Rick Pitino: Russ Smith doesn’t understand scouting by other teams

Russ Smith Rick PitinoLouisville head coach Rick Pitino says there is one more thing star point guard Russ Smith needs to work on to improve his game.

Smith shot 3-for-10 and committed 7 turnovers in Louisville’s win over Saint Louis in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Quick Rick, talking about Smith’s shaky game, says the point guard needs to learn how other teams are going to play him and respond accordingly.

“Russ Smith has grown so much as a basketball player, but he still has one thing left, and I tried to explain this to him at halftime, but he has a very difficult time, he’s a distracted young man, understanding this. I said, Russ, there’s a lot better coaches than me in the other locker room, but picture if I was in the other locker room. Do you think I would even let you breathe any time down the court? Do you think I would let you breathe? He says, no, Coach, you would double me, you would trap me. I said, so don’t you think the other coaches are doing the same thing?” Pitino said after the game via the Louisville Courier-Journal.

“All the great ones from Michael Jordan to Kobe, they don’t try to score 20 points in the first quarter. They get everybody else the ball and they let the game come to me and the other team fatigues and things open up. So his last lesson is to play like he did in the second half and not come out. He doesn’t understand the scouting of the other teams. He’s all Michael, all Kobe. But he doesn’t get that those guys in the other locker room are a lot smarter than me. He doesn’t get it. So we’re going to give him shock treatment on Monday.”

Think Pitino is frustrated with Smith? Sure seems like it.

Russdiculous has shot 46.9 percent from the field this season, which is his career-high. His assists-to-turnovers ratio is also the highest of his career. If he could just get this last thing down, he’d be all set.

H/T College Spun

Rick Pitino: Steve Masiello gave one of the best coaching jobs ever

Rick Pitino Steve Masiello

Remember how Rick Pitino was all complaining about his Louisville squad having to face Manhattan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament? It turns out his concerns were extremely well founded.

Manhattan gave Louisville a heck of a run and was even winning with 2:35 left in the game before the Cardinals pulled away on back-to-back 3-pointers from Luke Hancock. Louisville won the game 71-64, but the contest was much closer than that score indicates. In fact, Pitino said in an interview with TNT after the game that the coaching job by Steve Masiello was one of the best he’d seen during his career.

“That’s one of the best coaching jobs that I’ve seen in my 39 years,” said Pitino. “It was awesome. He just made us have to guard him on the perimeter with four guards. We had a lot of difficulty. We couldn’t go to our matchup zone because they passed so well.”

Pitino continued to praise his former player and assistant.

“They just did everything fantastic. I’m really, really proud. That’s why I didn’t want to play them. Because right now we won, I’m excited, but I feel sick inside losing to one of my players.”

Masiello just completed his third season as head coach of the Jaspers after serving on Pitino’s Louisville staff from 2005-2011. Pitino says he and Masiello are more similar in their coaching styles than him and almost any other former assistant.

“It’s a carbon copy. It’s a compliment to us,” said Pitino.

Now that you have all that background and understand that Pitino was essentially coaching against himself, it makes sense why the game was so tough. We doubt Louisville will have it as difficult in the next round. And if Masiello keeps it up, he won’t be at Manhattan much longer.

Rick Pitino says Louisville should be a No. 1 seed

Rick PitinoLouisville is ranked No. 5 in the country and just ran through the American Athletic Conference Tournament, but they’re not in strong consideration to receive a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament this year. Coach Rick Pitino thinks that should change.

Pitino believes the Cardinals deserve a 1 seed rather than the 2 or 3 they’re projected to get.

“I judge it from the eye test,” Pitino said after Saturday’s win over UConn via WDRB. “Now understand something, every analyst has an agenda, every coach has an agenda.

“Do I think we should be? Yes. Do I think we will be? No.”

Maybe Louisville’s strength of schedule is keeping them from receiving a higher seed, but it’s hard to argue against what they’ve accomplished.

