Pitino Says Big East Isn’t ‘Missing a Beat’ Despite Departures

NEW YORK — As a native New Yorker and longtime Big East guy, Rick Pitino was sad to see Louisville leave the league.

But despite the departures of Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the ACC, the Big East is doing just fine right now.

The league has three Top 25 teams in No. 7 Villanova, No. 15 Butler and No. 24 St. John’s. Seton Hall had been unbeaten before Tuesday  night’s loss at Wichita State.

Four of the top 30 teams in the KenPom rankings are Big East schools as well — No. 6 Villanova, No. 20 Georgetown, No. 26 St. John’s and No. 28 Butler. To read more of this story, click here

After Blowing Out Indiana, Pitino Looking Forward to Kentucky

Cal-RickNEW YORK — After Louisville blew out Indiana 94-74 in the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, Rick Pitino was asked where his team stood on the national college basketball landscape.

“I think Kentucky and Duke are at the highest level right now,” Pitino said of the No. 1 and 2-ranked teams in the nation. “We hope to get to that level….I think we have a very high ceiling, so I think we can get there…I think we have shot-blocking, we have a great backcourt so we hope to get there, I don’t think we’re in their class now.”

No. 5 Louisville hosts Kentucky Dec. 27. Both teams are currently unbeaten.

“I think we’re going to find out [how good we are] very soon,” Pitino said. “We’re going to play Kentucky pretty soon so we’ll find out, but I like the way we’re rebounding, I like the way we’re blocking shots, I like the passing tonight so I think we’ll get there.” To read more of this story, click here

Pitino Answers Back on Antonio Blakeney Shoe Affiliation Story

Louisville coach Rick Pitino has chimed in on the recent decommitment of shooting guard Antonio Blakeney, which has been linked to the fact that Louisville is an adidas program and Blakeney plays for a Nike AAU team.

“I don’t like not being able to recruit” a kid because of their shoe affiliation, Pitino said, according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We need to get shoe companies out of their lives”

Pitino isn’t permitted to comment on recruitable student-athletes so he was ostensibly speaking generally.

“I’m not talking about a specific case that just happened to us,” he said. “I’m saying in the last five years” things have changed.

Pitino recruited Blakeney at the Nike-sponsored Peach Jam, among other events, watching him several times there, as did other high-major coaches. To read more of this story, click here

P.J. Dozier Meets With Pitino, Will Take Official to Louisville

Five-star combo guard P.J. Dozier will take an official visit to Louisville the weekend of Oct. 30 following an in-home visit Wednesday with head coach Rick Pitino and assistant Kenny Johnson.

Louisville hosts Florida State in football Oct. 30.

“The visit went extremely well,” Perry Dozier Sr. told SNY.tv Thursday. “Coach came in and he was very warm and just got right to the point. We talked; it a was a great visit.”

Louisville has zeroed in on the 6-foot-7 Dozier to join Brewster (N.H.) Academy guard Donovan Mitchell in its backcourt beginning in 2015 now that Antonio Blakeney has decommitted. (Blakeney met Wednesday night with Kentucky’s John Calipari and Kenny Payne.)

“It was pretty clear, coming in the backcourt and playing with Mitchell,” Perry said. “He’s a pretty good friend with P.J. They played together at the Reebok Camp so that’s a big plus, but he told P.J. he’s his point guard and that’s what he wants him to do, is run the ballclub.” To read more of this story, click here

Louisville Set for Home Visit With Dozier; Kentucky Meeting Blakeney (UPDATED)

After parting ways with Antonio Blakeney following his decommitment, Louisville has zeroed in on P.J Dozier, a 6-foot-5 two guard out of Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and assistant Kenny Johnson will have a home visit with Dozier tonight (Wednesday).

“I talked to Coach Kenny, and they just want to come down and sit down and talk and start the process over again,” Perry Dozier, Sr. who coaches his son, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We wouldn’t have them come in if (P.J.) wasn’t (interested).”

Dozier is also considering North Carolina, Michigan, Georgetown and South Carolina, with the Tar Heels the presumed favorite on 247Sports. To read more of this story, click here

Pitino Highlights Brayden Carr Clinic, Says Coach K ‘Deserves’ Recruiting Edge From Team USA

PitinoHACKENSACK, N.J. — Louisville coach Rick Pitino highlighted an array of college and pro coaches at the Brayden Carr Foundation clinic at Fairleigh Dickinson University on Friday, and Pitino later defended Coach K against charges that he holds a recruiting advantage as coach of Team USA.

“Obviously, I think it’s a great cause,” Pitino told SNY.tv of the event, founded by Rhode Island assistant coach Jimmy Carr and his wife Natalie after their 2-year-old son Brayden died in 2011.

Richard [Pitino] lost a brother and we lost a child, so we know the heartbreak that goes with that, and obviously being part of something for the great cause, besides representing coaches, is a terrific thing.”

Pitino was featured at the event alongside Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, South Carolina coach Frank Martin, Villanova coach Jay Wright, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and former NBA coach George Karl. To read more of this story, click here

Antonio Blakeney Decommits from Louisville

os-2013-varsity-media-day-basketballBy JACK LeGWIN

Antonio Blakeney has pulled his verbal commitment to Louisville and reopened his recruitment.

“I am still really considering louisville heavily I like everything about [their] program , coaches and fans!!” Tweeted Blakeney, who committed earlier this month on his visit.

“I made a quick and emotional decision based on some of the wrong reasons,” Blakeney told Reggie Rankin from ESPN. “I really loved my visit and everything about Louisville and I am still strongly considering them.”

The 6-foot-4 Blakeney has no visits planned, his AAU coach Steve Reese told SNY.tv Tuesday morning.

“We haven’t heard from any schools yet since he committed a few weeks back,” Reese said.

To read more of this story, click here