Junior guard Taquan Dean, the Cardinals third leading scorer this season, offered a very simple explanation Friday afternoon.
"We know what happened - we just weren't focused and hungry that night," he said. "When you're not hungry, teams seem to creep up on you. It was a great lesson learned."
Down by as many as 28 points in the loss to the Tigers, the Cardinals dropped just their second game since falling to No. 5 Kentucky December 18. At 8-2 in C-USA, Louisville remains one game ahead of both DePaul and Charlotte in the league standings with six conference games left to be played.
"It was frustrating," Dean said of the 85-68 loss to Memphis. "Nothing was going our way that night."
Dean and the rest of his teammates will get a chance to show Louisville fans exactly what lessons they've learned Saturday afternoon in a 2:00 EST game against conference foe South Florida (10-11, 3-7) on the same court where Memphis easily handled them just two days ago.
"We've got to get aggressive again and get after it," Dean said. "The test is rebounding (from that loss) and going after it tomorrow."
Dean said the team practiced hard yesterday in the aftermath of Wednesday night's embarrassing loss. "We got after it," he said. "and had a good day of practice."
The loss didn't sit well with Dean personally, either. In fact, the 6-2 New Jersey native was so upset by the defeat and his team's performance that he couldn't sleep.
"I couldn't sleep - I probably got an hour of sleep," Dean said. "I just layed there."
And, according to Dean, the Tigers should expect a little payback when the Cardinals travel to Memphis later this month for the rematch.
"When we meet again it will be a different story," Dean said. "You can count on that."