What is the baseline expectation for basketball this season? Is there a certain record CRP needs to hit to keep himself off the hot seat? All things considered (SS going pro, Sallie/Coleman/Dieng not eligible, various other commits not here (Tyler, Martin), injuries), what defines a successful year this year? NCAA tourney birth? Does any result (aside from an obvious 12-25 type season) put Pitino on the hot seat? Now, I also realize the things we're considering all can be placed at Pitino's feet, but there's no point in doing otherwise.
There's been a lot of negativity lately, mostly directed at the results of the 2011 recruiting efforts, and I think that's fair. But I also think people are downplaying the strength of our current commits. But, given the stress that Pitino has directly (through his statements) and indirectly (multiple strikeouts in the 2009/2010 classes) placed on the 2011 class, I think he has set up people for disappointment. Had we never gone after Teague, Miller, Bello, Wroten, Sampson, Hinds, (fill in the blank), and only went after the current commits we have, I think the feel of our current class would be much more positive. We have some players, just maybe not the top ones we went after.
Given Pitino's salary, his recruiting assets (arena, facilities, fanbase, tradition), and everything else, there is no reason that he shouldn't be making the NCAA this year (regardless of who's on the roster). That's not to say missing the tourney costs him his job, though.
I'm thinking a 20 win season is a success. And if he can sign his current commit group, I'm bullish on the future. Much less, and I have my doubts about Pitino to bring in #3.