Louisville 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.