Twenty years ago we got to watch our Louisville Basketball teams play in early scrimmages against teams like EA Sports All-Stars, Premiere Athletes and Athletes In Action to quench our thirst for early hoops. On October 24th, 2010 The Cards’ hosted a public intrasquad scrimmage to open the new 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center. A new platform for early season hoops had arrived and the Red and White scrimmage ushered in a new era that evening.
It was the day that every Louisville Cardinal fan had waited for. We would no longer play second fiddle to truck pulls, horse shows, and rodeos. And we would no longer have to watch as our arch rival Kentucky played a game on our home court. The University of Louisville Basketball team would finally have a home to call its own. Tickets were grabbed up fast by Cardinal fans and that first Red/white scrimmage was sold out in days. Louisville Fans weren’t going to pass up the chance to see their new digs.
A year later on Oct. 14, 2011 the Red and White Scrimmage would take the National stage when Louisville was one of 11 schools featured during “ESPNU Midnight Madness”. It was a four-hour program that did live cut in’s showcasing how some of the top programs in the country were starting their practices that year.
After that big night the Red and White scrimmage became a staple for the program and on Sunday afternoon it will usher in another new era of Louisville Basketball. Coach Mack hit the ground running when he was hired as the Louisville Basketball coach. That Louisville Brand everyone thought would take years to repair hasn’t missed a beat on the recruiting trail. It just goes to show you what happens when you get a young hungry guy like Coach Mack. He rolled his sleeves up and went to work. I really love his blue-collar approach.
He has also managed to fix the distance between alumni and current program. He has everyone feeling ownership again and Cardinal pride has never been stronger across the board. The way Coach Mack has attacked all of these challenges in just a short period of time is really impressive and don’t know of many who could have done it any better. I know this guy is a helluva basketball coach, but he is also a magician. He has made the blues disappear.
The team’s motto this season is Tough, Together, Unbreakable and in talking with these guys at media day they are living up to every word of that. These guys have transformed their bodies, are transforming their games and transformed their minds. I don’t think it’s going to be easy for anyone to break this teams will.
We owe it to this staff and to this roster of players to pack the Yum Center for Sunday’s Red and White Scrimmage just like we have in the past for big moments. Fans need to follow Coach Mack’s lead. Let’s show the College Basketball world that the NCAA didn’t slow us down. They only woke us up.
Media Day Interviews