Wes Unseld, Junior Bridgeman, Allen Murphy, Wesley Cox, Jim Price, John Turner, Darrell Griffith, Dejuan Wheat, Reece Gaines, Francisco Garcia, Roger Burkman, Philip Bond, Jerry Eaves, Billy Thompson, Rodney McCray, Wiley Brown, Taquan Dean … This list could go on and on.
Names familiar to all knowledgeable University of Louisville basketball fans. Gone but far from forgotten, they have been instrumental in making U of L one of the most beloved and respected programs in college basketball. The skills of former U of L greats and the devotion of their fans have made Louisville the most profitable basketball program, according to Forbes Magazine.
You can bet all these former greats will be in front of their TVs Saturday, anticipating still another great moment in U of L history: Louisville vs. Georgetown for the Big East championship. They will be tense, keyed up, ready to go but there’s nothing they will be able to do. You don’t want to be sitting next to any of them.
One can even imagine the ghosts of the late Charley Tyra and Derek Smith making the trip from basketball heaven for a game of this magnitude, hovering protectively over the Cardinals’ bench.
These and other U of L achievers established the foundation. But they’re history and they know it. They expect the current group of players to not only carry on the tradition but to set new expectations and exceed them.