Boston College Eagles embarrass Louisville, fall 65-75 Saturday, Jan 28 2023 

By Matthew Mueller

Card fans are again looking at another loss, this time coming from — of all teams — Boston College (10-11, 4-6 ACC). 

Same Story, Different Book

Despite having high hopes that they could pull off a win in their next four road games, the Louisville Cardinals (2-19, 0-10 ACC) fell to the Eagles 65 – 75,. 

El Elis still proves to be a strong carrier for Lousiville, leading the game with 17 points. He is still a proven shooter making 63% of his field goals and going 3 – 5 beyond the 3-point line. Ellis also led the game in assists, dishing out 5,  yet giving up three turnovers as well. 

Senior, Jae’lyn Withers continues to be a beam of support for the team too, scoring 7 defensive rebounds and scoring 16 points, going 2 – 4 from 3 and 6 – 12 from the field. 

Freshman, Mike James continues to show improvement this season, contributing 15 points.

Louisville looked better during the first half, ending with a 6-point lead. It felt like they had a bit more energy and fire going on internally as well. 

But here comes the fall

This doesn’t mean they fully eliminated their problems. This season turnovers continue to be a huge problem for the team. 

At the end of the first half the team had 9 turnovers, increasing to 19 as the second half started. It still feels like the team relies on Ellis and Withers to do it all, whether it be the facilitators, scorers, or general team leaders. 

You can make this list as long as you like honestly, but we were due to see changes long ago.

Head Coach Kenny Payne talked again in his post-game press conference about “the elephant in the room”– turnovers — and how it’s understandably hard to win basketball games when you turn the ball over 19 times in a game.

Boston College capitalized, producing 18 points; undoubtedly a big difference maker in the final score.

A change on the horizon

Louisville recently added Emmanuel Okorafor, a prospect from NBA Africa Academy, mid-season.

The big man that is likely to shake things up, he sees Louisville as a stepping stone into the NBA and has the drive and skill to help the team get a win. While he didn’t play in Boston, he’ll likely see minutes on the road at Notre Dame 

Can they pull out a win?

The Cards head to South Bend, Ind. to battle with Notre Dame (10-12, 2-9 ACC)on Saturday, January 28th to continue their road trip. After this, Louisville takes on Georgia Tech and Florida State at home.

If the Cards are going to have any chance to beat anyone and end this losing streak, it’s likely down to one of these three matchups. 

If we don’t see a win from one of those three, Cards fans might be left wishing for the end of the season (if they aren’t already).

Photo Courtesy // Matthew Mueller, The Louisville Cardinal //

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Cards Can’t Complete Comeback, Fall To Bellarmine 67-66 Sunday, Nov 13 2022 

By: Jason Krell

The Knights of Bellarmine wanted nothing more than to spoil the first game of the Kenny Payne
era and walk out of the Yum! Center with a win, and they did just that.

The Cards were slow out of the gate and Bellarmine took full advantage outscoring them 41-30
in the first half. Defensive breakdowns allowed the Knights to lead by as much as twelve in
the first half and completely dominated in the paint despite Louisville’s size advantage. The
Knights shot an impressive 59% from the field to the Cards’ 38% heading into the break where
one can only imagine what Payne had to say to his guys.

The pressure was on now to see if Louisville could wake up in the second half and avoid one of
the worst opening losses in recent memory. The Cards’ comeback quest was fueled by trio
Jae’Lyn Withers, El Ellis, and Mike James who all scored in double figures, but were matched by
Bellarmine’s Garret Tipton and Bash Wieland, putting up 21 and 13 respectively.

Trimming down the lead late in the second half, Louisville was within one with a chance to send
the Knights packing. Freshman Kamari Lands missed a potential game-winning jump shot that
would have given the Cards the edge. Bellarmine escaped a second-half collapse and walked off
the court feeling more confident than ever that they belonged with the big boys.

All is not lost for the Cardinals as they will get a second chance on Saturday, November 12th
where they will take on Wright State. No game from this point forward will be a walk in
Cherokee Park, but the Cards can take away the positives from this contest and move on.

A head coach in his first season with a new roster is bound to have some early season hiccups. Let us not
press the panic button…yet.

File Photo // USA TODAY //

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Men’s basketball avoids postseason ban in NCAA IARP ruling Thursday, Nov 3 2022 

By Tate Luckey 

After five years, five coaches, four university presidents, three athletic directors, and lots of questions, the Louisville men’s basketball program received the details of its punishment from the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP). The IARP is responsible for reviewing select complex infraction cases within Division I. Their Nov. 3 decision detailed what penalties the University would face for its alleged involvement with Adidas and improper recruiting practices.

The Penalties

In May of 2020, the NCAA accused U of L of committing a Level I violation dating back to 2017, in which Adidas recruited Brian Bowen in part by paying his family $100,000 if he attended U of L , and then signed with Adidas after going pro. There are additional Level II violations, that can be found here.

