A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘Deplorable’ defense in shocking loss to Pittsburgh, among other flaws, raise questions for Cardinals

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today It’s always risky to read too much into either a win or a defeat by a college basketball team, but there are good losses and there are bad losses. And Louisville’s 89-86 overtime shocker at Pittsburgh Wednesday night definitely landed in the bad category — but not only because it came against one of the worst teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It’s...

UofL’s ‘elite’ scorer Jordan Nwora is a challenge for UK Wildcats as the two teams collide on Saturday

There is no question that Louisville’s Jordan Nwora will be a primary focus of Kentucky’s defense when the two teams collide Saturday afternoon in the KFC Yum! Center. After all, he is U of L’s leading scorer by a long shot and a guy his coach has called an “elite” offensive player. 
But as dangerous as Nwora is with the basketball in his hands, the 6-foot-8 sophomore...

Coach Chris Mack returns excitement to Louisville basketball, earns praise from Kentucky’s Calipari

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Chris Mack’s first Louisville basketball team is only seven games into the season, but he and the Cardinals have already attracted the attention of a notable peer. Kentucky coach John Calipari complimented Mack on his radio show Monday night and seemed to indicate that he has given some thought to Dec. 29, when UK will face UofL in the KFC Yum! Center. “Those...

Louisville’s Ryan McMahon’s small stature eclipsed by his outsized value to Cardinals offense

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Listed at an unimposing six feet and with limited athletic ability, compared to his teammates and most opposing players, Ryan McMahon is nevertheless capable of having an outsized impact for Louisville’s basketball. He proved it Tuesday night in leading the Cardinals (4-2) to an 82-78 overtime upset win against No. 9 Michigan State in the raucous KFC Yum! Center....

Louisville coach Chris Mack says Cardinals need to work on consistency, improve on the ‘little things’

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today After getting almost unanimously favorable reviews for their performance in losing causes in the Big Apple over the weekend – okay, their coach wasn’t impressed, but that’s pretty much the norm so far – Louisville’s basketball players get a chance to impress the home folks in yet another game against a marquee opponent. UofL (3-2) will take...

Rick Pitino returns for visit to Louisville, and book signing, with more of the same as he seeks closure

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Anyone who tuned in either in person or on a streaming version to hear Rick Pitino’s return to Louisville Friday night expecting anything different than what the former Louisville basketball coach had repeatedly said previously was disappointed. Pitino’s book signing and interview sponsored by the Courier-Journal at the downtown Omni Hotel was basically more...

Rick Pitino’s new book: Defending himself (again) against the scandals at UofL, telling ‘his story’

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Rick Pitino’s new memoir, Pitino: My Story, hit the bookshelves and internet booksellers’ websites this week, and it’s sure to receive a lot of interest and conversation from college basketball fans and the media.   In many ways, the overriding thread of the book isn’t surprising. The former Louisville coach continues to play the role of victim,...

Jackson rallies Cards in late going, but it’s not enough as Boston College hangs on for 45-42 victory

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Once again, Lamar Jackson couldn’t rescue the University of Louisville’s sagging football team. Or more accurately, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner couldn’t overcome another disappointing performance by the Cardinals’ helpless defense in a wild shootout. Jackson engineered a fourth-quarter rally that produced three touchdowns, 14 unanswered points...

U of L Athletics Association votes unanimously to fire Pitino following closed-door meeting

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today The University of Louisville Athletics Association has voted unanimously to fire Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino just five days after he was officially notified that he was being put on unpaid administrative leave as a result of the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. The Association’s action came during a closed meeting Monday...

Louisville’s ‘dark day’ may not be limited to just the departures of Pitino, Jurich

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today While the fate of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino is widely known following Wednesday’s suspension announcement, there could be more to come for other as of yet unnamed parties from Tuesday’s federal investigation. Jurich and Pitino were placed on administrative leave on a “dark day” for Louisville, interim president Gregory...

Still reeling from sex scandal and NCAA probation, things get worse for Louisville basketball

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the beleaguered University of Louisville basketball program. . . U of L, still reeling from NCAA penalties because of sex parties and facing the prospect of having to vacate its 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four, could now be dealing with a much more serious issue. Coaches for a school that appears to...

Despite lopsided win over Kent State, questions remain about Louisville heading into ACC action

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today University of Louisville football fans got a glimpse of the Cardinals’ long-range future Saturday afternoon in sweltering Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium — at least as much of it as could be determined when the opponent is virtually helpless. What should concern the Louisville faithful more, however, is the immediate future. To me, the Cards (3-1) still look...

Petrino hoping Cards peak at the right time for nationally televised showdown with Clemson

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Let the hype begin. Actually, it already had, with the announcement over the weekend that ESPN’s “College Game Day” would be visiting Louisville for the second season in a row to showcase the No. 14 Cardinals’ (2-0, 1-0 ACC) crucial showdown with No. 3 Clemson (2-0, 0-0) Saturday night. The buildup will continue to escalate throughout the week, so...

Cards overcome mistakes, but narrow win can’t disguise big problems for the Cards

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Yes, Lamar Jackson turned in another solid, and game-saving, performance. True, the defense came through with several big plays at crunch time. Those are the highlights from the University of Louisville’s opening 35-28 victory over Purdue in front of 37,394 fans Saturday night in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Other than that, the No. 16 Cardinals — a 25-point...

Louisville star quarterback Jackson not concerned about repeat Heisman performance

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today A year ago at this time as an unproven sophomore, Lamar Jackson wasn’t thinking about winning the Heisman Trophy, and he is taking the same approach as the No. 16 University of Louisville football team heads into its season opener against Purdue on Saturday. Jackson could become the first player to win the Heisman twice since the award started in 1935, a feat that...

New coordinator Sirmon seeks to put some ‘magic’ back in Louisville’s defensive set

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today At first glance, the University of Louisville football team’s defense enjoyed a successful season in 2016. After all, the Cardinals finished No. 14 nationally among the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense, allowing 322.2 yards per game. The defense was also far above average in stripping the football and intercepting passes, forcing 25 turnovers,...

After moving all over the field, versatile Bonnafon finally finds a home in Louisville’s backfield

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Throughout his career on the University of Louisville football team, Reggie Bonnafon has made more moves than Atlas Van Lines, but all signs currently point to his vagabond days finally coming to an end. His athletcism and versatility may have been his worst enemies in the failure of the coaching staff to settle Bonnafon into a permanent role. As a true freshman, he started...

After another disappointing College World Series exit, McDonnell loses cool as Cards lose to TCU

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — A College World Series appearance that began with such promise for the University of Louisville baseball team ended in the same way the Cardinals’ other trips to Omaha have: with another bitterly disappointing, frustrating loss and a 1-2 record. After opening last Friday with an 8-4 win over Texas A&M, No. 7 UofL (53-12) couldn’t...

Confident Cards seeking to bring an end to losing streak, enjoy a longer stay in College World Series

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Apparently, Logan Taylor needed some practice. Not in center field, where he excels in chasing down fly balls for the University of Louisville baseball team, but in that traditional ritual — the dog pile. A staple in college baseball meant to celebrate championship victories, it involves a scrum on or near the pitcher’s mound immediately...

With MLB Draft out of the way, McKay’s thoughts turn to helping Cards win a national title

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — The pressure of the Major League Draft has finally been lifted from two-way star Brendan McKay’s shoulders. Now he can concentrate on helping the University of Louisville baseball team earn some unprecedented success in the College World Series, beginning this weekend. When the draft started early Monday evening, McKay didn’t have...