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Who would you rather have in a late game situation: Cal or Pitino


Like a giddy girl on the first day of school, I tuned into the Nashville sports talk radio yesterday, anticipating oodles of Kentucky/Louisville previews, tales of Kentucky’s Catlanta domination, and general praise of all things Blue.

Not so much.

Oh, there were plenty of Kentucky/Louisville previews, but most were laced with digs at Calipari, who, judging from their descriptions, must have gelled his hair into two perfect devil horns this season. Even more appalling? Pitino was being painted as a saint.

Don’t get me wrong, Pitino has turned his team around faster than a quickie in a Porcini’s. Louisville looked terrible at times this season. In fact, most had written them off, and were even questioning how much longer Rick would be on the sidelines. Once a pale, gaunt ghost of his former self, Pitino must have worked some serious voodoo to get his crew grooving, and dare I say it, postseason success has returned a snap to that once powerful stride.

The popular thing to do right now is rank the Final Four coaches in terms of ability and who you’d rather have in a late-game situation. Each of the analysts I listened to yesterday ranked Rick as the best of the bunch, with Cal tied for third with Thad Matta. Why? Pitino and Self have national championships, and Matta and Cal do not. Cal’s a great recruiter, they argued, but can’t hold a candle to Rick and Bill Self during a game. One host went as far to say that if given the choice, he thinks “most Kentucky fans” would choose Rick over Cal if the game was close with five minutes to go.

This is the part where I stared oddly at my radio. Ten years ago, yes, I would have chosen Rick over Cal, but a lot happened in those ten years. Cal’s stock rose as fastly as Rick’s pants dropped. As Dan Wetzel put it, their roles have reversed, with Cal comfortably at the helm of a blue-blooded basketball juggernaut, and Rick nipping at his heels with a band of scrappy upstarts. And, aren’t we all past the point of using “Cal isn’t a good game coach” as a crutch? Hasn’t he proved anything this season? Last season? Cal is a master of finding the best talent and blending it into one selfless unit, but he’s also shown that he can guide a team to victory when the going gets tough. Sure, having a roster full of unflappable freshmen and veterans doesn’t hurt, but some in the media act as though all of the credit belongs to them and none to Cal.

I know this question may hurt to ponder, but with five minutes left and the game tied, who would you rather have coaching your team: Cal or Rick?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

147 responses to “Who would you rather have in a late game situation: Cal or Pitino”

  1. SteveM

    Anyone who thinks Pitino is a good close game coach is smoking crack as is evidenced by his 0-9 overtime record at UK. Case closed.

  2. Guck Foodman.

    Pitino sure is aging well.

  3. SteveM

    Pitino looks like a Stage 4 sphyllitic case.

  4. nadroj

    I’d rather have Pitino, probably, all other things being equal. But all other things aren’t equal — I’d certainly rather have Cal with Cal’s players than Pitino with Pitino’s players.

  5. Martha

    I don’t do well with baby killers, which i know has nothing to do with coaching, so, I would not pick pitino over anyone.

  6. BobKYCats

    I’ll take Cal. Cali has proven in his three years at Kentucky that he is one of the best coaches, not just recruiters, in the nation. He’s a master of halftime adjustments, which is why we’ve lost just two games this season (neither of those to Louisville).

  7. capt. price

    neither one really. let’s just win by 30 so we don’t have to think.

  8. Duh

    Cal.

  9. Christian laetner

    Rick for sure, he didnt gaurd Grant Hill on the inbounds play!! Brilliant move genious!

  10. ATB (Always True Blue)

    In all seriousiness, I have never liked Pitino in a close game. When he was at Kentucky that was his only knock is that close games he couldn’t win. I’ll take Cal, for real and would prefer Eddie Sutton or Bob Knight in a close game:).

  11. Bradley

    Funny thing is, when Rick was at UK he was knocked for losing more times than not when a game was close. Bill Self has been bounced from the tourney by inferior squads by any coach left standing. Bottom line is, give me the best players. You take your X’s and O’s and give me the Jimmie’s and Joe’s. X’s and O’s are vastly overrated. Unless your so incompetent that a team goes triangle and 2 against you for 8 minutes and afterwards you say they did it once or twice…Roy Williams.

  12. Steve-O

    I would take Pitino personally, I mean just ask Karen Sypher what Pitino can do with 5 minutes!

