Photos by Austin Lassell.
By Ginny Washbish–
Only the strong will survive. Clearly that statement doesn’t apply to the current football offensive staff at the University of Louisville. Looks like you can have an impeccable resume and still be replaced.
Since last Tuesday, the offensive graduate assistants have known their jobs could be up for grabs when Coach Petrino announces his coaching staff. All of our offensive graduate assistants have had a strong run: a Sugar bowl victory; a Russell athletic bowl victory against an ACC opponent, Miami; and maintaining a record of 23-3 for the past two seasons.
On Thursday, it was rumored that staff changes were already occurring, with the possibility of Garrick McGee becoming offensive coordinator. When asking Rocco Gasparro, Athletic Assoc in VPA-Football, about the possible changes, Gasparro said, “Coach Petrino has not officially hired any staff members. There will be an announcement once he makes his decision.”
Kenny Klein, Assoc Ath Dir in VPA-Support Services, could not be reached for comment.
With only a five day notice of possible termination, it’s hard not for the graduate assistants to express anger and disappointment. And with gossip circulating that Petrino is likely not welcoming the current offensive staff to his own, positive results are hard to imagine.
By: Michelle Lewis
University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team opens regular season play Nov. 9 when they host College of Charleston. The defending national champions have earned the support of the student body but not all student ticket holders can be bothered to show up on time – or even at all.
When the Cards opened exhibition play against Kentucky Wesleyan this past Tuesday, only 352 of the 1442 student season tickets were put to use according to an email sent out to students Oct. 31. That’s just 24% of the tickets sold being used for the team’s first game against outside competition since the title game in April.
In an attempt to increase attendance, the athletics department is changing the rules. After implementing a change to a “first come, first served” system where students are issued a wristband as they enter the stadium for home football games during the 2012 season, the athletics department implemented the same system for basketball during the 2013-2014 season.
Now, they’re making a few changes hoping that to increase the number of students not just at the game but at the game before the team takes the court. Starting with the upcoming exhibition against Pikeville College, undergrads that show up at least 30 minutes before tipoff will still have priority for lower level general admission seating but those who arrive late may be penalized. Student season ticket holders who arrive later than 30 minutes before a given game’s start risk being sent to the upper level while graduate students who arrive more than 30 minutes before tipoff may be rewarded with a chance to move to the lower level student section.
This is intended to encourage students to arrive early and help create an energy and atmosphere in the arena that will make the KFC Yum! Center more intimidating for visiting teams and give the Cardinals an increased home court advantage as the university prepares to move to the ACC, home to some of the most legendary student sections such as Duke’s “Cameron Crazies.”
Students are also encouraged to transfer tickets for any home game they can’t attend to another U of L student so that the Cards play in front of maximum capacity crowds every night. This can be done by logging into your Student Cardinal Account and selecting “manage my tickets” after logging in. The school has also worked out arrangements allowing students to park in the Humana Waterside Garage at the corner of Washington and Brook Street for $5 for any home game.
The Cards are back in action Wednesday night against Pikeville before opening their 100th regular season on Nov. 9 when they host College of Charleston.
By Noah Allison -
Volleyball libero Caitlin Welch remembers just like yesterday her days of
going to cheer on her local U of L volleyball team. Growing up as a Cardinal, she also
set out to someday play volleyball as a Cardinal. Now she enters her senior season
as the Cardinals all time leader in digs with 1,604. She returns a team that is coming
off a 30-4 record in its final season of Big East play. The Mercy Academy graduate’s
U of L volleyball career is pinnacling in front of her and it is hers’ to finalize.
“I started playing volleyball just for fun when I was eight years old, just
playing in my backyard bouncing the ball against the house. I joined my first
travelling AAU team when I was ten,” Welch said. “At that age you don’t even really
know what competition is, I just saw it as getting a chance to play on a team with a
bunch of really good girls.”
The Louisville native is definitely a by product of the city she grew up in.
Frequenting U of L volleyball games helped build the passion Welch now has for the sport.
