This one just doesn't get old.
As we look forward to a great upcoming year in college basketball, our red-clad friends down the road in the heart of the 502 have a lot to be excited about as well. The Cards return the core of a Final Four team, losing only a couple pieces and gaining the health of stud freshman Wayne Blackshear. It's eerily parallel to Kentucky's team this past season, who kept the key parts of a surprising Final Four team and used the experience to fuel a championship run. Louisville fans have got to be feeling that this is their year to not only make it to Atlanta, but also break their current losing streak against the Wildcats.
The worst thing? Louisville fans aren't the only ones thinking that.
Many ranking sites have them in their early-early-early-preseason Top 5, and many predict them to start the year above the Wildcats. ESPN has this to say of the resurgent Cardinals:
I am still not all-in with Louisville. ... Here’s the worry: the offense. Louisville struggled to score last season and with its best outside threat graduating in the form of Kyle Kuric, that doesn’t look to get any easier.
That's certainly high prai... wait, what? I thought the Cards were supposed to be great next year? Why mention their almost non-existent offensive capabilities?
Probably because they're officially on the "Too Much Hype"
list, alongside perennial
power fan favorite
adidas-wearer UCLA. That's right, the "vaunted" Cardinal defense notwithstanding, their dearth of offensive ability has caused some minds to worry that they're more talk than tenacity. The article concludes:
Louisville overachieved last year by miles to make it to the Final Four, and while this team certainly has reason to hope, I think it’s still a little premature to presume.
I think that's about fair. The Cardinals may deserve their pre-season ranking as a somewhat "known" quantity in a year rife with new faces, but I think they'll be quickly overtaken by more talented, and offensively capable, teams. Hopefully like Kentucky, but if not us, certainly someone else. Louisville will be pretty good, but they're benefitting more from the lack of great teams than they are from their own merits.
That will show up when squads start to gel, and improve, while the Cardinals have likely already hit their ceiling.
So enjoy the preseason ranking while you can, Cardinal fans. Because you're not likely to hold it very long.
And we're not the only ones thinking that.
Correction: Yesterday I linked to an ESPN article by Myron Medcalf, that for some unknown reason I thought was written by Dana O'Neil. I have no idea why. It's been a long couple weeks, folks. Sorry Myron.