The IARP panel could not find sufficient proof Adidas was acting in U of L’s interests, or that the University played any role in Adidas’s actions.

According to the 105-page decision, the NCAA argued that former head coach Rick Pitino was “too strict on compliance for it to be effective.” The IARP rejected the argument, stating Pitino had fostered an adequate atmosphere of compliance.

Major penalties include a $5,000 fine, a two-week ban on unofficial visits during the 2022-2023 academic year, a seven-day reduction in recruiting days for the 2022-2023 academic year, and a two-year probationary period, in which Louisville is to develop a “comprehensive educational program on NCAA legislation designed to instruct…with recruiting responsibility.” Former head coach Chris Mack also avoids any punishment.

The full list can be found here. IARP decisions cannot be appealed.

“A step in the right direction”

U of L Athletic Director Josh Heird emphasized in a press conference Thursday to “not forget [the impact] the allegations have had on the fanbase.” He and Interim President Lori Gonzalez are focused on moving past this era of athletics, instead focusing on rebuilding the enthusiasm of the fanbase. Both consider this outcome a check off of the many items on their to-do list.

“If you’re a U of L fan and don’t feel better after today, then I’m not sure you’re a fan,” Heird said.

“You can’t forget the last five years- the millions of dollars that have been spent, the millions of dollars the program has lost, and opportunities that have been lost for our athletes to compete. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter.”

Students, alumni, and fans alike can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that this era of Louisville Basketball can finally be pushed behind them.

So…will that 2013 banner be raised?

When the IARP’s penalties were revealed Thursday morning, reactions from fans were swift. Former player and current Cleveland Cavalier Donovan Mitchell sent “BANNER UP” on his social media, and Barstool Cards tweeted a simple “Hang it.

But with this case finally resolved, does that mean anything for this important piece of University of Louisville sports history?

For context, the 2013 title was vacated due to a separate 2017 investigation that uncovered a stripper and sex-related scandal involving former players, former director of basketball operations Andre McGee, and Pitino. The now Iona Gaels head coach stated in a Zoom call Thursday that he believes in the character of the NCAA, and that the vacated 2013 National Championship banner will be hung again.

“You cannot take championships away. We won the 2013 championship. If the IARP was involved in looking at that case, that banner would still be hanging today,” he said.

“I’m not going to make any promises, but if there’s an opportunity to do something along those lines, we’re going to do it,” Heird said. “I’d have to have more conversations with the NCAA- it’s not as simple as rolling down to the arena and raising it.”

This is a breaking story, and as such will be updated.

File Photos // GoCards.com //

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Chris Mack leaving post as men’s head basketball coach Wednesday, Jan 26 2022 

By Daniel Rankin —

Jan. 26 marks the end of an era, as the U of L Board of Trustees and U of L Athletic Association announced the departure of men’s head basketball coach Chris Mack.

The decision comes as the Cards are about to miss the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row with an 11-9 record this season. They also currently have an 8th place 5-5 record in the ACC.

“Coaching transitions are always difficult, especially during the course of the season, but Chris and I agreed that it is in the best interests of our student-athletes that he step aside immediately,” said Interim Athletic Director Josh Heird. “We will always prioritize our student-athletes and do all that we can to ensure that they have an incredible experience at Louisville. I want to thank Chris and his family for their service to the University and we wish them the very best in their next chapter.”

Mack finishes his tenure at U of L with an overall record of 68-37 and without any NCAA Tournament victories.

During Mack’s first year as head coach in 2018, the Cards entered the Tournament with a No. 7 ranking, but took a loss to No. 10 Minnesota in the first round.

In the 2019-20 season, expectations were high for the team, as their pre-season ranking was No. 5, and achieved the No. 1 spot midseason for two weeks. However, the NCAA Tournament was cancelled in March due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020-21 season saw multiple game cancellations for the Cardinals and they were the first team without an invitation to the tournament.

After some staff turnover, which included an extortion attempt by former assistant coach Dino Gaudio, Mack was suspended six games without pay by the University last November.

Assistant Coach Mike Pegues will be taking over as interim head coach.

Now U of L will begin the national search to find the next coach of the U of L men’s basketball team.

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Reinking // Louisville Athletics

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U of L men’s basketball loses their ninth game this season Tuesday, Jan 25 2022 

By: Hannah Walker–

On Jan. 24, Louisville men’s basketball played an away game against the Virginia Cavaliers, and lost with a final score of 64-52.

This is the second loss in a row.Tthe team has lost nine game already this season.

During the first half of the game, U of L was already off to a rocky start. Virginia received the ball at tipoff, and scored five points before the Cards could get on the scoreboard.

U of L started to pick up on offense, when freshman guard/forward Dre Davis made four points for U of L with his driving layup and jumper during the first half.

Before halftime started, U of L continued to score when graduate guard Jarrod West made an impressive three-point jumper, but it wasn’t enough to put the Cards in the lead. U of L went into the second half with a score of 35-23.