“I came to every Louisville volleyball game when I was younger and when I
was nine that is when I knew that that is where I wanted to be when I was their age,
I’ve been surrounded by Louisville volleyball my whole life,” Welch explained.
The 5-6 Welch is U of L’s libero, the soul purpose of the libero is to be the last
line of defense when the volleyball is launched 90 mph down at the floor. Welch has the
uncanny ability to get down and send these back the opposition’s way, thus, you
have a dig. Welch notched her 1,000th career dig in the season opener of her junior
campaign, adding on to the total every time she gets down for a deny.
Welch made her transition from a talented player to a special player upon
the arrival of current U of L volleyball Head Coach Anne Kordes. In Kordes two years
U of L volleyball has a combined record of 54-13.
“When I came here as a freshman I would have to say that I was very
immature, when Anne came in everything changed. My sophomore year was
probably the hardest year I went through in volleyball, almost to the point where I
just wanted to stop playing. Anne pushed me to the limit, she was either going to
push me to the limit where I would succeed or she would push me to the point of
quitting and giving up,” Welch said. “In practice she would just boom impossible
balls that I couldn’t get to or went straight for me, she would bang them at me until I
was in teas and to my face she would tell me that I need to grow up, and sometimes
that’s what people need to hear. From that day forward I’ve grown up and starting
last year I became a new person, I said this it, I have two more years and I need to
put it all on the line.”
Welch is just one of four players on the team representing their hometown
of Louisville as a Cardinal, along with her is senior outside hitter Emily Juhl out of
Sacred Heart Academy, sophomore setter Katie George who comes from
Assumption, and freshman outside hitter Maya McClendon whose moving right
across the street from duPont Manual to U of L.
“Louisville is a volleyball town, that’s for sure. We have volleyball teams all
around the city from grade school teams, high school teams, to club teams, its
everywhere,” Welch said. “So to bring these girls in to represent Louisville is a huge
accomplishment because its not just bringing in talent from one school in the area,
its getting the top talent from all around the city. When you can get girls like Maya
McClendon who was a top recruit in the nation and went to duPont Manual is just
really big and it shows what Louisville volleyball is and what we are all about as a
Welch now heads into her senior season knowing that the feeling is “bitter
sweet”; sweet to get the opportunity to play in her prime, to lead this program, to
live her dream to be a Louisville Cardinal. Yet bitter to know that all the little
moments she has cherished are quickly becoming but a thing of the past. But she
still has her last ha-rah, and in many ways this upcoming season is everything that
little girl in the stands has been waiting for.
“I saw these girls play 13 years ago and I said that’s who I want to be. I
remember seeing one particular play and saying I want to be out there making that
play, and now here I am heading into my final season,” Welch said. “If you have a
dream, strive for it. It’s definitely not going to be easy, it’s going to take a lot of hard
work, it’s going to take a lot of mental focus and some tears too, but it’s definitely
By Xavier Bleuel -
While you were off campus, celebrating your summertime with vacations, late nights, and sleeping in, the sports world was more active than any summer in recent history. With the shocking news of a NFL tight-end, to a record breaking baseball probe, to a heavily scrutinized NBA center skipping town.
You know your sports, we get it, but you can’t keep up with everything while relaxing on the beach.
Here’s a look at a few of the top stories of the summer of 2013.
The buzz around Patriots camp this year was the emergence of Aaron Hernandez as the focal point of the New England Patriots offense this season. Hernandez just inked a new five-year, $40 million, contract extension with the team and was expected to be Tom Brady’s number one target with the loss of his top four receivers from last year.
On June 18th, reports surface that Hernandez was being questioned by the police to investigate a possible homicide of Odin Lloyd. It was reported that Hernandez wasn’t considered a suspect. Two days later, investigators obtain a search warrant of Hernandez’s house, and law enforcement sources cite that the house’s security system and video surveillance had been destroyed.