They destroyed competition in the AAC Tournament. They’ve beaten UConn three times. They won 12 of their last 13 games. But they did lose non-conference games to Kentucky and North Carolina, and their conference blemishes include losses to Cincinnati and two to Memphis. Ultimately, the seed they receive may not matter if they’re as good as Pitino believes they are.

Rick Pitino sits next to son Ryan wearing chicken suit at Minnesota game

Rick Pitino chicken son

Rick Pitino: coaching legend. Richard Pitino: emerging coach. Ryan Pitino: chicken suit wearer.

Yes, Rick Pitino was in Minnesota to watch his son’s team take on Indiana on Saturday. Big Ten Network cameras captured him in the crowd seated next to a guy in a chicken suit, who turned out to be his son, Ryan.

No word yet on exactly why Ryan was wearing the costume, but there is some speculation that it relates to him dressing up appropriately for a game at Williams Arena, which is known as “The Barn.” The Big Ten Network announcers also speculated that he may have lost a bet.

So far the media seems split on the reason for the chicken suit.

Maybe Ryan was just part of the halftime entertainment.

Boston radio’s Toucher and Rich tell Rick Pitino he ruined Celtics, hang up on him

Rick-Pitino-ConcussionsLet me start off by saying I’m a huge fan of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston’s “Toucher and Rich Show.” Fred Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb have had me to the point of tears on many occasions from laughing so hard. But when a friend told me the popular shock jocks had Rick Pitino on for an interview on Thursday morning just so they could tell him he stinks and hang up on him, I honestly didn’t believe it.

There had to have been more to it than that, right? Wrong. According to CBS Boston, Toettcher — aka “Toucher” — primed his colleagues up for the interview by encouraging them to prepare some tough questions for Pitino, who agreed to the interview so he could promote a new book he has coming out. Here’s how the interview went:

Toucher: We are joined by Rick Pitino, former coach of the Celtics, current coach of the Louisville Cardinals who won the national championship. Rick Pitino, hello!

Pitino: Morning, guys.

Toucher: You stink. You ruined the Celtics.

Here is the audio of the interview, which Deadspin passed along:

And that was that. Fred then cued up the show’s final segment as his co-host and co-workers laughed hysterically. As most of you know, Pitino recently won a national championship with Louisville and is a Hall of Fame college coach. His tenure with the Boston Celtics was forgettable, to say the least.

These guys will do pretty much anything for a laugh. Toucher and Rich once hung up on Bill Walton because they didn’t like the way he was gushing about the Los Angeles Lakers when they beat the Celtics in the NBA Finals, so this shouldn’t really shock anyone. That being said, they had to have their people set up an interview with Pitino and keep him completely in the dark to pull it off. Some people will find that hilarious. Plenty of others will think it was classless and uncalled for.

Rick Pitino went fishing and his group caught an 80-pound marlin (Picture)


Rick Pitino is still winning. The veteran coach won his first national championship with the Louisville Cardinals last month and reeled in his first marlin earlier this week.

As you can see from the photo above that Jody Demling of the Cardinal Authority shared with us, Pitino went fishing in the Bahamas with a group of friends and caught an 80-pound fish. He said it was the first time he and his friends went marlin fishing. Apparently they’re a bunch of naturals. Here’s another shot of the monster:

[Read more...]

Rick Pitino gets a Louisville tattoo as promised (Pictures)


One of the motivational tactics Rick Pitino decided to use with his 2013 national champion Louisville squad was the promise of a tattoo. Pitino promised his players that he would get a tattoo commemorating their tournament run if they ended up cutting down the nets, and the 60-year-old kept his word.

As you can see from the photo above that Louisville senior associate athletic director of media relations Kenny Klein posted on Friday morning, Pitino got a Louisville logo, the words “NCAA Champions” and his team’s 2012-2013 season record on his back left shoulder. Here’s another angle that gives you a better idea of how big the tattoo is:

[Read more...]