During the second half, Louisville tried to catch back up. U of L came out strong when West made a driving layup during the first 30 seconds of the game. However, Virginia continued to battle with the Cards to keep their lead.

West continued to make three point jumpers, and remained the star player of the night, but it wasn’t enough for the Cards to take home the win. U of L lost with a final score of 64-52.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back at KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 29 at 12:00 p.m. to play against Duke University.

 

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U of L men’s basketball wins against Boston College Thursday, Jan 20 2022 

By Hannah Walker —

Louisville men’s basketball beat Boston College 67-54 at the KFC Yum! Arena on Wednesday.

After losing the last three games, U of L men’s basketball pulled out a win at home against the Eagles.

During the first half of the game, the teams were neck and neck. With 00:27 left in the first half, redshirt sophomore forward Jae’lyn Withers made a layup and gave Louisville a two-point lead.

Senior guard Noah Locke and junior forward Sydney Curry were the star players of the game. Their performances allowed the Cards to go into halftime with a score of 30-28.

At the beginning of the second half, both teams battled to get ahead. However, U of L started to keep a steady lead 12:26 into the second half.

Fifth year forward/center Malik Williams defended the team by making consistent rebounds, and the team’s offense continued to improve as the game came to an end. This gave U of L the final win for the night.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back at home to play Notre Dame Jan. 22 at 4:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Lucas Niemi // U of L Athletics

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U of L men’s basketball takes loss against Pittsburgh Monday, Jan 17 2022 

By Hannah Walker–

On Saturday, Jan. 15, Louisville men’s basketball lost in an away game against Pittsburgh with a final score of 65-53.

During the first 11 minutes of the game, U of L took the lead. Junior guard El Ellis and sophomore guard/forward Dre Davis gained a total of five points each during the first half of the game and the team’s offense was off to a great start. However, with 4:56 left in the first half, Pittsburgh took the lead with a score of 28-24 going into halftime.

During the second half of the game, Louisville made an attempt to catch back up. Senior guard Noah Locke was able to score seven points during the last half and fifth year forward/center Malik Williams scored eight points before the game ended. However, it was not enough to catch up to Pittsburgh. U of L travelled home with a loss to the Panthers.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back on their home court to play against Boston College on Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Adam Creech// U of L Athletics

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U of L men’s basketball falls short to DePaul Monday, Dec 13 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

On Dec. 10, U of L men’s basketball faced DePaul University on their home court, and lost with a final score of 62-55.

During the start of the game, Louisville took the lead. Fifth year forward/center Malik Williams was one of the top performers with 13 points during the first half, with sophomore forward Matt Cross following with an additional 7 points. DePaul tried to take  the lead with 05:06 left on the clock, but U of L managed to stay ahead with a score of 29-26 going into the break.

At the start of second quarter, the Cards continued to score, and stay ahead of DePaul. However, DePaul took the lead with 05:44 left on the clock. U of L began to lose reach of the win, and ended the game with a final score of 62-55.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back for another home game on Dec. 14 at 6:00 p.m against Southeastern Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of Lucas Niemi// U of L Athletics

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U of L men’s basketball takes home another win against North Carolina State Wednesday, Dec 8 2021 

By Hannah Walker —

On Dec. 4, Louisville men’s basketball played against North Carolina State, and won with a final score of 73-68.

At the end of the first half of the game, Louisville had the lead with a score of 43-29. Fifth year forward/center Malik Williams was a top performer of the night, with 12 points and three rebounds during the first half of the game. Junior guard El Ellis was another top contender during the first half of the game who scored seven points, and was able to help keep Louisville in the lead until halftime.

During the second half of the game, Louisville continued to take the lead by scoring an additional 30 points. Sophomore forward Matt Cross scored nine points and four rebounds, and graduate student guard Jarrod West scored five points and had one rebound. This is what ultimately led Louisville to the lead for the night.

U of L men’s basketball will be back at the KFR Yum! Center on Friday, Dec. 10 at 8:00 p.m to play against DePaul University.

Photo Courtesy of Lucas Niemi // U of L Athletics 

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Louisville men’s basketball trounces West Georgia Friday, Nov 5 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

Louisville men’s basketball beat West Georgia 103-51 on Nov. 3 at the KFC Yum! Arena

During the first half of the game, Louisville was able to take the lead. With sophomore guard/forward Dre Davis scoring nine points and senior guard Noah Locke scoring 10 points, U of L was able to have the upper hand when it came to offense.

U of L  also had great defense against West Georgia with the help of freshman forward/center Roosevelt Wheeler, who made a key defensive rebound early in the game. This led Louisville to a score of 54-28 going into halftime.

During the second half, Louisville continued to play at their best. Wheeler was able to make eight points during the second half, as well as junior forward Samuell Williamson who made six points. Louisville continued to do well with both their turnovers and their layups throughout the night, and this ultimately gave them the win.

Louisville men’s basketball will play again on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 9:00p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Creech// U of L Athletics 

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