The Louisville Cardinal » Sports http://www.louisvillecardinal.com Student News + Multimedia Thu, 10 Jul 2014 04:34:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 University of Louisville officially joins Atlantic Coast Conference http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/07/university-of-louisville-officially-joins-atlantic-coast-conference/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=university-of-louisville-officially-joins-atlantic-coast-conference http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/07/university-of-louisville-officially-joins-atlantic-coast-conference/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 07:47:36 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20790 Senior wide-out DeVante Parker ran away with the competition his first three years at U of L. The outstanding senior talent has 16 career touchdowns and is one of many exciting students bringing their potential to the ACC, courtesy of The University of Louisville.

By Dalton Ray

“Isn’t it a great time to be a University of Louisville Cardinal?”

University of Louisville president James Ramsey enthusiastically asked this question upon Louisville’s official inauguration to the ACC. July 1 marked the first day U of L was an official member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. At the Brown and Williamson Club inside of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, a commemorative luncheon was held to make it official. Passionate fans, university associates, members of the media and even the  ACC mascots witnessed this historical day as ACC Commissioner John Swofford welcomed the Cards into the now 15 school conference.

“We have looked forward to this day since November of 2012, when our Council of Presidents voted to accept Louisville as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference,” Swofford said. “We are a stronger conference with the addition of this university and its athletic program, which continues to reach new heights and rank among the nation’s most competitive. We are well-positioned for the future, 15 members strong with a unique balance of public and private institutions.”

President Ramsey, Commissioner Swofford, and U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich held a press conference in the morning before heading over to the celebratory induction.

At the luncheon a large enthusiastic crowd gathered where food was provided as everyone sat eagerly awaiting the inauguration. After dining, socializing and getting more acquainted with the ACC mascots the crowd was addressed.

Ramsey, Swofford and Jurich reverberated the positive progression the university has taken.

“Upward trajectory” was used multiple times during the press conference and it was used to describe the university’s rapid success and the ACC’s future. Commissioner Swofford praised the school’s recent national athletic and academic success and said it was one of the reasons why they pulled the trigger on bringing Louisville in. Another reason for praise was the family-like atmosphere of the university.

“This is a conservative effort here…everyone is supportive of each other and that’s what makes a great university and athletic program,” Swofford stated.

The man who made all of this happen is of course AD, Tom Jurich, who took over U of L’s athletics program in 1997. The latest conference jump is the Cards’ fourth since 1996. U of L was members of the Metro Conference from 1975-1996, Conference USA from 1996-2005, the Big East from 2005-2013, and were one-time members of the American Athletic Conference this previous 2013-14 year.

“I really do appreciate and want to thank all the guys from Conference USA, the Big East, and our home last year in the AAC who helped us grow. It wasn’t just us; it was the people we competed with and the universities who have pushed us up. I stand here very grateful and thankful that all of this came together,” Jurich humbly explained. “We’re all about being a family here, we have a great culture…with all 23 of our sports we want to roll up our sleeves and out work you.”

The immediate selling point of joining the ACC is the impressive athletic resume the conference blusters in each sport. The ACC won five national championships this past year alone.

The conference’s field hockey teams have won 17 of the 31 NCAA national championships. The ACC’s golf programs have won a total of ten NCAA national championships between the men’s four and the women’s six. And the 13 total NCAA national championships in men’s lacrosse are more than any other conference.

With the addition of Louisville the ACC will be considered a powerhouse conference in such major sports as basketball, football, baseball, and soccer.

In baseball the conference has won five national championships. It has appeared in 88 total College World Series and has been ranked a top three conference the past five years. Last year the ACC sent eight teams to the NCAA tournament with three advancing to the CWS.

In football the ACC has seven schools with national titles, five are among the top 25 winning-est programs of all-time. The ACC sent 11 teams to bowl games last year with two BCS victories, headlined by Florida State’s BCS National Championship.

