More things change, the more they stay the same

Rick Pitino signaled significant change was on the way. He didn’t promise results.

The Louisville basketball coach’s idea of change is shaking up his starting lineup, pulling two players assumed to be the most reliable and consistent. Senior Kyle Kuric and freshman Chane Behanan on the bench as the game begins, two of the team’s most reliable players.

Bring on Wayne Blackshear and Jared Swopshire, two of the most unpredictable, make them starters. That should shake things up a bit, motivate them and their teammates.

Pitino has been coaching for 35 years so we’ll have to defer to his experience. Not that we’ll ever understand much of what he does. He has a penchant for the unpredictable, doing the complete opposite of what seems logical. Usually counteracting himself on what he says he is going to do.

The man in change, the one with all the power, the one doing all the pontificating, the one with all the answers. Ask him. Just don’t expect a straight answer.

Maybe Pitino had visions of Kuric going ballistic behind the three-point line, or Behanan transforming into the Hulk. Or maybe he believed Blackshear was ready for prime time. He couldn’t have thought Swopshire would be more productive, or could he?

Peyton Siva might have seemed to be the most logical candidate for a stay on the bench. That would have been too predictable, however, and Pitino doesn’t do that. Gotta keep everybody guessing. We’ll never know whether Elisha Justice had a chance at starting or not.

Angel Nunez, remember, was also supposed to get more playing time, such a good shooter in practice. Never made to the scorer’s table.

What we do know is that there are a lot of people, including the players, who are confused, disappointed and in the dark about decisions. Some would call it lacking any clear direction.

That’s not going to change. Pitino loves to keep people guessing.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

15 thoughts on “More things change, the more they stay the same

  • March 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm
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    Rick Pitino is overpaid for what he has done during time his time here at U of
    L. It doesn’t make any sense to me why we can not get any top notch recruits.
    It’s good that we get 20 wins a season, but that isn’t enough. He needs to
    retire so Jurich can get a better coach without all of the baggage that Rick has.
    He really hurt the University when he decided to think of himself instead of his
    family and the University.

  • March 4, 2012 at 2:25 am
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    Cards Nation is really disappointed right now its hard to be a louisville fan. Siva should have sat down next to Kuric and Chris Smith. Give Nunez a chance, lineup could have been Justice, R.Smith,Nunez,Behanan,Dieng at some point in the second half but he kept Siva in. Russ and Behanan was the only ones playing with heart, so why would Pitino take them out if they’re the only ones that was playing hard. Kuric couldn’t even hit in Kuric corner, C.Smith brick all his shots, blackshear wasn’t ready to start, Behanan did good but needs to finish around the rim better, Dieng needs to make his presence known down low so we can move the zone and get our shooters open and Siva needs to have confidence when he shoot because everybody knows when he gets in the paint he looks to pass out. He’s not threat on offense and makes crazy errors. We have a lot to work on between now and Wed. I’m a die hard and I love my team but this will not do! Plus why would Pitino tell Swopshire he needs to transfer because he won’t get no clock next year but yet he starts him. . . It don’t make sense, everybody needs to be on the same page, this ain’t no guessing game. . Come on y’all.

    • March 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm
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      Alicia, there are numerous contradictions as you point out. I have been hoping Elisha Justice would get more playing time just to eliminate some of the comedic mistakes. Thanks for commenting.

  • March 4, 2012 at 8:53 am
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    The changes should be in talent level and coaching. Those are the changes we need.

  • March 4, 2012 at 9:25 am
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    Is the change needed really in the form of another undersized guard (Rozier)or a “best player on the team” (Hancock) transfer? How about some more beef around the basket, Coach? How about a seven footer? In case you haven’t already tuned CRP out, the end is coming soon. Both to this season and him having the daily media attention that he craves.

    • March 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm
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      Its time for a coaching change.

  • March 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm
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    The biggest change we need is a coaching change. I think Pitino has lost his ever loving mind. Every time we get some kind of momentum going and our guys do start to get hot behind the arc, Pitino takes them out of the game. I am done trying to figure him out.

    • March 5, 2012 at 9:59 am
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      He may getting close to the “deep end” of the pool indeed.

  • March 5, 2012 at 9:38 am
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    Pitino’s adjustments were not designed to win any games. They were designed to perserve his spot as the “most named coach available after the first round” guest analyst on CBS’s NCAA tournament coverage. His flight to NY is already booked.

  • March 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm
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    When I watch the offense in particular. Its as if no one wants the ball except maybe Behanan and Russ Smith. Siva only has two speeds.. waste too much shot clock, or blaze into no man’s land without a pass or shot.

    Failing the same way over and over is approaching insanity. I’m beginning to wonder if those who remain more hopeful than me are losing grasp of reality.

    This team is not confident, has no real leaders, doesn’t know how to score, no player really knows what to expect from the other. They’re SPASTIC. This team fits the definition perfectly.

  • March 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm
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    I’m predicting UofL loses in first rounds of Big East and NCAA tournaments.

    In Spite of current Big East standings, If Big East entered 1 less team in NCAA tournament this year. The Cards should be the team sitting out.

    They’re the furthest from passing the eye test. I don’t believe the embarrassment is quite over.

    Possibly, 1 or 2 more epic failures on the level of Providence and most recent Syracuse game still to come.

    • March 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm
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      Thanks for the chuckle, Anthony. Rick has had some issues with recruiting and perhaps had a wardrobe malfunction in the past–but he can coach any player who will listen to him. And these guys seem to be doing it, at last.
      One note of caution though–the MSU game was a matchup of who prepared better. Florida will be matchup of ‘who’s the man?’ Go Cards!

    • March 24, 2012 at 10:04 am
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      Happily Anthony. I’m glad you read so thoroughly But I hope you will also remember that the same person also wrote Pitino was quite capable of doing what he’s currently doing.

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