Louisville Kenny Payne

The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team was off to an absolutely dreadful start.

The Cardinals went winless in their first nine games of the 2022-23 season. They racked up losses to quality teams and to the small schools, as they offered little resistance to everyone who faced them.

Worst of all, five of the Cards’ first nine losses came on their home floor. Including three teams nestled in the 200s on KenPom. Kenny Payne probably couldn’t have asked for a worse start to his head coaching career.

Finally though, on Wednesday night, the suffering ended. Louisville knocked off Western Kentucky 94-83 at home for their first victory of the season. They ended one of the most woeful starts to the season in recent memory for a power program in college basketball.

After the victory, Payne spoke about how it felt to get his first victory. He told reporters, via On3, “For me, it was unbelievable. It’s all about them. Nothing to do with me. It’s all about seeing their faces, and I asked them to smell it, taste it. What does it feel like to finally win?”

It’s been a tough start to the season for the Cards and that’s putting it mildly. The team went 13-19 a year ago, but these struggles feel far worse. It might get worse before it gets better, but for Payne and the team’s sake, at least they grabbed victory finally.

[On3 Sports]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022