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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U of L is moving away from purely being a basketball school Tuesday, Nov 12 2019 

By Ben Goldberger —

The rest of the country knows Kentucky for three things: the Kentucky Derby, bourbon and college basketball, all of which Louisville proudly puts on display.

“There is a reason why Louisville is known as the biggest basketball market in college basketball and always has the highest attendance at their games,” ESPN Louisville reporter Brian Hall said, later explaining how Louisville’s basketball tradition goes way back, winning nationals since the ’50s.

From state-of-the-art facilities, big-name shoe and apparel deals and highly ranked recruits, the University of Louisville is, in its essence, a basketball school. Just like basketball powerhouses Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U of L is known for its strong basketball programs.

After a dip in success for the men’s program following the firing of Rick Pitino, the team is resurging under new head coach Chris Mack, coming in at number five in the country to start this season. 

The women’s team is also looking forward to another successful season following a Final Four appearance in the March Madness Tournament last year. After losing a few stars from last year’s team, they filled their spots with highly ranked recruits. 

This recent success of both programs elevates Louisville back to the basketball school status.

But is U of L still just a basketball school, or rather a sports school in general? 

Last spring, the baseball team went to the ACC Championship and later went to the Final Four of the NCAA baseball tournament. They lost to the eventual national champions the Vanderbilt Commodores. 

Both soccer teams were ranked during the season, with the women’s team finishing the season No. 14 in the country. Both teams are expected to make the NCAA College Cup. 

The field hockey team is ranked No. 6 in the country and is currently competing in the ACC Field Hockey tournament. 

Last season, the football team went 2-10, but this year the team is already 5-3. This is mostly due to first-year Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield. Aside from some key recruits, the team is practically made up of the same players. In spite of this, Satterfield has already led this team to five wins and is one win away from being bowl eligible. 

Almost every set of bowl predictions include Louisville in a bowl, something they have not done since Lamar Jackson went to the NFL. This is leading to commitments from highly rated recruits, moving the football program closer to elongated success. 

According to 247sports.com, U of L currently has 22 commitments for next year’s season. This is the 31st best-recruiting class in the country and the 6th best in the ACC. 

The future is bright for Louisville sports across the board, showing that U of L has moved from being purely a basketball school to an all-sports school.

“There is nothing like basketball season around Louisville, but I do think Louisville is trending towards an all sports school,” Hall said. “All sports have a following, and our athletic department has done a good job investing into every program, showing success across the board.”

Basketball is still the school’s top sport, both skill and revenue-wise, but the other sports show potential to bring national attention to all of Louisville’s programs, not just the one on the court. 

Graphic by // The Louisville Cardinal

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Nwora, Enoch lead No. 5 Louisville past Youngstown St. 78-55 Sunday, Nov 10 2019 

The Cards started the second half making seven of their first nine shots to put away the Penguins (1-1).

        

Louisville City FC makes third-straight USL championship Sunday, Nov 10 2019 

LouCity will host Real Monarchs SLC in the USL Championship at Lynn Stadium Sunday, November 17.

        

Women’s Basketball: Players to look out for this season Saturday, Nov 9 2019 

By Riley Vance–

There are a few players fans can expect to see putting numbers up on the board as the women’s basketball team prepares for the 2019-20 season.

Sophomore guard Elizabeth Balogun and junior guard Dana Evans have been selected to the 2019-20 Preseason All-ACC Team, and freshman guard Nyah Green has been placed on the Newcomer Watch List.

Transfer Balogun was named ACC Freshman of the Year, as well as ACC Freshman of the Week four times while at Georgia Tech. She started all 30 games for the Yellow Jackets and averaged 14.6 points per game. As a freshman, Balogun scored 437 points last season, the seventh most points in Georgia Tech history.

Evans was named ACC Sixth Player of the Year and to the ACC All-Academic team. She ranked third with an averaged 10.4 points in the 16 ACC games she played in last season. Evans held a team best 4.0 assists per game.

Green comes to Louisville as a five-star prospect. She is the No. 12 player and seventh-best guard in the class of 2019. Green led her high school team, Bishop Lynch, to a TAPPS 6A state runner-up as a junior, averaging 18.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 37 games.

Seniors Jazmine Jones and Kylee Shook also show great promise. Jones started in 36 games last season, averaging 7.6 points. She posted a season-high 10 rebounds at Duke.

Shook started in three games last season, but played in a total of 35. She averaged 7.1 points per game. Shook was ranked seventh in ACC in blocks with 1.5 per game. She tallied career-highs with 15 rebounds and three assists.

In ACC play, Shook came in fifth in blocks with 1.7 per game, ninth in field goal percentage (.519), 14th in defensive rebounds with 4.9 per game, and 15th in rebounding with 7.0 per game.

