Head-scratching losses, debate over coach Kenny Payne’s job status cloud Louisville’s rebuild

1 of 4 | Louisville guard Mike James (0) attempts to shoot over Kentucky forward Aaron Bradshaw (2) and guard D.J. Wagner (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) 2 of 4 | Louisville head coach Kenny Payne shouts instructions to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) 3 of 4 | Louisville guard Tre White (22) scores over Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. Kentucky won 95-76. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) 4 of 4 | Kentucky guard Justin Edwards (1) attempts to tip the ball away from Louisville guard Skyy Clark (55) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The latest Bluegrass showdown appeared to feature more fans dressed in Kentucky blue than Louisville Cardinal red, and the visitors made themselves heard as the No. 9 Wildcats rolled to another rivalry triumph in enemy territory. Compared to expectations of a big blue wave for the state’s most anticipated game, the splashes of red around the KFC Yum! Center on Thursday night offered clues that Louisville fans haven’t totally abandoned the Cardinals’ tougher-than-expected rebuilding process. However, interest has dwindled with the arena near empty this season after head-scratching losses and off-court missteps by embattled second-year coach Kenny Payne have ratcheted the heat on him, to the point his job was speculated to be in serious jeopardy last weekend. “We’ve been spoiled,” said Louisville fan and resident Nick Lococo, who attended Thursday’s game with […]

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By Donato