Rick Pitino’s expression never changed from the opening tip until the game-ending horn.
Those hollowed out sockets containing the buggy eyes, the wide brow toppingÂ a pale face with gaunt cheeks. The look of a man who has something on his mind other than the current game. A man intent of staying ahead of the game, the next game, or the games after that, notÂ catching him unawares. Almost scary, the look.
That look will not change between now and Friday. Probably not until the season is over.
No more patsies. Serious business the rest of the way. For him. For University of Louisville basketball.
His team racking up 58 points while forcing 20 turnovers in the first half en route to a 104-74 win over Morgan State. Preston Knowles, Kyle Kuric and Terrence Jennings with career games of 31, 25 and 15 points, respectively.
The coach, making himself applaud his team’s effort at the end, obviously still concerned about the team’s rebounding, interior passing, and defense, knowing that many monumental challenges lie ahead, very soon, starting this week against a team from Lexington.
A man focused on the future, having tasted the fruits of success in his profession, but also familiar with the pain of disappointment. Having done everything possible to prepare his charges up to now, he will not allow one minute of preparation to be wasted between now and Friday.
His players know the look. They will be paying close attention.