As had been widely expected, Walter McCarty announced today that he will be leaving Louisville to accept an assistant coaching job with the Indiana Pacers.
Here's McCarty's statement:
"I am ecstatic about returning to my home state and to start working with the Pacers. I am anxious to work alongside Jim O'Brien and am very excited about the direction this franchise is headed."
And from Rick Pitino:
"Walt has been an integral part of my basketball family for many years, both as a player and a coach. He is an outstanding teacher, motivator and person and will be a great asset to the Pacers organization. We will miss his upbeat and positive personality he brought each and everyday. We are very excited for him to enter the ranks of professional basketball as a coach."
All those who are around McCarty on a daily basis rave about his upbeat attitude and positive demeanor,which I'm sure will be sorely missed. Still, the impending staff shakeup, however minor, has me a little excited.
While McCarty probably provided a nice Hyde to Rick Pitino's Jekyll (I actually have no idea which is which, but Hyde sounds like the nice one), you rarely heard his name mentioned in the same breath as Louisville's top recruits, with Jeremy Tyler being the main exception. It's also hard to ignore the fact that Samardo Samuels, presumably under McCarty's tutelage (Masiello's not 6-10), went from National Player of the Year to two-year collegiate underachiever, and is now vastly exceeding expectations during pre-NBA Draft workouts.
I have no idea who the next assistant will be, but I'd bet hard money on it being someone with a reputation of being a great recruiter.