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Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Card Hoops, What Else Are You Expecting?

Last musings on the TBT thing.

I was not present at any of Peyton Siva’s meet & greets with the press. But seem to recall, though it might have been reading between the lines, he indicated his playing days might be over.

If so, here’s what I hope happens.

That there’s a spot for him in some capacity on the U of L Men’s hoops staff. If not there, somewhere in the Cardinal athletic apparatus.

He’s always been mature beyond his year. He’s an incredible leader on and off the court.

He’s a winner. Like, you know, an L1C4 Certified National Champion®.

If Siva is actually hangin’ up his Chucks, I pray it happens.

Josh, Kenny, if by some slim chance you are listening to these rambling thoughts, git ‘er done.

As for Peyton’s running mate, the reason he’s never had a shot at the NBA was on full display.

Love, love, love the Elam Ending. Wish the college game would institute it yesterday.

During The Ville’s first game in Freedom Hall, Heird apparently told Payne the Cards need to play a game in its long time domicile. Unfortunately, the university’s contract with The Yum pretty much locks them into playing home games at 2d & Main.

Unless the Doritos gang agrees.

Agree, dudes. Otherwise, “Doritos? Doritos? We don’t need no stinkin’ Doritos.”

* * * * *

In the middle of The Ville Madness, HC Payne met for an extended Q&A with the media.

Are we hungry for hoops talk? Well, the room was jammed. Twenty seven scribes, talking heads and camera operatives.

Not sure if it was a on purpose or simply coincidence that it came about while Card Fans were reacquainting themselves with hallowed Freedom Hall and Rob Hickerson leading that iconic cheer? Whatever, the timing was impeccable.

Not going to go over everything KP said.

Will just offer what I have before, knowing some will believe and some won’t.

Payne was dealt a bad hand last year. For so many reasons, all of which have been discussed ad nauseam. Some folks aren’t buying it. Many may not believe it, but are hopeful and ready to move on. That, despite the lack of evidence that the current staff is up to the task, even with the generally accepted significant upgrade in talent.

Many can’t move on from that. So be it. My hope is they’ll still go to the early games and give these new group a shot.

Payne did mention the elephant in the room, that he knows he needs to win.

For me, that’s not the pachyderm on the sofa.

What I don’t understand is why so many ask me about the program, with the undercurrent of their questions being that: 1) All Kenny cares about is the money he’s making, 2) He has no enthusiasm, and 3) He isn’t putting in the effort to right the ship.

Payne for one thing is not a rant and raver. He doesn’t stamp tassel loafers continuously while pacing during a game. He doesen’t stalk and glare like another recent former coach. He played under Denny Crum, who please remember used to sit most of the game and didn’t bark at the players.

Payne as I reported worked so hard last season that family and friends implored him to take a day or two to rest. The top 5 recruiting haul in the wake of that horrendous 4 dub campaign is a testament to the time spent off the court.

The press conference also confirmed that he’s fully aware of the expectations in Year II.

My hope is the fans in Missouri mode will still show up at the first Yum! tilts, ready to bring energy and to cheer.

* * * * *

For obvious reasons, the Cards haven’t been getting much national press.

So, it was heartening to see an article last week at contemplating why so many HS juniors are reclassifying and jumping to college a year ahead of schedule.

At the top of the article was a big photo of one Trentyn Flowers, a University of Louisville Cardinal. U of L is mentioned and KP is quoted quite a bit in the piece.

The one that stood out was, “Right now, it’s more important than ever to have experienced guys.”

So, he knows the climb ahead is perilous with a roster of newcomers.

But he’s optimistic. As are the many coaches who reached out to him, including Larry Brown and Jay Wright, who know a thing or two about a thing or two. And, oh yeah, are both Certified National Champions™.

I frankly can’t wait for the fascinating season ahead.

I’ve been locked in for seven decades.

It’s too late to stop now.

— c d kaplan