Recently there has a been a lot of negativity towards the UL basketball team, and lots of fingers being pointed at Rick Pitino. Although some of it warranted, the truth of the matter is that UL basketball and UL athletics are just fine. As Mike pointed out earlier this morning or last night, the University of Louisville ranks 11th in Director Cup Standings after this fall, where is Kentucky you might ask? 73rd. Grant it Louisville will most likely fall back and Kentucky will probably move forward only because they are one of only 30 schools that offer Rifle as a Division 1 athletic sport and they are typically a top 5 Rifle school.
But something I want to hit on, is this notion that Gene Wozjicowski was trying to hit on, which is the fact that "Big Blue Nation" or Kentucky Basketball is this overwhelming, dominant college basketball program. Yes, in the history of college basketball, Kentucky has some impressive stats, and their recruiting of late has been impressive, but lets be sure to be clear about one important thing. Since Rick Pitino has come to Louisville, Louisville and Kentucky share the most important stat there is: 0 (that's a zero, just in case your curious). Zero Championships, and thanks to UK's run last year have been to the same amount of Final Fours: one. Now maybe that will change, maybe it, won't, but NCAA Men's basketball Championships are harder to win today than ever before. Mid-Majors making tremendous runs, schools as a collective whole playing better basketball, AAU basketball blowing up sending kids to schools all over the country. But the important thing to look at in my eyes, is that over the past 10 years, Kentucky and Louisville basketball have been pretty comparable, Zero Championships, only One Final Four.
With that being said, and really nothing I just wrote about further justifies the next statement other than the fact that anyone who seriously thinks Rick Pitino should a. be fired b. has lost it or c. is a bad coach, must be a Kentucky fan. The guy wins ball games, teaches his players and even coaches about being better people and making life changes to take their lives to the next level. Look at our team, and how many cocky, a**hole, thug, drug addict, uni-brown, head-cases do we have on our team? I'm not trying to say that is Kentucky either but this is happening to programs across the country when you look at the likes of Xavier-Cincy fight, Ole Miss just kicked 5 players off their team for drugs, kids not qualifying academically, the Uni-brow epidemic at UK. We have kids that go to school for 4 years, play hard, and have lives after basketball and become better men. That to me is impressive all in its own. We don't need shady recruiting tactics, Drake, Jay-Z or any of that. We sell our school, our community, and our COACH and we signed what, 4 top 100 players? Which brings me to my next and maybe final point, just depends on how bored I continue to be at work.
You had to see this coming. Sure we started 12-0, but who did we play, and it was apparent we had ZERO offense. It was apparent that we missed Preston out there, and not to mention TJ. We started the season with 19 players, and what now, 9 are injured or transferred? Our prize recruit Wayne Blackshear was injured before he ever even came to Louisville, and might not even see the court until next year? But the more important thing to look at is the positives: Russ Smith, Chane Behanan, Gorgui, guys making strides and showing the true potential that the future is bright, and the most important thing, we have a top 10 coach in the country who makes our team and school better.
That being said, my final point is this: We are the University of Louisville. We have one of the best, if not the best athletic director in the country and at some point in the past 2 years, pretty much every single sports team we have has been ranked in the top 25, our basketball team still made 12 million more dollars this past year than any other school which might help finance a new soccer stadium, our facilities are ridiculous, kids want to play for us, we have great coaches, etc. etc. etc. Life is good, cheer up, our team will still bounce back and fight for us, they always do.