The conference’s collection of men and women’s soccer teams is very impressive. The ACC claims 16 men’s NCAA national titles, including 13 between 1984-2009. ACC women’s soccer has dominated the field of play winning 24 of the 28 NCAA national championships.

Louisville joins Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse as recent additions to a conference that already boasted basketball greats. Now the ACC may be the best men’s basketball conference in the land. Three of the six previous NCAA national champions as North Carolina won in 2009, Duke in 2010 and Louisville in 2013. Four of the five active Hall of Fame head coaches including U of L’s Rick Pitino. Five of the top twelve winningest programs, 15 national championships, 16 national runner-ups and 59 total Final Four appearances.

Academically this is a huge jump up for the Cardinals. It is very easy to say all the positive things this move means for athletics but the opportunity to correlate work with some of the top academic schools in the nation is an unmatched opportunity.

U of L has made strides in its research over the past years and associating with top research schools like Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech will continue to help the Cards make successful and life changing developments in the medical field and every day life.

With well over a year of ACC buzz the University of Louisville is officially a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. And it couldn’t be a better time to be a University of Louisville Cardinal.

Notre Dame Leprechaun jurich crowd ACCcomish ACCfootball A01_1910 A01_1852 A01_1846 A01_1819 A01_1815 A01_1812 A01_1808 A01_1801

 

 

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Russ Smith selected 47th in the NBA Draft http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/06/russ-smith-selected-47th-in-the-nba-draft/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=russ-smith-selected-47th-in-the-nba-draft http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/06/russ-smith-selected-47th-in-the-nba-draft/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 04:32:21 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20714 Russ Smith was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 47th pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Smith was then traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for Pierre Jackson.

After leading the most successful four year period in Louisville history, Smith heads to New Orleans as a Consensus All-American and the fifth leading scorer in Cardinal history.

He is the 66th Cardinal selected in the NBA Draft.

On Saturday October 4, the Pelicans will play the Miami Heat in a pre-season game at the KFC YUM! Center.

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U of L to host orienteering meet today http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/06/u-of-l-to-host-orienteering-meet-today/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=u-of-l-to-host-orienteering-meet-today http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/06/u-of-l-to-host-orienteering-meet-today/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:02:59 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20649 By Simon Isham–

U of L will host an orienteering meet today at 5:30 p.m. No, your SOSers will not be involved. This is something else entirely.

Then what is orienteering, you ask? It is a sport in which participants use a compass, map and their navigational skills to get to specific locations on a predetermined course, typically on unfamiliar terrain. Everyone orienteers at a different speed. Some people treat it like a leisurely stroll. Some people treat it like hardcore parkour.

The meet is a collaboration between Orienteering Louisville, a local orienteering club, and U of L students. Dr. Eric Wright’s summer semester HSS 150 Special Topics: Orienteering and Hiking class, will be helping to put on the meet. The class is popular, having exceeded maximum enrollment, and has been offered since 2005.

The students designed the course and set the control points. Then, a map was produced by Orienteering Louisville, turning the students’ vision into a reality.

Bruce Moore, vice president of Orienteering Louisville, said that summer is the off-season for orienteering, but that “we put on weekly meets around city parks to promote the sport and to get more beginners involved.”

So far, he said, “(the U of L map) is our only urban orienteering map.”

Though current students and alumni will have a definite advantage when it comes to locating the control points, Moore maintains that the meet is just for fun, not serious competition; in national and international meets, the map is embargoed beforehand, and the competitors must stay off the ground for at least a year prior to the meet.

The meet officially starts at 5:30 p.m., but staggered starts will be offered until 7 p.m. The cost for non-members of Orienteering Louisville is $3, which covers the cost of printing the map for the event. The start point of the race will be in the Red Barn courtyard, at the foot of the clocktower. To get in contact with race organizer Eric Wright, call 502-551-1875.

For more information about Orienteering Louisville and the meets they organize, visit Olou.org.

Photo: Dr. Eric Wright’s summer Orienteering and Hiking class. Courtesy Orienteering Louisville.

