Louisville basketball: 2 players primed to level up in conference play

The Louisville Cardinals had a poor showing in their ACC opener against Virginia, but with conference play picking up against Pitt on Saturday, keep an eye on these two players who may just save the season with a breakout in ACC play.

Louisville freshman Kaleb Glenn (10)
Louisville freshman Kaleb Glenn (10) / Porter Binks/GettyImages
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When Louisville men’s basketball moved on from Chris Mack in 2021 the program expected to get better, not worse. However, the hire of Kenny Payne has been disastrous, and now the Cardinals are approaching a crossroads, coming off a 4-28 season and with little hope for 2024 after a 5-8 start. 

Payne has brought some talented players to Louisville, like leading scorer Skyy Clark who is averaging 15.2 points and 2.6 assists a game in his sophomore season after transferring from Illinois. Still, Clark isn’t enough to carry the Cardinals against good competition, which was glaringly obvious against Kentucky before the holiday break, and in the 77-53 loss to Virginia in the ACC opener. 

The pain of the Kenny Payne era might be over soon, especially with the program barreling towards another unacceptable performance in the ACC. However, these two players might be able to turn the team’s fortunes around ever so slightly. 

Louisville desperately needs a savior, and while that might be too much to ask out of anyone on this roster, a pair of forwards appear to be elevating their game right in time for the conference slate. 

On Saturday, the Cardinals will resume ACC action at home against Pitt and they come into the game ranked 234th in offense and 285th in defense.