Seems like yesterday local TV news helicopters were tracking Rick Pitino from the Clark County Airport in Southern Indiana on his way to becoming the University of Louisville basketball coach. The surprising hire by Tom Jurich would create joy in Louisville, but sadness, even anger, elsewhere in the state.

Since becoming U of L coach in 2001, Pitino has compiled a 154-59 record, including four NCAA tournament appearances, among them one trip to the Final Four. He has embraced the university in many ways, including support for a dorm to honor the memory of his friend Billy Minardi. The coach has said often that he plans to retire here.

Pitino now has an overall 499-183 won-loss record. Now he is eyeing his 500 victory, another significant milestone in a remarkable career. The coach may briefly acknowledge No. 500 but he will move on quickly. Pitino continues to set new goals for himself and the people who surround him, and his goals are very high for the U of L basketball program.

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By Charlie Springer

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

5 thoughts on “Pitino Goes for No. 500”
  1. Well, that was a sorry effort.

    Problems — possibly in order (but these all stink too bad to properly rank)

    defense–team and individual is incredibly poor, particularly with DC and Sosa. We’re not denying the ball or even location–short, slow guys are getting the ball way too close to the basket, etc.

    turnovers — T Will, DC, Sosa –even E5 today…sheesh

    poor ball movement–today’s was the worst in several games. Not making defense move and tire, much less getting open shots.

    poor shooting…mainly because of items above–but we’re not knocking down open 3’s either or –importantly– making free throws.

    weak rebounding… no one blocks out well. Particularly, we are not a good offensive rebounding team–which again leads to poor shooting

    slow starts– finally our undoing today and will be for any tough teams

    I have not noticed any real improvement in any of these things since Padgett went down…this is very disappointing to me–and RP said so too, in his very brief post-game interview

    This is what is frustrating about today’s college game–any real talent only gets to mature to Soph or Jr level before going pro. I have to remember that Griff had T Will’s wildness thru his Jr yr–he became consistent only a Sr.

    That’s why the college game is about Double A, compared to the Triple A quality of ball up thru mid 90’s.

    This team is top 15-25 right now. Has big upside but I’m beginning to be concerned…

    our 2004 team, with less raw talent, would beat this one right now by 5-10 pts

  2. Good luck to UL, and coach Pitino in hopefully getting his 500th victory.

    Dayton can be pesky though so beware.

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