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Rain or shine play ball, U of L baseball defeats UK to advance to Super Regional http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/06/rain-or-shine-play-ball-u-of-l-baseball-defeats-uk-to-advance-to-super-regional/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rain-or-shine-play-ball-u-of-l-baseball-defeats-uk-to-advance-to-super-regional http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/06/rain-or-shine-play-ball-u-of-l-baseball-defeats-uk-to-advance-to-super-regional/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:15:15 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20627 By Derek Brightwell

An almost four hour rain delay on Sunday did not dampen the Louisville Cardinals’ bats nor the crowds excitement. U of L defeated their bitter rivals, the University of Kentucky, in the NCAA Regional Championship 4-1.

The Wildcats advanced to the Championship earlier that day with an 8-6 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks, setting the stage for the third Battle of the Bluegrass this year. Kentucky had swept the regular-season series, but Louisville was able to win the most important one to advance to the Super Regional round.

Early on, the story was the long lightning delay that sent much of the crowd seeking shelter and cleared Jim Patterson Stadium for almost four hours. But once the game started, the only thing that was electric was the atmosphere.

The Cardinals struck first in the third inning when designated hitter, freshman Nick Solak, put an RBI single into right field. And for most of the game, it appeared that was going to be enough to secure the win as U of L’s left-handed freshman pitcher Josh Rogers was able to get out of every jam he found himself in. Rogers allowed but one run on four hits through six plus innings. The freshman had no walks to go along with his five strikeouts.

In the seventh inning Kentucky took out their starting pitcher, freshman Logan Salow to bring in red-shirt sophomore Sam Mahar. The first three batters he faced all came around to score before he was taken out. Mahar retired only one batter and left with the score 4-0 in Louisville’s favor.

The quick burst of offense was quickly overshadowed that inning. Third basemen Alex Chittenden tried to score on a ground ball to the shortstop. After a quick game of hotbox, he was barreling down on first basemen Thomas Bernal at home plate. Chittenden went low at Bernal’s knees and toppled him over. The dugouts cleared as both teams met at home plate with the near fight broken up by coaches and umpires.

A half inning later UK was rallying having scored their first run of the game. In what would be one of the game-defining plays, UK pinch hitter Kyle Barrett lined out to center fielder Cole Sturgeon who then delivered a bullet to catcher Kyle Gibson. Bernal ran right through Gibson who hung on to the ball for the inning and rally ending double play. Gibson immediately popped up and stared down Bernal, as did many other Cardinal infielders before Coach McDonnell ran out to usher everyone back to the dugout. As a result of the hit, Bernal was ejected.

In the ninth inning, U of L’s junior closer Nick Burdi came in to finish off Kentucky. Burdi started off rocky throwing seven straight balls before finding the strike zone. He cleaned up quick and swiftly disposed of the next three hitters to earn the save.

The rain that was present throughout the game contributed to the two throwing errors each team committed but Kentucky had multiple mental lapses and miscommunications that resulted in balls falling in between two or three players.

Even after a four-hour evacuation of the stadium the seats were still packed as people were shuffling in up through the second inning. It was hard to not feel the tension of every at-bat as the crowds on both sides of the field erupted in cheers whenever something positive happened for their respective team. Every run scored, every double play and even the two collisions got the crowd on their feet and generated chants of C-A-R-D-S and C-A-T-S.

With the victory the University of Louisville will host next weekend’s Super Regional round at Jim Patterson Stadium. The Cards will play Kennesaw State, the winner of the Tallahassee Regional Championship.

Photo by Derek Brightwell

 

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Three Cardinals selected in the first round of NFL Draft http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/05/three-cardinals-selected-in-the-first-round-of-nfl-draft/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=three-cardinals-selected-in-the-first-round-of-nfl-draft http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/05/three-cardinals-selected-in-the-first-round-of-nfl-draft/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 05:17:57 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20560 By Sam Draut–

For the first time in school history, three players from Louisville were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Safety Calvin Pryor was the first Cardinal taken, drafted by the New York Jets with the 18th pick.  Pryor is the fifth highest Cardinal selected in the NFL Draft.  He accumulated 218 tackles and seven interceptions during his three seasons at Louisville.

