Tag Archives: Kentucky

Siva, Tyler Make Parade Alll American Team

Two future Cardinals have been named to the Parade All American Team.  2009 commit Peyton Siva was named to the third team as 2010 commit Jeremy Tyler was named to the second team.

Peyton Siva, a 6’1″ guard out of Franklin High School in Seattle is expected to have an instant impact for the Cards next year.  Jeremy Tyler who is 6’11” is one of the best big men in the class of 2010 and should be another “diaper dandy” for the Cardinals in a couple of years.  The only other players of note to make the team was possible Kentucky commit DeMarcus Cousins who is expected to follow coach John Calipari from Memphis to the Wildcats.

I’m excited for Siva.  He’s small but he’s a tremendous athlete and he’s got some hops.  Make sure to check out the video below.

No Kentucky High School players were named to any of the four teams.

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Tony Kornheiser and I Share A Very Similar Sense of Humor

Earlier, as an April Fools joke I posted an article about Pitino going to Arizona.  Well earlier today on PTI, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon opened their show with news that Rick Pitino had reportedly talked to Kentucky and told them that they wanted to come back.  Hilarious.  Not jut because of the joke but all of the underlying humor.  The fact that so many Kentucky fans think that UK could just get Rick Pitino at their own will.  Not True.  Enjoy everyone.

Breaking News: Pitino Named Next Coach At Arizona.

 

Rick Pitino will now be pacing the sidelines at Arizona.

Rick Pitino will now be pacing the sidelines at Arizona.

ESPN has reported that Rick Pitino will be the next coach at the University of Arizona after signing a 4 year deal worth $15 million to be what is ultimately considered as Lute Olson’s replacement as Russ Pennell, the outgoing interim coach who has not been asked to return for next season.

“Well, I sit before you here today letting you know that I am a basketball coach who likes to take on challenges,” Rick Pitino said in a press conference earlier today.  “And this is a challenge that I’m interested in taking.  Arizona has been Lute Olson’s team for a very long time and you saw the trouble they went through this year with him not being on the sidelines.  I would like the opportunity to take this team back to the top.”

This definitely comes as a surprise as many thought that this whole “Pitino to Arizona” thing was just a rumor, but not so surprising to others as many have claimed to have seen Rick Pitino’s wife to have been “house shopping” around the Tucson area in late march.

This also comes as a surprise to others as many never thought Rick Pitino would be interested in coaching at Arizona considering they were the team that beat him to win the 1997 national championship over Kentucky.  Many thought that he was happy at Louisville and would finish out his career there.  When asked about his leaving Louisville, Pitino almost seemed regrettable.

“It’s definitely been great at Louisville and I wouldn’t trade my years here for anything,” Pitino said, distraught.  “I’ve coached a lot of really good kids here and this place tremendous fans.  The fans here are from all walks of life and just some of the best in the country.  I’m going to miss it here.

When asked about a possible replacement after today’s press conference, Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich declined to comment that the university has anything in mind as far as possible replacements, but did have some kind words to say about Pitino.

“We certainly thought it would be a challenge for anyone to come in and replace Denny Crum,” Jurich said. “But when you bring in a guy like Rick Pitino, we didn’t miss a beat.  We certainly wish him the best at Arizona and hope that he remains happy with his future endeavors.”

This is really hard news to swallow for Louisville fans and players as there are a lot of disappointed people out there.

“I wish he was still my coach.  He was the guy who brought me here and I expected to play for him for four straight years but I guess sometimes people have to do what makes them happy,” said guard Edgar Sosa of Pitino.  “I wish him the best at Arizona.”

It’s just one heartbreak after another for Cardinals fans right now.  Three days after losing to Michigan State for the school’s second trip to the Final Four in five years, they have now lost their coach to a program that needs rebuilding.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  April Fools.
 

Is The Commonwealth of Kentucky Big Enough For Pitino And Calipari?

p1_pitinoWhat’s the old saying?  If you can’t get your old successful Italian basketball coach to come back to you, go out and get another successful Italian basketball coach?  Well, I don’t think anyone ever really coined that phrase but that is exactly what Kentucky is doing.

Amid all of the rumors of Kentucky trying to land Rick Pitino back at their program, they were aiming for another legendary coach.  Anyone that knows anything about college basketball and has half of a brain knew that Rick Pitino would not go directly from the Cardinals to the Wildcats, I was a bit surprised to see Memphis head coach John Calipari had taken interest in the open position at the University of Kentucky.

After moderate success (by University of Kentucky standards) under Tubby Smith and a complete train wreck (by University of Kentucky standards) with Billy Gillispie, I thought that it might be time for Kentucky basketball to re-evaluate itself and look back to hiring within the program.  A coach such as Travis Ford or John Pelphrey would be a perfect fit.  They both played at Kentucky.  They both have led successful careers and are enjoying fine stints at Arkansas and Oklahoma State.  They’re both young.  In fact, I’m downright confused as to why Kentucky hasn’t courted either one of them.

Wait, I’m not confused at all.

