During his pre-Georgetown press conference Tuesday afternoon, Rick Pitino again drifted into the topic of the importance of living in the present. He said that at his age (59), it has really become important for him to focus solely on the opponent lying immediately in front of his team.
He then dropped this bomb:
"My contract runs out in 2017, I'm not coaching anymore after that."
Now this is the same guy who has said multiple times over the last few months that he feels like he could coach until he's 90, so take that for what it's worth (very little). Even though it appears to already be happening, there's no reason to make a big fuss over the statement now. It's only if he continues to harp on it and it becomes an issue from a recruiting standpoint that this demands extended attention.
More notes from the press conference:
--Georgetown is playing as well as any Big East team heading into the conference season. They're one of the better shooting Hoya teams he's seen.
--Hollis Thompson is averaging 48% from the three-point line, which is devastating. Henry Sims' assist-to-turnover ratio is something you rarely see from a big man.
--(On Georgetown being picked 10th in the Big East) The coaches don't know what they're doing when it comes to voting. I know I don't. Coaches look at how many guys teams have coming back and that's about it. It's why UConn was picked 10th last year and we were picked 8th. I don't think they study it that hard.
--The Big East is very strong. It's much better at the bottom than it's been. Seton Hall has a six RPI ranking, this is the best Syracuse team in a long, long time, Marquette is obviously very good, West Virginia had a chance to beat undefeated Baylor and DePaul is much, much improved.
--We did not play good basketball against Western Kentucky. Not only did we have 20 turnovers, but they were terrible turnovers where we gave them easy baskets as a result. Still, you have to credit this team's ability to claw and find a way to win.
--Thought we played very well against Charleston, but very poorly against Western and Fairleigh Dickinson.
--Gorgui Dieng had his poorest game of the season against WKU. He had good numbers, but he was not getting back on defense and he played very poor fundamental basketball.
--Georgetown is a very good deflection team, they're very active on the perimeter. They'll play man-to-man and zone.
--Georgetown isn't going to turn the ball over very much. Every player on the team handles the ball well, which is very impressive. They're very good at controlling the game.
--Doesn't think this team is as good as last year's, but thinks this team has more potential than last year's.
--Thinks Chane Behanan is going to get a lot better as the season goes along because he's just a freshman and he has a long way to go as far as learning the fundamentals of basketball is concerned. Peyton Siva also has significant room for improvement because he's not the player he was before the injuries this year.
--"Come February, we're going to be a much better basketball team than we are now, but we're doing a good job now. We're playing up to our potential."
--Our defense is very weak right now, we have to get a lot stronger defensively.
--We've been really late rotating and really weak on transition defense. We do this against Georgetown and they'll annihilate us.
--With the injuries we've had and the lack of cohesive practice we've had, I'm shocked that we haven't been upset. There were so many situations where we could have lost, and we haven't lost. I think that speaks volumes for the attitude and the grit of this basketball team.
--The first Big East game means a lot, it always does.
--I think everyone who follows our team knows exactly who we are. I don't think anyone sees greatness, but they see grit. That's a great thing to have in December.
--If we win the Big East this year, it would be one of the greatest accomplishments of any teams I've coached, because we did not get a favorable schedule from the league. Everything with the schedule is stacked against us this year.