  13. John
  14. Josh

    Calipari wihtout a doubt, Pitino is a micro manager. In BIG game, at BIG moments those who allow a player to make a play, not run a play WIN. Pitino will want the PLAY ran, that doesnt work at Tournament time.

  15. Cinderella

    I lived through the Duke 1992 game, and the 1997 Championship game. I’ll take my chances with Cal against Pitino’s late game bench coaching. Pitino is very good at pre-game planning, not-so-good at in-game adjustments. Besides, when we are up 20 with 5 minutes to go, it won’t matter!

  16. Not Even Close

    Cal!

  17. Hal

    ditka

  18. Monty

    I’d take pitino, I wouldn’t trade cal and his revolving door of elite NBA prospects (for however long it lasts) but the fact that Louisville finds itself in the same game as a juggernaut like KY speaks volumes towards pitinos coaching ability. As a side note calipari has already made several in-game coaching mistakes in this tournament, namely sitting Anthony Davis the first half against Indiana, that’s the same mistake he made in the first game and he stood there this time and watched a double digit lead disappear while the opposing team chose to go all out (NCAA Tournament style) and play there stars with fouls.

  19. RUSSSMITH

    #4 must be peyton siva.

  20. Question

    Do we get Rick with his son on the bench with him? Cause if we do, I’m taking Rick. It’s like getting the wisdom of the Old Rick with the innovation of the young Rick. Ask Florida from last game.

  21. RUSSSMITH

    #18 is just plain stupid.

  22. Troy

    Well, if you ignore the fact that Cal went into the stall offense with 8 mnutes left in the Baylor game, allowing Baylor to cut our lead in half, something he almost NEVER does, I would say Cal without question.

  23. wkylawcat

    I’m quite taken aback by the suggestion of Pitino in a close game. I haven’t followed every game he’s coached at UL by any means, but looking at his time at UK, not so much. Pitino was the king of getting ready for a game and getting his team ready for a game. He was more apt to beat you by 20 but if it was inside of 10, watch out. He was also poor at in game adjustments. That said, a week for him to prepare for an opponent makes me scared.

  24. Troy

    Monty, that’s not a mistake. If we got down by 10 points, then it’s a mistake. davis had a huge second half and was good to go. The fact we won by 12 tells us it wasn’t a mistake. If he sat him and we lost, then yeah, a mistake. The fact that he trusts his back ups and knows his team way better than you is why he;’s the coach, and you’re the douche bag.

  25. Troy

    #23 – Thank you. That’s the way I remember his time at UK too.

    LOGISTICS commercial people. The pass? The UNGUARDED full court pass? Yeah GREAT F***ING COACHING there, wasn’t it ?!?!?

  26. John
  27. 8pril

    Cal forsure!! He is a great coach

  28. Hey

    Umm duke vs kentucky 1992. Enough said

  29. Al's IndiCats

    18, REALLY? You would’ve let AD get his third in the first half. The refs were calling ticky tack fouls for breathing hard on other players. Cal did the right thing, letting the game get into the flow. If you remember Crean did the same with Zeller after his second foul, but brought him back in when the game was getting away from IU in the first half. I’ll take Cal any day of the week.

  30. Blue Bayou

    #12 wins.

  31. KT1083

    Someone needs to put up a link to dickvitaleonline.com where we are LOSING a poll to UL!! Get on this BBN!

  32. UKMD

    IN 15 SECONDS, PITINO WILL ALWAYS PULL IT OUT!

  33. Nassau

    Our coach gets the job done 5 minutes before the game and 5 months before the season. UK talent trumps everybody else’s coach.

  34. bluefan

    This Louisville-living CAT fan would never pick Pitino in any situation. Ugh.

    Coach Cal all the way! Only a great coach could coach predominantly freshman teams to the Final 4 – not once but twice.

    Go CATS!!!
    Two more.

  35. Showmeyour_Brass_O-Face

    I mean lets not overstate the importance of coaches late in the game. Sure there is some tweaking and some molding of the x’s & o’s but what is most important is having players with the brass cahones to put the ball in the hoop or block the other tems last second shot (i.e. AD)… I think since Cal has been at UK he has done an outstanding job of getting those players who can carry the weight and finish it off seamlessly without weird timeouts like Wisconsin in this years game against Cuse etc… I mean you all know the names, J wall, knight, davis, MKG etc.

  36. cristoforouk

    18 – Does it speak to Rick’s coaching ability or that the best team they have played during their winning streak has been Florida?