Marcus Smith was selected 26th by the Philadelphia Eagles.  The defensive end led the nation with 14.5 sacks, but was projected by many mock drafts to be picked up in the third or fourth round.  He became Louisville’s tenth player in school history drafted in the first round.

Teddy Bridgewater was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the final pick in the first round after they traded a second-round pick and fourth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks.

Bridgewater leaves Louisville as one of the program’s most prolific passers, but saw his draft stock plummet leading up to Thursday night.

The three draft picks help to lead Louisville to a 23-3 record over the past the past two seasons.

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Women’s Golf and Men’s Basketball stand out for academic success http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/05/womens-golf-and-mens-basketball-stand-out-for-academic-success/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=womens-golf-and-mens-basketball-stand-out-for-academic-success http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/05/womens-golf-and-mens-basketball-stand-out-for-academic-success/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 15:43:32 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20553 By Noah Allison

 

U of L’s student athletes perform well in both the athletic and academic realms. Both the women’s golf team and men’s basketball team are among the top 10 percent in their respective sports’ Academic Progress Rate.

APR measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation for student-athletes. According to data released by the NCAA, both U of L programs have a perfect score of 1000 for the four-year period of 2009-13.

Amongst all men’s basketball accomplishments as of late in the 2013-14 academic year they boasted their highest ever-collective GPA at 3.40. 14 men’s basketball players earned a 3.0 GPA or better and they were 14 of 371 Cardinal student-athletes named to the 2013 Fall Semester U of L Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

Louisville men’s basketball earned the last three Big East Conference Team Academic Team Excellence Awards from 2011-2013. Senior forward Wayne Blackshear won the Final Four’s Elite 89 Award, which is awarded to the athlete with the highest GPA in the NCAA Final Four.

Academic excellence is stressed at the University of Louisville and the men’s basketball team displays on a national stage the standard of Louisville Cardinals.

“As much as we emphasize winning on the basketball court, we believe that winning in the classroom is equally important,” U of L Head Coach Rick Pitino said. “Our academic staff and players have been totally committed to getting the most out of their academic abilities and we’re really proud of their efforts.”

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Louisville softball seven-game win streak shows potential http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/louisville-softball-seven-game-win-streak-shows-potential/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=louisville-softball-seven-game-win-streak-shows-potential http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/louisville-softball-seven-game-win-streak-shows-potential/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:26:34 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20497 By Justin Stephenson

Although the U of L softball team has been streaky at times during the season the season is starting to turn as the Cards went on a seven game winning streak before dropping the last two games.

“I think we have found a good mix and we’re really happy with this group,” Coach Sandy Pearsall said.

And why wouldn’t she be? U of L went on its longest win streak of the season at seven games, thanks to the dominant performance of the defense. In fact, the defense as of the seven game winning streak is only rivaled by the defense of the first seven games of the season posting 38 strikeouts in the stretch. The young pitching staff held opponents to an under 3.00 earned run average for the first time since the start of the season.

“We’ve made some defensive changes which I think has not only helped those players defensively, but also offensively. It’s taken a little bit of pressure off of them and they seem to be playing better. We’ve moved Kayla Soles from third base to right field, Whitney Arion from shortstop to third base and Hannah Kiyohara from right field to shortstop. If that main group of defense can continue on, I think we’ll be in a great position,” Coach Pearsall remarked.

There has also been another do over on defense as Maryssa Becker has claimed the new title of starting pitcher.

“Maryssa has definitely stepped up and has really gone with that opportunity to prove that she is very capable, although with that being said, we still need Caralisa Connell and Rachel LeCoq to throw good innings because we cannot put it all on Maryssa.”