Kentucky wants to win right now.  They’re not interested in rebuilding a program because as far as they are concerned, they could win it all with the players they have.  Calipari is an excellent recruiter and an established winner.  He took UMass and Memphis and transformed them into national title contenders, at least while he’s been at either one of those schools.  With young, more unseasoned coaches such as Ford or Pelphrey, there would have to be a margin for error for either one of them.  Kentucky would be seen as rebuilding their program, not competing for a title.

Billy Gillispie isn’t a bad coach.  I’ve heard a lot of Kentucky fans that would tell you the same thing.  He just wasn’t the right fit for the program.  When Kentucky hired Gillispie, they thought they had hired a coach of Calipari’s caliber.  The man went to UTEP and Texas A&M and turned them around instantly.  What Kentucky didn’t realize was that he took those football schools to NCAA tournaments and had hardly any pressure on him.  He could have taken A&M to the second round every year and been guaranteed an entire career there.

That’s not the case at Kentucky though.

billy-gKentucky lives and dies for basketball.  As much as a Kentucky fan might tell you they care about football, they don’t.  It’s just something to pass the time until Big Blue Madness rolls around.  Billy Gillispie simply had too much pressure put on his shoulders.  He was rebuilding a team, and UK wanted to win instantly.  Forget the fact that they didn’t have a point guard, a good forward or any depth.  In their minds, Meeks and Patterson, perhaps one of the nations best duo’s, could take them deep into the tournament.  That just wasn’t the case though.  Billy Gillispie just couldn’t get that point across to the fans either.  Billy Gillispie was thinking long term while the fans and boosters were thinking short term.

That’s the the case with Calipari though.  While Gillispie was going out and looking and 9th and 10th graders, Calipari will go out and look at 12th graders who want to be going straight to the NBA, recruit them, use them for a year, then move on.  Calipari has seen great success at Memphis by treating the program like a semi-automatic gun where every year is a different bullet.  He simply reloads, reloads, reloads.  He took Memphis to the national championship game, just imagine what he could do with Kentucky.

While nothing is official, it seems certain that Calipari will be the next coach at the University of Kentucky.  He will more than likely find instant success, and be named the savior that UK thought they were getting when they landed Billy Gillispie.

Calipari at UK will only enhance basketball in the state of Kentucky.  While Pitino has Louisville in a prime position to be a national title contender for years to come, you can bet your bottom dollar that Kentucky will soon be where they once were, at the pinnacle of the college basketball world.  The UofL-UK rivalry will soon become a slugfest and the most dramatic rivalry in the country. Two of the best recruiters in college basketball will be situated only an hour apart.

Our state will no longer hear the sound of Gillispie’s deep Texas drawl and soon sound like two New Yorkers arguing over a girl at a bar.  Regardless of how annoying this may get, we’re about to witness a complete war.  You better believe that  the Commonwealth of Kentucky is about to become the center of the basketball universe.  The North Caroline-Duke game will look like a church league intramural match compared to the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry.

Welcome to a new era of basketball.

Pitino, The Motivator.

angel-m1Louisville coach Rick Pitino interviewed with Colin Cowherd today and gave a pretty darn good interview.  He discussed his style of play and his mindset on how to coach the players when they’re down to a team (like, oh, say… Sienna) in the second half of a game.  He also discussed his joy of coaching at Louisville and the highs and lows that any coach could hit in a season.  Cowherd started out by asking Pitino how Louisville was able to dig themselves out of the hole they were in on Sunday against the Sienna Saints.

“I called three time outs in the matter of a couple of minutes because I could see the seeds of doubt on my players faces,” Pitino said, “and I spent the three time-outs not talking about strategy or X’s and O’s, I just tried to motivate them to understand we were going to win the game.”

Pitino went on to discuss Terrence Williams’ leadership and how a single rebound and shot from Williams was able to power the Cardinals over upset-minded Sienna.  When Cowherd asked Pitino about his defense and how he utilizes his players Pitino responded “There’s only one way to used the players obviously, is to develop a style where you can somehow fatigue your opposition, by using those numbers, and I’ve never had a problem with going to the ninth, tenth or eleventh guy on the team and utilizing them, and that’s what we basically try and do.”

Pitino also had high praise for Louisville’s next opponent, the 12-seeded Arizona Wildcats, a program who took Pitino’s potential second national championship right out of his hands 12 years ago.

“In this game they understand there are three professional basketball players on this team.  One is a lottery pick in Jordan Hill, then you have Chase Budinger who’s been around and everybody knows about, and certainly the back court point guard is tremendous as well,” Pitino said of Arizona.  “Arizona’s a 12-seed because they went through some coaching problems.  The new coaches who have taken over have done a fabulous job keeping everything together, creating a style that’s good for this team and now they’re peaking at the right time.”

Cowherd questioned Pitino of his moves in the past and Pitino explained to Cowherd his joy of building or rebuilding programs.  He discussed how he built Providence into a winner when they were down, and his ambitions to turn around the Knicks and the Celtics.  Kentucky was in scandal when he went there and he turned the program into a National Champion again.

Pitino mentioned the “Microwave Society” that coaches are in and how even if you win one year, the next year some fans will want you gone if you don’t go to the tourney.

Let’s just hope he can keep on motivating all the way to the end.