Rick Pitino Radio Appearance Recap

Posted on Jul 25 2012 - 9:10am by Brent Lepping


Louisville head coach Rick Pitino appeared on The Early Birds with Drew Deener this morning for a quick segment and provided some insight to the Terry Rozier situation, injury updates, the future of the Big East, and a possible late addition to the 2012 class. Here’s a quick summary and you can listen to the interview right here.

* The notes below are all paraphrased


– When asked about the Terry Rozier situation: “Well, it certainly wasn’t a huge surprise, but the situation will end up beneficial for both Terry and Louisville. He’s going to go down to Hargrave and live in a disciplined environment which will help with his grades and AW Hamilton (a Kentucky guy) is a great coach and teacher of the game. He’ll learn a lot and become a much better person and player.”

– On whether Rozier will still be a part of the team after next year: “Absolutely. 100%. Terry’s a great player and he’s so valuable because he can play both guard positions and he’s got a great future. We plan on watching him grow at Hargrave and then he’ll join us the following year, without question.”

– On how beneficial the Hargrave connection has been: “It’s been great for us. We know it’s an environment that provides discipline off the court and A.W. is a guy we have a lot of respect for. We know that if we send kids there they’re going to be well coached and they’ll get significantly better.”

– On who will be the back-up PG now: “We’re going to use Luke Hancock some, depending on the other team and the sets we’re running and we might use Kevin Ware a little bit too. I’d probably like to stay away from Russ because when he runs the point, turnovers tend to spike. That’s really a major point of emphasis for us this year – cutting down the turnovers.”

– On Hancock’s health: “He’s dribbling and doing some things now but Fred Hina (head trainer) is very conservative with his rehab work. He won’t push anyone too hard. Luke will continue to work out and keep himself in great condition, but we’re not going to push him too hard too soon. He won’t absorb any physical contact until late September and he’ll be 100% by October and the start of practice.”

– On what he’ll do with the now-open scholarship: “We have some options there. We’re not 100% sure, but we’re looking at a possible transfer option and then we have one other scenario that we’re looking into. There’s a couple of different things we can do and we just have to monitor those situations right now and then make a decision once we know a little more.”

– On Chane Behanan coming out of his shell and the character of the team as a whole: “Well, they’re all great kids. That’s the thing I keep telling everyone. This will be the third team in a row – which is unheard of – that’s filled with unselfish, great kids from top to bottom. That just doesn’t happen. It’s happened maybe a handful of times in my entire career until these last few teams. So it’s incredibly refreshing and it feels good to know that we have a team full of great guys.”

– On whether he was serious about the Jay Bilas for BE commissioner talk: “Well, if I had a vote, he’s the type of person that could be perfect for the job. He’s forward-thinking, well-respected, has a presence about him so that you know people are going to listen when he speaks, he has a law degree so he can understand the legal side of things and he certainly knows all about TV and the various contracts, etc. He also knows more about football than people think. He’d be a great commissioner not only for the Big East, but for any conference in the nation. He has a great gig right now on ESPN, so it would probably take a lot of money to make it happen, but it’s definitely something I believe.”

– On the Penn State situation and how he was able to pull UK out of the late 80’s scandal: “It really takes a unique group of guys that want to be part of the team and community. Those guys at UK maybe played in the greatest game of all time and now have their names hanging in the rafters because they were so special. They were revered by the fans because they stayed and showed loyalty. They wanted to be Kentucky players, and never thought about transferring or doing anything else. It’s different in this day and age and Penn State has it worse than we did, but there will be guys that stay and they won’t be forgotten by those fans.”

– Follow up question regarding how he got Jamal Mashburn to come to UK amidst the probation: “You probably couldn’t do that now. Things are different. Jamal grew up in New York and I was the coach for the Knicks. He had friends that were around the Knicks and I think he just really wanted to play for me. Not trying to boast, but he really did. He wanted to play for me and I think he thought I could make him a better player. He never intended to be one and done and he learned a lot by coming to UK and playing for me during those hard times.”

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