Although their defense has been distinguished, the offense has held its own as well. The home run total has doubled from three to seven and their average assist numbers have doubled.

“On the offensive end, a lot of players have really stepped it up, we’ve gotten a lot of support from seniors Taner Fowler, Katie Keller, Maggie Ruckenbrod and Hannah Kiyohara. I also think that in our freshman class, Maryssa Becker has really stepped up for us and that has been huge because with her we’ve been able to get some things done,” Coach Pearsall said.

Despite the Cards seven-game win streak UCF still bested U of L winning the last two games the Cards played against them. On a two game losing streak the Cardinals travel to IU on Wednesday to get back to winning ways.

The Cardinals’ next home game is versus Temple on Saturday 4/26 at noon.

 

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Tall recruiting class comes in with big responsibilities http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/tall-recruiting-class-comes-in-with-big-responsibilities/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tall-recruiting-class-comes-in-with-big-responsibilities http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/tall-recruiting-class-comes-in-with-big-responsibilities/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:12:33 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20495 By Sam Draut

Three of Louisville’s incoming freshman participated in the 41st Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall.

Quentin Snider, a local prospect from Ballard High School was named MVP after leading his team with nine assists and eight points.

With the graduation of Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson and the departure of Kevin Ware and Chane Behanan, Louisville reloaded with six recruits from the 2014 recruiting class.

“This will be one of better classes we have signed at the University of Louisville,” Coach Rick Pitino said.

Shaqquan Aaron headlines Pitino’s top-five-rated 2014 recruiting class.  The Seattle native is rated the 33rd best player in the country by ESPN, receiving offers from Arizona, UCLA, UNLV and USC among others.

Aaron is a six-foot-seven wing with the ability to play multiple positions.  Along with his athleticism and length, Aaron handles and distributes the ball well.

“He is a very well coached winner,” Pitino said. “He has unbelievable potential, I just love this young man’s game.”

Offensively, he is a gifted scorer who can create his own shot by slashing to the rim while his jump shot continues to improve.

At just 175 pounds, Aaron will need to add to his frame to compete in the ACC.

Quentin Snider ended up sticking with his hometown team after an odd recruiting process that went on throughout his high school career.

Snider committed to Louisville during his sophomore year, but then de-committed the summer going into his senior year.  Snider committed to Illinois in the fall, but signed with Louisville in November.

“At the last second, he had second thoughts, he always wanted to be a Louisville Cardinal,” Pitino said.

The six-foot-one point guard handles the ball well and should run the offense effectively.  Snider shoots the ball well off the catch and the dribble and also has the ability to streak by slower defenders to the rim.

He was ranked the 40th player in the 2014 recruiting class by ESPN.

Chinanu Onuaku chose Louisville over Georgetown, Connecticut, and Miami among others.  ESPN ranked him as the 75th best player in the 2014 recruiting class while Scout.com ranked him as the ninth best center.

His brother Arinze Onuaku played four years at Syracuse from 2006-10 averaging 9.2 points per game.

Similar to his brother, Onuaku is a strong rebounder whose primary impact comes on the defense end of the floor.  In the Derby Festival Basketball Classic, he had seven points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes of play.

“He is physically ready, unlike the other guys he is physically ready, he doesn’t have to put on a lot of weight,” Pitino said. “He has great upside.”

Onuaku will continue to work on his offensive game, but with his six-foot-ten, 232-pound frame, he should be able to body with other bigs early on.

Anas Osama Mahmoud was a late addition to the Cardinals recruiting class, signing his letter of intent on March 3.

The seven-foot-one center was ranked as the 99th-best player by ESPN.  Mahmoud is long and athletic, but at just 197 pounds, he will need to bulk up to defend heavier players in the post.

The Egyptian native chose Louisville over Georgia Tech and Minnesota.

Jaylen Johnson is a six-foot-nine power forward ranked 14th nationally at his position by Scout.com.  In the Derby Festival Basketball Classic, Johnson finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes of play.