Redshirt senior Yacine Diop is coming back from a season-ending knee injury last season, and senior Bionca Dunham will be completing her fourth season as a Cardinal.

Louisville has a talented group this year, but these are just a few standouts.

They breezed through their first game of the season on Nov. 5 against WKU with a 75-56 win.

Women’s basketball takes on Murray State on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum Center.

Photo by Anna Disselkamp // The Louisville Cardinal

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Expectations swell Mack’s second year Saturday, Nov 9 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

Opening his second season with the Cardinals, Chris Mack has already started to leave his mark with the Cardinals. Ranked No. 5 nationally, Louisville has already entered the national championship conversation just two years into the Mack era.

Attributing to Mack’s success is his most recent recruiting class earning a rank within the top 15.

Sophomore Dwayne Sutton made a good first impression against Miami scoring 16 against them this season. Freshman Samual Williamson came in with the heat as well scoring 13 points. Mack also scored graduate transfer Lamarr Kimble this year, who will leave his mark on the program too.

Junior Jordan Nwora will lead scoring this season for the Cardinals, starting the season off with 23 points against Miami. In an exhibition game against Bellarmine University Nwora scored a parasol record of 27. Nwora trained extensively for this season by attending an NBA training camp.

It is also important to note what Mack has accomplished given his circumstances. Mack inherited a team that was in shambles after Pitino, with restricted resources due to sanctions. While Louisville had a mediocre season last year, Mack suffered from past stigmas.

Louisville fans were also demoralized after the Pitino-era scandals. In order to turn the team around, Mack also had to reestablish trust with the fans. While people often think sports are mostly focused on the talent of athletes and coaching, it is a struggle when fans are apprehensive.

While it is too early to tell if the Cardinals will be in the running for a 2020 national title, it is impossible to keep this team out of the conversation.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Women’s basketball defeats Murray State 76-40 Saturday, Nov 9 2019 

By Mariam Prieto and Gabriel Wiest–

Louisville won  76-40 against Murray State in their second game of the season at the KFC Yum! Center on Nov. 8.

Coming off of a win against Western Kentucky, No. 9 Louisville secured another win against an in-state team. These state wins early in the season could foreshadow in-state dominance for the Cardinals. Louisville’s deep roster contributed to the big win, Murray could not match the strength of Louisville’s players.

The first half saw an aggressive start. During the first two minutes of the game, Louisville made it to the scoreboard first. Murray did not make it on the scoreboard until the last three minutes in the first quarter. Louisville ended the first quarter leading 16-4.

The second quarter saw the biggest play of the game, with back-to-back scores by junior Dana Evans. Evans forced a turnover after scoring a three, following up with a lay up. The first half ended with the Cards almost tripling Murray’s score 38-13.

The second half saw the Racers play with a more aggressive offense. They tripled their score, but were not fast enough for the Cardinals. The Cards made two layups made in less than 25 seconds. The first was a second chance layup made by senior Kylee Shook, and the second made by freshman Norika Konno.

Senior Jazmine Jones led the offense with 14 points and two assist, alongside Shook with 13 points and one assist. Shook led the defense with sophomore Seygan Robins and freshman Bionca Dunham, each finishing the game with seven stops. Louisville finished with 21 turnovers, while Murray finished with 24.

Against major teams, having over 20 turnovers would do significant damage against Louisville. Murray State was not able to make points off of turnovers, however, top 25 teams would have taken advantage of this. The Cardinals will look to bring turnovers down before competition rises further down the schedule.

Without a heavy scorer like Asia Durr, who graduated last year, the Cardinals came together collectively to secure the win. Four players including Evans, Shook, Jones and sophomore Elizabeth Balogun entered double digits during the game. This possibly shows that scoring will be more of a group effort during the new season as opposed to in the past.

Head coach Jeff Walz commented on the team’s performance, “We aren’t playing as good as I know we can, which is a good thing.” He added, “We got to get [turnovers] down to around 11 or 12, and we had 11 turnovers in the first quarter.”

Louisville will be back in action against Central Michigan University on Nov. 14 at the KFC Yum! Center at 6 p.m.

Photo by Gabriel Wiest // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville men’s basketball takes home a win against Miami Friday, Nov 8 2019 

Jocelyn Kronoveter– 

Louisville men’s basketball starts off the season with a strong 87-74 win against Miami Nov. 6 at the Hurricane’s home court.

Less than a minute into the first half, Miami scored three-point jumper. A minute later, junior Jordan Nwora came in strong and scored two points with a layup.

After Miami scored another three points, senior Steven Enoch made a basket and brought the score to 4-6. 

Nwora made another layup followed shortly with a free throw, putting Louisville in the lead 7-6. Miami player Kameron McGusty made a basket, putting the team in the lead. 

