#14 Basketball Pitino Style by Chris Cameron

This was a nice find in a used book store. It’s the story of a down on its luck dynastic basketball program hiring a well regarded Italian outsider head coach, who used a blend of charisma (his) and heart (his players) to turn one of the least talented teams in the history of Kentucky basketball into one of the most entertaining.

Kentucky’s 2010 season may end up looking a lot like its 1990 season, which is the subject of this book. John Calipari might be THE ANSWER in the way that Rick Pitino was THE ANSWER. But one thing is sure. The 1990 bunch was a special one. Kentucky had eight scholarship players, none over 6’7″, and none of particular athletic talent. But they had a coaching staff with Messrs Pitino, Smith and Donovan, and a style of play built on three-point shooting and the “mother-in-law” full court press. 14-14 is not a record which generally inspires the UK faithful, but those were different times.

And moving forward, they remain different times. I certainly hope Calipari brings in a better than 14-14 record. But more than that, I hope that he imprints his stamp on Kentucky basketball, and brings back excitement to a program for which it has long since been missing.

This book was very fun, and did make me hope that the bringing Pitino back to Lexington rumors that were circulating as I read it might be true. So they weren’t. Onward and upward, and hopefully next year I can review Basketball Calipari Style.

Joe

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