On June 26th, Hernandez was arrested and led from his North Attleborough home in handcuffs, nine days after friend Odin Lloyd’s body was discovered by a jogger in a remote area of an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s home. Hernandez was cut from the NFL team less than two hours later. There was no indication of what the charges would be, though many people thought it could have been obstruction-to-justice. It was later found out that Hernandez would be charged with the first degree murder of Odin Lloyd and five firearm charges.
At 3:30 a.m. on June 17th Lloyd was killed in what a prosecutor called an execution-style shooting orchestrated by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez because his friend talked to the wrong people at a nightclub. Hernandez was charged Wednesday with murder and could face life in prison, if convicted.
After red-shirting his first year in college station, the former Parade All-American was an unknown headed into camp. He took the college world by storm by breaking the SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense in an amazing display that reminded fans of Brett Favre and Fran Tarkenton. He stamped his mark as the first freshman to win the Heisman trophy.
Being the most polarizing player in college football history, it has its ups and downs. Some people handle their fame differently, whereas Manziel took full advantage of his. For better and worse, it’s been an offseason to remember for the Aggie quarterback. Parties with celebrities, courtside at NBA games and a whirlwind of controversy has consumed Manziels summer. Here’s a small sample of incidents involving Manziel.
- December ’12 Becomes the first Freshman to win the Heisman Trophy after a remarkable season re-writing the SEC record books for total offense
- February 19 The San Antonio Express-News reports Manziel is taking only online classes at Texas A&M because of his celebrity was too overwhelming on campus
- March 25The San Antonio Express-News reports Manziel shoved a graduate assistant after the assistant celebrating Manziel throwing an interception during a practice on March 23.
- June 16 Manziel sends a tweet saying “Bullsh*t like tonight is the reason why I can’t wait to leave college station…whenever that may be”
- July 13 Manziel is asked to leave the Manning Passing Academy in New Orleans after being late to meetings, later it was found out that he had been on Bourbon Street the night prior, he denied being hung-over
None of these incidents compare into the latest obstacle that hampers Johnny Manziel. Earlier this month, it was reported that the Heisman winner signed numerous articles in exchange for $75,000. While his past instances can be viewed as trouble, this latest accusation could cost Manziel his chance to defend his Heisman trophy. The next time we might see Manziel is in the NFL. Hopefully, for our viewing pleasure, he will be cleared to play.
MLB Baseball probe
On July 22nd, Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the MLB season (65 games) without pay for taking performance drugs after vehemently denying any wrong-doing. This opened up the flood gates when two weeks later in August, 13 players were suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Not since the infamous Black Sox’s scandal, where eight players were banned for life for their part in fixing the 1919 World Series, has there been this magnitude of suspensions at once. Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, Rangers’ Nelson Cruz, Tigers’ Jhonny Peralta, Phillies’ Antonio Bastardo, Mets’ Jordany Valdespin, Padres’ Everth Cabrera, Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli, Mariners’ Jesus Montero, Mets’ Cesar Puello, Astros minor leaguer Sergio Escalona, Padres minor leaguer Fautino De Los Santos, Yankees minor leaguer Fernando Martinez, and free agent Jordan Noberto. All but Rodriguez accepted their 50 game suspensions. Rodriguez is appealing while playing for the rest of the season. On the 17th, Royals infielder Miguel Tejada received the longest suspension sans Rodriguez was suspended 105 games.
The Los Angeles Dodgers has provided positive news for baseball. On June 21st, the Dodgers were 30-42, 9.5 games back in the NL West, and were on the verge of replacing their managers when they went on a magical run, posting a 40-8 record, the best 48 game performance since the 1942 St. Louis cardinals went 41-7. (Keep updated)
Dwight Howard can’t catch a break; his waffling back-and-forth certainly doesn’t help his cause. Once the dust settled from a dramatic exit from Orlando last summer, he decided to do an encore this year. After a disappointing first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard spent a few weeks being courted by the Lakers, Nets, Rockets, Warriors, and Mavericks. He decided to leave the pressure and spotlight of Hollywood and signed with James Harden and the Houston Rockets. We will see if Howard can utilize the resources around him with Hall-of-famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin McHale.
