PITINO: LOUISVILLE WILL BE LAST STOP
Rick Pitino said yesterday he won't coach past the 2016-17 season when his current contract ends at Louisville. "When you're 59, you're realistic that you don't have a whole lot of years left," Pitino said at a news conference before the No. 4 Cardinals play Georgetown tonight. "My contract's going to run out in 2017. I'm not coaching anymore after that."
Rick Pitino said yesterday he won't coach past the 2016-17 season when his current contract ends at Louisville.
"When you're 59, you're realistic that you don't have a whole lot of years left," Pitino said at a news conference before the No. 4 Cardinals play Georgetown tonight. "My contract's going to run out in 2017. I'm not coaching anymore after that."
The former Providence and Kentucky coach has guided the Cardinals to a 12-0 record so far this season.
Louisville's Athletic Association granted Pitino, the only men's coach to lead three different programs to the Final Four, a 4-year contract extension in August. He'll make $3 million in base salary until the end of the 2013 season, followed by $3.9 million a year.
Pitino didn't use the word 'retire,' but has said in the past that Louisville would be his last coaching stop. He's 253-96 in his 11th season at Louisville, which reached the Final Four in 2005.
The Cardinals will host the Hoyas in their Big East Conference opener before traveling to face rival and No. 3 Kentucky on Saturday.
Pitino said Louisville hasn't started preparing for Kentucky.
"One thing I've learned to do with my age, I really don't look ahead," said Pitino, who went 219-50 in eight seasons at Kentucky and won the 1996 national championship. "For years, I've been preaching the precious present and having to always subscribe to it."
Senior guard Chris Smith echoed his coach.
"We haven't talked about Kentucky one time yet, and we're going to keep it like that until we come out with a W tomorrow," he said.
Neumann-Goretti product Jamal Wilson, Rhode Island's top scorer, at 16.4 points a game, was suspended indefinitely for violating an unspecified team rule.
* Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, of Somerdale, N.J., returned to the team after going home during the holiday break to visit his mother, who was hospitalized last week for an undisclosed illness.
In games last night *
At Notre Dame, Alex Dragicevich hit four three-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Fighting Irish (9-5) to a 72-59 win over No. 22 Pittsburgh in the teams' Big East opener.
Jerian Grant added 15 points and nine assists, and Eric Atkins also scored 15 points for the Fighting Irish.
The loss was Pitt's second straight after a 59-54 loss to Wagner at home on Friday, while Notre Dame extended its home winning streak to 28 games.
Talib Zanna had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (11-3, 0-1).
* At Nebraska, Ryan Evans scored 22 points off the bench, and Jordan Taylor added 15 points and seven assists as No. 11 Wisconsin (12-2) routed the Cornhuskers, 64-40, in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
* At Virginia, Mike Scott scored 10 of his 17 points during a 12-point spurt early in the second half and the No. 23 Cavaliers beat Maryland-Eastern Shore, 69-42. Darion Atkins added 13 points and Joe Harris 10 points for Virginia, off to an 11-1 start for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
* At St. John's, freshmen Moe Harkless and D'Angelo Harrison had season highs of 32 and 25 points, respectively, and the Red Storm (6-6) opened Big East play with a 91-67 victory over Providence (11-3), snapping the Friars' seven-game winning streak.