As Big East teams begin practicing again, I will have a quick preview of each team to get you caught up on the basics. We continue with ...
Start date: Today.
Predicted finish at media day: First.
Biggest storyline: Is this team mature enough to handle the heightened expectations? Coach Charlie Strong has warned that his team still has a lot of growing up to do. Though he does return 17 starters, he only has nine total seniors on his roster. So that clearly indicates Louisville will be young once again this season, with most of its best players sophomores and juniors. Still, there are some very talented starting seniors returning: cornerback Adrian Bushell, Mario Benavides, left tackle Alex Kupper and linebacker Daniel Brown. They can provide good leadership, and sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, described by his coaches as mature beyond his years. There is no doubt there is talent on this team -- Louisville has a terrific secondary, a talented and deep receiving group and Bridgewater. So you see why the expectations are there for Louisville to win the Big East.
Biggest question marks: Running back. Strong reiterated once again during media day that he wants to find a workhorse back among the four players he has competing for the starting job -- Dominique Brown, Corvin Lamb, Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright. "You’d like to hopefully wish one guy would be that guy, because when we had Bilal (Powell), Bilal was the guy," Strong said. "I don’t know if we have another Bilal there, but I’d like to say we have an every down back." Another concern is developing depth along the defensive line, and making sure everybody stays healthy. Louisville was plagued by injuries up front last season.
Who needs to step up: The receivers. Louisville has a pretty deep and talented group of receivers, and I think players like DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers have the capability of putting up some big numbers this season. They are both going to be sophomores, so another year in the system and working with Bridgewater could turn them from good players to great players this season.