University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino returned to the hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following his team's 77-72 win over the Puerto Rico Junior Team on Saturday night. It was the final game of a six-day trip for the Cardinals.
U of L only went 2-5, winning the final two games of the trip, but you wouldn't have known it by Pitino's reaction.
"I know I've said it before, but I really like this bunch," Pitino told Cardinal Authority. "This is the best thing we could have done with these guys. We are going to be really good."
And with that Pitino gave his stamp of approval of the trip. While he's coaching the Puerto Rican National team, Pitino only coached his U of L team in the final game. He won two games against U of L from the other bench.
Pitino said he got "times two" out of the trip that he wanted, especially with all of the newcomers.
In a blog posting on Monday, Pitino said Drexel transfer Damion Lee was terrific on the trip and noted the rest of his roster still needs improvement. It's really what you should have expected him to say at this point.
On Saturday night he said, "we're not where we want to be. We still have a lot of work to do."
Pitino did award David Levitch a scholarship. The staff has one scholarship that went unused this season.
The coach also said freshman Ray Spalding has more potential than anyone he's coached, noting: "II’ve not seen anyone in my 15 years at Louisville with more potential. Needs time, but when he gets it, look out!"
The Cardinals are off this week but return to campus next week for classes. The team will be going through individuals until practice officially begins in early October.