By JACK LeGWIN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
Quentin Snider is living his dream.
The Louisville (KY) native made a huge splash early in his sophomore year when he committed to his hometown Louisville Cardinals, and has backed up his decision over the last two seasons by honing his skills, most recently leading Ballard (KY) to the state championship game in 2013, averaging 19.6 points per game.
“When I was a little kid, I always wanted to go to Louisville,” Snider told SNY.tv. “It’s where I’m from, and I’ve always wanted to play in front of my hometown fans.” To read more of this story, click here
Rick Pitino got a tatt.
“Louisville Coach Rick Pitino follows through on his promise to his team to get a tattoo,” Cardinals’ spokesman Kenny Klein tweeted.
Pitino told his players earlier this season if they won the national championship he would get inked, and now he has.
“About 12-13 games ago, all of these guys, when they say hello they get a tattoo,” Pitino said after Louisville beat Michigan to win the NCAA title in Atlanta. “They said if you win the National Championship coach, you are getting a tattoo. I said hell yeah, I am getting a tattoo.”
“I’m going to hold him to that tattoo he gonna be getting soon,” Kevin Ware said courtside.
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Louisville will get an important piece of its NCAA championship team back next season when junior guard Russ Smith returns to campus.
“Russ is going to come back for his senior year,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino told reporters Wednesday.
Pitino told reporters that Smith wants to graduate, become a first-team All-American and move up into the first round of the NBA Draft, according to Eric Crawford.
“I love to win,” Smith said. “With the group we have coming back, I want to go out as a winner, and to graduate.” To read more of this story, click here
Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Russ Smith is 60/40 on returning to Louisville for his senior season despite his father’s previous comments that his son would enter the NBA Draft.
“Russ’s dad spoke a little premature,” Pitino told ESPNU on Thursday. “Russ is about 60/40 staying.”
Pitino said he emailed “all the [NBA] Player Personnel directors and said, ‘Look, I need help on this one. If you drafted Russ Smith in the second round, would you send him to the D-League? Would you keep him? Would you develop him? I need some insight on what you think he needs to improve to be a first-rounder. To read more of this story, click here
ATLANTA — Can the state of Kentucky win three NCAA championships in a row?
That will be a dominating storyline for much of the next year in college basketball.
The Bluegrass State now has won two straight, with Rick Pitino and Louisville cutting down the nets in 2013 and John Calipari and Kentucky winning it all in 2012.
Both teams figure to be right back in the mix in 2014, with Kentucky’s boatload of McDonald’s All-Americans likely to make them a preseason favorite in the eyes of many folks. To read more of this story, click here
ATLANTA — This was just before “One Shining Moment” and Kevin Ware was walking across the confetti-strewn floor at the Georgia Dome on crutches.
Soon the Bronx native was with his teammates again as they climbed up on a ladder to cut down the net in the wake of Louisville’s 82-76 victory over Michigan in the national championship game.
Ever since suffering that gruesome leg injury in the Midwest Region final win over Duke, Ware has been pleading and prodding with his teammates to “just win.” To read more of this story, click here
ATLANTA — It’s entirely possible that no coach will ever replicate the week that Rick Pitino completed at 11:46 EST Monday night here in the Georgia Dome.
With Louisville’s 82-76 victory over Michigan in the national championship game before a crowd of 74,346, the newly minted Naismith Hall of Fame capped a historic day by becoming the first man ever to lead two different schools to an NCAA title.
The New York City native coached a loaded Kentucky team to the NCAA championship in 1996, and tonight guided Louisville to its first title since 1986 and third overall.
“I know how much this means to him,” Louisville senior floor general Peyton Siva said of Pitino after scoring 14 of his 18 points in the second half to go with six rebounds, five assists and four steals in his final collegiate game. To read more of this story, click here
ATLANTA — Rick Pitino could have become the Michigan coach in 2001.
Reiterating a story he has told before, the Louisville coach said that he nearly took the job in 2001 when he returned to the college ranks after leaving the Celtics.
Louisville, of course, will play Michigan here for the national championship Monday night.
Michigan ultimately chose Tommy Amaker, who previously coached Seton Hall.
Michigan, of course, beat Seton Hall in the 1989 NCAA title game.
Anyway, here’s Pitino’s version of the story: To read more of this story, click here
ATLANTA — Russdiculous says he’s “leaning toward” returning to Louisville for his senior season.
“If I were to come back next year, which is I’m not going to say 50/50, but it’s more of leaning towards coming back, we’ll just have to see,” Brooklyn native Russ Smith said here Sunday in response to another reporter’s question.
“I have to talk to my dad and I have to talk to Coach [Rick Pitino] and we’ll just go at it from there.” To read more of this story, click here
ATLANTA — It was early in the second half when Kevin Ware jumped from his courtside seat on to the elevated court at the Georgia Dome — without the use of his crutches.
“Why are you up here,” Louisville trainer Fred Hina shouted furiously at Ware, who suffered a gruesome leg injury in the Midwest Region final against Duke before undergoing surgery earlier this week.
“I’m fine,” Ware said before rushing to join his teammates in the huddle.
Ware wasn’t happy with the defense the Cardinals were playing in the national semifinals, when they got down by as many as 12 points to Wichita State before rallying for a 72-68 victory that propelled them into Monday’s national championship game. To read more of this story, click here