BOZICH: Boeheim Says Put Pitino in Hall of Fame NOW - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH: Boeheim Says Put Pitino in Hall of Fame NOW

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Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim (left) said Rick Pitino should be voted into the Naismith Hall of Fame Monday. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim (left) said Rick Pitino should be voted into the Naismith Hall of Fame Monday.

ATLANTA (WDRB) – On Monday University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino will learn if he has been voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

On Thursday a current Hall of Famer – Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim – said Pitino belongs in the Hall. In fact, Boeheim said Pitino belonged in the Hall last year.

"He should have been voted in last year," Boeheim said. "I don't see any way in the world he wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. He's got better credentials than probably 80 percent of the coaches in there."

Pitino is one of 12 nominees on the 2013 ballot, along with former college coaches Jerry Tarkanian of UNLV and Guy Lewis of Houston. The Hall of Fame announcement is 11 a.m. Monday at the Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown Atlanta.

If Louisville defeats Wichita State Saturday in the NCAA Final Four, Pitino will be positioned to win his second national title Monday night against either Syracuse or Michigan.

This is Pitino's seventh Hall of Fame appearance. Only John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith have made more -- and all three are Hall of Fame members.

"He's a great coach," Boeheim said. "He was a great coach when I hired him (at Syracuse as an assistant in the mid-70s).  And he's always been a great coach. He was a great coach in the NBA. It's just different up there. He improved that team. Everybody keeps saying that he didn't win. He improved where they were.

"When you can win anywhere, like John (Beilein of Michigan) has or Rick has or take programs to the NCAA that never go there, then you're really a great coach … when you can win everywhere, that means something.

"He's one of those 24-hour-a-day basketball coaches. I'm only about 16. He sleeps about two hours. So he's about 22."

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