Ok, I am not a Rick Pitino fan. To me he is not the best coach we (Louisville) ever had. That title belongs to former Coach Denny Crum, hands down. Rick Pitino runs a dysfunctional program and he often recruits the wrong type of players and cries foul when they eventually are released from the program for commiting some ridiculous act.
The real reason for this post is to say that Rick Pitino will have to prove his mettle starting tomorrow against Georgia Tech. No, Pitino's job is not in jeopardy, he will still be Louisville's coach however He will need to prove that he belongs in the elite class of college coaches. The bar is set way high for Pitino and nothing short of a NCAA final appearance this year will prove that he is an elite coach.
Louisville released Chris Jones, Louisville's best player about 5 hours ago. That would be enough to seal the deal on this season. However us Louisville fans never give up and we hope Pitino does not either. To tell you the truth, Chris Jones was a detriment to the program from day one. He was not an asset. I believe the program is better off without him. So Rick, you've got your work cut out for you. Lets see how you do.
Here's a few recommendations.
1.) Louisville needs help in the paint, both offensively and defensively. Play Anas Mahmoud along with Montrezl Harrell and Wayne Blackshear.
2.) Start Quentin Snider at one guard spot. The kid can play, he will make mistakes, you will need to allow them. The upside to this kid far out weighs the downside. He is a Jerry Eaves throw back, check out the film for the 1980 championship team.
3. Run more of Denny Crum's high low offense it will give you way more looks from your big men.
4. Continue to press and apply pressure.
5. Work with Mangok Mathiang to learn how to finish down low. Give Shaqquan Aaron more room to make mistakes, once he gets his confidence he will provide some points for you.
7. Do not play Anton Gill. He cannot shoot at all and he commits way too many turnovers.
8. Play David Levitch more and encourage him to shoot. He is a pure shooter and we need the points.
9. Rick Pitino needs to save time outs. He needs to save at least two for the final minutes of the game.
10. Utlilize the two for one in the final minutes of the game. You always want to have the last shot no matter what.
11. Pitino should not yank players everytime they make a mistake, you mess up the flow of the game by excessive substituting . He needs to give his players time to work through their mistakes. Do not substitute excessively in the first half unless your players are in foul trouble. Your goal is to have a lead at half time. You run the risk of disrupting the flow of the game by over substituting.
If you follow this advice Louisville will go deep in the tournament.