Tag Archives: Annie Moore

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University of Louisville, Adidas strike new deal

By Annie Moore

University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich together with Adidas executives announced on Thursday the University’s new contract with Adidas. The new deal extends the partnership between the two for another four years, through 2018-19.

The Portland, Or. based company will supply uniforms, footwear, and accessories for all 23 of Louisville’s athletic programs.

“It’s a very exciting day for us in the athletic department,” Jurich said. “The number one objective I had going into this, was how do we insure that our student-athletes have the premiere uniforms and apparel as we move forward, and this contract accomplishes all off those things.”

In addition to athletic outfitting, Adidas will provide ‘extensive investments in the the Cardinals’ athletic programs including advertising campaigns, equipment room expansion, digital/video technology, support for national champion spirit squads, a formalized sport administration internship program… and co-branding opportunities… including TaylorMade equipment within the UofL Golf Club.’ according to the press release issued from the athletic department on Thursday.

Louisville football head coach, Bobby Petrino was on hand as well, and excited about the new deal.

“This is a great thing for our players, to be able to have the top of the line uniforms, the materials that we’ll use, to keep them dryer, lighter, faster, and then the apparel,” Petrino said. “One of the things I’ve always felt is important is for your players to look good, feel good, you have a chance then to go out and play well.”

Petrino was reluctant to comment on whether the Cards would be unveiling on of its new five uniforms in the opening game against Miami on September 1, but instead said that it would be very fun to see what happens with the apparel down the road.

“I think you’re going to see  things on the cutting edge,” Petrino said. “New things that will be exciting for everybody, the players, the recruits and the fans. We’re going to be on the edge of the fence as far as the top of the line with the way you get to look, the way you get to dress and the attitude you play with.”

The deal will also benefit fans, with additions such as new spirit shirts for student season ticket holders and ACC inaugural year fan giveaways.

“It’s going to be fun now, get ready because it’s going to be fun,” Petrino said. “I can’t wait, to be honest with you.”

 

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Annual Red v. White scrimmage held

By Annie Moore

The University of Louisville held its annual Red and White Scrimmage April 11 to showcase the team’s preparation in the spring. The offense, headlined by quarterback Will Gardner, and the defense led by veterans like junior linebacker James Burgess were on display, as were new head coach Bobby Petrino’s new system.

Coach Petrino was happy with what he saw from the team, and admitted there is much room for improvement before the season.

“We have a long way to go, but our coaches have done a great job at teaching our new schemes, and the players have worked really hard at learning them,” Petrino said.  “We’ve had some great competition in practice. The practices have been really physical and guys are really competing. I feel really good about our front seven on defense. Our linebackers are physical and fast and are going to be able to play the way we want them to play. We are a little bit concerned with our depth in the secondary and the inexperience at safety. That’s an area where we have to continue to work hard and get better.”

The Red Team, led by Gardner, routed the White Team, 56-13. Gardner was 32- of 37 for 542 yards and four touchdowns.

“We had good pass protection and guys getting wide open, and when guys are wide open, you can’t miss them. We had a lot of guys open when we called plays for them, so that was a good thing,” Gardner said.

Gardner too admitted that there was much work to be done in the time between now and kickoff in September.

“I’ve got to grind in the playbook, become more confident, hit the weight room hard and just get bigger and stronger.” Gardner said.

 Michael Dyer rushed for 99 yards on 10 carries for the Red, and added 51 yards and a 27-yard touchdown on four carries for the White.

The biggest search now will be for a player to step out as the leader for a team heading into its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“You always worry about leadership, but this team has a terrific work ethic,” Petrino said.  “They grind in the weight room and really get after it at practice. They understand that everything is different, but have been very willing to adapt. We have good leadership and guys who know what it takes to win games, and that has made the transition a lot easier.”

But with regards to the head coach’s overall feeling heading out of the game, he’s confident in his QB and ready to improve in other spots around the ball.

“You couldn’t leave a spring game happier with the way [Gardner] played,” Petrino said. “I was happy with our spring. I think we’re headed in the right direction, but we do have a long, long way to go.”

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Kevin Ware leaving Louisville

By Annie Moore

Kevin Ware confirmed through ESPN that he is transferring to finish his college career. Ware — who gained national attention when he broke his leg in last year’s national championship run — is reportedly going somewhere closer to his family in Georgia.

Ware red-shirted this season after averaging a mere 1.7 points per game in his first nine appearances  of the season, before suffering a leg injury to the same leg that was broken the previous season.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said “We wish Kevin godspeed.”

