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Louisville Cardinals men's basketball 2018-19 season preview

Louisville

2017-18 record: 22-14, 9-9 in the ACC

Head coach: Chris Mack

Tenure at Louisville: 1st season

Career coaching record: 215-97 at Louisville

Home court: KFC Yum! Center

Starters: F V.J. King, G Christen Cunningham, G Khwan Fore, C Steven Enoch, F/C Malik Williams

Bench: G Darius Perry, F Akoy Agau, F Jordan Nwora, G Ryan McMahon

Overview: Last season, the Cardinals continued to battle through a slew of scandals in addition to a fierce schedule. Following Rick Pitino’s departure in October 2017, former Louisville player David Padgett took the reins and led the team to a solid 22-14 overall record, going 9-9 in ACC play before losing to top-ranked Virginia in the conference tournament quarterfinals. 

Coming off a successful nine-year tenure at Xavier and compiling a record of 215-97, new head coach Chris Mack will look to bring a fresh start to the Cardinal program. This year’s team will hinge on Mack’s ability to work with V.J. King, the only returning starter, and three graduate transfers in addition to five other players who saw some action last season. 

King, likely be the centerpiece of this team’s offense, will have to help Louisville overcome the loss of its three main scoring threats. Graduate transfer Christen Cunningham could also be a key offensive piece for the Cardinals. At Samford, he put up double figures in 69 out of 110 games, and Khwan Fore, a transfer from Richmond, is also a candidate to start—bringing experience and athleticism to the Louisville roster. 

One thing that needs to go right: Mack works out the bumps as he takes over the program with a mix of returning players and graduate transfers. 

One thing that could go wrong: As Louisville tries to rebuild its tarnished reputation, it encounters growing pains and can’t contend with a tough schedule. 

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