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While his dad is headed to the Final Four in Atlanta with Louisville, a report says that FIU head coach Richard Pitino could steal at least a share of the family spotlight this week.
According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, Minnesota is finalizing a deal to make Pitino its head coach and fill the vacancy that was created with the firing of Tubby Smith on March 25.
Pitino coached FIU to an 18-14 overall record this past season, including 11-9 in Sun Belt play. He came within one game securing an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, but his team lost to Western Kentucky in the conference tournament championship game.
If the move happens, it would be a bold one for the Gophers. But Pitino, 30, has experience as a high-major assistant at Louisville with his father and at Florida under head coach Billy Donovan. Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague was at Virginia Commonwealth when he gave another one-time assistant, Shaka Smart, his first major head coaching break.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.
Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”
The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.
Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”
Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.
The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.
Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.