Reports of the return of the bearded approach for the University of Louisville basketball team are true, Coach Rick Pitino showing up with stubble at his pre-game press conference.
A rally beard, he called it, something to help the team get going again. Possibly an over-reaction to losing one game, that 11-point loss to Duke last weekend.
Not an original approach, something UofL did three seasons ago when that team made its way into a Final Four.
Pitino doesn’t speak very highly of this team, dissing the shooting, the defense, the lack of fast breaks and touches in the middle, and weak, inexperienced or distracted freshmen. He does everything for a reason, primarily to get his team motivated. And it usually winds up working.
One has to wonder, however, about going back to the beards. Some college baseball teams have opted for Mohawk haircuts or shaving their hair altogether, going for the bald look. Pitino is never going to do that, not with his own hair.
The coach doesn’t appear to be having much fun yet this season, and needs some extra motivation. He didn’t even make a big deal of growing beards at his press conference, and that’s not like him.
Seems a bit of a stretch the second time around.