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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Key players to watch in men’s basketball Tuesday, Nov 12 2019 

By Luke Graham —

Last year, there were no expectations for the Cards. Head coach Chris Mack impressed during his first year and seems like he will get the best out of his players.

Mack has real talent now and players are expected to perform.

Forward Jordan Nwora is the most talked-about Card and will be the scoring leader. He shot 45 percent from the field last year and 38 percent from behind the arc.

In his first game against Miami, he picked up right where he left off with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

His biggest issue last year was his defensive abilities. If he can improve his defense and ball-handling abilities, he has first-round NBA potential.

Freshman and McDonalds All-American Samuell Williamson looks like he will play a big role as well. He has the ability to be an infamous one-and-done, but if that’s the case, Cards fans hope to remember that one year as spectacular.

It seems that after the first game, he will get every opportunity to play and be a big player in Mack’s second year. He has already shown flashes of good offensive talent with an eye for the court and good defensive abilities.

Junior Malik Williams and senior Steven Enoch look to protect the basket and cause damage to it on the other. If Williams can come back from a broken foot, and Enoch can stay healthy and out of foul trouble, then they could be the key to advancing deep in “The Big Dance” in March.

This can only happen if they both stay healthy and aggressive.  They are forces down low and can determine a game by their defensive presence and offensive capabilities to finish and score.

The Cards need the McDonalds All-American to live up to the hype, Nwora to be the leader of the team and the big men in the paint and Williams and Enoch to stay healthy and on the court.

If all goes well, Cardinal fans could be in for an exciting year. The country has already taken notice of a No. 5 national ranking.

With teams like Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky on the schedule, Louisville’s key players will have to step up and play like some of the best guys in the country.  North Carolina top recruit Cole Anthony versus Williamson will be fun to watch this year.

Freshmen Matthew Hunt and Vernon Casey from Duke will be show stoppers too. This is the game that Enoch and Williams must show their experience and lockdown both young freshmen and show the country why Louisville should be on high alert.

The Cards look to face off against Youngstown State in their next game on Nov. 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Yum Center.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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The pay-to-play tipping point in Kentucky Monday, Oct 14 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

After California passed their collegiate Fair Pay to Play Act, Kentucky State Senator Morgan McGarvey is looking to follow in their footsteps.

If passed, the law would ensure that Kentucky’s collegiate athletics remain competitive against California. With California’s universities like UCLA being able to pay players starting in 2023, this could have a negative effect on Kentucky recruiting efforts.

Dozens of states are attempting to mimic California’s ground breaking act, including Illinois and Pennsylvania. On the federal level, the House of Representatives has also been toying with the idea of national pay-to-play legislation.

The NCAA commented in response to the California legislation stating that it is an existential threat to collegiate sports. However, public support for pay-for-play is at an all-time high.

McGarvey said, “When you see a place like California and all of it’s universities doing something like this we want to make sure that Kentucky is also positioned on the forefront of being fair to its college athletes.”

The California legislation includes prohibiting the NCAA from penalizing athletes for receiving compensation and prohibiting colleges from rebuking scholarships. These two key elements are at the foundation of McGarvey’s law.

Both the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky earn in the top 20 national revenue for the NCAA, amassing over $134 million each.

In context to basketball, U of L and UK both are the most profitable teams taking the one and two spot in accordance to NCAA revenue rankings. Louisville averaged $30.4 million and Kentucky at $22.9 million in the last three years.

With these massive revenues for in-state teams, if Kentucky colleges had the ability to compensate players, this could ensure collegiate recruiting dominance.

McGarvey also explained how the compensation of players is critical to the treatment of college athletes.

“We want to make sure that those athletes are getting treated fairly and that we continue that for years to come,” said McGarvey.

The bill will be introduced in the next session of the Kentucky General Assembly at the beginning of next year.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L trustee is alleged source in stripper scandal Monday, Aug 12 2019 

By Matthew Keck and Gabriel Wiest

During a deposition on July 26, David Grissom testified that former University of Louisville President James Ramsey told him that a board of trustees member was the source of funds for the strippers in the Katina Powell scandal.

The allegations could not have come out at a worse time, as U of L is awaiting a NCAA ruling on title I violations that could affect the basketball program.

Ramsey’s attorney, Steve Pence, denied these claims and said that Ramsey has no reason to believe anyone on the board was behind that funding.

U of L spokesman John Karman said the university cannot comment since this is part of an ongoing litigation.

In a video deposition Grissom said, “He (Ramsey) told me that one of his board members was the cash source for paying off the strippers in the stripper incident.” He then went on to say, “He never disclosed that to the full board.”

This comes as U of L has filed a lawsuit against Ramsey claiming financial fraud. Grissom refused to identify the board member’s name but also stated that Ramsey never shared the name of said person either.

In a video taken by WDRB, Grissom was asked why he didn’t report Ramsey’s comments immediately and his response was, “Well, I didn’t. I’m not perfect.”

When pressed on his responsibility to share such information Grissom said he didn’t feel that hearsay would be admissible in court.

NCAA official Stan Wilcox stated that six major programs will be hit with title I violations by the end of the summer. Such an allegation adds to Louisville’s anxiety with a possible sanction looming in the distance.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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Pitino grants Swopshire a fifth year of eligibility Friday, Sep 30 2011 

swopshire_and_cousins

This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with KentuckySports.co.

After starting 20 games as a sophomore Jared Swopshire missed all of last season due to a groin injury that took much more time to heal than was originally expected. According to both The Cardinal Connect and the U of L official website Swopshire is now listed as a red-shirt Junior and will be able to play for the Cards for two more full seasons.

During his sophomore season Swopshire proved to have a very valuable and unique skill set while averaging 6.1 rebounds a game (in 25.0 MPG) but also ranking 6th in the BIG EAST at 84% from the free throw line. The only concern is that the Cards seem to be loaded with talent at the PF position with Rakeem Buckles, Chane Behanan, Stephan Van Treese and now two more years of Swopshire. How will the minutes be divided among these four proven contributors? Over the course of a long season in the grueling BIG EAST, having such depth at any position can only be viewed as a positive for the Cards but will undoubtedly result in one of the three starting PFs (Swop,Buckles and Behanan) having less playing time than they might deserve. Having Sophomore Gorgui Dieng and freshman Zach Price as the only two options at the Center position this may mean that Pitino utilizes a smaller lineup depending on the opponent at certain times during the upcoming season, with any of the four power forward options sliding over to play some center.

I think this decision by Rick Pitino is a good sign for the Cards program as a whole as it signifies Rick is convinced Swopshire’s injury is healed enough so that he will contribute over his final two seasons and also it rewards a guy who has stuck with the program during a very frustrating year of sitting on the bench. Jared can provide leadership and also contribute on the floor for two more years in a complex offensive and defensive system which only Kyle Kuric and Swopshire are entering their fourth year of being familiar with.