Rick Pitino really wants to coach against his son Richard again. The father and son meet last season when Rick’s eventual national champion cruised past Richard’s Florida International team.
The younger Pitino is now at Minnesota, which sets up a potential Big Ten-ACC clash beginning next season when Louisville leaves the American after a one-year stint. According to WDRB.com, the elder Pitino wants the 2014-2015 campaign to open against his son’s Golden Gophers on a neutral site.
“I will let you guys in on the scoop of the year,” Pitino said in an interview with me (Rick Bozich), Eric Crawford and Steve Andress of WDRB Sports.
“If everything goes according to Hoyle, we will open up on a military base with Minnesota on national television next season.”
“We’re working on that now, but it could be Puerto Rico if it all works,” Pitino said. “We haven’t signed contracts. It’s a long way from done. But it could be on a military base opening the season next year.”
Rick first stated he wanted to go head-to-head with his son again in early September during a press conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Though back then, he wanted Louisville to get paired with Minnesota as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
“I’m hoping, that the Big Ten/ACC Challenge … I’m hoping that we get matched up them because it terms of a home and home, I’m not playing him,” Pitino said. “I think it would be fun. I played him at FIU and he was totally mismatched, and at least we can play on more equal terms.”
The next game between the two coaches may be on more equal terms, but father and son don’t seem to be on the same page. Several weeks after his father’s comments at Hall of Fame, Richard cooled the talks of the potential matchup.
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.
Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.
The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.
Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.