LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kenny Payne has yet to coach a game for the Louisville men's basketball program, but it appears he is doing everything in his power to put together the best non-conference schedule possible for UofL fans.
Speaking at an IU varsity club event at Huber's Orchard and Winery, Indiana head coach Mike Woodson revealed that he is in talks with Payne and the administration at Louisville about getting a future matchup scheduled between the Cardinals and Hoosiers.
"I've had the opportunity to talk to Kenny, and their AD [Josh Heird], and he promised me something in two years once Kenny got there, and maybe possibly get a game against Louisville." Woodson said. "I'll take that all day long, because I know it'll be a competitive game."
Woodson also added that he "couldn't be more happy" for Payne to "finally get his big break and come back home to Louisville."
"I think he's going to do great things," he said.
The potential of a matchup with Indiana isn't the only recent news regarding Louisville trying to get a rival on the schedule. Earlier this week, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway told the media the he is also in talks with Payne about playing a game against the Cards, with Payne acknowledging the conversation Tuesday at Milt Wagner's introductory press conference.
"Penny did reach out to me, and I told him I'd get back with him," Payne said. "We haven't done anything yet, we're going through it. We'll see how it falls out. I really haven't had a chance to really dwell all the way into it, but we will."
Louisville and Indiana last played on Dec. 8, 2018, with the Hoosiers narrowly securing a 68-67 win up at Assembly Hall. IU holds an 11-9 edge in the all-time series with UofL, which dates back to 1921.
The Cardinals' non-conference schedule for the 2022-23 season is starting to take shape. They will host both Bellarmine and Western Kentucky on to-be-determined dates, as well as travel to Kentucky on New Year's Eve. Louisville will also play three games in Hawaii as part of the Maui Invitational, as well as a yet-to-be-announced opponent in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Last season, Louisville suffered their first losing campaign in over two decades, going 13-19 and mutually separating with head coach Chris Mack midway through the season. The Cardinals hired Payne, a former national champion with Louisville as a player and longtime assistant coach at Kentucky, as their next head coach back on Mar. 18.
(Photo of Kenny Payne: By Pat McDonogh - Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK)
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