--By Jared Anderson
--Photo by Seth Spalding
Senior wide receiver Jaylen Smith continues his recovery following an emergency appendectomy on Aug. 3. His recovery, which originally projected him to miss the first two games of the regular season, has been quicker than that. Smith could be back as soon as the opening game against Alabama on Sept. 1.
Louisville's leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns from a year ago returned to practice on Aug. 21. He participated in drills, but was limited to no contact. Coach Bobby Petrino says that they will see how Smith progresses over the remainder of the week before having him participate in contact drills.
Once Smith is back to 100% and on the field, the offense should pick up. Jawon Pass will have key weapons in Smith, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Seth Dawkins this year.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo courtesy of the University of Louisville
Team USA just struck Gold.
The Americans, coached by UofL women's basketball head coach Jeff Walz, defeated Canada 84-60 in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship to win their 10th gold medal, and sixth against Canada.
Walz's squad trailed by four at the end of the first period. Canada finished the period on a 6-2 run.
The US pulled ahead in the second. They outscored Canada 25-13. In the third, the scoring was even more lopsided. The US led 64-40 heading into the last period. Both teams scored the same amount in the fourth.
Four Americans were in the double-digits scoring. They were led by Nalyssa Smith, with 18 points. Christyn Williams, Nazahrah Hillmon-Baker, and Ashley Jones were also in the double-digits. Smith also was tied for the team lead in rebounds.
The US leads the Americas in the tournament. The only other county to have a gold medal is Brazil. The Brazilian's two gold medals resulted in US silver medals.
Louisville tips off their 2018-19 campaign against Western Kentucky in Bowling Green on Tuesday, November 6th. They play their first game in Louisville on Monday, Nov. 26th.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Seth Spalding
Team USA will go for the gold.
Team USA, coached by UofL women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz will face off against Canada in the FIBA Women’s U18 gold medal game tonight.
Walz’s squad defeated Columbia 83-47 on Monday. The win was partially due to a 17-0 run in the second quarter. It gave the Americans momentum. It was kicked off by a three from Ashley Joens, who committed to Iowa State. Five points were from Nazahrah Hillmon-Baker (Michigan/Cleveland, OH). Two threes were also from Rhyne Howard.
The USA led 42-26 at halftime. Columbia cut the game to 11 points in the third with 4:54 left, but USA outscored Columbia 7-1 to close out the quarter.
“It was a great basketball game” Walz said, “We knew it was going to be competitive, and it was the one that we needed, because we needed to understand when you have breakdowns.”
Jenna Brown (Stanford/Smyrna, GA) led scoring with 17 points. Joens and Howard finished with 14, and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (Connecticut/Winder, GA) had 12.
“I thought that group out that was out there four us at the end of the first half really gave us the boost we needed, and then we were able to continue. It’s something we have to learn from and continue to grow, and hopefully take another step tomorrow night.”
Canada is second in points, fourth in field goal shooting, fourth in assists, and second in efficiency. Christina Morra leads the team with 14.8 points/game. She is tied for third in the tournament. Canada is ranked fourth worldwide.
Canada faced Columbia, El Salvador, and Mexico in group play. They defeated Columbia 73-49, El Salvador 81-52, and Mexico 65-54. A strong 22-7 first quarter put them ahead against Chile in the quarterfinals, with a final score of 98-52, and 15 points, 14 boards, and two assists led Canada against Argentina in the Semifinals. Four players scored double-digits in the 77-71 win to advance to the semifinals.
The game will be at Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera, in Mexico City at 9:30 pm. The game will be on Facebook.
Louisville Bats starting pitcher Robert Stephenson was named the International League pitcher of the week for the week of July 23rd-29th.
He started two games, and went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA over 14 innings. He gave up only three hits, and the two runs were off a two-run home run surrendered in yesterday's 3-2 win over the Rochester Red Wings.
In July, Stephenson is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts. This season, he is 10-6 with a 3.03 ERA in 19 starts.
Stephenson previously won the award in the week of July 27th-August 2nd, 2015.
The University of Louisville Women's basketball team announced its 2018-19 non-conference schedule Tuesday.
Jeff Walz's squad will face nine opponents that reached the tournament last season. Seven won more than 20 games, and six made the NCAA Tournament.
The Cards open the season against Western Kentucky on Tuesday, Nov. 6th. The game will be on the road. Louisville won't be at the KFC Yum! Center for the first five games.
They'll play UT Chattanooga on Nov. 9th, Boise State Nov. 19th, and Arizona State along with Hartford in the South Point Shootout Nov. 23rd-24th.
The Cards will play their first game in the Yum! on November 26th against Miami of Ohio. Then, Nebraska will come to town for the ACC/B1G challenge. Tennessee State will come to Louisville on December 2nd, UT Martin on the 4th, and Kentucky on the 9th. Northern Kentucky will end the non-conference homestand on December 15th.
The Cards will head to Central Michigan on December 20th, before beginning ACC Play.
One of the best opponents will be on January 31st, when Louisville hosts the Connecticut Huskies.
Bats Infielder Brandon Dixon became the sixth player in Louisville Bats history to hit for the cycle Tuesday. The Bats won the game, 12-5.
Dixon doubled his first at-bat in the first inning. Then, singled in the third, homered in the eighth, and tripled in the ninth. He finished 4 for 5 in the game.
Other Bats to hit for the cycle are Scott Schebler (7/26/2016), Chris Dickerson (7/26/2007), Anderson Machado (5/18/2007), David Bell (8/11/1995), and Stan Royer (7/19/1991).
Brandon Dixon is hitting .329 with six home runs and 21 RBIs for Louisville this season.
-by Mike Gilpatrick
Cincinnati Reds top prospect and Louisville Bats IF Nick Senzel will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right index-finger.
Senzel left the game in the first inning of Louisville's series opener against the Norfolk Tides.
Before the injury, Senzel had an 11-game hitting streak, where he hit .440 (22-for-50) since June 9th. He hit .310 with power in 44 games for Louisville this season. The average is 5th in the international league.
The injury was confirmed in an official statement from the Louisville Bats.
-By Mike Gilpatrick
Louisville F Ray Spalding was drafted 56th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2018 NBA Draft yesterday. The forward was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
Spalding was a forward at UofL, and averaged 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds as a junior with 62 blocks and 54 steals. His performance earned him an All-ACC honorable mention.
Louisville is also the only school in the nation to have players drafted in the last five NBA and NFL Draft. Their 2017 pick was Donovan Mitchell, who went 13th overall to the Denver Nuggets, and subsequently traded to the Utah Jazz.