Back to silence back to minus
With the purple sky behind us
In these metal ways
Nobody hears us when we’re alone in the blue future
No one receiving the radio’s splintered waves
In these metal ways… from “No One Receiving” by Brian Eno
Mark Bacon—Main Event Sports DC
Louisville basketball is in its darkest hour. On one end, the NCAA sanctioning process that cost the Cards a national championship and a Final Four banner. At the beginning of another, an arduous process that could take years to resolve. Louisville isn’t in basketball hell, the program is in basketball purgatory.
We need a new coach. Padgett worked hard, offered no excuses, but fell short. We need a new leader. And that coach has little to offer the legion of fans but blood, sweat and tears. The UofL brand is broken. The name is poison. Radioactive. Toast.
For God’s sake, the Derby Festival Classic All-Star Game ain’t happenin’, in part, because prep and collegiate coaches don’t even want their players coming to the city!!! Careful where you eat, or what dorm you enter??!!
Louisville is playing in the NIT. I hear some sources say that the players, were not in favor of playing in the tournament, once the NCAA took a flyer on them. Can’t blame ‘em.
BUT the team had the skills and opportunities to secure an NCAA bid by mid-February. Sooner. December! Definitely that fateful evening against UVA.
Yet the most obvious factor, the defensive slippage, was the main offender. After seven consecutive seasons of ranking in the top 10 in that category, the Cards slid to 27th nationally, the worst performance by Louisville since 2010.
The bad reactions in trap situations, ball pressure, the inability to keep people out of the lane, turnovers, ball handling skills, or lack thereof, and, obviously rebounding, for all that length and size. It simply wasn’t there as much as it needed to be.
It’s been a hard season for everyone. The players, flawed as they are, owe David Padgett something. He sacrificed all year. Taking a job before you expect to, without a staff, and throwing it together on the fly, is not a recipe for hardwood success. Padgett should parlay his experience this season into a head coaching opportunity, at some point, and sooner than later.
Now? The UofL players, if they didn’t feel like working hard for themselves—or the school they represent—this past season, need to at least play hard in the NIT to represent a coach who worked tirelessly, a once brilliant, now tarnished brand, and a heartbroken fan base.
They owe Padgett, and U of L owes Padgett, and its fans owe Padgett a debt of gratitude for what he did this season. Yet we new a new skipper at the helm for the unforeseeable future. UofL needs somebody who can coach Louisville’s own version of the unforgettables, whoever they may wind up being.