After close calls and comebacks in the 2013 playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley cup in four years in stunning fashion as Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored goals 17 seconds apart to comeback and beat the Boston Bruins to win 3-2.
Finally, the part you really care about; your beloved football Cardinals. Louisville is ranked ninth in both the AP and Coaches poll, the highest pre-season ranking in school history. With Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater at the helm and what would some call a soft schedule, this should be one unforgettable season for the Cardinals before joining the ACC next season
By Ginny Washbish -
“The University of Louisville has a polo club?” is the standard response when a student
learns that the Polo Club at U of L is currently a Recognized Student Organization.
The second question is normally “Polo? Like, water polo?” Meghan Ziobro, the polo
club’s vice president, says “I just grin and try to come up with something witty like, ‘I don’t
think our horses like to swim.’”
Founded in 2004 by Lauren Hexton, the club sport often goes unnoticed when competing
for attention against the other 300-plus RSOs U of L offers. Having only ten female members,
the team struggles constantly to keep the sport alive at the University.
“Members work so hard recruiting and fundraising and people still don’t have a clue we
exist,” Ziobro said.
According to club leadership, things are going to change this school year. Members of
the club have thought up creative ways to attract attention. “We understand that it is asking a lot
to have students drive all the way to God’s country just to ‘see what we are about,’” says Lauren
Poole, coach. “So, we will bring polo to the campus.”
Last fall, the polo club experimented by bringing two of their thoroughbred mares onto
campus. The club was featured on local TV station WHAS in the morning, and several students
were introduced to the unique RSO. This time around, the club plans on bringing the horses the
first week of classes around noon, making sure to get notice from students.
Recruitment is difficult; the sport may feel intimidating to learn, especially if not having
any previous riding experience. The club also has extra responsibility compared to the other
riding and racing clubs at the university: as they are currently caring for 5 horses, more money
and time must be devoted to the team.
“You may find yourself rethinking some life choices when shoveling manure at 22 on a
Friday night,” says Steph Franklin, string manager. “But it’s all worth it.”
The girls have worked together all summer graining their horses twice daily at
Hardscuffle in Prospect, Ky. When they aren’t picking pieces of hay out of their hair, the girls
are working as polo grooms and assisting with beginners clinics.
“We are all here because we share the same interest in horses. We don’t have time
to bicker and argue over things irrelevant to the sport,” says Brittany Schaefer, second year
The team considers themselves accepting of anyone interested in learning about polo,
saying that they are willing to work with newbies one-on-one. “Many of our most loyal players
are those that came in with no riding experience and simply just fell in love with polo,” says Schaefer
Regulated under the United States Polo Association, the collegiate team must adhere to
different guidelines to stay active. During the school season, the club travels to various schools
like UK and MSU, to participate in tournaments. Piling into each other’s vehicles the team
will stay weekends in hotels out of state, playing a match every day. They meet many people
involved with the sport, giving the U of L club plenty of networking opportunities.
“It’s like you step into a whole different world, you didn’t know existed. Polo has a huge
following outside of the University,” says Poole. The city’s local team, the Louisville Outdoor
Club, has been more than generous to the club this past year. From donating horses, offering
affordable board, and participating in the fundraising match, the Louisville Outdoor Club has
gone above and beyond to keep the RSO successful.
The polo club will be hosting a fundraiser match at the Masonic Homes of Louisville
the last week of September, date pending. It will be marketed as a “tailgating event” to U of
L students. Last fall, the team held the match at Hardscuffle and raised over $3,000 by selling
shirts, auctioning gift baskets, and taking donations. Students have the opportunity to meet each
member on the team while enjoying an exciting match.
With several girls about to graduate, the club’s main priority is to find others interested
in learning more about the sport. For more information on the Polo Club at U of L, visit their
Facebook page or stop by the Equine Business Office on campus.
By Annie Moore -
The University of Louisville men’s soccer team had a successful season in 2012, to say the least. Big East Red Division champions, NCAA tournament quarterfinals and an overall record or 14-6-1, 7-1-0 in conference play would be a tough act for any team to follow. But Head Coach Ken Lolla has reloaded the Cardinals for what looks to be another exciting season in 2013.
