LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville might have to finish the season without their head coach, but assistant coach Mike Pegues wants to assure fans that the program is not giving up.
One day removed from the university mutually parting ways with head coach Chris Mack, Pegues - who was elevated to interim head coach - spoke in a 1:41 video posted to the Louisville men's basketball program's official Twitter account.
"Just wanted to take a moment to empathize with our community, and our fan base, as we are obviously in difficult times. Tough times. But as I've always been taught: tough times don't last, tough people do," he said.
The Cardinals are currently in the midst of a disappointing 11-9 campaign, and are trending towards missing the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season - something that has not happened since 2001-2002. Even though the postseason seems highly unlikely for Louisville, Pegues assured that the team will not mail it in for the remainder of the season
"I just want to encourage you guys - our entire fan base, our community, the individuals that are truly behind us - that you do not have to worry about this team folding. This team will not crawl to the finish line. We will fight, we will scrap, and we will claw - every minute, every day for this fan base that has been so loyal to us over the years," he said.
"We are a proud University, a proud organization. We have a tradition like no other, and not only our staff, but our players understand that. We are fully committed to upholding that tradition by finishing strong, and going out with a bang."
Pegues served as acting head coach for the first six games of the season while Mack served a university-sanctioned suspension, guiding the Cardinals to a 5-1 record in the process. With the reigns to the program back in his hand, he has a tough task immediately out of the gates, as No. 9 Duke comes to the KFC Yum! Center this Saturday at Noon.
"I want to personally thank you for all of you are that have been with us," he said. "I encourage you to stay with us, to fill the Yum! on Saturday afternoon against Duke at 12 o'clock. And as always, go Cards."
(Photo of Mike Pegues: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)
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