December 16, 2013

Cardinal Notebook: Mathiang named Rookie of the Week

Mathiang Named Rookie of the Week
Freshman Mangok Mathiang has been named the American Athletic Conference's Men's Basketball Rookie of the Week, the league announced Monday afternoon.

The redshirt freshman scored a season-high 13 points - 10 came in the first half - on 5-of-5 shooting. He grabbed five rebounds, four on the offensive end, in the win over Western Kentucky in addition to recording his team-leading 12th blocked shot.

Mathiang, who is averaging 4.6 points and four rebounds per game, is tied for 11th in the conference with 1.2 blocked shots per game. He is shooting 58.3 percent from the field.

Missouri State Up Next
Louisville will conclude its five-game home stand tomorrow against Missouri State (8-1). Tip at the KFC Yum! Center is set for 9 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Marcus Smith Named Second Team All-American; Earns Invite to Senior Bowl
Senior Marcus Smith continues to pile up the post-season awards. He was named a Walter Camp second team All-American. The latest honor comes on the heels of being named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year last week. Louisville's sack leader also accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl on Jan. 25, 2014 in Mobile, Ala.

Named a second-team All-American by USA Today last week, Smith is one of the most decorated UofL players since Elvis Dumervil was named on numerous teams All-American squads in 2005.

Smith currently ranks seventh on the school's charts with 12.5 sacks overall and needs just half a sack to tie for fifth most in a season. Smith is second in the league in tackles for loss per game both overall (11.5) and per game (1.44). Smith also forced three fumbles and blocked a kick.

Starting all 12 games at defensive end, Smith registered 39 total tackles and recorded a team-high 16 quarterback hurries. He totaled a career-high three sacks in a 24-10 win over Rutgers and also had 2.5 sacks versus Connecticut.

Quick Hits

  • Senior Russ Smith was named to the weekly AAC honor roll after recording 14 points and 10 assists - his second double-double of that kind this season - against Western Kentucky.

  • Too early for Bracketology? Nope! In Monday's latest projections, ESPN guru Joe Lunardi has Louisville as a #1 seed in Memphis Region via St. Louis.

  • The Cards moved up to No. 4 in the Coaches Poll on Monday, trailing just Arizona, Syracuse and Ohio State. In the AP Poll, the Cards remained sixth.

  • Kentucky started the season ranked No. 1. The one-and-done Wildcats are now ranked No. 19 in Monday's poll.

  • Good news for the out of town folks. The remainder of Louisville basketball games this season will appear on national television.

  • Remember the football attendance debates we had after the less than stellar Senior Day crowd? Well, according to, the football team averaged 52,914 per game this season, which is approximately 3,000 more fans when compared to last year's numbers.

  • Hakeem Smith will break the school's consecutive starts record when he takes the field at the Russell Athletic Bowl.

  • A lot of folks have been whispering about the chance of Teddy Bridgewater returning for his senior season. Here's the biggest reason he should go - the Houston Texans. If Bridgewater were to forgo his senior season and get selected by the Texans, he'd be walking into a situation where his team could be an immediate contender. Teddy would be added to a team that already has a solid defense and key parts like Andre Johnson, Ben Tate and Arian Foster. That's a lot better than the situation that's forced upon most No. 1 quarterbacks.

    Cardinal Thefts
    The new rules haven't affected Coach Pitino's team this year in the steals category. The Cards rank 5th nationally, averaging 10.3 steals per game. The Cardinals have collected double-digit steals in six of their 10 games this season. Louisville is the only team to rank among the nation's top 10 in steals
    each of the last three seasons.

    Missouri State's most famous alum?
    Want to impress the guy behind you in the beer line on Tuesday? How about rattling off some of Missouri State's most famous graduates. The Bears are the alma mater of Washington Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, actors John Goodman and Kathleen Turner and former Wal-Mart CEO and current Kansas City Royals owner David Glass.

    Football True Freshmen
    Coach Charlie Strong played just four true freshmen in 2013 - James Hearn, Keith Kelsey, James Quick and Keith Towbridge.

    The four freshmen is the fewest number of new guys that Strong has played during his tenure at Louisville. He played 10 true freshmen in 2010, 11 in 2011 and seven in 2012.

    Bring Toys to the Yum Center or Kyle Kuric will be mad
    New toys will be collected in the lobby of the KFC Yum! Center before the Cardinals' Dec. 17 men's basketball game against Missouri State.

    All the donations will be delivered Kosair Children's Hospital. The collection is associated with UofL Athletics' CardsCARE program and Kyle's Korner for Kids, the community outreach established in 2011 by former Cards' forward Kyle Kuric two years ago. Over 2,000 toys were donated by Cardinal fans at a similar collection a year ago.

    Did you know?
    Marcus Smith is the first Cardinal player to participate in the Senior Bowl all-star game since Billal Powell was selected in 2010.

    Russ Smith Point Watch
    Russ scored 14 points against WKU, passing the 1,400 mark for his career. He's now 26th in career scoring at Louisville, six behind No. 25 Francisco Garcia (1,413 points, 2002-05).

    After he catches Cisco, he'll set his sights on Dwayne Morton (1,428, 1991-94) and Rick Wilson (1,428, 1974-78).

    Special `Color' Events Set for Men's Basketball
    The men's basketball fans can participate in two "color" events later this season.

    A "White Out" is scheduled for the Jan. 9 game against No. 16 Memphis in the KFC Yum! Center, UofL's first American Athletic Conference home game.

    The annual "Wear Red for the Seniors" game is set for March 8 when the Cardinals face No. 9 Connecticut in the final home game of the season. Cardinal fans are encouraged to wear white and red attire on those respective days.

    The Cardinals have been successful on the scoreboard in five of their seven previous "White Out" promotions, including a 70-51 victory over Marquette in last season's event on Super Bowl Sunday.

    UofL has knocked off three ranked opponents when the arena was a bright white. UofL Coach Rick Pitino has drawn national attention when he wore a white suit for six of the "White Out" games.

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