Rick Pitino may have had the greatest week in the history of mankind. The once gleam in his eyes got a major head coaching job, one of his average players became the world’s most famous role player and he became the first coach to ever win two National Titles with two different schools. How’s your week going?
Now Pitino is going to be celebrating in short order and look to continue tracking on the Louisville Cardinals road of awesomeness.
Louisville has some immediate issues. Russ Smith‘s father says he is turning pro, Peyton Siva has (finally) run out of eligibility and it is possible that Gorgui Dieng will declare early entry to the pros (complete Louisville breakdown here). Those are the three most vital parts of the Cardinals this season. Pitino would have to go a long way to find replacements for that much leadership as well as Rusdiculousness.
Still, this is Louisville and Pitino we are talking about here. Both are solidified as national powers — not some flash in the pan type of program. Year in and year out, Pitino gets solid recruits who he helps mold into quality college players. It isn’t unfathomable to think that players like Luke Hancock won’t develop into a stud next season. That is what Pitino does — coaches and develops players so they hit their max-potential.
The National Championship does more in the way of adding to the school’s and Pitino’s legacy more than it does for their future. Neither needed to win a title to be considered nationally relevant or to continue to garner as much respect as they do.
As Pitino continues to look more and more like Al Pacino, his teams continue to impress. It’s not a bad time to be an alum of Louisville at the moment.