LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Rick Pitino believes the sanctions self-imposed by the University of Louisville will be enough to satisfy the NCAA.
The U of L coach hit on a number of topics as a guest on the College Hoops Today podcast with Jon Rothstein. He believes his current team is very athletic and should be able to play a bit faster. He said he's not concerned about the Cardinals talent but he is concerned that their schedule could be too challenging. Pitino said he made the schedule thinking he would have Chinanu Onuaku back and have a healthy Mangok Mathiang.
Pitino believes the school "earned" its postseason ban last year after accusations of improper benefits within the men's basketball program. He had this to say when asked by Rothstein if he thought additional penalties would be coming.
"It's not only the NCAA postseason ban," said Pitino. "We took ourselves off the road in recruiting for the month of April. We have limited recruiting in the month of July. We took two scholarships away in a three-year span. It was pretty severe for us. Do I expect any more? I don't make those decisions but we've followed what Chuck Smrt, who used to work for the NCAA in a leadership position, told us the violations would incur so we feel confident that that'll be it."
When talking about the coming season, Pitino also compared the Duke team to one of his great teams.
“We just had our reunion in Miami (the 1996 team) and the hat said on the side said, “greatest team ever”, Pitino said. “I think in modern times, that Kentucky team with a 24-point average of victory, averaging 94.1 points in a much tougher SEC — I think they were one of the best teams of all-time with eight players that played in the NBA and the 13th man on that team was Nazr Mohammed, who played 18 years in the league. That was a great basketball team, but I think Duke rivals that basketball team in terms of talent.”
“They’ve got a fifth-year guy (Amile Jefferson) who’s a terrific rebounder and basketball player and they’ve got great shooting, great coaching and a great system,” Pitino said. “They’ve got it all. They’re very deep and they’ve got two of the best in Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles — the one-and-two ranked high school players in the nation. They’re as good of a team as I’ve seen in the modern era.”
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