Rick Pitino will reportedly coach the Puerto Rico national team.
Who saw that coming? Anyone? Anyone?
Louisville’s coach has agreed to coach the country in its effort to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, according to FIBA America. (If your prefer your tweeted news in Spanish, they’ve got you covered.)
The deal will reportedly be announced sometime this week.
Why would Pitino, 58, take on a challenge like this when Louisville’s primed for big things in 2011-12. The Cardinals are off to an 8-0 start this season and have a dynamic freshmen class arriving next year. Why mess with a good thing?
It’s an effort to continue that good thing. From Inside Puerto Rico Basketball:
We have all seen what coaching an Olympic Team has done for Duke and Coach K. There is no much talent outside of the USA and with 10 current players from the Caribbean in the NBA this part of the world is rich in talent and could be a recruiting gold mine for us.”
Makes sense. Couldn’t hurt to avoid Louisville in the summer, either.
(Thanks, Kentucky Sports Radio)
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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.