Louisville hires Kenny Payne as men’s basketball coach Friday, Mar 18 2022 

By Daniel Rankin —

After an extensive national search and eight weeks of rumors and speculation, Louisville fans and students finally have the answer they’ve been waiting for. 

Today the University of Louisville Board of Directors and Athletics Association have officially announced that New York Knicks Assistant Coach Kenny Payne will become the next head coach of Louisville men’s basketball. 

Kenny Payne, who becomes the 22nd head coach in Louisville’s cherished basketball history, is no stranger to Cardinal red. From 1985 to 1989, Payne played for the Cards under hall of fame coach Denny Crum, winning the national championship in 1986 and becoming 2nd team All-American in 1985. 

In the 1989 NBA Draft, Payne was selected 19th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers but lived a short professional career. Since then, Payne has found tremendous success as a coach on the collegiate and professional levels. 

The University of Oregon gave Payne his first opportunity in 2004 as an assistant coach. In 2010, Payne returned to the state of Kentucky as an assistant coach for the University of Kentucky.  

While in Lexington, Payne grew a national reputation as one of college basketball’s best recruiters. Even more impressive is his ability to convert elite college basketball recruits into some of the biggest stars in the NBA, including multiple all-star and world champion players. 

In 2014, Payne was promoted to associate head coach, becoming John Calipari’s right-hand man. Overall, the Wildcats won six SEC Championships and one national title in 2012 during Payne’s tenure. Louisville will undoubtedly be hoping Payne can bring similar success to the KFC Yum! Center. 

Recently, Payne has been serving as a New York Knicks assistant coach but today marks the beginning of a new era for both himself and Louisville Basketball. 

Stay tuned for more as we bring you exclusive coverage and reaction to Louisville Basketball’s new head coach.

Photo Courtesy // The Associated Press

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U of L Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Mack put on six-week suspension Monday, Aug 30 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville announced Aug. 27 Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Mack will be suspended without pay for six games during the 2021-2022 season.

According to U of L, Mack was a victim of an extortion attempt by former assistant coach Dino Gaudio. However, Mack allegedly failed to follow University guidelines, policies, and procedures in handling the situation. “The sanctions imposed upon Coach Mack are unrelated to the extortion attempt itself and the ongoing NCAA process,” the university said in a statement.

The suspension will last from Nov. 8  to Nov. 27  and includes six non-conference games, two of which will be in the Bahamas. The conditions of the suspension for Mack include having no contact with the men’s basketball coaching staff or student-athletes and forfeiting $221,000 in compensation.

“I understand that I could have handled matters differently and therefore I accept this suspension. While it will kill me to be away from our basketball family in November, I will do everything possible to set them up for success before and after my time away, and I am fully confident that our coaches, staff and student-athletes will rise to the occasion,” Mack said in a U of L press release.

Photo Courtesy // The Courier-Journal

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Louisville men’s basketball adds four players to roster Friday, Aug 28 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team added four players to their roster Aug. 25. The four high school players are welcomed to U of L’s roster as non-scholarship walk-ons for the 2020-21 season.

One of the four additions is forward Sam Bearden from Holy Cross High School in Louisville, Ky. Bearden is a 6 foot-5 inch, 190-pound point forward. Bearden was a member of the first team Courier-Journal All-Region selection as a senior at Holy Cross High School.

Bearden averaged an impressive 18 points and 8 rebounds a game during the 2019-20 season.

The second addition is Brad Colbert, a 6 foot-2 inch, 180-pound combo point guard from Loveland, Ohio. Colbert played the 2019 season at the International Sports Academy in Willoughby, Ohio. Colbert averaged 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists during his time at the International Sports Academy.

As a junior, he was part of the Cincinnati Moller High School team that won back-to-back state championships.

Andrew Schultz is another walk-on for the Cardinals this coming season. Schultz is a 6-foot-4 inch, 210-pound stretch forward from Texas. He attended Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas.

As a senior at Rockwall High School, he helped his team to a 21-14 record. Schultz played two of his seasons with current U of L forward Samuell Williamson.

The fourth addition is Ashton Myles-Devore. Myles-Devore is a 6-foot, 170-pound point guard from Versailles, Ky. He attended Woodford County High School just outside of Lexington, Ky. He averaged 7 points and 2 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from the three-point line.

These talented prospects join U of L’s roster along with returning center Hogan Orbaugh, a 6 foot-8 inch sophomore from Zionsville, Ind. Orbaugh rounds out the Cardinals list of walk-ons for the 2020-21 season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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85 U of L student athletes and athletics staff test positive for COVID-19 Thursday, Aug 20 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville athletics department has done 1,373 COVID-19 tests on student athletes, staff and coaches since the beginning of involuntary workouts on June 2. Results show 85 of the tests came back positive for COVID-19, a positivity rate of 6.2% in the department. As of Aug. 19, Kentucky’s positivity rate is 5.41%.

This spike in cases comes after U of L men’s basketball activities were put on hold following two positive COVID-19 cases in early July. Three U of L men’s soccer players were also dismissed from the team after attending an off-campus party that led to the spread of COVID-19 amongst the team on August 7.

U of L plans to move forward with their sports this fall, along with the rest of the ACC. However, sports this fall with only be played against in-conference opponents and in-state opponents such as Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.

“We have a strong commitment from our medical, administrative staff, and the athletic department that we expect to be met with the same commitment from our student-athletes,” U of L Athletics Director Vince Tyra said.

U of L football plans to host Western Kentucky Sept. 12 at Cardinal Stadium to open up the season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Top basketball prospect decommits from Louisville Tuesday, Aug 11 2020 

By John McCarthy — 

Top 100 basketball prospect Bryce Hopkins has decommitted from the University of Louisville.

Hopkins originally committed to U of L back in November of 2019. He is the first future-Cardinal to decommit from the university since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Hopkins is a multi-skilled forward standing 6-foot-6, who attended Fenwick High School in Illinois before committing to Louisville. Hopkins visited California, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Northwestern before landing with the Cardinals. He was going to be the headlining prospect for U of L basketball’s 2021 recruiting class.

“Every time I have gone [to U of L] the coaches have been genuine and they had a great vision for me that I loved,” Hopkins said. “I felt completely comfortable with the coaching staff.”

Although the withdraw of Hopkins is a blow to the Cardinals 2021 recruiting class, plenty of talented prospects will be flowing into the university. Point guard Bobby Pettiford, an exceptional junior college guard El Ellis, and four-star forward Eric Van Der Heijden are all set to join the Cardinals in 2021.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville basketball staff member arrested during protests Monday, Jun 1 2020 

By Cole Emery–

University of Louisville’s Director of Basketball Operations Kahil Fennel was one of more than 30 people arrested Saturday night during the Louisville protests over the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

The police report for Fennell stated he violated the city’s curfew order. Mayor Greg Fischer’s executive order created a curfew for all citizens in Jefferson county, which began at 9 p.m. Fennell was officially booked at 8:58 p.m. local time.

Head coach Chris Mack said in a statement he was aware of the arrest.

“I stand by Kahil,” Mack said. “Who could watch George Floyd die on the street and not think ‘What in the hell is wrong with people?’ I just can’t comprehend that kind of treatment to anyone, it feels like our country is going backwards.”

Fennell’s arrest occurred during protests that have sparked up in cities throughout the country over the past week. Many of the protests are in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American who died while in police custody in Minneapolis. Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in March by three officers in Louisville, causing more protests in Louisville.

Fennell is going into his third season on the Cardinal staff after working as a junior varsity high school coach in 2014-15. Before coming to Louisville, he was an assistant at Portland State.

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