Possibly the biggest challenge for the NCAA Preseason #25 ranked Louisville team will be replacing defensive midfielder Andrew Farrell, who not only lead the Cardinals last season, but was also the first-overall pick in last year’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The Cards will also be missing Greg Cochrane and Paolo DelPiccolo, both of whom were selected in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft.
Hoping to fill the void are some of the top transfers in the country, Nolan Moore and Louie Berra at midfield, as well as defenders Mitch Lurie and Jimmy Ockford. The class of impact recruits — which also includes forward Jonathan Brown, formerly of the University of Kentucky — all have collegiate experience and will need to step in and make a difference right away. The transfers will have help from another exciting recruiting class, which includes defender Andrew Brody and midfielders Romilio Hernandez and Jeremy DeGraffenriedt.
Perhaps the biggest piece of the Cards success the season will be the return of MF Will Vitalis. Vitalis lead the team in assists and shots last season, with seven and 35 respectively. Other returning players include MF Marlon Hairston and MF Ade Akinsanya who both helped Louisville’s defense end last season with seven shutouts.
The 2013 team will undoubtedly look different from the vastly successful 2012 team, but if it can learn to adjust to the losses and focus on the talent of the new additions, it could see much success in its only season in the American Athletic Conference before heading to the highly-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.
By Xavier Bleuel–
Louisville vs. North Carolina
After cruising to two victories over inferior talent against Kentucky and Missouri State, Louisville had it’s first test of the season when North Carolina out of the ACC came into town.
Leading 36-7 at halftime behind quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and up by 25 early in the fourth quarter, Louisville survived a 20-point rally by Tar Heels Quarterback Bryn Renner, who passed for five touchdowns.
Louisville went from cruising to 3-0 to desperately trying to remain undefeated.
Andrew Johnson deflected a fourth-down pass in the end zone by North Carolina’s Renner with 1:53 left to give the Cardinals a 39-34 victory against the Tar Heels.
We had to come up with a big-time play in a big-time game,” Johnson said. “I saw Erik Highsmith jump and I knew I would out jump him, so I got my hand on the ball and tried to strip the ball. … But with (losing) such a big lead, no coach should be happy.”
“At the end of the day we still won the football game,” Strong said. “We have us a good team and we just need to learn how to finish.”
Louisville scored on its first six possessions thanks to three first-half touchdowns and 218 yards by Bridgewater. He finished 23 of 28 for 279.
Louisville vs. Rutgers
Teddy Bridgewater couldn’t take a snap from center because of a broken wrist, and had a hitch in his step because of a sprained ankle.
The Louisville quarterback was too banged-up to start, but more than well enough to finish off Rutgers and send the Cardinals to the Bowl Championship Series.
Bridgewater came off the bench to throw two-second half touchdown passes, and John Wallace kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:41 left to give Louisville a 20-17 victory against Rutgers on Thursday, November 29th in the de-facto Big East Championship game in Piscataway, New Jersey
Rutgers is bracing for a move to the Big 10 while the Cardinals are preparing for a jump to the ACC.
Bridgewater didn’t start less than a week after getting roughed up in a loss to Connecticut. He broke his left wrist and sprained his right ankle. He entered for the first time against Rutgers in the second quarter and finished 20 for 28 for 263 yards and threw a pair of TD passes in the third quarter to wipe out a 14-3 deficit.
Rutgers’s last chance ended when Gary Nova threw deep, but his receiver stopped short. Terrell Floyd made an over the shoulder interception with 1:06 left.
Rutgers was up, 14-3, at the half after Nova hooked up with his big receivers for two long TD passes — an 85-yarder to Brandon Coleman and a 68-yard play by Mark Harrison. Nova finished 13 for 28 for 284 yards.
Later in the game, on a kick off, Cardinals linebacker James Burgess launch into Jeremy Dearing in the chest, forcing a fumble recovered by Calvin Pryor. Bridgewater went right to work, floating a deep ball to DeVante Parker for a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Just like that, it was 17-14 and Scarlet Knights fans fell silent.
