Kenny Payne on Kentucky: 'It's on Louisville to make it a rivalry'

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison10/12/22


The rivalry between Louisville and Kentucky is one of the best in all of college athletics. However, in recent years, Kentucky has dominated the series in men’s basketball, arguably the most important sport at both of these schools. On top of that, Louisville is coming off a losing season, leading to an interesting quote from new Louisville head coach Kenny Payne.

“It’s on Louisville to make it a rivalry. It’s not on Kentucky,” Kenny Payne said.

“Kentucky has been dominant, there’s been a lot of success. We have to bring it. We have to up it. We have to meet them on a level playing field that makes them worry about us.”

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Kenny Payne knows this rivalry inside and out. He was a star basketball player at Louisville in the 1980s, before getting drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Draft. As a coach, he was an assistant under Kentucky head coach John Calipari for a decade.

This should motivate Louisville’s players, but it’s also easy to see how this could get under a fan’s skin.