The start of the 2013-14 college basketball season is still over two months away, but the expectations of back-to-back National Championships are certainly not out of the question for the Louisville Cardinals.
In fact, in a recent interview with Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, former Cardinals point guard Peyton Siva was quoted in saying that this year’s Louisville squad is “better” and “more talented” than the group that just claimed the 2013 National Championship.
At first, you’re probably thinking that there’s no way a team that lost two starters in both Siva and Gorgui Dieng will be better, but the former guard is exactly right in this comparison. If you look at the returnees and newcomers that have been added to help replace Siva and Deing, there’s no denying the team’s talent level. In fact, just as Siva stated to ESPN, they are indeed a better and more talented team.
The biggest key to this domino effect was the return of potential National Player of the Year candidate, Russ Smith, who considered making a move to the NBA. Alongside Smith, the Cardinals are also returning Chane Behanan, Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear and Montrezl Harrell, who could be poised for a monster sophomore season down low. Throw in the likes of Kevin Ware once he is healthy and cleared to play and the likes of incoming freshman Anton Gill, Terry Rozier and JUCO transfer Chris Jones, well yeah, you have talent that certainly speaks for itself.
On paper, Louisville certainly appears to be better and more talented than a season ago, but as we learned from this past year’s squad, it’s all about getting hot at the right time. Can this group do so and claim back-to-back national titles? Well, it’s a possibility for sure.