If you were only able to watch the opening minutes of last night’s game between Kentucky and Louisville, then you would have probably thought the game was a nail-biter until the end. The Cardinals led 5-0 early on and went back and forth with the Wildcats almost midway through the first half. But Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves caught fire to end the second half on a major run to put the game out of reach for a somewhat challenged Louisville team.
Louisville still had some fight in the second half, but the game was pretty much over and at least 80% of the fans in the Yum! Center didn’t make things much easier for the Cardinals.
Kentucky put a whopping 95 points — the most in Yum! Center history — but UK head coach John Calipari is still advocating for the Cardinals to stick with head coach Kenny Payne who has clearly struggled during his time in Louisville as the top guy. Calipari had this to say regarding Payne’s future and what he believes Payne can do for Louisville.
“My guess is he’ll have this program within a year where everybody wants it,” he said. “It’s just the growing pains are miserable. We went through it. Went through it. And all of a sudden, if you don’t shoot 30 threes, what’s going on? The game’s past you by.
“I feel for him. He’s gonna be fine. And I’ll tell you that when they love you that much, and how they’re responding to them, it’s just a matter of time and again, I watched the games. I know they lost a couple of bad ones. We did too. We did too. Like I said, I’ve watched the tape, these guys are doing good stuff. I would just say stay with him and let him do what he does. Players love them. Kenny’s like my brother.”
Sure, fans are emotionally upset and boosters have to wonder there their return is on their investment in Payne. But he’s just approaching one and a half seasons as the head coach. Their team has had some personnel issues and they’ve just flat out not played well.
Louisville is also a proud college basketball school with a lot of history, so it’s hard to ask a school regarded as a top-10 program (historically) to have a ton of patience.
Let’s hear your thoughts on Payne and if you think it’s rational to cut ties with him so soon.
Tweet of the Day
Exclamation point finish pic.twitter.com/hgw1mm3OET— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 22, 2023
Rob is such an incredible athlete.
Larry Vaught’s opinion here.
And more here from ESPN.
Continues to come up big for Kentucky.
Louisville fans should be embarrassed.
They deserve one.
Does the salary cap even exist?