Rick Pitino Invites Players to Walk On at Louisville

By Steve LeMaster
Tyler Kaufman-US PRESSWIRE

Head coach Rick Pitino is welcoming walk-ons to the Louisville men’s basketball program for the 2012-13 season. The veteran head coach of the Louisville Cardinals put the call for walk-ons out on his website Saturday. His only pre-requisite for a walk-on? That they played high school basketball. Pitino joked that walk-ons also needed to have averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds and made the McDonald’s All-America team.

Pitino is in his 12th season at Louisville. He is the only coach in NCAA history to take three different teams to the NCAA Final Four. Pitino, who is 629-237 in 27 seasons, many of which featured him coaching at least a few walk-ons, guided Louisville to the 2012 Final Four. He has recorded a .729 winning percentage in 27 campaigns, compiling a 629-234 record. Pitino is 275-106 in 11 seasons at Louisville.

Pitino hasn’t been shy about playing walk-ons during his time in Louisville. Former Cardinal Elisha Justice was thrust into the Louisville lineup during his freshman season in 2010-11. Justice, the 2010 Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky, transferred to the University of Pikeville following Louisville’s run to the 2012 Final Four. Justice logged minutes against the Kentucky Wildcats during the Final Four matchup that split a state.

Louisville will host its first Red-White intrasquad scrimmage in the KFC Yum! Center on Oct. 13. Tip off for the intrasquad game is set for 4 p.m. The Cardinals will conduct two more Red-White intrasquad scrimmages on Oct. 21 and Oct. 27 and host Pikeville and Bellarmine in exhibition games before opening the 2012-13 season.

After entertaining Manhattan and Bellarmine, Louisville will compete in the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis Nov. 22-24 at the Atlantis resort at Paradise Island, Bahamas.



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