Perfect at 10-0.

Not bad for a University of Louisville basketball team beseiged by so many injuries, finding ways to win every game thus far.

Ranked fourth nationally in both major polls.

At least one player, Chane Behanan, talking about going undefeated. That’s not going to happen, ever in the Big East.

Players believing in themselves, fan and prognosticators acknowledging them. Early season doubts being replaced by optimism, confidence and respect.

Same could almost be said for College of Charleston basketball team, except for the respect part, coming in with a 9-1 record, including wins over Tennessee, Clemson and Morehead State. Desirous of recognition, eager for a win over a ranked team.

This could be where things could begin to get complicated if we are to believe Rick Pitino’s admonition about embracing success, getting too comfortable, forgetting what got one there. The fast starts have fallen flat more than a few times over the years, reminding one of just how challenging is the road ahead.

  • The last U of L team to get off to a 10-0 start was Denny Crum’s 1996-97 team. The first loss was a 74-54 drubbing at the hands of Kentucky at Freedom Hall. Final record 26-9.
  • The 1960-61 team, featuring John Turner and Bud Olsen, got off to a 13-0 start before losing to DePaul and Xavier, winding up with 21-8 record.
  • During the 1966-67 season, U of L, led by Westley Unseld and Butch Beard, raced to 13-0 record before being toppled by Southern Illinois. Final record 23-5.
  • The 1974-75 Cardinals, led by Junior Bridgeman and Allen Murphy, also got off to 13-0 run before losing to Bradley, finishing with a 28-3 mark.

The 1980 and 1986 teams, which won Louisville’s national championships, took some lumps early before getting their acts together.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

2 thoughts on “Fast starts for Louisville basketball”
  1. Just read that College of Charleston is good at not sending opposing teams to the foul line, but bad at offensive rebounds. Looking for Buckles and Behana to be big on the boards?

    At 9-1, College of Charleston has only one win against a top 100 team.

    Prediction: Louisville 88 College of Charleston 72.

  2. I was a bit off on the prediction but the Cards got the win, thankfully!

    No help from Siva…man was his game ugly! He had as many turnovers as points – 1. Russ Smith is playing so much better…and thanks goodness for Kuric!

    How come Swopshire and Buckles only got a few mintues of playing time??

    And how come the Cards shoot 47% from the free-throw line?? Wow, that’s bad. That will cost them games if they don’t improve at the line.

    Hopefully this close-call will help in the long run. Go Cards.

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