Louisville vs. Florida, Sugar Bowl
In one of the more stunning outcomes in the BCS, the Cardinals pulled off a program-building win by beating SEC power No. 4 Florida 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl on January 2nd before a Louisville-heavy crowd in the New Orleans Superdome.
Experts, like Kirk Herbstreet called Florida “disinterested.” However, the 34 Florida natives on the No. 23 Cardinals (11-2) roster didn’t care if they were disinterested or playing the game like it was their Super Bowl. They knew this was their chance to show the Gator players that many of them played with growing up that they were ready to play.
Cornerback Terell Floyd intercepted a tipped pass on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. The Cards would never look back.
“They kind of thought we were going to come in and lay down and give them the game,” Floyd said. “But Coach (Charlie) Strong always preaches that we’re better than any team in the nation if we come out and play hard. Coach Strong believed in us and our coaching staff believed in us, and we came in and believed in ourselves.”
Receiver Eli Rogers converted a third down on the Cards’ first possession with a 25-yard catch. On the same drive, defensive end B.J. Butler (Kissimmee) lined up at fullback and made his first career pass reception, rumbling 23 yards to the 1-yard line.
Senior running back Jeremy Wright ran in from there to make it 14-0.
Senior receiver Andrell Smith recovered the Gators’ onside kick to start the second half. And two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties against Florida on the play set U of L up at the Florida 19.
From there, Damian Copeland hauled in a 19-yard reception from Teddy Bridgewater (Miami) to give the Cards a touchdown on the first snap of each half. That made it 30-10, and the Cards could begin to believe their lead would hold up.
Strong, who spent the previous 15 seasons as a Florida assistant, who was passed up countless times for head coaching jobs, stood above all that night in New Orleans. He took a program that was left for dead from the previous coach to an ACC bid and a national championship contender in only three years time.
Strong, who downplayed the media hoopla during the week, was secretly confident in his team.
“We physically matched up and were able to overpower the No. (4) Team in the country,” he said. “I told them, ‘Don’t worry about who we’re playing. Win every play.’ They weren’t a team that produced a lot of points. … We knew we had to make them drive the ball down the field.”
Charlie Strong credits the fans as he led the Cards to their first Sugar Bowl trophy, and two bowl wins in his third year as coach.
Louisville faced a similar situation on third-and-goal from the 9. Butler, who lined up at tight end, bumped into teammate Nate Nord (Boca Raton) on a crossing pattern, throwing off the timing of Bridgewater’s pass to Nord.
But on the Cards’ ensuing possession, Bridgewater’s timing was just fine as he connected with DeVante Parker for a 15-yard touchdown and a 24-3 lead.
And just like the Scarlet Knight fans, Florida fans could do nothing but watch in dismay. The Gators couldn’t match up with the Cardinals, not on that day.
Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal
By Noah Allison–
Big East champions, Big East Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Sugar Bowl Champions and all with only a handful of seniors. The 2012-2013 Louisville Cardinals football team was special; the 2013-2014 squad will be scary.
Last year’s squad came into the season with expectations of a Bowl Championship Series game appearance. They more than met those expectations with an 11-2 record and a 33-23 victory over the University of Florida in the biggest BCS bowl upset in Las Vegas odds making history.
Led by now junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater who threw for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns. Returning is almost the whole receiving core including leading receivers Damian Copeland, Eli Rogers and DeVante Parker who combined for 1,458 yards and 16 touchdowns. Coming to join the rotation is local talent out of Trinity High School James Quick who is ESPN’s 79th overall rated player in the country and the No. 10 receiver.
While leading rusher Jeremy Wright has graduated the big bruising senior running back Dominique Brown returns to the field for the first time in over a year and accompanied by red shirt freshman Brandon Radcliff. The duo will wear down and punish defenses while senior Senorise Perry recovers from last year’s season ending torn ACL. He went down in week 10 while leading the team in rushing with 739 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The defense returns 10 of the 11 starters from last year’s squad including the leader in tackles senior middle linebacker Preston Brown who had 109. Free safety Calvin Pryor III and strong safety Hakeem Smith return, the tandem combined for 173 tackles and every player to record a sack returns as well.
