March 4, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Kenny Payne will remain Louisville's men's basketball coach

Kenny Payne will remain Louisville's men's basketball coach

Despite rumors swirling that he won't make it to the new year, Kenny Payne will remain the head coach of the Louisville men's basketball program as the calendar flips to 2024.

“Kenny and I have had a number of conversations throughout the past week, and Kenny will serve as our head coach as we move into the new year,” U of L athletic director Josh Hurd said. WDRB's Eric Crawford said. “And I'll do what I do with every one of our programs, which is evaluate what's going on throughout the season.”

Payne will remain in charge despite a 9-35 overall record and home attendance numbers inside the KFC Yum Center that have steadily dropped closer and closer to the 4,000 mark.

Herd has consistently cited the support Payne still has from his players as the main reason for continuing to move forward without making a major change.

Brandon Huntley Hatfield and Skye Clark both expressed their support for Payne after last night's 95-76 loss to Kentucky.

“With the players, we're still rocking KP,” Clark said.

“Forever,” Huntley-Hatfield added.

Whether or not Payne gets a third year — or whether or not he completes his second year — will ultimately still depend on Payne's ability to either win at a much higher clip than he has, or at least show that such a leap forward is possible.

“When it comes to trying to create some positive momentum, every action, every word matters,” Hurd told Crawford. “I always go back and say that in any public function — I don't think it's necessarily sporting, it can be political — everything you do is judged. There's no, 'Eh, that was fine.'” And if you haven't made some deposits, In the bank, people won't give you the benefit of the doubt. You know, there might be something said – I don't want to call it irrelevant, but there wasn't a lot – but if you don't create that positive momentum and make some deposits with wins, people will say that Negative. Scores matter. They do just that. So, to answer your question about is there a way to lower the temperature outside of winning basketball games? I think it's going to be hard to do to be honest with you.

Get ready to hear a healthy dose of the same lines, arguments, and explanations you've heard over the past 21 months.

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