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.