the fourth-best forward in the 2020 recruiting class. She was also on the FIBA 3×3 under 18 World Cup team that won gold in 2019. 

Louisville is bringing in a new transfer as well. Ahlana Smith, a 5-foot-9 guard, played for UCLA during her freshman year then played for Gulf Coast State during her sophomore season. During her season at Gulf Coast State, she was named the 2019-2020 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. 

Even with some Louisville greats moving on from their collegiate career, the Cardinals continue to work towards success and are looking to have a talented squad entering the 2021 season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville men’s basketball adds four players to roster Friday, Aug 28 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team added four players to their roster Aug. 25. The four high school players are welcomed to U of L’s roster as non-scholarship walk-ons for the 2020-21 season.

One of the four additions is forward Sam Bearden from Holy Cross High School in Louisville, Ky. Bearden is a 6 foot-5 inch, 190-pound point forward. Bearden was a member of the first team Courier-Journal All-Region selection as a senior at Holy Cross High School.

Bearden averaged an impressive 18 points and 8 rebounds a game during the 2019-20 season.

The second addition is Brad Colbert, a 6 foot-2 inch, 180-pound combo point guard from Loveland, Ohio. Colbert played the 2019 season at the International Sports Academy in Willoughby, Ohio. Colbert averaged 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists during his time at the International Sports Academy.

As a junior, he was part of the Cincinnati Moller High School team that won back-to-back state championships.

Andrew Schultz is another walk-on for the Cardinals this coming season. Schultz is a 6-foot-4 inch, 210-pound stretch forward from Texas. He attended Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas.

As a senior at Rockwall High School, he helped his team to a 21-14 record. Schultz played two of his seasons with current U of L forward Samuell Williamson.

The fourth addition is Ashton Myles-Devore. Myles-Devore is a 6-foot, 170-pound point guard from Versailles, Ky. He attended Woodford County High School just outside of Lexington, Ky. He averaged 7 points and 2 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from the three-point line.

These talented prospects join U of L’s roster along with returning center Hogan Orbaugh, a 6 foot-8 inch sophomore from Zionsville, Ind. Orbaugh rounds out the Cardinals list of walk-ons for the 2020-21 season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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85 U of L student athletes and athletics staff test positive for COVID-19 Thursday, Aug 20 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville athletics department has done 1,373 COVID-19 tests on student athletes, staff and coaches since the beginning of involuntary workouts on June 2. Results show 85 of the tests came back positive for COVID-19, a positivity rate of 6.2% in the department. As of Aug. 19, Kentucky’s positivity rate is 5.41%.

This spike in cases comes after U of L men’s basketball activities were put on hold following two positive COVID-19 cases in early July. Three U of L men’s soccer players were also dismissed from the team after attending an off-campus party that led to the spread of COVID-19 amongst the team on August 7.

U of L plans to move forward with their sports this fall, along with the rest of the ACC. However, sports this fall with only be played against in-conference opponents and in-state opponents such as Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.

“We have a strong commitment from our medical, administrative staff, and the athletic department that we expect to be met with the same commitment from our student-athletes,” U of L Athletics Director Vince Tyra said.

U of L football plans to host Western Kentucky Sept. 12 at Cardinal Stadium to open up the season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L athletics to follow guidelines developed by ACC Tuesday, Aug 18 2020 

By Cole Emery–

The University of Louisville Athletics is working collaboratively with the protocols developed by the ACC’s Medical Advisory Group. 

Since mid-May, the MAG has met weekly to share information in relation to the impact of COVID on college campuses and the return of college sports.

They released an official minimum standards report at the end of July. This report included the minimum COVID testing standards and a standard for reporting positive tests to opponent teams.

The MAG comprises of each member institution in the ACC and includes a cross-section of infectious disease experts, public health experts, campus student health experts, team physicians, athletic health care administrators and a mental health expert. 

Minimum Testing Standards

Currently, all medically appropriate weekly tests for all sports shall be molecular (PCR) testing with FDA approval or Emergency Use Authorization.

For football, all team members, and those that are in close contact with team members, shall be tested each week beginning with the week of the first competition against an opposing team. The tests must be administered within three days before the match.

For volleyball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s/women’s lacrosse, men’s/women’s basketball, rowing and wrestling, all team members and those in close contact with the team members will be tested every week beginning with the week of the first competition against an opposing team. 

For baseball, softball and cross country, all team members and those in close contact with the team members will be tested every other week beginning with the week of the first competition against an opposing team. The tests must be administered within three calendar days of the first competition of the week. 

For golf, tennis, fencing, track and field, and swimming/diving, regular testing would not be required, but testing of symptomatic members would be required.

Additional testing may be administered at the institution’s discretion so long as calendar day requirements are met.

Standards for reporting positive test results

In all sports, all positive test results of any team member who came into close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with any member(s) of any opposing team(s) played during the preceding 48 hours shall be shared as quickly as possible, but no later than 24 hours following the receipt of the positive test to any applicable opponent(s). 

The infected individual’s role as a team member and a summary of their interactions with the opposing team shall be included in the information sharing. Unless authorized by the individual or otherwise required by law, the individual’s name may not be shared with the opposing team(s). 

As information regarding the virus, testing and public health mitigation strategies evolve, the recommended minimum standards set forth by the MAG are subject to be adjusted.

