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Louisville coach Rick Pitino is interested in the New Jersey Nets’ head coaching job, the New York Daily News reported today.
Of course, Pitino came out and flatly denied the reports.
“I can’t keep talking about rumors and untruths,” Pitino, whose team visits St. John’s Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, said on the Big East conference call. “All I can say is in the past nine years I’ve never had one conversation with a pro team. I had one conversation with a college team and that was Providence College. There’s absolutely no truth to it [the Nets story] and I shouldn’t address it.”
There’s one important line there, the one that keeps this is in the “more than a rumor” category.
“… I’ve never had one conversation with a pro team.”
That is, not to say, that Pitino’s people have not had conversations with someone connected to the Nets. The Daily News reported that there has been no direct contact, which leaves indirect contact (agent, manager, family member, friend, etc…) as an available option. And, remember, that Pitino was linked to the Sacramento Kings job last summer.
The Nets have made it pretty clear that they are not interested in Pitino. That is not to say that there is not a NBA team out there (the Clippers come to mind) that would not mind getting in the Rick Pitino business.
So why does this matter to Indiana University? Because of one high school junior named Marquis Teague. Louisville is the heavy favorite to land Teague, in large part because of the relationship between Pitino and Teague’s father.
If Pitino is gone, you have to think Louisville is out of the running. That leaves Indiana and Kentucky (and the few stragglers) gunning for Teague’s services.
Ohio State guard Jon Diebler draws the charge off of Indiana guard Verdell Jones III during game Wednesday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
It has happened.
I’ve run out of things to say.
Indiana did not create effective offense. It did not guard. It lost.
That’s five in a row.
Ken Bikoff of Inside Indiana has just informed me of a most incredible stat: IU’s basketball and football teams are a combined 22-56 over the past two seasons, for a winning percentage of 28.2 percent.
Hey, here’s Thad Matta. Perhaps he will tell us more, as well.
He told his players it would be tough to play here.
He told them they’d have to be in attack mode (They listened.)
Dallas Lauderdale had a career high 14 points. He also had seven blocks, and Indiana had nine shots total blocked for the second straight game.
A limited-by-early-fouls Evan Turner had a nice balanced line: 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal.
Tom Crean finally arrives. He apologizes for the delay, but says that getting his team’s mentality back to where it needs to be is most important now.
“There’s no excuse for not playing better tonight,” he said. “We don’t have anything in the tank to fall back on when things aren’t going well for us.”
UPDATE, 11:13 p.m.
And after finishing our stories and ScoopTalk, we have audio.
When USA Basketball announced the 27 members of their national team Wednesday, Eric Gordon was among them.
The second-year pro, averaging 17 points a game for the Los Angeles Clippers, has a chance to be on the 12-man roster that represents USA during the 2012 Olympics.
More immediately, a group will be selected to attend a minicamp in July and then play in Turkey for the world championship. USA has not won that tournament since 1994.
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