Is the pain finally getting to Kenny Payne, the losingest coach in University of Louisville basketball history (Mike DeZarn photo).
Skyy Clark was back, with four 3-pointers, but wasn’t getting much help in Louisville’s 19th loss of the season (Mike DeZarn photo).

Las Vegas odds makers had the University of Louisville basketball team favored by 1.5 points going into a game against Notre Dame on Wednesday night. Apparently the Irish had somehow made a worse impression on them than the Cardinals in recent outings. One of the few games in recent memory in which the UofL men were favored.

Not that a lot of people were betting on this cellar dweller contest in the Atlantic Coast Conference. No one lost much money on this one. Notre Dame prevailing by 22 points in a 72-50 romp over the Cardinals.

UofL Coach Kenny Payne praising the Irish for all the things that he has been unable to instill in his team. “Their energy, their effort, their focus, their attention to detail, their toughness, all those things were superior to ours,” he said in the post game news conference.  “At the end of the day, we’re trying to get these kids to understand how hard they have to fight.”

Poor Kenny. Always seems to have the have the right answers, say the right things, with expert analysis following every loss. This latest the 19th loss against only eight wins this season and a total of only 12 wins over the last two years. Way ahead in the analyst game, but appearing to be strictly out of his league, unable to press any of his expertise into practice. Lacking the ability to get buy in from his players, unable to get them over their frustrations.

Here and there, some hints of progress, especially in the middle with Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, who is a completely different player from the one who started the season. Huntley-Hatfield with 18 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and an assist. Is this evidence of Payne’s so-called abilities to work with big men? Who knows? The process has a lengthy one, maybe too long, with time quickly running out on the 2023-24 basketball season.

Encouraging play also from Skyy Clark, who hit all four of the his 3-point attempts, led all Louisville scorers with 18 points and emerged with eight rebounds and two assists. Still having problems hanging onto the ball, however, with four turnovers.

Nice to have Ty-Laur Johnson back on the floor after missing a game with concussion concerns. Far from being his old self after getting smashed in the face by a Syracuse player, he clearly was still suffering some after effects. The Cardinals are not going to be able to compete until he fully recovers.

The UofL basketball engine continues failing to maintain any semblance of normalcy as it nears the end of the 2023-24 itinerary. As soon as one part is replaced, another malfunctions without any masking of a venture that is incapable of anything resembling respectability.

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield continues as the season nears completion, contributing 16 points against Notre Dame (Mike DeZarn photo).


Louisville was hitting the boards hard before running out of steam in the second half. They were out-rebounded 42-47 by Notre Dame (Mike DeZarn photo).
The Cardinal Bird can always be counted on to be entertaining (Mike
The Cardinal Bird does his best to keep the crowd entertained between deficits (Mike DeZarn photo).



Cardinal fan Andrew Sadlo, a middle school guard, hopes to help turn things around at UofL (Mike DeZarn photo).
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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.

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