Johnson, who chose Louisville over Iowa State, Maryland, and Cincinnati among others, is an athletic forward still developing his face-up game.

“He is something we really needed.  He is long, he scores, he is an excellent defensive player.  Everything we want in a stretch four is exactly what he is,” Pitino said.

The biggest mystery in the Cardinals 2014 recruiting class is Norwegian center Matz Stockman.  The seven-foot-two big man signed with Louisville on November 19 as a relatively unknown name.

“He has great touch, he is a left hander, great wingspan, seven,” Pitino said.

Rated as the 19th-best center in the 2014 recruiting class by ESPN, Stockman has shown ample ability on the offensive end, but will need to continue to develop his game.

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U of L, the only school with a women’s lacrosse stadium boasts true home field advantage http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/u-of-l-the-only-school-with-a-womens-lacrosse-stadium-boasts-true-home-field-advantage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=u-of-l-the-only-school-with-a-womens-lacrosse-stadium-boasts-true-home-field-advantage http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/u-of-l-the-only-school-with-a-womens-lacrosse-stadium-boasts-true-home-field-advantage/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:10:19 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20492 By Derek Brightwell

It is well known that U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich has always done his best to give his programs the top facilities in the nation. But what you may not know is that he has given the lacrosse team something that only they can boast. Out of every university that has a women’s lacrosse program U of L is the only school that has a designated enclosed women’s lacrosse stadium.

The program, led by head coach Kellie Young, is winding down its seventh year as a program and in that small time frame has already risen to being a top 20 team. Young attributes some of that growth to their top-notch facilities.

“It’s allowed us to attract great recruits,” she said, noting the impact it had specifically on the first class. “It showed a real commitment from Tom to the success he wanted the program to have.”

But bringing in the recruits is only one part of building this program up. The facilities help the players to get better once they’re on campus.

“I definitely think the facility has helped us so much because we’re able to have the things we need when we want,” sophomore midfielder Courtnee Daley said. “The extra work is the biggest impact because that’s what makes teams better than other teams. We can shoot by ourselves, work on footwork and visualize the game on a field. It has a huge impact and the fact that we have that anytime is a huge bonus.”

The athletic aspects of the facilities are hard to deny and obvious to see; but perhaps the biggest benefit of them is in the academic side of the student-athlete’s lives. In addition to the locker rooms, training facilities and coaches offices, the impressive YUM! Center also includes a study hall and academic advising offices. These benefits may be overlooked by potential recruits on their first visit to campus but are never missed by parents.

“It impacts the parents more than the students, honestly,” Coach Young said of the recruiting power of academics. “The players are just amazed by the University of Louisville, but the parents see that they’ll be able to pursue any degree they want and we can work lacrosse around their lives so they don’t need to sacrifice their studies.”

“I get the classes I need and the tutors I want,” Daley explained. “ And I don’t have to worry about a schedule change because other teams need the facility. I know exactly when practice will be and I can schedule my academics around that.”

It doesn’t take long for the players to realize the benefits of having everything they need all within a short walk of each other.

“I usually study for an hour, go shoot for half an hour and the come back and study,” sophomore midfielder Kaylin Morissette mentions. “It’s nice to have that balance. You don’t have to go to six different places.”

The stadium represents Jurich’s commitment to not only lacrosse but also all of the athletic programs at U of L as he has built the school into one of the top athletic programs in the nation.

“The great thing about Tom is that he supports our programs and our student athletes,” Young said of her AD. “And he does it the best I’ve ever seen. Our players get the same treatment as football and basketball. We get the same medical treatment, the same academic support; we get the same access to facilities and equipment. We get the best of what we need to perform at our best.”

That support is not lost on the players, either.

“I could tell they are dedicated to making it one of the best programs in the nation,” Daley remembers from her recruitment period. “That was very impressive and helped me to come here.”

In a season that was loaded with road games, the team feels proud to have what they have back home.

