To use the political parlance of our times, the Louisville Cardinals did not win the morning.
Quite the contrary, actually. The early hours of Aug. 27, 2010 brought some rather terrible news for Cardinals fans: Two players -- Roburt Sallie and Justin Coleman -- are not going to join Rick Pitino's team in 2010-11 as previously assumed. Sorry, Louisville fans. This offseason keeps getting worse.
Sallie is a sharpshooting Memphis transfer who was going to graduate from his former school and enroll at a graduate program at Louisville, as long as that program wasn't available at Memphis, thereby earning immediate eligibility. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the school said Sallie could not take advantage of the rule "due to the timing requirements of meeting the matriculation deadline for graduate school."
Sallie is perhaps best known for his 35-point performance (on a school-record 10 threes, no less) in the first round of the 2008-09 NCAA tournament. He averaged 10.5 points per game in his final year at Memphis, and he would have been an immediate starter on a Louisville team turning over much of its starting roster.
The same could realistically be said of Coleman. As the No. 15-ranked shooting guard in the class of 2010, Coleman was Pitino's best incoming recruit. He was unable to qualify academically. That leaves the Cardinals without a likely small forward candidate, and in general, robs the Cardinals of two much-needed bonafide contributors in a year when Pitino's talent pool is already uncharacteristically scarce.
Look on the bright side, Louisville fans. 2010-11 -- and what should be a much-improved recruiting class for Pitino -- will be here sooner than you think.