Blog Entry

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:31 am
By Matt Norlander

Rick Pitino's capability for a good quote has too often gone overlooked. Thankfully, in the doldrums of June, college basketball's second-worst month of the year (only August is worse), Pitino has delivered some fighting words. Words that will have some lasting impact by the time Kentucky and Louisville play each other around New Year's Eve.

And the words aren't even directed at Kentucky -- they're a shot at the SEC. The Louisville coach sent a verbal barb flying Wednesday in the direction of the conference, a clear response to something John Calipari said last week.

After the SEC ditched its two-division format, opting to have one league with 12 teams, giving the league a better chance at more NCAA tournament teams, Cal said, "This is no knock on the Big East but they’ve had 19 teams in the tournament the last two years and how many have made it by the first round? How is this happening? When they start playing each other they say the 11th team is really good. What? We have to figure out how you play the best schedule you can play and still win. That’s different for all of us. I think that’s more important than 16 or 18 (conference) games." 

Card Chronicle also brings up the fact Calipari, in March, said the Big East is a product of "media hype." So Pitino, the former Kentucky coach who led them to a title in '96, clearly knew what he was doing when he said this:

The coach jabbed back just a bit tonight at a Cardinal Caravan event in Shelbyville. When introducing his son, Richard, to the crowd, he said:

"(Richard) went away for a couple of years to learn how to do things in a second-rate league, then get back to the big time."

Richard Pitino spent the past two seasons in the SEC as an assistant under Billy Donovan, a Pitino disciple. It's as much a playful jab as it is an under-the-surface shot. And a truthful one. The Big East has been a better league than the SEC for most of its existence. Undeniable. And Kentucky, you'll remember, saw its 2011 season end in the Final Four at the hands of Connecticut, a Big East team.

Photo: AP

Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 4:15 am

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Ooooh I think I stepped on some bird toes.  The Loserville fans are dragging out every bit of propaganda they can find to slander UK.  Envy is such a terrible thing.  Let's review shall we?  Kentucky - 28; Louisville - 14  That's the record of the Cats vs. the Birds.  Hey but UK cheats.  Just ask any Loserville fan.  UK - 7: UL - 2  That's the number of national titles for each school.  We wouldn't want you to forget these things.  Yet  you pick up on every scrap of rumor or just paranoia and think it's all true.  The reason people think UK cheats is because they win.  And naturally they couldn't beat poor Loserville without cheating, now could they?  As for Pitino, you can keep the dirt bag.  If he recruits like he does in restaurants your team should do OK.

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:32 am

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Why aren't any Louisville fans pissed that Pitino hired one of his unaborted children instead of someone that can get players and can coach?  The reason Pitino can garantee his kid will not leave in the next two year is because no athletic director would hire a Richard Pitino. 

Since: Aug 5, 2010
Posted on: June 11, 2011 11:44 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Now let’s compare the kind of talent that has been added to the two leagues. According to the ESPN college basketball rankings, here is some of the top talent brought in by the two leagues:

  • #1 Kentucky – PF: Anthony Davis**, SF: Michael Gilchrist** , PG: Marcus Teague**,
    ;     &nbs
    p;     &nb
    sp;      PF: Kyle Wiltjer*
  • #9 Arkansas – PG: BJ Young*, SG: Ky Madden%
  • #13 Alabama – SG: Levi Randolph%, SG: Trevor Lacey%
  • #21 Miss. St – SG: Rodney Hood%
  • #24 Florida – SG: Bradley Beal**

Georgia – SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope*

Vanderbilt – SG: Dai-Jon Parker%

LSU – PF: Johny O’Bryant%


Big East

  • #3 St Johns – SF: Dom Pointer*, SF: Jakar Sampson%, SF:Harkless
  • #8 Louisville – SG: Wayne Blackshear%, PF: Behanan%
  • #10 Syracuse – C: Rakheem Christmas*, SG: M. Carter-Williams*
  • #14 Georgetown – SF: Otto Porter%
  • #15 Pittsburgh – Khem Birch*
  • #16 Rutgers – PG: Myles Mack
  • #25 WVU – PG: Jabari Hinds
  • ** = top 10 five-star talent
  • * = top 25 five-star talent
  • % = top 50 four-star talent

For the 2011 college basketball season, the smaller SEC is clearly bringing in better talent from more of its teams (8 teams from SEC vs 5-7 teams from BE) than the BE. The BE failed to sign any top 10 impact talent while the SEC has 4 top 10 players: Florida’s Bradley Beal and UK’s trio of Davis, Gilchrist, & Teague. The BE did bring in top 25 talent: the highest rated player is Pitt’s Birch followed by Syracuse’s Christmas & Carter-Williams, and St John’s Porter.

 According to the 2011 Micky D roster, 4 different SEC teams (Georgia, LSU, UF, & UK) brought in 7 McDonald All-American players to the league while the BE had only 3 out of its 16 teams (Syracuse, Louisiville, & Pitt) bring in 5 Micky D’s.

As Charles Barkley so eloquently pointed out to Rick Pitino during the NCAAs, the BE has many good teams with good coaches but overall, it does not have the elite talent as other leagues; particularly, the SEC! Teams with the best talent will usually go the farthest and win the championships!

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:54 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

and Swags, I didnt know Pitino considered your WIFE second rate  LOL  

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:51 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Retards;.  Dont confuse us with the trailer park cheez whiz eating inbreds that are UKAY FAY-UNS.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:49 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Nope Louisville wins this year

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:47 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Yeah and im pretty sure UKAY lost to Marquette from the Big East in the first round three years ago... Seems if the Big East was that weak, the NINTH place team would not have won the title  LOL LOL.   And UKAY was only 3 points away from losing to that powerhouse Princeton team..  Let see if UKAY would have made it out of the first round if their two power forwards was out for the remainder of the year!!  So suck that fat one. 

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:42 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Miami, Boston College, and Virginia Tech??? I believe this is a BASKETBALL discussion.. Since when did those teams become basketball powerhouses???   Get with the program or get off this board  ,

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:39 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Same can be said of the Big East in football. I believe Auburn got beat two years in a row by Big East teams and Ga lost the Sugar Bowl to W. Va. and KY lost to PITT last year.  If Im not mistaken, U Conn beat a SEC team in a bowl recently. However, the SEC is clearly better from top to bottom in Football and the Big East clearly is better from top to bottom in Basketball..  I mean,, the 9th place team in the Big East won the freakin National Title..

Since: Aug 5, 2010
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:08 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Louisiville only recently joined the BE conference to become 'big-time' even though your ultimate success came way back in the 1980s (three decades ago)! . Your program was not even there in the early 2000s when teams like Miami, Boston College & Virginia Tech inhabited the Big East.

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