Louisville Basketball Cannot Afford Another Day of Kenny Payne

Kenny Payne will remain head coach going in the new year for Louisville

Kentucky v Louisville
Kentucky v Louisville / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Louisville fell to 5-7 last Thursday, and it came at the hands of a 19-point home defeat by the Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcats were up 19 points at halftime and it was the largest deficit in the rivalry in the last 25 seasons.

That right there sums up everything that is wrong with the Kenny Payne era at Louisville. He is breaking records and streaks with the Cardinals, just all the wrong ones. Last year's 4-28 season was one of the worst in Louisville history and nearly the worst team in the last 100 years.

While the team is significantly improved from last season they still have not beaten a Power 6 basketball team and have lost 3 of their last 4 games. Louisville lost to Virginia Tech, DePaul, Arkansas State, and #9 Kentucky at home. The only team they beat in this stretch was Pepperdine by 22 at home.

There is no reason the Cardinals should be losing to teams like Arkansas State and DePaul, and especially by the margins they are losing to these teams. The Blue Demons are currently 2-8 with their two lone wins against Louisville and South Dakota.

Louisville should never be in the same breath as South Dakota.

They also were down as many as 19 points against DePaul, and for a DePaul team with 1 win how can any Louisville fan say Kenny Payne is making improvements?

The same can be said for Arkansas State, as they were up 19 on Louisville too. Except this time it was in the Cardinals home arena.

Losing to Kentucky by 19 points at home was the last straw for the few Payne believers, yet he still stands as Louisville's head coach today.

Josh Heird said this on Friday morning:

"Kenny and I have had a number of conversations throughout the last week, and Kenny is going to serve as our head coach as we move into the new year. I'm going to do what I do with every one of our programs, which is evaluate what's happening throughout the season"

Josh Heird, Per WDRB's Eric Crawford

The number of Louisville fans still supporting Kenny Payne if I had to guess, would fall under 1%. Not to say that Louisville doesn't love Payne, because as a player every Louisville fan should love Kenny. However, what he has done as a head coach here is detrimental to the well-being of the basketball program, and it cannot afford him being the head coach for another week.

9-35 is not a sustainable record, and the "give him time, it always takes 3 years to build a program" statement is just not true. Coaches have been able to turn around programs in under a season, and the fact that Louisville would still be blown out by mid-majors in year 2 is simply embarrassing.

Louisville should have fired Payne yesterday morning, and the fact that he is being retained going into the new year is a bad look for Louisville basketball.

If Louisville continues to play badly in ACC play I wouldn't be surprised if he is let go, but the fact that it should have happened 2 weeks ago is the exact problem.

Kenny Payne does not deserve to be the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, and if Louisville ever wants to get back to relevance again then Payne needs to be relieved as head coach.