the best and worst of 2017
By Jared Anderson/ Mike Gilpatrick
December 31st, 2017
December 31st, 2017
Louisville has seen some great and terrible moments this year. Let's take a look at the best and worst of each:
To kick it off, we'll put the bad news first...
The FBI Investigation- The men's basketball team saw Hell break loose when the FBI released a report following an investigation into adidas and misuse of funds with recruiting violations. It led to the firing of Tom Jurich, Rick Pitino, and many of the assistant basketball coaches.
Hatred of Lamar in the Heisman race- One year removed from winning Louisville's first ever Heisman award Lamar Jackson returned to New York s a finalist. His numbers this year have been nearly the same as last year minus nine fewer touchdowns. He finished third in the race this year, far behind winner Baker Mayfield. Many voters left him off of their list altogether.
The termination of Tom Jurich- Jurich, former Director of Athletics, was released from his contract in a less-than-honorable way. To make matters worse, the UofL Board Of Trustees fumbled how they handled it. They refused to reveal the reason to the media and Card Nation the day it happened, and attendance at many events suffered because of it. The next football game, the stands were only at half-capacity. The least the BOT should have done is given a reason why. Jurich is one of the most beloved people in UofL history, and is responsible for taking UofL from being a mid-level school, to a national powerhouse in the ACC.
The 2017 UK-UofL Men's basketball game- David Padgett may be young, but his squad laid an egg at Rupp Arena this year. They lost 90-61, and were 3 for 25 beyond the arc. This team isn't a shooting team. Please, don't keep attempting to shoot threes.
Volleyball Wins ACC- Coach Dani Busboom Kelly's first season as head coach was a great one. They defied the odds after being projected to be a bottom dweller and claimed the title outright. They finished undefeated at home in conference play.
Field Hockey Makes School History- Never having won an ACC Tournament game before changed when they won their quarterfinal and semifinal matches to advance to the championship. Although they fell in the finals it was a step up from past seasons and appears the program continues to grow.
Cards advance to the College World Series- Baseball was flat-out dominant this year. Started 19-0. Dominated Kentucky in the Super Regional. And who can forget Brendan McKay, the highest MLB-Draft pick in UofL history, at 4th overall, to the Tampa Bay Rays. He was equally as good at the plate and on the mound, as well.
Freshman Sensation Dez Fitzpatrick- Nine touchdowns. A freshman record. Redshirt Freshman WR Dez Fitzpatrick was unbelievable in his first year with the Cards, setting a freshman TD record. He'll be fun to watch in 2018, and 19.
Best Start in program history for Walz and Co.- The Louisville Women's basketball team was flat out dominant this season. They're currently 16-0, which is the best start in program history, and a tie of the longest win streak in program history. They're ranked third in the nation, behind Connecticut and Notre Dame. Both are on the schedule. It'll be interesting to see where they end the season.
2017, for better or worse, you've been memorable. Here's to 2018!