/ think the players will win in the eyes of the people. Not necessarily
wins and losses, because certainly there are no magic wands to building a basketball program. You have to have a certain amount of talent and size to win at any level. But I think these players will win by capturing the hearts of their people, their fans.
A funny thing happened to the University of Kentucky Pasketball team last season. It lost.
It lost more games than it won for the first time since 1927. It lost two players after graduation, and three more after probation. It lost an entire coaching staff. It lost any chance of being on TV next season, and it lost precious scholarships and postseason play for the next two seasons.
After losing so much, then, why are Kentucky basketball fans feeling like winners these days? Two words. Rick Pitino,
Pitino has faced these types of challenges before. When he went to Boston University in 1978, the school had won only 17 games the previous two years, Know what he did? He won.
When Pitino went to Providence College in 1985, he inherited a team that had gone 11-20 the year before. What did he do? He won.
And while Pitino was coaching Providence to the NCAA's Final Four, the New York Knickerbockers were stumbling to a 71-175 two-year mark. When Pitino took over as coach of the Knicks in 1987, guess what he did. You guessed it. He won,
Ironically, as Pitino takes over the program that has won more basketball games than any other, winning is
not just enough any more, Pitino's charge is still to win, but to win with class; with integrity; with dignity; with a model program; with putting the student-athlete first, Pitino's reputation in these key areas is what led Athletics Director CM, Newton to bring him to Lexington in the first place, Now as he attempts to put Kentucky's problems in the past, he must rebuild using the
Sophomore Deron Feldhaus showed promise as a freshman and brings his hustling, scrappy style into his sophomore season.