Rick Pitino - Head Men's Basketball Coach of the Louisville Cardinals

Rick Pitino - Louisville Cardinals Mens Basketball


Coach Pitino - Louisville Cardinals Official Website Install

Rick Pitino - Louisville Kentucky


The Bahamas trip was extremely worthwhile on many fronts.


The players, coaches and fans had a tremendous time bonding at a beautiful resort.  The competition was way below par but we knew that going in.


Three players if we started tomorrow are ready to play:  Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng and Kyle Kuric.  All three were in shape, fundamentally sound and understood the style we have integrated.


Chris Smith was coming off an ankle injury, so we will not evaluate his performance as he missed a week of practice.


Mike Marra was solid shooting, but careless with his passing.  He needs to do more than shoot.  Rebounding and defense are two areas he needs to pick up.  He is a very smart player and that should not be a problem.


Steven VanTreese was a bit disappointing.  He needs to become more physical and active with his hands and feet on defense.  His shot has improved but he lacks the fundamentals at both ends.  This is why the trip was important.  We now know what to work on early in the period.


Mark Jackson still has a long way to go conditioning-wise before we can evaluate.


Bullet and Tim Henderson were injured and sat out practices.


Russ Smith was much better at the two guard.  He eats, sleeps and thinks scoring.  If he can defend the position, he will contribute.


Chane Behanan has great potential but has to improve his fundamentals to be an impact freshman.  We know where he must make his improvements.  Ball handling, passing and defense will be the areas of concentration.  Free throw shooting will improve with proper balance.


Zach Price must improve his quickness and reaction to the ball.  He is pivotal to our success.  Hard worker with a good inside presence.


Angel Nunez has probably the most upside of the three, but that means he is also the furthest behind physically.  We hope the extra strength training will help him compete down the road.


Pittsburgh and Notre Dame


Let’s return to taking an early look at BIG EAST Conference teams.  This week we’ll examine Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.


Pitt is one of the most consistent programs in the nation.  They play tough man to man defense and are very efficient on offense.  They suffered one of the most bizarre losses I’ve witnessed as a head coach in the NCAA Tournament last year.


Jamie Dixon is a proven winner and always has his team ready to play.  They have a tough identity and live up to their reputation.


Here are their returning players:


Pittsburgh Panthers


2011 Record – 28-6 (15-3)     Finished- 1st Big East 


Preseason Ranking- #11



Significant Returning Players


Ashton Gibbs                          6-2       190      Sr                     16.8 pts           2.8 as


Nasir Robinson                       6-5       225      Sr                     9.4 pts             4.9 reb


Travon Woodall                      5-11     195      Jr                     6.4 pts             3.4 as


Dante Taylor                           6-9       240      Jr                     5.1 pts             4.5 reb


JJ Moore                                  6-6       205      So                    3.7 pts             1.3 reb


Talib Zanna                             6-9       230      So                    3.7 pts             3.4 reb


Lamar Patterson                      6-5       230      So                    2.6 pts             2.0 reb



Significant Players Returning: 47.7 pts per game


Significant Players Lost: 29.9 pts per game (Wanamaker, Brown, Nash)


2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 15


 Notre Dame is always one of the better shooting teams in the BIG EAST. Great free throw shooting team as well.  Will mix up their defense from man to 2-3 zone.


They lost some potent offensive players, but have enough back to be competitive.


I coached Mike Brey as a camper at the Five Star Basketball Camp.  He was a terrific young man back then and not much has changed with his personality.  Humble and bright.  His teams are very difficult to defend.


Here are their returning players:


Notre Dame Fighting Irish


2011 Record – 27-7 (14-4)     Finished- 2nd Big East 


Preseason Ranking- #36



Significant Returning Players


Tim Abromaitis                       6-8       235      Sr                     15.4 pts           6.1 reb


Scott Martin                            6-8       220      Sr                     9.7 pts             4.8 reb


Eric Atkins                              6-1       173      So                    5.8 pts             3.4 as


Jack Cooley                             6-9       245      Jr                     3.7 pts             3.1 reb


Joey Brooks                            6-6       215      Jr                     1.6 pts             1.1 reb



Significant Players Returning: 36.2 pts per game


Significant Players Lost: 39.1 pts per game (Hansbrough, Scott, Nash)


2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 36






Food for Thought:


It’s time for Boston College to come home.  I know Gene DeFilippo, Athletic Director at the school.  He’s bright and innovative.  But Boston College joining the ACC is just a round peg in a square board.  It doesn’t fit regardless of how much more money they make.  B.C. belongs with the other Catholic Schools.  Last time I checked, the Atlantic Coast Conference has no Catholic affiliation.  With Notre Dame, St. John’s, Villanova, Georgetown, Seton Hall, DePaul, Marquette and Providence, it makes sense to come back home.  Here we even have a Catholic priest (Ed Bradley) on our bench. LOL


If you take money out of the equation, I don’t believe B.C. would have ever considered such a move.  I’m not being naïve, because money is making everyone change conferences.  It just doesn’t make sense. 


I fully expect Kansas to join the Big East, because after all, they are the west of the Mississippi.  Oh, New York sarcasm at its best!


We will start individual instruction Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Luke Hancock should be ready to go, Swopshire is close, and we will see what type of condition Wayne and Kevin are in. I will let you know next week how the sessions went.



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