The game started going south for the University of Louisville basketball team when Anas Mahmoud was whistled for his second foul with just over eight minutes to go in the first half. UofL was leading 19-18 at that point.

Who’s next? Won’t be long until the next blow, a crushing one.

The game was over two minutes later when Ray Spalding picked up his second foul, the game tied 21-21 at the 6:49 mark. Kentucky would score 11 straight points and would never be seriously threatened thereafter.


UofL can’t afford to have the two big men in foul trouble. Coach David Padgett knew it, their teammates knew it, and Kentucky knew it. Just a matter of how big the margin was going to be. The Wildcats were not good enough to hit the century mark , but they did pummel the Cardinals 90-61.

Expressions say a lot at times like these. The only visible ones were looks of bewilderment, confusion and victimhood. No one stepping forward to assume leadership on the court, the interim coach with that familiar blank stare on the sideline. Nobody getting emotional, showing any signs of fighting for survival, much less fighting back.

Some say these players have been through a lot since the disruptive days of last October when the FBI got interested in college basketball and the UofL athletic department wound up losing two of the best people in their respective professions. That may be true but there’s no way to justify or rationalize what happened at Rupp Arena on Friday.

Heading into the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, one can only hope that an embarrassing loss to Kentucky was what it takes for David Padgett to get his team’s attention. Or for that matter, what it takes for the young coach to show some emotion, like getting angry now and then, making demands on the players. Kicking butt. Hard.

Nice guy, feel good, intellectual discussions, everybody being on a first name basis with a 32-year-old coach approaches don’t add up to being much of a factor in ACC competition.  It’s already ugly, but the worst may be yet to come.

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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.

7 thoughts on “No Mahmoud, no Spalding, no chance for Louisville against Kentucky”
  1. That was really really bad. One of the low points in UofL hoops history. Dave stepped up admirably but he is in over his head at this juncture.

    There is no fire. There is not leadership on the floor, from the bench, from the administration.

    Things can only go up from here, right?

      1. David has no control whatsoever over the players. It was over before halftime. Too many jacked up shots after 12 games the players refuse and will not follow their shots. The freshman come in and only look to shoot, no assists
        And please whoever told Deng is ready for the NBA LIED. He never and will never play defense he is a JOKE. NIT bound.

    1. David is no coach period! He made so many lame decisions it was pathetic. I for one am done with U Of L until a coach a green guy who is 100% clueless on how to coach. There is shame in losing but he simply cannot coach.

  2. Shame on each of you. This is a game played by kids. Quit living your lives through these kids. It is enough the governor and board of Trustees hate the University of Louisville, must we now put up with once loyal fans hating the university? No wonder good high school basketball players do not want to come to Louisville to play. A famous saying goes: “Get on the bus or get off”. The University of Louisville basketball team got beat by a better team.

    1. Pretty sure Louisville isn’t the only fan base with people that sometimes criticize players, and I doubt that has influenced any of them to go elsewhere. A little criticism can be helpful. As for the hate you suggested from the board of trustees, we will wait to see over the long haul.

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