Does Kenny Payne Even Value Louisville Basketball?

Nov 10, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne talks with guard Tre White (22) during the second half against the Chattanooga Mocs at KFC Yum! Center. Chattanooga defeated Louisville 81-71. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 10, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne talks with guard Tre White (22) during the second half against the Chattanooga Mocs at KFC Yum! Center. Chattanooga defeated Louisville 81-71. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 10, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts during the first half against the Chattanooga Mocs at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 10, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne reacts during the first half against the Chattanooga Mocs at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports /

Kenny Payne seems to disvalue the importance of Louisville Basketball

The Kenny Payne experiment to seems to have run its course, and even fans who had his back in the offseason seem to have turned their back on him. Payne is a great person and a Cardinal forever in the minds of all Louisville fans, but i’m not sure anybody can take another year of his style of basketball.

Louisville lost to Chattanooga 81-71 last night, and the loss sent a clear message to fans that this was a not a winning team or coach. Their were bad turnovers, bad shot selection, bad cuts on defense, and the Cards were getting outmatched in even a physical sense.

As the game ended I thought myself “KP is gonna come out for the post game presser and call Chattanooga a good team, that they were the aggressors, and that they had a good gameplan”. I’m no prophet, but that is exactly what Payne did.

Here was his opening statement:

"“First of all, give them credit, that’s a very good basketball team that walked in here. They walked in not afraid of us and executed their game plan. I thought they were the aggressors tonight and I felt like we were behind the action a lot at times, and they attacked. They made a bunch of threes and played with good energy. Their big guys played with a tenacity that we didn’t make or exceed. That falls on not just the players but coaches as well. I take accountability for that. I told them that we were playing a very good team that had a lot of veteran players that could beat us. They came in here and did that. I knew it would be a hard-fought game. I thought my guys would come in and play with more energy but for whatever reason, they didn’t. We must get better.”"

I don’t want to discredit Chattanooga, but they are not a good basketball team when it comes to comparing them to power 5 teams. They would get run off the court by most teams in the ACC, and that is not an exaggeration. Payne has to take credit for how his team plays, and when he blames they players for not playing “hard or motivated” it comes across like he is throwing his hands up and said “I tried guys, what more do you want from me”.

Payne also talked about how the guys are not motivated or playing hard with hustle. Isn’t that the head coaches main job, to motivate the players? Payne complains about how the team plays, but that is his department. He has the talent to compete and if the players were properly motivated or ran the right sets, I guarantee they would have won these 2 games by at least 10 points.

Kenny Payne’s coaching seat is smoking, red, fiery, hot right now and the only thing that can save it is winning basketball games. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and things are looking dreary for him as Louisville heads into game 3 of the college basketball season.

Payne is looking like he will not be retained if he has another type of 4-28 season. Louisville basketball cannot afford it, and the fans have seemed to have had enough. Louisville won’t get rid of him in the middle of the season, but if the team plays poorly and doesn’t win games, it will be very hard to see Payne being retained in 2024.

Payne is a Cardinal forever, but being a coach at the University of Louisville may just not be in the Cards for him.