Pitino's style hasn't changed

Even when Rick Pitino's address changes, his style remains the same.

Pitino used the same basic system at Kentucky he used earlier as head basketball coach at Providence, and he hasn't changed much now that he's running the show at Louisville. Tennessee fans will realize as much when he brings the ninth-ranked Cardinals (13-1) to Knoxville for a 5 p.m. tipoff Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

''Coach Pitino played the same style when he was at Providence,'' says Vol aide Al Daniel, who scouted the Cardinals. ''He took it with him at Kentucky and now he has it at Louisville.''

The Cardinals struggled a bit last season but rank among the NCAA's hottest teams this season. There's a reason for that.

''It takes awhile for the kids at each program to get accustomed to it,'' Daniel says of the Pitino system. ''He installed it last year, and now he's added a little more quality depth. I'm sure he would say they're still coming together.''

As the Cardinals have become more comfortable with Pitino's system, they have become close to unbeatable.

''They have two excellent players in the system -- Reece Gaines and Marvin Stone,'' Daniel says, ''but I think all of the underclassmen are buying into that system and that style of play, and it's paying off for them.''


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