By LARRY VAUGHT
Louisville’s win over Michigan State did not shock Sporting News columnist Mike DeCourcy.
He’s known new Louisville coach Chris Mack for nearly 20 years and respects the way he coaches.
“I got to know Chris as young coach breaking into the business and got to know him very well when he was working for Sean Miller as his top assistant at Xavier and then as he became head coach there,” DeCourcy said. “Chris was the third assistant at Xavier when he moved there and just kept moving up.”
DeCourcy said Louisville offers “great facilities, great tradition” for Mack to use as shown by the surprisingly good first recruiting class he signed despite the threat of FBI and NCAA investigations hanging over the program.
“He is collecting talent. To be able to do what he has so far, Louisville fans should be excited,” DeCourcy said.
There is one given with Mack’s team no matter where’s coaching.
“One thing I can tell you beyond doubt is that Chris Mack does as well any coach in college basketball in getting his team to play with competitive toughness,” DeCourcy said. “His kids do not back down. That is not optional in his program.
“Louisville basketball will be very entertaining with him as coach. His team’s number one strength is toughness. Next would be a productive offense and getting good shooters good shots. They have to evolve on defense and that is not really his bread and butter but they are going to be a lot better than many people want to believe this year.”