Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has dealt with a very busy summer in handling both the Cardinals and his duties as head coach of the Puerto Rican national team. Pitino coached both teams at times this summer as he brought his Cardinals to the Caribbean for a series of exhibition games against his new team.
The experience gave the new-look Cardinals — who are potentially using multiple graduate transfers as starters to go along with a four-man recruiting class — a chance to gel early this summer and Pitino is happy that Louisville had the extra time to spend together this summer.
The Louisville head coach blogged about his summer over the weekend and the Cardinals were the very first thought on his mind.
“Our Louisville basketball team gained so much knowledge through our competition. Normally foreign trips are great bonding experiences but this summer was much more. We now know what to focus on. Our strengths and weaknesses are there in front of us,” Pitino said in the post.
With the Cardinals getting an extra three weeks of time together in practices and games, the trip to the Caribbean surely helped the team learn each other a little bit before practice begins in a little over a month. Louisville playing so many games against Puerto Rico — a older and more experienced team with pros — can only help them prepare for the rigors of the ACC.
Pitino also uses much of the blog post to discuss Puerto Rico’s basketball outlook as well as the way things work in the land itself. It’s an interesting portrait of a struggling area coming from a head coach that clearly has grown to care about how things work in that region of the world.