“I saw this day coming.” Rick Pitino following 63-47 loss to Virginia.
Saturday’s loss to Virginia was the for Louisville since a 90-59 beat down at Providence on January 10, 2012. The worst loss in 4 years.
It was the worst loss in the history of the KFC Yum! Center. It was the worst loss at home since December 5, 2009 when the Cards lost by 22 to Charlotte at Freedom Hall.
Virginia shot 57.8%. Louisville shot 32.7%.
The loss was deflating for both the team and the fanbase following a 4-game winning streak in the ACC. Still the Cards are 6-2 in league play and are second in the ACC. A loss to North Carolina on Monday, however, drops UofL down into a pack of what would be 6 teams tied for 2nd.
Against the Cavs Chinanu Onuaku played despite suffering from a stomach illness and also didn’t practice. Perhaps Louisville’s most important player scored 1 point in 19 minutes, didn’t attempt a field goal, didn’t grab a rebound, and turned the ball over 5 times.
Nanu was sick, but it took a great deal of time for Trey Lewis and Damion Lee to get going as the tandem was 0 for its first 9. Damion Lee was frustrated with two fouls, Trey Lewis couldn’t find his rhythm.
Damion Lee “All of us were embarrassed tonight from top to bottom….that’s not cool.”
Jaylen Johnson said in the post-game locker room “We couldn’t execute anything. We have to listen to every little thing he (Pitino) says. When we don’t listen it shows. That’s embarrassing and we don’t want to embarrass the program.”
Trey Lewis added “He’s (Pitino) pissed off about our performance, this isn’t acceptable here. It’s embarrassing”.
Louisville was led by two improbable freshman Ray Spalding and Deng Adel who both scored 12 and were 10 of 19 from the floor and hauled in 12 rebounds between them. That’s a positive.
Now Louisville has North Carolina coming to town on Monday Night. The good vibes are gone and the Tar Heels are the Coaches Poll #1 team in the Nation. If Louisville wants to get to the Final Four the Cards have to begin to beat teams in the Top 20. Saturday was Louisville’s only ‘beating’ of 2015-16 as the losses to Michigan State, Kentucky, and Clemson were all competitive ball games. Virginia led for 39:39 of 40 minutes on Louisville’s home floor.
Louisville can’t play like it did on Saturday night vs. North Carolina. Everything has to be different….starting with the attitude.