Rick Pitino is in the Basketball Hall of Fame where he belongs.
Enters the Hall on a roll, having finally delivered an NCAA championship for the University of Louisville after 12 years, his second national title at two different schools.
The best part is that Pitino seems more dedicated to the game of college basketball than ever. He obviously wants to experience the feeling a few more times before he leaves the game, and he wants to do it at Louisville.
As he noted during his acceptance speech in Springfield, Pitino feels like he’s part of a family at UofL. The wandering days are long gone, he’s here to stay.
Equally important, he’s more committed than ever to the recruiting game, a part of that job that eventually gets to many coaches.
“I think where most coaches realize it’s their time is when they just get tired of recruiting,” he said over the weekend. “That’s what people tell me. They get tired. The good thing is I’m nowhere near tired, as a matter of fact I’m even more passionate about recruiting right now than I’ve ever been because you have a brand that’s very easy to sell.”
Just Friday, remember, he landed a commitment from Jaylen Johnson, a four-star, 6-foot-9 power forward to go with Jaquan Lyle, a five-star guard and Shaqquan Aaron, a four-star small forward in his highly-ranked 2014 class. All recruits, it seems, want Pitino at least looking at them.
Pitino is probably as focused now as when he entered the profession in 1974, recently envisioning a dynasty at the University of Louisville. With two Final Fours and a national championship in the past two years, he may well be on his way to achieving his current goal.
A video of his acceptance speech is here.