Louisville’s loss to Lenoir-Rhyne, not just a D-II team but a mediocre D-II team, was a bit of a shock.
The Cardinals are a historic program, one that has been good since at least the 1960’s. Louisville has moved through various conferences over the years - Missouri Valley to the Metro to C-USA to the Big East to the ACC - and they’ve always been good.
Payne played during the Denny Crum era and helped The Cardinals win the 1986 national title over Duke in Mike Krzyzewski’s first trip to the Final Four.
In short, it’s a basketball school to the core and losing to Gardner-Webb was awful.
You can’t really blame Payne. He inherited a mess and it won’t be cleaned up immediately. And to his credit, he said Louisville needed this loss to understand what needed to be done.
It’s not time for Louisville fans to bail certainly but there’s no doubt that the Cards need a lot of work.
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