The Slickster held a press conference today to discuss the changes to his basketball staff/team. Here are some key points from Coach Pitino’s Presser:
-Discussed the departure of former assistant Walter McCarty. He said he was caught off guard by his departure because he felt Walter was just coming into his zone. Coach stated in the past he always has names in the back of his mind for possible replacements.
-Tim Fuller will be taking over Walter McCarty’s position as an assistant coach. Coach Pitino said he went with Tim Fuller solely because of his potential as a recruiter. Coach Pitino also had this to say about his new assistant, “He has experience in coaching and the private sector with the game of basketball. He has the potential to be an outstanding recruiter and will add a totally different dimension to our staff. We’re excited to have Tim as a part of the Cardinal family.”
-Mark Lieberman was hired as Director of Basketball Operations. Mark has spent the past 13 years coaching high school basketball in Miami. He coached current Cardinal Rakeem “the Dream” Buckles while there.
-When Coach Pitino arrived here nine years ago he started a new brand. Now, he wants to redefine the brand with this new staff saying, “we will bring a new brand of basketball. This years team will be playing at a much quicker pace.” Rick said the talent is finally there to fit that style of play unlike in past years.
-Discussed a few new players coming in this year. Pitino mentioned Roburt Sallie, a transfer from Memphis, Gorgui Dieng, and Elisha Justice. Although Justin Coleman’s name was not mentioned here, Pitino did stress importance of grades and said, “you never know how good of a student they are til you have a transcript.”
-Later, Rick stated Coleman has a tough road ahead of him. Adding Sallie was a big key because of this question mark.
-This years team will be switching defenses, going from a zone to man-to-man.
-Pitino stated that he is not worried about Peyton Siva playing the point because he will improve each season. Every player makes mistakes on the court from time to time. He said he is more worried about who will be backing him up.
-Preston Knowles is in Coach P’s doghouse right now. Rick did not state how much time he will miss because he has not made an official statement regarding his situation. Overall, he is not very pleased with PK at the moment. However, he did state that Preston is still a Cardinal.
-David Padgett was hired to be assistant strength coach. He wants to be a coach one day and this should be a great learning experience for David. Love this move.
-After Coach Pitino talked, his new coaches met with the media.
Miller will have more later with his thoughts, including some video from the presser.