This is a developing story, the Louisville Cardinal will update as more information becomes available. 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Men’s basketball run ends as it falls to Kentucky in Sweet Sixteen

By Annie Moore

The Louisville men’s basketball  team saw its season come to an end in the Sweet Sixteen against in-state rival Kentucky, 74-69.  The loss marked what head coach Rick Pitino called ‘the end of an era’.

 

“We’ve done a lot of celebrating, so we’re going to be gracious in defeat,” Pitino said. “It’s the end of an era.”

 

The game marked the last for seniors Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Tim Henderson and Stephan Van Treese. It also marked the probable end for sophomore Montrezl Harrell — who will be discussing with his family and Coach Pitino options for his future, including entering the NBA.

 

Louisville led its final game of the season for 37 minutes, but Kentucky won the battle on the boards and with all of the Cards’ big men in foul trouble, the Wildcats drove in the paint to take the lead down the stretch.

 

“It hurts,” Harrell said. “For us to be that close, to have a lead like that and give it right back, it just hurts. There’s no other way you can put it.”

 

Smith finished his final game as a Cardinal with a team-leading 23 points, three assists and two rebounds. Hancock had 19 points, and Harrell had 15 points and eight rebounds.

 

“I just want to be looked at as a great competitor,” Smith said. “I respect the game a lot, and whatever it is, I just want it to be a positive legacy.”

 

Van Treese weighed in on his teammate of four years, and what he thinks Smith’s legacy will be.

 

“[Smith] is a Louisville legend, they should probably hang his jersey up,” Van Treese said. “He’s one of those types of players that is very rare to come into someone’s program and do the things he’s done.”

 

Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson and Aaron Harrison all had 15 points for Kentucky. Andrew Harrison added 14 points and seven assists. Randle also added 12 rebounds, while the Harrison twins added eight rebounds.

 

The Cards finished the season 31-6, none of its losses were by more than nine points.

Sweet 16 coverage, away and at home

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed into Sweet 16 action this weekend! The University of Louisville now stands alone as the only school to have both men’s and women’s basketball go to back-to-back Sweet 16′s. And once again, the Louisville Cardinal is your home for up to the minute coverage of all of the hoops action. We will have a coverage team at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis covering the men’s team, as well as a team at the Yum! Center covering the women. Check out louisvillecardinal.com for previews and coverage of all of the games, as well as ‘The Louisville Cardinal Inc.” on Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter ‘@theCardSports’ and ‘@TheCardinalNews’ with the hashtag ‘#CardinalBoom2014′ for live play-by-plays and extended coverage. The Louisville Cardinal looks forward to being your home for all things Cardinal Hoops.

Luke Hancock

Cards swat SLU Billikens away to reach Sweet 16

Luke Hancock

By Annie Moore–

The University of Louisville basketball team defeated St. Louis University 66-51 Saturday afternoon, in a game that was anything but perfect, to advance to its third-consecutive Sweet 16. Both teams struggled to get started on offense until Louisville found its rhythm in the waning minutes of the second half.

 

“We said we had to be the prettiest team in an ugly game,” said Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino. “We just wanted to grind out a W, we grinded it out, and that’s what the NCAA tournament is all about.”

 

Luke Hancock had a leading performance for the Cardinals, the senior forward scored Louisville’s first eight points, and led all scorers with 21 points on the day.

 

Defense played a huge part in Louisville’s victory, especially its effort to stop Saint Louis from scoring the three-point shot. The Billikens were 0-15 from outside the arc and shot just 39.6% from the field.

 

“We were going to smother the three,” Pitino said. “We felt that if we gave up the three, we could lose the game today. So, we were going to take that away. We were going to hang our hat on taking away the three.”

Senior guard Russ Smith shared Pitino’s sentiment, noting his teams’ defensive maturation throughout this tournament, and this game.

 

“I think our defense got better at communicating,” Smith said. “Everything just went up a notch, Saint Louis is a great team, but we did a good job of locking it in the last fifteen minutes.”

 

Smith had 11 points and three rebounds on the day, but struggled offensively in the first half. His only field goal of the half came with just 45 seconds left before the break.

 

Offensive struggles continued for the Cards in the beginning of the second half, Louisville didn’t make a field goal until six minutes into the half. The Billikens tied it up with 14:33 left in the game, and the teams traded baskets for the following minutes, until Louisville started to pull away with 10 minutes remaining.

 

A three-pointer from Hancock put the Cards up six with 10:51 left, and it was all Louisville from there. Smith, Chris Jones and Montrezl Harrell all had shots down the stretch to secure the Cards’ lead.

