UofL MBB Recap: Five Thoughts After Louisville’s Win Over Chaminade

The Louisville Men’s Basketball team won its first contest on the season in an 80-73 win over Chaminade at home in the final exhibition game on Thursday night. Here are five quick thoughts following the Cards’ win.


It’s not breaking news at this point, but senior guard El Ellis will clearly be the most important player for Louisville this season. We saw a pretty clear picture on Sunday of what it might look like with him off the floor for extended minutes. Ellis finished with 28 points on Thursday in 38 minutes. That included 13 made free throws, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. With a serious lack of shot creation coming out of this backcourt, Ellis might end up as one of the higher usage players in the ACC.


Ellis is the most important, but there is a real chance that Jae’Lyn Withers ends up as the best player on the roster by the end of this season. Withers followed up his 20-point performance from Sunday with 17 points and 9 boards against Chaminade. We will see how far he can progress under Kenny Payne in his junior season.


A serious lack of effort is arguably the biggest concern for this team after two exhibition games. The frontcourt was supposed to be the strength of this team, but this is now the second straight game where they looked totally lost inside on defense. Rebounding has been a major weakness so far. They scored some points tonight, but the Cards’ frontcourt players have plenty of work to do. Payne’s reputation of developing big men provides reason to believe that maybe improves, but bigger and better teams are going to feast inside against Louisville until something changes.


Playing time is out there to be won for just about every player on this team right now. The starting lineup has looked much better than the rest of the roster right now (as it should). The door is wide open for anyone else to earn minutes. Ideally, you will have a shorter rotation as the season goes on, though there is little to no indication at this point who is going to produce in the backcourt outside of Ellis. It is a young team that will hopefully show flashes throughout the year. The hope is that one or two guys stand out from the rest of the supporting cast.


It is okay to be disappointed in how this preseason has gone for the Louisville men’s basketball team. Expectations were relatively low headed into the season, but things could not have gone much worse than they did on the court in the first week of the year. The good news? Kenny Payne was not hired to win basketball games in 2022-2023. That might sound like a loser’s mentality when you think of a program as proud as Louisville, but it’s where we are after what has transpired over the past five years. This team is going to learn quite a bit about itself next Wednesday when it faces Bellarmine. Things can only go up from here.

Up Next:

Louisville hosts Bellarmine in its regular season opener on Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET at the KFC Yum! Center. The game will be televised on ACC Network.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.