Photo Cred: Associated Press
Today, after attending Coach Pitino’s presser, there were five takeaways I took from this press conference.
First, Coach Pitino, is very happy with this schedule. He is always praising his ability to always having one of the top schedules year in and year out. This is what I love to hear because having a tough schedule makes the team better prepared for a deep run in March. This schedule doesn’t have a brutal stretch. Coach Pitino made the comment about phasing the “he** out” of Virginia”. There are 21 home games on the schedule which can be good or bad. Some of the biggest tests on the schedule are on the games on the road.
Secondly, Coach Pitino, praised how recruiting was going. He preached on staff continuity because it builds relationships with the family. Pitino talked about when Coach Mike Blado left and how Coach Jordan Fair stepped right in and built just as strong relationships with the families. He also praised that Trey Lewis and Damion Lee helped shaped the way the staff now recruits players like looking at their personalities and how they perform on and off the court.
Third, Pitino, praised Quentin Snider’s speed and explosiveness. His family hired a speed coach to work with him. He looks and is more explosive than he has been in his past three years here so far. Rick said that the coaching staff and him watched Q go through these drills and couldn’t believe the results. Pitino said he challenged him after the Michigan game and he said Q has exceeded his expectations for him this off-season.
Fourth, he discussed how well Brian “Tugs” Bowen has been playing this off-season. “Tugs can play any position on the floor”, Coach Pitino told us. He said he would like to try Tugs at the point guard spot and other positions because he can shoot and defend any position on the floor. Pitino said he was the second biggest pick up of the off-season. Tugs will be a huge contributor. He is getting the hype that Wayne Blackshear got during the preseason going into his freshman year.
Lastly, he doesn’t have a TRUE starting 5. This is great because this team is loaded with talent and athleticism. He talked about how this is his most athletic team he has had in his 16 years here. This was very surprising to hear because I believed the most athletic team was 2008-2009 team but I’ll believe him. This team is going to be very talented and have NBA size. The only starter we know for certain would be Q at the point guard. Who else would start? He stated that Ray Spalding was 80% to greatness so lets see where this goes. I hope Ray takes a major jump this year.
This was just some of my takeaways. I know other writers will have different takeaways. I can’t wait to see this team and can’t wait to cheer them on…