First of all I am a life long Louisville Cardinal basketball fan. I am not a big fan of Rick Pitino. I am right there cheering for the Cardinals each and every game. However, I believe Rick Pitino has definitely worn out his welcome at Louisville. Pitino is not a great bench coach, he is not a great game manager and he has a definite habit of leaning on the wrong players to be leaders on his teams. Yet the athletic Director just gave Pitino a new ten year contract, despite the fact that he is 62 years old.
He is not a great recruiter, nor is he a superior evaluator of talent. This is my biggest problem with Pitino. He is terrible at recruiting the state of Kentucky, preferring to recruit elsewhere. This has been his strategy since he took over as Head Basketball coach at Louisville.
Make no mistake, Pitino is likeable and has achieved nearly all there’s is to achieve, in that respect it is a love hate relationship. I know Pitino has a great relationship with Louisville’s Athletic Director and his charisma level is off the charts. He is funny and can talk his way out of any situation, typical of many New Yorkers. At Louisville Pitino is a big fish in a small pond. And believe me, this characteristic has served him well at Louisville. Pitino has had many off the court incidents, however that is not the focus of this article. The fact is Rick Pitino has a great deal at Louisville and apparently everyone is pleased. Pitino is a Hall of Fame coach.
The trouble with Pitino is that he is not a great recruiter. He settles for mediocre players rather than put in the hard work to recruit the best. I believe he does notenjoy recruiting. In this day and time if you do not enjoy recruiting how can you possibly succeed? Yet Pitino just received a lucrative contract extension. Apparently the Athletic Director is pleased with his performance. One national championship in 12 years is quite enough for Rick Pitino to keep his job.
For the record Pitino has won two national championship. One at Kentucky and one at Louisville. He has coached at seven final fours.
My father was an African Methodist Pastor and minister at AME Churches in Kentucky and Tennessee. Throughout his 55 year career he pastored 9 churches and served as Presiding Elder in the West Kentucky District and the North Nashville District. The picture below is vacation bible school, Louisville, Kentucky, I believe in 1968. My father is second from left, first row.
Bobby Petrino brings back black uniforms.
Louisville basketball has always been something special. It’s not a coincidence. It’s a reality in Kentucky. If Kentucky were a battle field, Louisville would be surrounded by a sea of Blue. Kentucky Blue. In fact there are a few collaborators, Kentucky fans in Louisville. More than a few. But still all in all Louisville basketball is still king in Louisville and always will be. This article is way to short to highlight the rivalry that dates back over well over 50 years.
That’s Louisville Cardinal basketball. So many great basketball players wore the Cardinal red. And Louisville has over the last 41 years has been led by two coaches. Denny Crum and current coach Rick Pitino. One a Hall of Fame coach, Denny Crum, and one probably to be elected this year into the Hall of Fame, Rick Pitino. There is nothing like Louisville basketball, especially in Kentucky. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Everyone is high of Kentucky Basketball, as if that is the only program in the state.
It’s always been that way, but Louisville Cardinal basketball is stellar to say the least and when it comes to beating Kentucky nothing can be sweeter. For Louisville fans this is absolutely a must on the agenda each and every season. So Rick Pitino has a mission, he must win his first championship at the University of Louisville. Not that he will be running out of Louisville if he does not, but it is time that he does. Let’s sit back and enjoy the show! If Pitino wins the NCAA this year. It will be Louisville’s third National Championship. Go Cards!!!
This is without a doubt the greatest Louisville comeback ever! I mean ever. I followed Louisville Basketball since I was 14 years old this was magnificent. The game is not over I this writing, but this was masterful. Congrats to the cards and special shout out to Montrez Harrell, Peyton Siva, Luke Hancock, and Kevin Ware
I always admired Denny Crum’s matter of fact attitude. He won two national championships at the University of Louisville and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Crum spent a number of years working under legendary coach John Wooden at UCLA. I followed Coached Crum and His career as Louisville basketball coach for nearly thirty years. Crum never got frazzled, he was slow and deliberate. He always recruited players who were, little known, but had tremendous upside. He recruited Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Illinois, California, and Georgia and he was able to sign many players, who helped him to lead the University of Louisville to two National Championships in 1980 and 1986.
Denny Crum believed in playing the best, to be the best. But with Crum it was a process, he played the best, took losses, but Crum learned who his leaders were, win or lose, He learned the nuances, strength and weaknesses of his team. He also learned who his leaders would be and who ultimately would lead his team to victory. He learned who the players were to best play within his system. But most of all Crum recruited athletes, who could play more than one position. Crum also ran a man to man switching defense on screens. And ran the UCLA high-post offense.
Denny Crum was no nonsense, cool and collected, Many called him Cool Hand Luke and Mr March, because he usually had his teams ready to play by NCAA tournament time, He took Louisville to six finals fours in addition to his conference championships. Crum was nominated to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. He is one of 11 coaches to win two national championships. But what made Crum Special was his low key, methodical approach. He believed in preparing his players by playing the best and taking on the tough teams early in the beginning of season. When tournament time came around Crum’s teams were ready for deep runs into the NCAA tournament.
Louisville is positioning to remain strong athletically so that they will be able to be attractive no matter what opportunity comes along in the future. Right now the major conferences are going through a realignment change which has occurred every five years. So it is a real concern that universities remain in a position to be attractive and that is Louisville’s mindset. According to Louisville’s President this is a priority because of the the changing times in college athletics.
Currently Louisville in the mix with the current Big East alignment which includes primarily two components. The first, Big City Urban alignment similar to the current Big East Formula for basketball. The other component is to ensure that Louisville remains part of the BCS football championship alignment. For basketball the Big East has offered invitations to join to SMU , Central Florida, Houston, for basketball and Boise State , Air force and Navy, with San Diego State seriously considering and campaigning for entrance into the Big East.