We mentioned this earlier today with the Dillon Avare news, but Rick Pitino went back to the keyboard today to discuss (virtually) a number of things.
First on the list was VJ King, who he watched in person Tuesday night.
I traveled to Virginia to watch Paul VI Catholic vs. Gonzaga. Paul VI Catholic won 87-78. VJ played well with 27 points and seven rebounds. He fits the same mold as our freshmen Ray, Donovan, and Deng. He's very well coached, an awesome athlete and everything will get better with seasoning and strength. This year's team, as repeated a 1000 times, is comprised of special people. Next year should be a duplication of this season. VJ will add a selfless attitude and a tremendous eagerness to learn. He passes, handles, scores with drives and pull-ups well. He asked the question right away: what does he need to do to get better?
Psycho Ray Ganong will be a big part of VJ's strength improvement. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard watching the game on the plane and seeing a split screen of Ray on the bench. He is one of a kind. We are so lucky to have him.
The other area of improvement VJ must make is typical of all high school players â Defense! Shot-blocking off the ball should be much better with his length and vertical jump. He will be another piece to the puzzle and another awesome attitude added to an already fantastic group.
Next up was Monday night's loss at Duke.
The Duke game was disappointing, but it had a lot of positives we can build on. The guys fought hard to the end and the crowd played an important role in the victory. Three crucial times our guys didn't hear the screen coming to down the pick and roll. Now the crowd was loud, but Anas' yell is barely a whisper. We're getting him throat surgery after the season (just kidding).
My first trip to Duke was full of the expected and unexpected. The Duke students are loud but not crude like many places. The gym is a lot smaller in person. The students definitely are into it almost like they are playing the game. There's little or no room on the sidelines. The city is quiet with little going on. I walked around in the morning and couldn't locate ten people.
Read the rest of Pitino's entry to find out why he used the line "Ron wanted to be a penguin as a child."