Cardinal Authority presents this week's edition of the weekly notebook of items surrounding the Louisville men's basketball program

Cardinal Authority presents this week's edition of the weekly notebook of items surrounding the Louisville men's basketball program. Cardinal Authority will have a weekly Friday notebook involving the Cardinals' program.

Johnson's near perfect night

Louisville junior Jaylen Johnson was perfect from the field in the exhibition blowout of Kentucky Wesleyan on Thursday night, hitting 6 of 6 from the field and finishing with 15 points and six rebounds.

The 6-foot-9 Johnson also had two assists and just two turnovers in 21 minutes of action.

U of L coach Rick Pitino said Johnson has been playing hard and is in the best shape of his life, while Johnson gave credit to his teammates.

"I credit the team," Johnson said. "I feel like my team was a good help for me, they played great.

"I got open shots and I just had to hit them. I give it all to the team, without them I wouldn't be here."

Johnson is expected to start at the four position for the Cardinals this season, splitting time with Ray Spalding.

Pitino: Defense must improve

Louisville isn't going to have problems scoring points this season, whipping Kentucky Wesleyan 109-71 in the exhibition game. But Pitino said the defense has a long ways to go before they are where he wants.

The Cardinals are using mostly a man-to-man defense this season.

"Ball containment," Pitino said needed to improve the most. "We made second and third rotations, but when you are jumping around as much as us you have to make fourth and fifth rotations, and we didn't do that as well."

Guards must rebound for Cards

Louisville has a lot of bodies in the middle but Pitino said it's still a key for his team to have the guards rebound.

Donovan Mitchell had five rebounds and Quentin Snider added three in the exhibition game, while Deng Adel led the team with seven rebounds from the three position.

"It does," help to have guards who can rebound. "Q's (Snider) [got to do a better job in that area. You know he had three tonight. Donovan's going to do what Terry Rozier did. He's going to grab a lot. He's going to be a terrific rebounding guard.

"Now we've got to get Quentin in there and just get those lose ball rebounds."

Cards No. 3 in 'bracketology' by ESPN

Joe Lunardi has released his first bracketology of the season on ESPN.com.

Louisville checks in as the No. 3 seed in the West Region and would face Chattanooga in the opening round in Orlando. The other two teams in the U of L pod would be Rhode Island and Michigan.

The Cardinals are No. 3 seeds in the region behind No. 1 Oregon and No. 2 Villanova, the defending national champions.

The bracketology has nine teams from the ACC getting in.

"I can see 11 for sure," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "There's no bottom in this league. It's tough every night."

 U of L vs. Bellarmine

Louisville vs. Bellarmine in an exhibition game is slated for 7:02 p.m. on Monday.

You can watch the game in ESPN3.com.


Cardinal Authority Top Stories