Yesterday afternoon, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino appeared on Terry Meiners’ show on 84 WHAS and had a lot to say about the current state of the program. They discussed everything from Montrezl Harrell and the departure of Stephan Van Treese all the way to the NBA and Belmont. All in all it was a decent interview, but Meiners definitely lobs him some softballs and stays away from anything controversial. Here’s a quick rundown of some highlights and you can listen to the entire podcasted interview here.
- On the addition of Harrell: He’s long, physical and plays every possession like it’s his last. They rolled out the red carpet for his visit and got the job done. Will be vital to the frontcourt depth next season. Went on to say that he spoke with Billy Donovan (who’s the coach of the U-18 National Team) and he told Rick that he’s incredibly impressed with Harrell’s motor and work ethic.
- On departure of Van Treese: We sat down and talked after we got the commitment from Harrell and they both agreed that his playing time would take a big hit and that it might be in his best interest to go somewhere else where he can play 30 minutes a game. Rick suggested that he go to Bellarmine to get a year of confidence under his belt and compete for a national championship. Says he met with Scotty Davenport but no formal decision has been made. Says the split was amicable.
- Says that during these off-season workout’s, Kevin Ware and Russ Smith have stood out the most. Says they’ve both gotten stronger and it’s helping with their confidence and overall mentality.
- Says he wants to see Wayne Blackshear healthy so badly so that can fans can see the player he saw back in high school.
- Says he thinks Gorgui will continue to improve and have a huge junior season.
- Says he spoke with Indiana about playing as early as next season but Tom Crean didn’t wanna play them. Says they even offered to play the first game of the series in Bloomington.
- When asked about the whole conference situation, Rick stated that he did not think we’ll end up in the Big 12. Reiterated that he loves the Big East personally, but that he backs whatever decision Tom Jurich makes as it will be the best for the University.
- Says he’s writing a book with former Courier Journal columnist Eric Crawford about the current state of social media and distractions for athletes. The book is tentatively called Blinders and will delve into the ever-changing world of technology and how it effects players.
- Talks about Kevin Durant and the state of the NBA playoffs and gives his opinion on the Belmont Stakes this weekend.