Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack joined Jeff Goodman on the Good N’ Plenty podcast last week to discuss his recent feud with John Calipari, the upcoming season, and more.
When asked about the annual game with Kentucky, Mack confirmed that the Cards and Cats will in fact be playing this season at the KFC Yum! Center after failing to secure an alternate neutral site.
“It’s frustrating… but we’re excited to play the game,” Mack said. “Never at one point did we not want to play the game.” He emphasized that he wanted the seniors to be able to play in the rivalry one last time.
In regards to the viral video on Twitter, Coach kept it brief, stating that, “I said what I said.”
To Cardinals’ fans everywhere…. pic.twitter.com/vBMgnduWaD
— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) September 29, 2020
When asked about the NCAA’s decision to move back start of the season to Nov. 25, Mack said “It makes no sense,” citing that teams have been practicing for a while now and he does not feel that the postponement has any positive effect on the safety of his players.
Coach Mack confirmed that Louisville has signed contracts from Duquesne, UNC Greensboro, and Winthrop to play in the bubble event at the Yum! Center. He also confirmed that they were expected to hear back from more soon.
Little Rock has since reportedly signed a contract; WKU and Southern Illinois have also been unofficially been linked to the event. Mack said that as many as 10 teams could join the bubble. Assuming WKU and SIU are added to the list, that leaves three empty spots.
The event is expected to begin on Nov. 25. Nothing is confirmed yet, but Mack said that Louisville could use it to play as many as four or five games to start the season.
The conversation pivoted to the Cards’ upcoming season, specifically the roster and its lack of proven talent. “Our team is going to look a lot different than a year ago,” coach said. “We were one of the oldest teams in the country last year… (this year) we’ve got a lot of guys that aren’t household names.”
He said that David Johnson needs to make a big leap in consistency by limiting turnovers. “Having a guy like Carlik (Jones) next to him makes David an even better player,” Mack said. “Carlik Jones is a terrific player, he’s special, and I think Cardinal fans are going to love what he brings to the table.” He said that Jones has been Louisville’s best and most consistent player in the preseason.
Next, Mack spoke about the importance of having a leader like Malik Williams on the floor. “His intelligence, his experience, his toughness is unmatched,” he said. “He’s the rock you want defensively.”
Coach concluded by saying that the bench players are still working to separate themselves, but that he expects a few to provide consistency. “I like our pieces, I really do,” he said. “I like the guys that I’m coaching.”
Louisville’s Chris Mack addresses his video to John Calipari & talks about this year’s Cardinals NOW live on Twitter https://t.co/HGdr9NDhft
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) October 8, 2020