June 22, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) By: Stephen Patrick
New Era: Rick Pitino and a King
Louisville announced a contract extension last Tuesday, June 16, 2015 for head basketball coach Rick Pitino that will keep him with the program for another decade through the 2025-26 season. The richer gets richer and that also goes for the game of basketball at the university. Pitino has a 368-126 record in 14 seasons at Louisville and is the third-winningest coach in the program’s history. The Naismith Hall of Famer, who has a 722-254 career record in 30 college seasons at five different schools, was the first coach to win national titles at two different schools, having won at Kentucky in 1996 and with Louisville in 2013. All the players that helped win the university are now gone and a new era has come.
The hall of fame coach has struck once more. The University of Louisville basketball team added a major piece to its 2016 recruiting. Five-star Virginia wing V.J. King announced his commitment to the Cardinals on June 12, 2015. The fight for his services were mainly between Connecticut and Louisville, though Arizona, Kentucky and Virginia were also in the mix for the top-25 prospect. He will be the key piece in the recruiting class to attract others to commit to the Cardinals.
The 6-foot-7 wing moved to the Washington, D.C area before this past school year. He sharpened his skills and is considered one of the top small forwards in the country by each of the four major recruiting scouts. Rivals ranks King the highest, rating him the 11th-best prospect in the Class of 2016. 24/7Sports King’s ranked 16th overall and second among small forwards. Scout’s ranks King 18th in the nation and the fifth-best small forward, while ESPN ranks King 25th overall and sixth among small forwards. He has garnered some McDonald’s All American hype. He would the first McDonald’s All-American U of L has landed since Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan in 2011.
King, who grew up in Ohio, averaged 18.5 points a game last season for Paul VI and in games this spring, he has averaged 14.2 points and 5.2 rebounds for Team Takeover on the Nike EYBL AAU circuit(stats TeamTakeOver.com). King gives the Cardinals another skilled perimeter player on a young roster that features former five-star prospects Donovan Mitchell, a combo guard, and 6-foot-7 wing Deng Adel, plus sophomore point guard Quentin Snider, who was a four-star prospect out of Ballard High here in Louisville.
The Cardinals are hopefully getting ready to make a similar run to the ones of the past few years. The only thing people can hold against Pitino is his record against Calipari and the Wildcats, but overall the man can coach and recruit talent for his system. VJ king looks like the real deal and fans better be prepared as Coach P leads the University of Louisville for the next decade and to most likely end up with the most wins by any coach in the Cardinals basketball history.