Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino is currently on unpaid leave and “effectively fired” amid a FBI investigation into a college basketball scandal involving paying recruits, which leaves the door open for someone to fill the program’s vacant post. According to WDRB Louisville journalist Rick Bozich, “all signs point” to Cardinals assistant coach David Padgett being given the interim head coaching gig.
Padgett, 32, began his collegiate playing days at Kansas before a multi-year stint at Louisville. He graduated in 2008 and went undrafted, leaving him to revert to playing a short while in Spain before starting his coaching career. Padgett came back to Louisville as an assistant strength coach, then earned a full-time assistant role with IUPUI for the 2010-11 season. He once more came back to the Cardinals program and was promoted to assistant in 2015.
Though there’s turmoil currently surrounding the program off the court, there’s no shortage of talent on it.
Our own Jon Rothstein pegged Louisville as the club to round out his top five in his mid-August top 25 rankings, paying homage to a slew of newcomers to potentially make an impact. Though the Cardinals lost Donovan Mitchell to the most recent draft, they still return Quentin Snider at the point and a big-time contributor in Deng Adel.
Louisville, off a season in which it was ousted by Michigan in the NCAA Tournament, starts exhibition play on October 30 when it gets Kentucky Wesleyan for an early season tune-up. The school’s first regular-season contest will be on November 12 when the Cardinals face off against George Mason.