Louisville Basketball coach Rick Pitino blogged on Wednesday. His topics ranged from Cardinal Signee VJ King who Pitino stressed is a willing learner and is from the same fabric of this year’s Louisville Basketball team. Pitino also discussed the Duke game, the Duke crowd and a some trouble with the team chartered plane following the loss.
Pitino ends by saying that Dillon Avare is graduating with a 3.99 GPA and transferring to Eastern Kentucky to play on scholarship.
VJ King – I traveled to Virginia to watch Paul VI Catholic vs. Gonzaga. Paul VI Catholic won 87-78. VJ played well with 27 points and seven rebounds. He fits the same mold as our freshmen Ray, Donovan, and Deng. He’s very well coached, an awesome athlete and everything will get better with seasoning and strength. This year’s team, as repeated a 1000 times, is comprised of special people. Next year should be a duplication of this season. VJ will add a selfless attitude and a tremendous eagerness to learn. He passes, handles, scores with drives and pull-ups well. He asked the question right away: what does he need to do to get better?
Psycho Ray Ganong will be a big part of VJ’s strength improvement. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard watching the game on the plane and seeing a split screen of Ray on the bench. He is one of a kind. We are so lucky to have him.
The other area of improvement VJ must make is typical of all high school players — Defense! Shot-blocking off the ball should be much better with his length and vertical jump. He will be another piece to the puzzle and another awesome attitude added to an already fantastic group.
The Duke game was disappointing, but it had a lot of positives we can build on. The guys fought hard to the end and the crowd played an important role in the victory. Three crucial times our guys didn’t hear the screen coming to down the pick and roll. Now the crowd was loud, but Anas’ yell is barely a whisper. We’re getting him throat surgery after the season (just kidding).
My first trip to Duke was full of the expected and unexpected. The Duke students are loud but not crude like many places. The gym is a lot smaller in person. The students definitely are into it almost like they are playing the game. There’s little or no room on the sidelines. The city is quiet with little going on. I walked around in the morning and couldn’t locate ten people.
Louisville resident and Friends of the Ville member Ron Carmicle was the General Contractor for the 21c hotel where we stayed. It’s an old bank renovated into a hotel with pink penguins everywhere. Ron wanted to be a penguin as a child.
Duke shoots, drives and makes free throws well. We look forward to the re-match. We got home at 3:00 in the morning. We had to wait for our plane to arrive after the game take us home and then we waited on the runway for another hour. Adding to that, we had to wait 30 minutes for the steps to depart the plane after arriving in Louisville. Why couldn’t this happen after a win???
Seven games left for us with no post season. We will work on our defense more in practice, especially full court. We are planning some fun things for senior night. Dillon Avare will be joining Damion and Trey. Dillon graduated in three years with a 3.99 GPA. Who is that one professor who gave him an A-? Rumor has it he was a UK grad! Dillon will receive a scholarship and play at Eastern Kentucky University next season. He is a wonderful young man and one of the team’s favorite people. Thank you son for all of your selfless dedication. Good luck at EKU.
Notre Dame, Pitt, Miami and Virginia will be the toughest four road games you can find anywhere. I wouldn’t want to go into the battle with any other group of players. Should be fun!
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