Richardson joins Pitino's staff

Kareem Richardson, an assistant at Xavier, was announced as Rick Pitino's new assistant Monday afternoon, replacing Richard Pitino, who left to become the FIU head coach this month.

Kareem Richardson, who recently interviewed for the vacant Eastern Illinois job, has been working his way toward a head coaching job in college basketball for the past decade.

Richardson worked his way through the Missouri Valley Conference as an assistant at Indiana State, Evansville and Drake before landing a spot on Chris Mack's staff at Xavier last summer.

Now, Richardson will take another step up the coaching ladder as the newest member of Rick Pitino's coaching staff. Pitino said Richardson, who will sign a two-year deal, will share scouting duties with Kevin Keatts.

"Kareem is terrific in all facets of the game and that's what I was looking for," Pitino said. "Richard did the bulk of the scouting and Kareem did a lot of it at Drake. He's a very good X and O guy, he's a very hard working recruiter and an outstanding person."

Richardson, 37, replaces Richard Pitino, who recently left his father's bench to take the head coaching job at Florida International, where he replaced NBA legend Isiah Thomas.

"For me there's not a better opportunity than to learn from a Hall of Fame guy," Richardson said. "It's exciting where I am in my career to be able to learn under coach and see how he continually gets programs better throughout the year."

Richardson played and coached at Evansville, which is where top 2014 Louisville recruit Jaquan Lyle is from. Perhaps Richardson's established midwestern connections can help the Cardinals land a talented prospect or two, like the 6'5 Lyle, who Pitino watched this weekend at the Nike EYBL in Hampton. Richardson believes he'll have a smooth transition recruiting players to Louisville.

"Growing up in Illinois I feel like that's a strong base for me," Richardson said. "Some of the other stops we've been I've to dibble and dabble a little bit everywhere. I feel comfortable midwest or [anywhere]. I really feel that recruiting is built on relationships and I feel like you can put me in California or Texas I can develop those relationships. But home base is certainly the midwest ties."

Brian Snow, a Cincinnati-based recruiting analyst for who has close ties to the Xavier program, said Richardson relates well with players and recruits.

"He's a good guy to everyone," Snow said. "He was only at Xavier one year and didn't bring anybody, but he was involved with Greg McClinton."

Pitino also announced that Andre McGee will replace Mark Lieberman as Director of Basketball Operations and Doug Davenport will serve as the team's video coordinator.

"Kareem is like Kevin and Wyking, they're all going to make terrific head coaches some day," Pitino said.


Rick Pitino said Monday that Luke Hancock will have shoulder surgery and will be out of commission this summer. Hancock, a projected starter at shooting guard next year, injured his right shoulder during a pick-up game last week.

"Luke Hancock is going to have to have surgery, but he will be 100 percent by mid-August," Pitino said. "He could go without surgery but there's always a chance being his shooting arm that it could come out. We're not going to take that chance so he will have surgery so he's 100 percent by the start of the school year."

Pitino also said that Terry Rozier, Louisville's only 2012 recruit, is still trying to become eligible to play next season and will need summer school to qualify academically.

"He's going to need summer school," Pitino said. "Any student that's not eligible right now I worry about, but I'm not overly concerned."

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