Louisville men’s basketball is having the worst year ever

Louisville men’s basketball always knew this was going to be a rebuilding year. After firing head coach Chris Mack midway through last season, the Cards settled on hiring former Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne and turned over most of the roster. Expectations were tempered going into Payne’s debut season: Louisville was picked to finish No. 12 in the 15-team ACC during the preseason polls. Close observers were mostly interested in what Payne could do in his first full year on the recruiting trail.

Louisville’s season began with an unthinkable loss to crosstown rival Bellarmine, an Atlantic Sun program still making its transition to DI. Then Louisville lost to Wright State from the Horizon League. Then Louisville lost to Appalachian St. of the Sun Belt. One could have assumed things were about to get extremely ugly as the Cards flew out to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational against a loaded field, and that assumption has proven to be correct.

On Monday, Louisville lost to No. 9 Arkansas, 80-54, in a game that didn’t feel that close. On Tuesday, it was No. 21 Texas Tech’s turn to blast the Cards, 70-38, in one of the most humiliating losses you will ever see from a top program. This was the worst offensive performance Louisville has had since 1948.

Louisville is now 0-5 after a 70-38 loss to Texas Tech at the Maui Invitational

38 are the fewest points scored by a Louisville team in the last 50 years (the previous low was 42 against Cincinnati in 1981) pic.twitter.com/CMxl96Sfmo

— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 22, 2022

Somehow, Louisville went on an 11-0 run in this game. Louisville made 11 fields goals on the afternoon and shot 22.4 percent from the field. What a rough loss.

Louisville is now the first ACC team to start 0-5 since Virginia in 1960-61, according to ESPN’s Stats and Info. By the way, that ‘60-61 Virginia team started 0-8. Given the Cards’ upcoming schedule, they will have to pull off an upset to avoid breaking it.

The stats contextualizing Louisville’s start are just as bad as the results. Just look at these assist-to-turnover numbers:

The recruiting front hasn’t been…

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