The Floyd Street Tribune: The wave of low ACC preseason rankings are on the way -- get used to it
Inside: The college basketball world isn't so sure about Louisville, and that's fair. A discussion on expectations, both reasonable and unreasonable.
Thanks for reading The Floyd Street Tribune! Miss last week’s newsletter on the updated recruiting big board after a busy July evaluation period. Paid subscribers have access to each newsletter via the main TFST page.
This week’s edition comes to you from our family vacation in the mountains near Asheville.
Most years, we have a good idea of where Louisville stands in the ACC pecking order, and the season plays out relatively close to that expectation. Or at least we think we do and we’re entirely off (hello, last season). Even with a new coach, you typically can peg a team within reason, because you can compare the team’s roster with the coach’s scheme at his previous stop(s) and make some deductions about them.
Good luck with the 2022-23 Louisville Cardinals, who have a coach who has never led a program before. We are all flying blind reading this team, and we will continue to fly blind until some preseason practices and the preseason exhibitions. The Cards are a fascinating cocktail, a collection of competing instincts that lead us repeatedly to the same uncertainty.
So, how do you solve a problem like Louisville? And how do you reasonably set your expectations for the 2022-23 season? First of all, before we go through the process of trying to identify adequate expectations, it is my best professional advice that you simply do not have any expectations for this season’s team. Kenny Payne is cloaked in mystery, and the leftover players from last season get at least some of a pass for their inconsistencies and struggles. Things got so bad last season that a former staffer, when asked if he might consider returning to help in some way, said no because he worried the returning players would start spiraling into last season’s feelings again whenever even the smallest thing went wrong and they saw his face.
But with all that said, for those of you who, like me, can’t just let go of the desire for expectations, let’s dive into the deeper conversation.