Coach Pitino is back with another blog update at RickPitino.com. In today’s post Pitino discusses politics, hoops and preparation.
Below is an excerpt from the post where Pitino discusses the areas of improvement for the team and also what each player has been working in over the summer. Visit RickPitino.com to read the blog post entirely.
Lets Talk Basketball:
Schedule – We had the second toughest schedule in the nation last year. This season is much more difficult.
Polls – Only matters early on in football, not hoops.
Things Coach’s should never do:
1) Judge freshman bigs – Some need time and develop late.
2) Judge players by individual instruction – It is to teach proper fundamentals, but it’s a mistake to judge who is playing well.
-Jared Swopshire would put on a clinic with his footwork and moves.
-Russ Smith- After watching an individual workout, you would believe he would never get any minutes.
3) Take guarantee games just to make money. The administration at Savannah State should be held accountable for subjecting their athletes to such mismatches. Oklahoma St. 80, Savannah State 0. This week they play Florida State and they are a 70 point underdog. Surely money cannot be that important. The welfare of their athletes must come first. There are no lessons that are being taught. In basketball, coaches play their benches early with mismatches. In football they run it up to move higher in the polls.
4) Recruit athletes without passion. Passion leads to a strong work ethic. A strong work ethic leads to improvement.
5) Pay attention to social media. Anyone can be a critic. Anyone can be an expert. Anyone can have an opinion. Insulate from all that is being said. It serves no purpose positively or negatively. It is banned from our meetings!
Areas we are focusing on the most:
1) Nutrition – A major key to conditioning. Very underrated in training to be physically fit. It’s our fuel that makes our engine roar. More emphasis this year with this on what we put into our bodies.
2) Defensive closeouts – Almost cost us the Final Four against Florida.
3) Passing – Turnovers were our Achilles heel last year.
4) Shooting technique – Peyton and Kevin Ware have made the biggest strides.
*Angel Nunez – Has skills that can really help us. He just has to let the game come to him.
*Chane Behanan – Has improved his defensive skills. Really needed!
*Wayne Blackshear – Never been in great condition. Terrific understanding of how to use his body around the rim. Once his conditioning gets to the Louisville level, watch out!
*Gorgui Dieng – Stronger and smarter.
*Montrezl & Mangok – Want to see them away from individuals to see where they stand.
*Luke Hancock and Mike Marra are back to work. Contact on October 1st.
Preparation and Passion
As I turn 60 next week, I wake up with John Wooden’s quote each day:
“Treat each day as if you had one to live. Learn each day as if you will live forever.” I think about that every morning as I wake up.
Now how to master that quote…
1) Insulate yourself from negative and cynical people. Choose your associates who will lift your spirits and will not deflate.
2) I chart my course the night before. As I write this blog, my exciting agenda is set for tomorrow’s passionate day.
3) In writing:
6:15-6:35 am –Wake up on the elliptical
6:45 am – Head to Starbucks and work.
(BTW – Starbucks people are so upbeat. Great philosophy behind the company.)
7:15 am – Staff Meeting- Cover every detail with recruits visiting campus.
9:30 am – Media meeting
11:00 am – First individual instruction
12:00 pm – Workout
2:45 pm – Speak to women’s soccer team
3:00 pm – First recruit arrive on campus
4:00 pm -Second individual instruction
5:00 pm – Third individual instruction
8:30 pm – Dinner with recruit and family.
10:00 pm – Stop in to congratulate Vinny the Vest on making it to age 40. Minor Miracle!!!!
Plan your day to make it organized and passionate. Outside of reading in the evening, I am not interested in rumors in our world of College basketball. Like the conventions, I would need fact finders to discover the truth.