If you missed it yesterday, Louisville assistant Ralph Williard will be taking a medical leave of absence due to a health issue. There is not a set time on when he will return. In the meantime, David Padgett will move into an assistant coach position. Padgett is the Director of Basketball Operations and will also continue to do that.
During his press conference on Wednesday afternoon to announce new assistant coach Kenny Johnson, Rick Pitino also mentioned that someone else would be joining the staff. Former UofL big man David Padgett will join the staff as an Assistant Video Coordinator.
This could end up being a great move for the Cards. With two seven footers coming in, plus Mangok Mathiang still needing to improve, having someone like Padgett there to help could speed up their learning process a lot.
When we had the polls posted on this site for your all-time starting 5 for Rick Pitino players at UofL, Padgett was the center on my team. Gorgui was awesome, but Padgett was always a special player to me. He will surely be a valuable asset and can make an immediate impact on the big men next season.
After thinking about it for a few days, I finally made my votes on the poll. I checked up on the results as the week went on, just to get a feel for how everyone else was voting. That clearly didn’t influence my picks as you will see. When the question was first thrown at me a few weeks ago in a group text chat by Chris Tingley, it immediately started a debate: Who would your starting 5 be at Louisville in the Rick Pitino era? Everyone has their favorite players that just can’t be replaced by anyone else, and everyone has their reasons why they may have chosen certain players. So here is my starting 5 with a few reasons…
Now this wasn’t an easy choice for me. I’ve always been a ‘guard kind of gal’…if that’s a thing. This is who run’s the offense, my favorite aspect of the game. Some of my first cognitive memories following Cardinal basketball were lead by THE Reece Gaines. One word… Tennessee. I recall being on a field trip in from Audubon in the SAC at UofL (yes I was one of those annoying school kids causing extra lunch traffic…if you can imagine…) and our group ran into Reece Gaines on campus. I followed the elementary crowd asking for autographs not realizing at the time the significance of this run-in. Lo and behold, 15 years later I’d buy the man a shot of Patron at a Wicks Wednesday event after his return to Louisville to coach at Bellarmine.
While it has been recorded that even Dwayne Wade called Reece the best college player he had ever faced, my choice at the PG position in the Pitino era is without a doubt the one and only, Peyton Siva. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s my class’ point guard. Meaning him and I entered college the same year, a very important time in both of our lives. He, of course, finished before me… but whatever, man. I like to think that I watched Siva grow as a player his entire career at Louisville while I, myself, was searching for an identity in my own realm. For years I watched ‘fans’ bash the man’s game when he would turn the ball over in a critical moment or miss the potential game winning shot. But what do we expect from fans in a ‘microwave society’, as Coach P puts it. I never lost faith in Peyton and despite size difference favoring Reece, I’m looking at the guys’ hands. Peyton wears five titles… Big East Tournament Champion and MVP 2012 & 2013 and NCAA National Champion.
I’ve said many times that I will cry the day Rick Pitino retires. Pitino is everything a head coach should be and through the years has had some tremendous players. But if I am putting together a Louisville Rick Pitino Dream Team, it’s going to look like this (All Pics from High School):
I am gonna start this off by being honest. I went to UofL to finish my Bachelors degree from 05-06 and was around that basketball team 365 since I had so many friends on that team. I may be a little biased. I may not be. Who knows? Oh yeah, I do. Well here goes my top 5 UofL players of the Rick Pitino Era.
Yes that’s a Rick Pitino bobblehead I got in 05 looking over my signed Final Four ball. I truly believe it is bugged……Sorry coach
My friend Chris Tingley posed this question to me a couple of weeks ago, and it is very interesting and fun to talk about. Of all the players that Rick Pitino has coached at the University of Louisville, who would be your starting 5? Now I will say that some players did play multiple positions, and after discussion, we decided to only have each player on 1 poll. So guys like Francisco Garcia, Larry O’Bannon, Ellis Myles, and Samardo Samuels had to be placed in only 1 category, even though we are well aware that those guys (and others) could be on different polls.
Please vote for each position. This will run until the end of the week on Thursday night, so that will give us time to get the word out all week and get as many people as possible to vote on this.
ESPN’s College Gameday will be making its first appearance at the KFC Yum! Center in the 2012-13 season! They will be in town when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish come to Louisville. The date has not been announced yet, but obviously it will be on a Saturday during conference play, so likely January or February.