CRAWFORD | Short of words: Louisville historically bad in 70-38 loss to Texas Tech | Sports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Seriously, folks. What do you write about it?

It’s not just a track. It’s a real question. I do crowdsourcing. I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s not just bad basketball, it’s preternaturally poor. And I almost feel guilty even talking about it.

Compared to that, the death penalty would have been a favor.

Don’t look at the poor team kids, just be thankful for what you have.

No. 21-ranked Texas Tech beat Louisville in Game 2 of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, the Cardinals’ fifth straight loss to start the season and their second straight by at least 25 points.

For about 10 minutes it was respectable, then Louisville fell apart. They went 10 minutes without scoring, the last 4 minutes of the first half and the first 6 of the second. At the end of the drought, they trailed 45-13.

Louisville made 4 baskets in the first half and 8 turnovers in the first half. In the end, Louisville’s total was the fewest points scored by the program since March 7, 1981, when they scored 42 against Cincinnati. But it was in a victory. And that was four years before the shot clock.

Heading into this season, Kenny Payne said he was not going to look at games as wins or losses, but as wins or learnings. By that standard, the Cardinals are on their way to becoming the smartest team in the country. Louisville is the first ACC team to start 0-5 since 1960 and scored less than 40 points in a game for the first time since 1948.

If you’re a Cardinals fan, it hurts too much to laugh and you’re too old to cry. Most of you. I hope. The thought of children looking at this is painful. These games should be accompanied by a parental advisory.

So what can be done? Here is the conflict. Kenny Payne says every day he tries to build a culture. He’s trying to figure out a way to do it.

The problem is, the culture he coached in is that you round up the best players available, pump them up, keep them positive, play them hard and hope the talent wins out in the end.

In Louisville, he doesn’t have the best players. No amount of encouragement will change that. You can change the culture all you want, but if you don’t have a leader, it’s going to be difficult.

Tuesday was much the same. As the next set of games promises to be. Still, he told Bob Valvano on his post-game Learfield Sports coaches Bob Drexler show on ESPN Radio that there were lessons to be learned.

“The lesson was that you don’t have to be the siled team if you have combat,” Payne said. “Texas Tech is a great defensive team. And they’re talented players, but that’s not why they win games. That’s not why their program is where they are. They’re part of the top 25 teams in the country because they come after you. . They impose their will. And they say forget our skills. I hope we go away understanding that there is a fight, there is a toughness that’s needed. There’s a part of execution that’s needed. There’s a mental toughness that’s needed to be a winning player and to be a winning team. And come back to that, and you know, some people can tell me look and say I’m crazy, the best offensive teams are going to be the best passing teams, and we’re having a hard time passing the ball to each other. And it’s killing us. We’re having a hard time fighting to get the guys out of the boards and bouncing the ball with two hands and playing with confidence and posting with c tenacity, and doing the things it takes to be a winning program. But we will continue to manage. But I keep…walking away saying, ‘Guys, there’s some good teams out there that you can beat, if you fight.’ Arkansas were a good team and we proved we could hold on to them in the first half and then let go. But you have to be strong mentally. Tonight we played well again against a team in the first half. We have done good things. But As the game progressed, they imposed their will. And they kept defending us and we kept having bad angles to pass and they kept giving us turnovers.

Louisville committed 18 turnovers that led to 18 Texas Tech points. The Cards shot just 22 percent for the game and made just 3 of 18 three-pointers. They were passed 45-29. In two games on Maui, they’ve now led by less than 2 1/2 minutes. This is the mathematics of defeat.

And here is the problem. Losing can dominate a culture once it has taken hold. You can’t get very far in creating a new culture if you lose. Players lose trust in you. They get discouraged. They are independent. They quit. Negativity spreads like wildfire. It feeds on itself.

Payne, and I know he doesn’t want to do this because I heard him talk about it before the season, hopes not to take quick fixes just to win early. And yet, he has to win early – or at least stop losing so much so soon and so amazingly.

Nothing good is served by losing games on national television and having everyone talking about college basketball about how bad you are. This in itself can have a deterrent effect on recruitment.

Louisville’s coaches are going to have to set aside the prevailing philosophy and find a way to compete. Install a few sets. Get the ball to the right players in the right places. Shorten the game. Spoil the game. Change defense and waste time. Win lousy, but win.

It’s not Norman Dale who insists on breaking the players. It’s trying to win a match so players feel good about it to move on to the next step, and the next. Until you can find Jimmy Chitwood in the transfer portal or something.

A few other things. Everyone knew Louisville was going to struggle this season. But they shouldn’t have so much trouble. They are bad, but not that bad. To suggest that we give them better tools to be competitive is not to give in to opportunism. It’s acknowledging the human need not to get our dick kicked every night.

Second, what you see on the pitch is not necessarily what Payne teaches. These coaches know basketball and know good basketball. They know the basics of basketball. But for some reason, that’s not the case with this group of players.

We are approaching the point where reason no longer matters to most fans. In fact, we’re probably already there.

The thing is, getting players to listen to instructions and act on them is as much a part of training as anything else.

I hate that for everyone. For Payne. For players who have been through a lot. And for the fans, who are mad at everyone. There will be better days. If only because they can’t be much worse.

In the meantime, expect Payne to remain calm and positive. And it’s not nothing in this world, in his situation.

“I’m not changing,” he told Valvano. “I’m not discouraged. I wish we fought harder and longer, but I’m encouraged by guys who are always willing to, you know, not just give up. They always chased it and fought all the way through. along the end, even the guys at the very end of the game. They fought. We just have to do it consistently for 40 minutes.

Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *