Louisville Basketball will enter year 2 in the Kenny Payne era in 2023-24, and it will the most crucial year of Cardinal basketball in quite some time. Almost everyone in the college basketball world knows Louisville went 4-28 last season. Payne cannot lead the Cardinals to the same fate this coming season.
Payne brings in the 6th ranked recruiting class, along with the 29th ranked transfer class (per 247sports). Along with bringing in 5 new recruits, Payne brings in 3 transfers and multiple returning players like Mike James and JJ Traynor. Payne has the talent, at least on paper to succeed in 2023-24. Although the loss of Trentyn Flowers hurts a lot for this team, they will still have multiple ball handlers and able scorers and defenders. Louisville was also told in the past week that Ty-Laur Johnson will be able to play by the NCAA. This helps the Cardinals out a lot, since they will likely have a ball handler off the bench now besides Skyy Clark.
Payne will also need to win a considerable number of games this season just to keep his job. Louisville basketball is not just accustomed to making the NCAA Tournament but having 20-win seasons in the top 1/3rd of the ACC. Louisville has not been in the conversation since the 2019-2020 season. Payne keeps referring to “the process” but as we can tell with coaches like Dennis Gates in Missouri, you can turn a college basketball team around in just one season.
Payne will have a lot on his hands for the 2023-24 season. However, here are 3 biggest questions going into next season for the Louisville Cardinals.