Rick Pitino has forgotten more about the game of basketball than most of us will ever know. As frustrated as we are with him right now, I think that’s a fair statement. However, I know I am not the only one who sometimes questions a lot of the decisions he makes. We’re not able to see the players in practice every day. Therefore it’s a little unfair for us to assume that we know which players should and shouldn’t receive the most playing time. But sometimes it gets a little frustrating when it appears that there is young talent on the bench that is not being utilized.
I didn’t expect Zach Price or Angel Nunez to be key pieces to this year’s team. With the experience returning at both of their positions I thought it would be tough for either to get valuable playing time. 17 games into the season Angel Nunez has logged 28 total minutes, while Zach Price has logged 41. Although I didn’t expect them to be big contributors, I did expect them to get more minutes than that.
This team is very thin at the center position due to injuries and also lacks a consistent three-point threat. Isn’t that where Nunez and Price come in? Isn’t that why Louisville recruited them? It’s fair for Pitino to say that these guys aren’t ready. He would know more than I would. However, when their talent is needed on the court, isn’t it Pitino’s job to get them ready.
This is not a very good 3-point shooting team. That’s obvious. However, it’s a little frustrating to see that the team’s best 3-point shooter has been on the bench all season. Nunez can fill it up from downtown. He may not be as good of a defender/rebounder as some of the other guys, but his 3-point shooting could definitely be utilized.
Zach Price may not be the most polished offensive player, but the guy is 6-10 235 lbs. That type of size doesn’t come around too often. From what I understand, Zach is behind quite a bit with conditioning and understanding Pitino’s defensive philosophy. But when Gorgui Dieng gets in foul trouble, why not just put Zach in just to take up space and grab rebounds. I don’t think having Behanan and Buckles in at the same time is working out too well, Rick.
I’m not saying that Price and Nunez need to see 20+ minutes per game. Nor am I saying that they are answer to fix the obvious problem that we have here. But they could help, right? How awful could Zach Price be practicing for him to not get in the game last night?