 

Louisville advances to the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis  to play the University of Kentucky Friday at 9:45 p.m..  Cardinal fans will doubtless be heading north on Interstate 65 for the game . SStay tuned as the Cardinal brings you unparalelled coverage of the NCAA Tournament from a student’s perspective.

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Cards defeat Manhattan in thriller

By Annie Moore

The Louisville Cardinals opened NCAA Tournament play on Thursday night, when it defeated the Manhattan Jaspers 71-64 in an instant classic. After trading shots for the majority of the game, Luke Hancock stepped up in the final minutes of regulation to lift the Cards over the Jaspers.

“I think we needed this,” said Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino. “This was a great win for us, we can move on, and I think it will really help us. I’m glad we had a tight game that we had to fight back.”

Louisville got out to a slow start, shooting just 36% (12-of-33) from the field in the first half. Luke Hancock and Russ Smith each had eight points in the first half to lead the Cards. Montrezl Harrell had six points, and led the team in first-half rebounds with five, and blocks with two.

Smith had two steals on the night, which made him the all-time steals leader in University of Louisville history. The previous record was 245 steals, set by Peyton Siva.

While Louisville’s offense was sluggish in the first half, so was the Jaspers’. Each team made 12 shots, with Manhattan attempting 27. As is the case so many times, free throws were the difference, the Cards were 10-12 from the line, whereas Manhattan was just 2-2.

Headed into the second half, the Cards came out flat. Manhattan scored a quick four points to cut Louisville’s lead to just two points. It took Louisville four minutes to score a point in the second half.

The Jaspers tied it up 35-35 with 17:15 left in the game, and took its first lead with 16:22 left. A dunk from Montrezl Harrell with 16:04 left tied the score back up at 37-37.

The teams traded points in a second half that proved to be a battle to the very end. The second half saw constant lead changes, as the Cards piled up fouls and struggled to connect from outside the three-point arc.  The Cards were 4-13 on the night, whereas the Jaspers were 3-5.

But Hancock never said die. The senior scored eight points in the final two minutes of regulation to put Louisville on top when the final buzzer sounded.

Next up for Louisville, the Billikens of St. Louis University.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Tenth ranked Cardinals’ baseball sweeps Samford

By Annie Moore

Cardinals’ baseball swept Samford University this past weekend, 20-10, 18-2 and 4-2. The 42-run sweep marked the highest-scoring three-game series for the Cardinals since a 1991 series victory against rival Cincinnati.

The sweep started on Friday with sophomore right-handed pitcher Kyle Funkhouser on the mound for the Cardinals. Funkhouser got the win after recording eight strikeouts, and allowing four earned runs on nine hits in six innings, moving him to 3-1 on the season.

Junior infielder Zach Lucas had a big offensive day for the Cards, who put up the first 11 runs of the game. Lucas had two home runs and five runs batted in, and scored four runs himself to lead Louisville. Grant Kay also had a big day, with two runs and five RBI’s, a career-best for the junior. Senior outfielder Jeff Gardner added two runs and two RBI’s, going 3-for-5.

As has been a theme for the start of this baseball season for Louisville, the weather caused the schedule to be rearranged. Sunday’s game was moved to Saturday, making Saturday a doubleheader.

In Saturday’s first game, Jared Ruxer was on the mound for Louisville. He threw seven innings, allowing four hits and one single run. Ruxer also had six K’s.

The Cardinals came out swinging on Saturday, putting up seven runs in the first inning —the highest scoring inning of the season for Louisville.

Leading the dominating Cardinal offense in this game was again, Zach Lucas. Lucas went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s and scored three runs. Also adding to the tally was Sutton Whiting. Whiting went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a stolen base.

The final game of the series on Saturday saw much less scoring by both teams. The win marked the seventh-straight win for Louisville, its longest streak since closing the 2013 season with 16-consecutive wins.

This was the first time in the series Samford struck first. Catcher Drew McWhorter scored on an RBI grounder in the second to get the 1-0 lead. Louisville answered with three runs in the following two innings to regain the lead, which it would keep for the remaining frames.

“It was a good spring break for us,” Louisville Head Coach Dan McDonnell said. “It was a pretty complete week for the Louisville baseball program.”

Louisville takes to the road for its first road game since Feb. 16, when it travels to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on Wednesday.

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Baseball sweeps Toledo, falls to Indiana Hoosiers

By Annie Moore

Louisville baseball recorded yet another 2-1 weekend as Mother Nature did a little schedule re-arranging. The Cards couldn’t close the sweep, as it faced Toledo on Friday winning 6-2, and Indiana and Toledo again on Saturday in a double-header. Louisville beat Toledo 8-2 in game two, but dropped the first game against Indiana 6-2.