Determined to put Louisville back in the lead, senior Ryan McMahon scored two more times. Senior Dwayne Sutton followed with his first free throw of the game.

Eight minutes left in the first quarter, Louisville’s players came back strong and were in the lead 26-16.

In the second half, Louisville made more successful shots at the basket than Miami. Nwora made two successful free throws less than a minute in the half, with the team up 47-26.

Miami junior Chris Lykes then made two free throws followed by a three point shot by McGusty, allowing Miami to get closer.

The Cards did not score any more points after this. The teamwork and effort showed in the end of the first half and the start of the second kept Louisville on top and they went home with the win.

In an interview with Louisville’s head coach Chris Mack said he wasn’t worried about the preseason hype.

Mack went on to talk about how regardless of the teams progress, they won’t let it get to their heads. “I think that anytime you get told over and over how good you are before you’ve done anything, or earned it, it gives you a false sense of effort. It gives a false sense of you having done something that you haven’t.” Mack said.

The Cards are humble despite the hype prior to their first game and they showed off their skills by heading into a strong season after facing Miami.

Mack said he values good attitudes and consistency on the court, perhaps what led to Louisville’s victory tonight. 

The next game will be held on Nov. 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center against the Youngstown State Penguins. 

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Women’s basketball slams WKU 75-56 Thursday, Nov 7 2019 

By Ben Goldberger–
The women’s basketball lived up to expectations in the first game of the season, beating the unranked Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers 75-56 Tuesday, November 8th at home. Junior Guard Dana Evans led the team with 19 points and played for all but eight minutes of the game.

Sophomore Forward Elizabeth Dixon also had a great showing, recording a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The No. 9 Cards collectively recorded 22 assists, more than three times as many the Hilltoppers recorded seven. This effort was mostly led by Jazmine Jones who recorded 10 assists along with eight points and rebounds. While coming off of the bench, freshman Norika Konno tallied nine points in 26 minutes of play.

First Half
Louisville jumped to a quick lead against WKU in the first quarter, shooting just under 70 percent from the field, including knocking down three of four 3-point shots. This was the best shooting percentage the Cards had the whole game, shooting a measly 33 percent in the second quarter.

Jones was responsible for seven out of the nine baskets made by the Cards in the first quarter, recording six assists and two points. All of the nine first quarter baskets came off of assists.

Sophomore guard Elizabeth Balogun was on fire in the first quarter, hitting all three 3-point shots attempted. She went on to go 4-4 in the first half and 5-6 for the whole game.

Louisville finished the first half with a comfortable nine point lead over WKU at 34-25.

Second Half
The Cards then scored 21 points, yet the Hilltoppers scored 18 points, more than any other quarter. This was mostly related to sloppy defense, forfeiting 10 free throw shot attempts in the third quarter alone. The Hilltoppers capitalized on this by scoring six points off of free throws.

On the contrary, Louisville only got one free throw shot, with Evans knocking down the sole attempt of the quarter.
Evans recorded eight points in the third quarter and 15 in the second half. She made four three-pointers in the second half, elevating the Cards to a comfortable lead.

Konno made her presence felt in the fourth quarter, recording five points and, including an and-1, an assist and a rebound. She had a very productive showing coming off of the bench, outscoring Jazmine Jones by one point.

The Cards host the Central Michigan Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center.

Photo by Mathew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville fell to No. 7 Wake Forest on senior night Wednesday, Nov 6 2019 

By Mariam Prieto-Perez–

Louisville lost against Wake Forest 3-1 on Nov. 1 the Cardinal’s senior night. Louisville could not come back from Wake Forest’s two goals early on in the game.

This game recognized No. 25 Louisville’s soccer seniors:  Cody Cochran, Cherif Dieye, Louka Masset, Will Meyers, and Kino Ryosuke.

The Cardinals (8-6-2, 3-4-1) earned No. 6 seed in the ACC Tournament against Virginia Tech.

The first half saw the No. 7 Demon Deacons (13-3-1, 6-2-0) score early on. Masset scored the Card’s sole goal with a right side cross assist from Dieye. Masset scored with a back heel flick, and found the back of the net.  The first half ended 2-1.

In the second half, the Cards fueled their defense. Junior Jake Gelnovatch had his only two saves in the second half, proving vital to the defense.

Wake Forest found the back of the net once again. The Cardinals pushed their offense hard in the final minutes but were unable to secure a goal. The Demon Deacons ended the second half 3-1.

Even though Louisville outshot Wake Forest 10-8, The Demon Deacons had the shots-on-goal advantage 5-2. Dieye led the defense with 3 shots and 1 assist alongside Masset with 2 shots and 1 goal.

The Cardinals will be back in action on Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. Louisville will face Virginia Tech at Lynn stadium in the ACC Men’s Soccer Championship.

Photo by Anna Claire Will / The Louisville Cardinal

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