Ever since UofL hired Kenny Payne to be their head coach, the question has been which players would remain with the program. It’s a question that was lingering as there were no definitive commitments from any of the players eligible to return. While the question will continue to linger, UofL did get its first definitive commitment from a current member of the program and it is a huge one both literally and figuratively.
Sydney Curry is going to remain a member of the program and therefore is one of the first official members of Coach Kenny Payne’s first team. The 6’8 260 lbs F/C showed flashes of absolute brilliance during the second half of last season. Early on, he was relegated to spot duty off the bench, but in the second half of the season, he started multiple games. In the last 3 games of the regular season and the first game of the ACC Tournament, Curry averaged 20.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg. He also had a 22 point, 10 rebound game against NC State early in conference play.
Curry is a big body that plays with a ton of strength around the rim. He has some really good footwork for a player his size and is a skilled finisher around the basket. Curry was able to use his skill and strength to be dominant and unguardable in the post at times. It’s hard not to imagine this big man flourishing under Coach Payne’s tutelage. It is well-documented that Coach Payne has helped develop some truly great big men in his time as an assistant at another state school. There are many recognizable names Coach Payne had a hand in developing into premiere post players. Among those names are Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Nerlens Noel, and Julius Randle. Now Sydney Curry looks to become the next post player to become a bona fide star under Coach Payne.
It’s great to see a player with the immense potential of Sydney Curry choosing to remain a Card. Hopefully next season is the season the beast is unleashed. If Curry reaches his potential, he can be an All-ACC player and one of the best post players in college basketball. If he doesn’t average a double-double, he should be right on the cusp of it. Curry was one player every fan identified as a must-keep. Coach Payne did just that and now we have the first huge piece of the 2022-2023 puzzle in place.