Dick Vitale: Don't overreact to Louisville's exhibition loss to a DII school

Kenny Payne, Louisville men's basketball coach, at an introductory press conference. AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

I don't put much stock in exhibition games prior to the season. I remember Syracuse being shocked one season and the Orange went on to a fine campaign.

Teams can have a bad day. These games help coaches evaluate players and learn strengths and weaknesses.

Losing to a Division II school is a challenging result. This was a real game and not one of those secret scrimmages.

The Cardinals were held to 47 points, shooting under 30% from the field. Louisville struggled in crunch time, being outscored 31-19 in the second half.

For Louisville, a team trying to rebuild, the defeat to Lenoir Rhyne is simply UGLY. For a power conference team with a great tradition, it is a setback.

New coach Kenny Payne needs time. He needs to recruit his own players. Payne will be able to elevate the talent. He has several good veterans like Jae'Lyn Winters and El Ellis.

This will be a process that takes some time. Louisville fans are very passionate but they have to be patient. The Cardinals will learn from this loss and get better. This was just one afternoon, though to fans across America, it was shock city.

The 18th annual Dick Vitale Gala, benefiting the V Foundation, will be held May 5 at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. For more information visit dickvitaleonline.com.