Let me start this by stating that I consider myself neither a Pitino lover nor hater. I have been frustrated by the lack of progress this season, but I am not one of the ones calling for Pitino's head. In fact, I really think that given all the injuries this season, that Pitino basically gets a pass.
From the standpoint of X's and O's, I feel like his job is basically to come up with a game plan to get the players open shots. He has done this. It then falls upon the players to make a good percentage of those shots. They have not done this. Essentially, this does not fall back upon Pitino, unless you blame him for the lack of talent, and that is a valid point, but also brings us back to point one, that we have talent, but it has been injured.
However, I think that is is a legitimate criticism of Pitino that he has failed in his duty to evaluate talent: that is, to recognize it when he sees it, or to recognize the lack of it when he sees it. A couple examples of the former are The Lofton kid who went to Tennessee, and Rondo who went to UK. Examples of the later are numerous, but Preilu Davis is one who comes to mind. I realize that it's easy to "Monday morning quarterback" this, but this is his job! I am not a scout, coach, or expert when it comes to evaluating talent, but I did see Lofton play, and even I could see that the kid was a stone cold assassin when it came to shooting. You can ALWAYS use a shooter. How Pitino, a so called expert, missed that is troublesome. How he needed Ralph Willard to get him to notice Russ Smith is another example of his inability to evaluate talent.
There are other points about lack of development of the freshman talent ( what exactly do they do during their daily individual instruction all season?!) but it is late, and I'm getting tired of writing this.
In sum, it's hard to know what kind of team we'd have if Marra, Buckles, Van Tresse, Blackshear hadn't been injured. Safe to say we might have a couple more wins. That uncertainty buys Pitino a pass this year.