Junior left-hander Joe Filomino had his best career start on Friday, with five strikeouts in six innings, allowing only two-unearned runs. Filomino’s outing was his longest of his career, and his first win of 2014.

The Rockets and the Cards exchanged runs for the first few frames on Friday, but Toledo struck first, putting up a run in the first after Tyler Grogg reached on an error by Louisville second baseman Grant Kay. In the bottom of the frame, designated hitter Nick Solak was the first man up. Solak knocked a double to left center, followed by a groundout from right-fielder Cole Sturgeon, which advanced Solak to third. Kay singled to right field and drove in Solak for the run.

Again in the second, the Rockets looked to Grogg. With two outs, and two strikes, Grogg singled to rightfield, advanced on a throwing error by Sturgeon, and advanced to third and shortstop Deion Tansel singled up the middle to bring Grogg home. But that run would mark the end of the Rockets offense for the day.

The Cards would put up four more runs, thanks in part to a big offensive performance from senior left-fielder Jeff Gardner. Gardner hit his second homerun of the season, and drove in three runs to lead Louisville.

The impending winter weather caused the weekend schedule to be re-arranged, which gave the Cardinals a double-header on Saturday.

The first game was against the No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana fans were out in full force as the Cardinals dropped the first meeting against Indiana. The teams will face off two more times during the regular season.

The first matchup didn’t go the Cardinals direction, as the Hoosiers got up early, scoring four runs in the first three innings. The Cardinals tried to play catch up, and had a bases loaded opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, but failed to capitalize.

Cardinal right-hander Kyle Funkhouser got his first loss of the season and fell to 1-1 on the season. Funkhouser threw six and two-thirds innings and allowed four earned runs on eight hits with just two strikeouts.

Louisville showed resilience, winning its second game of the double-header and completing the two-game sweep of Toledo. Coach Dan McDonnell says he’s happy with the strength the team showed in coming back and getting the win after a tough loss to IU.

“Not everyone’s going to feel good. Nine guys in the lineup, you play eighteen frames of baseball, some guys are locked in and other guys are fighting,” McDonnell said. “They have to learn how to help the team win, even when you don’t have your swing. We learned a lot from ourselves today. We fought through and won the second game, which was a challenge.”

The Cards face another challenge as Miami of Ohio comes to town for a three-game series next weekend. The first game is Friday at 3 p.m. at Jim Patterson Stadium.

MLB plate collision rule in need of fine-tuning

By Annie Moore

This season Major League Baseball has introduced a new rule to try to prevent collisions at home plate and the injuries they cause. In theory the idea of avoiding collisions at the plate is a good one. But this temporary rule has left gaps and grey area that take it from a good idea to a flawed theory.

At first glance it’s a good rule, catchers cannot block home plate without the ball, and runners cannot go out of the baseline to initiate contact with a catcher. But when examined with a fine-toothed comb, this rule doesn’t prevent either of those things.

Let’s address the catcher first. The rule states that, “Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score.” The runner will be declared safe if the catcher violates this rule. But it goes on to say that, “If the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in order to field a throw, and the umpire determines that the catcher could not have fielded the ball without blocking the pathway of the runner and that contact with the runner was unavoidable.”

This is where we come to the grey area. Replay will be allowed in this instance, which will not only make the games longer, but allow for runs to be decided based on a judgment call on the interpretation of this fuzzy, one-season rule.

Moving on to the runner. Rule 7.13 states that “a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate).” A runner violating this rule, deviating from the line will be ruled out, even if the catcher drops the ball.

The rules goes on to say “The failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation.”

The catcher is still allowed to block the plate if they are in possession of the ball, and the runner has to collide if there is no direct path to the plate. So basically, if you initiate contact, make sure it’s more of an accidental gesture and say “excuse me” on your way back to the dugout.

And another thing the rule neglects to acknowledge is the safety of the runner in the collision. The runner is wearing no protective gear, whereas the catcher has a full suit of padding. The shoulder is the part of the body that best takes the blow, causing the runner the least injury.

With the new rule against lowering shoulders, what are the runners supposed to do, slide in head first leaving them vulnerable to head and neck injury?

More scenarios will come up for review this season that will point out the serious flaws in this “experimental” rule. However, the bigger point is that it is calling much-needed attention to the subject of dangerous collisions. Hopefully this experiment will do less harm than good, and promote conversation that will lead to a more comprehensive solution.