After picking up four easy wins to start the season, David Padgett and the Louisville Cardinals have now lost back-to-back games, after falling to Seton Hall on Sunday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center.
It looked like we may see overtime after Deng Adel buried a leaner in the lane to tie the game at 77 with roughly 30-seconds remaining. Seton Hall put the ball in the hands of one of their best players and he came through. Desi Rodriguez scored a game high 29-points, including the final bucket of the game to give the Pirates the 79-77 win. Quentin Snider got decent look at the buzzer, but came up short.
With the loss, Louisville’s 22-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents was snapped.
It’s obvious this team has plenty to work on if they want to put together a resume worthy of a decent seed in the NCAA Tournament, but I hope folks realize how good Seton Hall is.
Louisville got just one field goal from their starting front-court and committed 16 turnovers with just eight assists. As mentioned, they’ve got a lot of work to do, but they lost to a good team.
I don’t say that to try and make fans feel better, I just hope you realize this isn’t the same type of Seton Hall team that was often one of the worst teams in the Big East. Kevin Willard has a handful of really good players and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates end up with a top four seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Alright. Let’s talk about Louisville. In their first six games the Cards have only faced real competition on two occasions and they lost both games. That’s not good.
David Padgett wasn’t supposed to be in this situation, but here we are. A 32-year-old with zero head coaching experience is leading one of the top college basketball programs at all time. With that said, he realizes regardless of the situation, there are expectations and his team needs to be better.
“I just told our players it’s two games in a row now,” Padgett said following the loss. “We’ve worked too hard to shoot ourselves in the foot. What I mean by that, is we work on defense, we get a stop, we get a rebound, and we come down and turn the ball over and give it right back to them. It seems like most of our turnovers are what I call ‘pick six’s’, where there is no defense for it. They get a back tip, we lose the ball, we do something, and we can’t go down and set our defense, and they just score.”
Turnovers weren’t the only issue for Louisville on Sunday, but when you commit 16 of them it’ll be tough to beat good teams.
“We’ve just got to take better care of the basketball,” Padgett said. “Sixteen turnovers is too many for us, I think we had 14 the other night. It’s hurting us right now, but we have to just look at the film and correct it and get ready, because in 72 hours, we have another game. So we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to turn this around.”
The Cards will be back on action on Wednesday when they host 2-5 Siena.
Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick also hosts The Red Zone weekdays from noon – 3:00 PM on Cards Radio 790 KRD.