Rick Pitino, Bobby Knight, Roy Williams, and Mike Kryzfshszzifski Krzyzewski have all been kidnapped by Metallica for playing the Gui-tar He-ro
Coach Pitino gave us a little insight into what happened in the Michigan State game, and gave us a little bit to look forward to next year. Pitino said “We’re going to be a very young basketball team next year, but we’ve got a lot of experience in certain areas,” which is my outlook on the team exactly. We might be deeper and better at guard next year, but we’re going to be young everywhere else, we’ll even have some youngsters getting a lot of playing time at guard. Pitino also spoke of putting Samardo Samuels seeing more playing time at the power forward position, which is one of the things I thought we might see next year. Pitino also adressed another prediction I made, that Reggie Delk will play a much bigger role and will see a lot of time at the three position. He’s a bit taller than the other guards, he’ll make an excellent wing. All in all, we really should be a pretty good team next year.
As far as any rumors about Pitino leaving. Pitino said he was just “too damn old” for anybody to care about him anymore. While this was said in jest (because we know everyone would still love to have Rick Pitino on their sideline), Pitino did follow that up with saying that he’s in a very “unique” situation in Louisville (speaking a lot of his good relationship with the media) and said that he’s very comfortable here.
I couldn’t get the video embedded so you can check out the press conference here.
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.
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.
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.