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
Hoke is a Joke
Since: May 18, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 1:14 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2011 1:14 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

The point of the matter is that Cal made the first comment that makes no sense because all BE teams that get in deserve to get it. They can't help it that the league allows 16 teams. That is too many. Regardless...which league's team won the title? Oh yea, the Big East. Just shut up about it and get over the fact that UK lost their chance at a title. Pitino's comment wasn't any bigger than Cal's.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2011 12:50 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

I guess that means that his son is a second-rate coach because he can only get a job in a second-rate league.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: June 10, 2011 12:32 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Who the fuck is Matt Norlander?

Is CBS hiring new pathetic writers to take the place of their older, medicore writers?  

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: June 10, 2011 12:26 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

lol...Go Slick Rick!!!

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 12:09 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

So what's the say for Pitino when his team gets their asses handed to them everytime they play a second rate UK team? Keep trying to stay relevant Ricky.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 11:48 am

Pitino: SEC is

All this article proves is that Matt Norlander is a second-rate reporter. That's the truthful shot.

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: June 10, 2011 11:33 am

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Im not going to sit here and say the SEC is top to bottom better, but I cant wait till UK skull F*cks Louisville in Rupp next year.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:49 am

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Isn't the UL v UK game to be televised on CBS?  And @ Rupp?  This game will be finger lickin' good, y'all!! 

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