“I feel like sometimes we forget how privileged we are,” Daley said. “Especially this season when we traveled so much and we were getting ready to practice and there’d be either football or soccer or field hockey. We can practice anytime we want and we don’t have to worry about other teams and not a lot of teams are able to do that.”

The sophomore midfielder Morissette sums up the facility and life in Louisville athletics pretty well.

“It’s great,” she said. “You can’t ask for anything better.”

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The Monster is back: Harrell returns for junior year http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/the-monstar-is-back/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-monstar-is-back http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2014/04/the-monstar-is-back/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:57:29 +0000 http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=20489 By Noah Allison

Card Nation held its breath awaiting an announcement from forward Montrezl Harrell on whether he would declare for the NBA draft or return for his junior season. A first year in the ACC without him could have proven quite long and frustrating, but alas the youngest of this last year’s captains has returned and no rim is safe.

After averaging 14 points and eight rebounds as a sophomore Harrell was named the AAC’s most-improved player. His 98 dunks shattered Louisville’s single-season dunk record of 59 and his 12 double-doubles and 311 rebounds led the Cardinals.

With one simple announcement the spirits and attitudes for next year took a giant leap forward.

“I’m ready.” Harrell said. “I’m ready to get back into the gym with my team and with my coach and prepare to have another great season. If the young guys come in prepared to work we still have a good core group of guys that were on the team this year and we have a lot of experience from this year coming back.”

Harrell will be the prominent big-man on a roster that along with returning red-shirt sophomore center Mangok Mathiang at six-foot ten, boasts a lot of height.

At center the Cardinals bring in seven-foot-two Matz Stockman, seven-foot-one Anas Osama Mahmoud and six-foot-ten Chinanu Onuaku. Backing up Harrell is six-foot-nine power forward Jaylen Johnson.

At six-foot-eight, 235 pounds Harrell may be the shortest of the group but is undoubtedly the biggest. His tenacious work ethic and relentless motor is what separates Harrell from the competition and its nothing but beneficial for this young squad of bigs to learn from the best.

“I feel like with the work ethic I have and the way that I compete those guys will come along,” Harrell said. “I can tell you first hand being a freshman coming in here that first week and a half kicked my butt. It comes to a point where you just get tired of it and you go to work from there. I feel like those guys will follow behind me and try to do some of the same things I’m doing and just work as hard as I am.”

Working as hard as Harrell is easier said than done. There is a reason Harrell made such a big improvement from his freshman to sophomore year. But Harrell isn’t just coming back and getting better for his draft stock. As the face of this program now he is getting better to keep the standard of Louisville basketball.

“Coming back I know I am going to have to play a huge role in our program and I’m fine with that. I’m fine with being one of the go-to players on the team and that doesn’t faze me, that just gives me extra motivation to work,” Harrell continues. “Having that spotlight is really an honor so you just have to take it and use it as motivation to get better.”

A returning captain Harrell joins up with senior forward Wayne Blackshear to captain this squad into the ACC. With a year of leadership experience under his belt Harrell carries with him first hand experience of being a part of championship basketball and will not shy away from expecting it.

“Honestly I am just one of those guys who are going to try to tell it like it is. I’m not trying to sugar coat anything because when you’re out there we are all playing for the same thing, to win the game,” Harrell said. “If someone is not doing something right and I feel they should know better on what they’re doing then I am going to be the one to speak on it. I am going to hold everybody accountable including myself.”

Harrell returning gives the Cardinals a chance to have a starting rotation of all returning players. The six freshmen coming in and returning bench players will all have to step up.

Harrell is the difference maker on this team and with it likely being his last season there is no doubt that he has more than just personal growth on the mind. A chance at another national championship is hard for any competitor to pass up.

“I feel like I can get back to another one, with the team that we have everybody just has to get to work in the gym, listen to what Coach P says and buy into the program,” Harrell concludes. “If guys come in willing to work and get better than there is no telling what we can do.”

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