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Top basketball prospect decommits from Louisville Tuesday, Aug 11 2020 

By John McCarthy — 

Top 100 basketball prospect Bryce Hopkins has decommitted from the University of Louisville.

Hopkins originally committed to U of L back in November of 2019. He is the first future-Cardinal to decommit from the university since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Hopkins is a multi-skilled forward standing 6-foot-6, who attended Fenwick High School in Illinois before committing to Louisville. Hopkins visited California, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Northwestern before landing with the Cardinals. He was going to be the headlining prospect for U of L basketball’s 2021 recruiting class.

“Every time I have gone [to U of L] the coaches have been genuine and they had a great vision for me that I loved,” Hopkins said. “I felt completely comfortable with the coaching staff.”

Although the withdraw of Hopkins is a blow to the Cardinals 2021 recruiting class, plenty of talented prospects will be flowing into the university. Point guard Bobby Pettiford, an exceptional junior college guard El Ellis, and four-star forward Eric Van Der Heijden are all set to join the Cardinals in 2021.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville men’s basketball adds Gabe Wiznitzer to roster Thursday, Jul 9 2020 

By John McCarthy —

University of Louisville men’s basketball tacks on a much needed big man to their roster. Gabe Wiznitzer, a 6-11 center out of Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. signed his letter-of-intent July 8.

Wiznitzer joins Montrezl Harrell, Terry Rozier and Anton Gill as the fourth Cardinal to graduate from Hargrave before taking their talents to the Yum! Center. Wiznitzer averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds, and shot 42% from the three-point line during his career at Hargrave.

He originally planned to be apart of the 2021-2022 recruiting class but opted to join the 2020-2021 recruiting class instead. Witnitzer chose the Cardinals over Ohio State, LSU, Iowa and West Virginia.

“We’ve been looking to add a big man to our frontcourt for some time. Gabe presents really good size, good skill, and tremendous work ethic,” Louisville head coach Chris Mack said.

Wiznitzer began his high school career at The Christ School in Arden, N.C. before transferring to Hargrave. He averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game during his time at The Christ School.

In 2019 he transferred to Hargrave to prepare for his collegiate basketball career. Wiznitzer flourished during his time at Hargrave, adding to his stat line and gaining national attention for his skill set.

“Spending last year at Hargrave was a bonus in his development. Our intention is to redshirt Gabe to aid in that development. During this coming season, Gabe will train, practice, and travel throughout the entire season,” Mack said.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville men’s basketball stops operations after positive COVID-19 tests Wednesday, Jul 8 2020 

By John McCarthy —

University of Louisville men’s basketball activities have come to an abrupt halt after two members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19. U of L athletics has been testing student-athletes for COVID-19 regularly since May 29. U of L is not disclosing who tested positive within the organization.

This comes nearly two months after U of L reopened its doors to student-athletes for voluntary workouts. At this point, it is unknown if any other members of the men’s basketball organization have been exposed to those who tested positive.

“[Men’s] basketball is certainly a sport that is going to get a lot of attention. These two individuals exhibited signs and we were able to have them tested on Monday. Because we are part of the U of L health system we were able to get those results back quickly. Through quarantining and contact tracing we are able to make sure we have everyone covered in the program,” Athletic Director Vince Tyra said during a virtual press conference on July 7.

U of L men’s basketball has been following all CDC approved guidelines and regulations for involuntary workouts leading up to the incident. Proper quarantine guidelines will be in play for the members of the men’s basketball organization that were potentially exposed to the virus.

The possibility of positive tests has trickled into other sports as well. U of L football has continued to push back the start date of their season. The ACC’s original plan for the Cardinals to host North Carolina State on Sept. 2 is to be determined.

“You have to know that if you enter a season you are going to run into instances like we are running into now,” Tyra said. “There is a lot of monitoring going on to discuss these situations that campuses are individually having.”

Vince Tyra talked about the steps that would be taken if mid-season positive COVID-19 tests occur. “You have to be prepared. That is where you get into situations whether it is a no-contest or a forfeit. These are going to be things that we are dealing with for the first time,” Tyra said.

The 2020-2021 men’s basketball schedule has yet to be released.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville Basketball legend Wes Unseld dead at 74 Tuesday, Jun 2 2020 

By John McCarthy–

Wes Unseld, 74, passed away on May 2. Unseld was a former U of L basketball player and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was a sight to see on the basketball court displaying unrivaled skills at the collegiate level and excelling in the NBA as well. Unseld’s number, 31, is one of only four numbers to be retired in the history of U of L basketball.

Unseld grew up in Louisville and attended Seneca High School. He played all of his collegiate years for the University of Louisville. He still holds the single-game scoring record for U of L with 45 points.

“Wes is one of my all-time favorite players. He was a local player who had great success at U of L,” University of Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said. Unseld is one of only five Louisville Cardinal basketball players to collect over 1,000 rebounds in their career.

Unseld goes down in U of L basketball history as the 11th highest scoring player and 2nd on the U of L all-time rebounding rankings. His record with the Cardinals throughout his career is an impressive 60-22. Following an unforgettable career at U of L, Unseld was the second player selected in the 1968 NBA Draft. He played 13 years in the NBA and became only the second player ever to be named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and led the Bullets to an NBA title in 1978.

Unseld was welcomed into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988 and was selected among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996 in honor of the NBA’s 50th anniversary.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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