Head Coach Charlie Strong turned down offers from Tennessee and Auburn to sign an extension with U of L that will keep him head coach of the University of Louisville football team until 2020.
Photo by AUstin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal
By Sam Draut–
Men’s Basketball NCAA National Champions
The University of Louisville men’s basketball team enters the 2013-14 season as the defending National Champions.
A team that set the school record with 35 wins in a single season returns three starters, 75 percent of their scoring, 72 percent of their rebounding, and 72 percent of their minutes.
Russ Smith decided against foregoing his senior year, he averaged 18.7 points per game and will be a preseason favorite for the Naismith College Player of the Year.
Juniors Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear are the other returning starters. Behanan is the leading rebounder and second leading scorer returning, he averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season. Blackshear added 7.6 points per game in 2012-13.
Louisville returns one captain from the National Championship team, senior forward Luke Hancock returns after being named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player and averaging 8.1 points per game throughout the year.
Sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell averaged 5.7 points per game and should see expanded minutes in 2013-14 with the departure of Gorgui Dieng.
Kevin Ware will continue to rehab during the summer months with the prospect of returning in the late fall.
The Cardinal 2013 recruiting class ranks in the top 10 in every major site, bringing in elite talent to create a deep back court despite the loss of three year starting point guard Peyton Siva.
Point guard Terry Rozier headlines the class, he holds a five star ranking and graded as the third best point guard on Scout.com.
The top Junior College point guard Chris Jones comes to Louisville to potentially replace Siva. Four star shooting guard Anton Gill and three star center Akoy Agau round out the four member class.
The 2012-13 season marked the formal ending of the traditional Big East conference, with this, Louisville enters into a one year stint in the American Athletic Conference before moving to the ACC in 2014.
The American Athletic Conference will include Louisville, Rutgers, Central Florida, Temple, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Cincinnati, UConn and South Florida.
Expectations will remain high for the 2013-14 season, the Cardinals will likely debut in the preseason top 10 in most media polls for the third consecutive year.
The University of Louisville women’s basketball team looks to respond after their historic 2012-13 season, the team finished 29-9 and appeared in the National Championship game.
The Cardinals return 88 percent of their scoring and 87 percent of their rebounding from a team that finished with the second most wins in school history.
U of L returns a majority of their roster, including leading scorer Shoni Schimmel, who averaged 14.2 points per game. The team’s leading rebounder Sara Hammond will return for her junior year, she averaged 6.4 rebounds to go along with 10.8 points per game.
Antonita Slaughter averaged 10.1 points per game and the second leading made three point field goals for the team.
Bria Smith’s 78 steals led the team and she also averaged 9.5 points per game. Smith transitioned to the point guard spot during Big East play, she returns for her junior year in 2012-13.
Jude Schimmel saw an expanded role from her freshman year, and as a sophomore averaged 5.7 points per game while finishing behind Smith with 74 steals.
Starting center Sheronne Vails averaged four points per game. Guard Megan Deines received meaningful minutes throughout the year and averaged 4.9 points per game, while forward Cortnee Walton added 2.8 points per game.
Through six years, U of L head coach Jeff Walz is 148-65, owning the second most wins in program history.
The 2012-13 season lost key players due to injuries, senior to be Tia Gibbs struggled with a shoulder and hip injury, while Shawnta Dyer played the first 11 games before tearing her ACL.
The Cardinals add freshman guard Emmonnie Henderson, an ESPN HoopGurlz top 50 recruit. Transfer guard Monny Niamke will be eligible to play the 2013-14 after sitting out one season.
The 2012-13 season marked the formal ending of the traditional Big East conference. With this, Louisville enters into a one year stint in the American Athletic Conference before moving to the ACC in 2014.
Photos by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal