Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has had his greatest success as a college coach, despite two different stints in the NBA. He’s the first coach in NCAA history to take three teams to the Final Four. He captured a national title for Kentucky in 1996. After the next year he took another shot at the NBA, accepting the head coaching job for the Boston Celtics.
That is a decision Pitino told 790 The Ticket in Miami that he shouldn’t have left Big Blue Nation for Boston.
“I think I do regret leaving Kentucky because I took over a team with 15 wins banking everything on the Tim Duncan lottery, and once we didn’t get Tim Duncan I realized that leaving Kentucky was not a good move,” said Pitino.
In 1997, Duncan was taken by the San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics took Chauncey Billups with the third overall pick, followed by Ron Mercer three picks later.
Pitino was 102-146 in four years with the Celtics. He was 219-50 in eight seasons at Kentucky. Since joining the Cardinals in 2001, Pitino is 296-111. The current Louisville coach was more successful in his first NBA job, coaching the New York Knicks from 1987-1989.
“I loved going to the Knicks because we won the Atlantic Division championship,” he said. “We went from winning 21 games or 19 games to winning 52 games in a short period of time. I loved coaching Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley and all those guys.”
Recently, Pitino was announced as a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.
Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.
McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.
The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.
News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.
LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.
Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.
Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.
Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.