  37. afidler

    If you watched the games against OSU, UNC last season then you’d answer Cal without any more thought.

  38. Real Cats Fan

    I’ll sum it up in one sentence:

    “Cal would have put a man guarding the inbounds pass.”

  39. OhioJoe4UK

    Cal all the way!

  40. Tdr76

    I believe it was pitino who choose not to guard the inbounds passer (Grant Hill) and to put both defensive players behind Lathner in that stupid commercial we have been watching all tourney. That was really genius coaching there!

  41. Tdr76

    Can we get a tread about who is going to the final four and plans there this weekend?

  42. The Rev.

    18 – Just saying…but I’d take the chance of sitting Davis in the first half and assuring that he’s there to block a last second shot for the win in the second any day. You made 2 terrible points. Louisville is here because they got a GREAT draw in the tournament,and Florida gave them the game (not saying they aren’t a good team). The mistake Cal made was against IU was playing Eloy, and allowing Dwight to put Zeller in without worries (Notice how Zeller was only in when Eloy was in)

  43. BPM

    I would give Pitino a big advantage in coming up with a solid game plan but he has shown time and time again throughout his career that he is mediocre at end of the game situations and has a hard time adapting if his initial game plan isnt working. Obviously the Florida game was an exception to both of these points but I am not sure why people anoint him as the second coming in terms of his in game coaching ability. I used to get pissed at his in game coaching all the time at UK. That was always his biggest knock.

  44. East Kentucky Infidel

    It’s in the execution. Give me Cal’s squad in the last minutes because they play the same way in the last minutes as they do the entire game with little interference from the bench. Cal prepares his players to succeed and puts them in position to win.

  45. SuperTroy

    It’s the 20th Anniversary of one of the dumbest late-game coaching moves of all time and we’re asking if the coach that made that move would be preferred over one of the game’s best all-time winning % coaches currently at the top of his game? Really?!?! People talk about Cal not having won one a lot. But he was at Umass and Memphis! Roy Williams couldn’t win one when he was at Kansas!! Rick couldn’t win one when he was at Providence and Louisville! It’s all about taking the school to the top. Some schools will just never be able to do it, because they don’t have the support. Cal will get it done this year. Then, he will be lauded as one of the top coaches in the game. Finally! Rick is done. I bet he even retires after they lose by 25 Saturday. Close enough to the top as he will ever be from here on. Every Louisville fan knows that they are lucky to even be there.

  46. MyronPryorsLivingRoom

    Rick kills babies. I’ll go with Cal.

  47. Browski

    Anyone who says Pitino I will punch in the face faster than you can say Porcini’s

  48. Karen Sypher

    Cal for sure….

  49. backwoodzukfan

    I would choose Coach Cal .. How is it when the WILDCATS lose some people say CAL coached them to a loss , but if they win CAL doesnt coach his players ..

  50. kentuckyjeff

    Cal is my answer …….Cats by double figures … Now here’s what I find very odd maybe you guys can help out or know something I don’t.. I’m not complaining !!! but…. where are the 2 Kentucky haters throughout this entire NCAA tournament ? Talking about Digger Phelps and Bobby Knight ????..All season we had to look at there smug faces and annoying voices on every ESPN show not it’s like they just disappeared.. Did they take there 3 week vacation during this time because they know we’d win it ?

  51. BobKYCats

    #50 — (Butt) Digger and the Horse’s Patoot (Knight) work for ESPN. The Tournament is carried on CBS.

  52. WildcatFloyd88

    With 5 mins left…Cal
    With 10 mins left…Cal
    At half time…Cal
    At the beginning of the game…Cal
    Summer Recruiting…Cal

  53. iWantToBeTheDrewFranklin

    Cal. Ricky P did forget to guard the inbounder…

  54. Jordan

    Didnt we get to the final four last year off of 3 close games against Princeton, Ohio state, UNC. And we did it with a team that wasn’t suppose to make it there. There both great coaches. Can’t choose one over the other in the xs and os but calipari gets and develops teams better so cal has to be the answer. I want the person whose gunna win us number 8 that year. That’s all that matters right now.

  55. ukfan

    Cal.. why is this even a debate? dumb post.

  56. Hashla

    #47.. Pitino without a doubt, where are you tough guy?

  57. Skip Bayless

    Like I said about UK vs IU, IU has no chance in hell. Same goes for Uofl Vs UK. UK will beat them the way Charlie Sheen beats hookers, fast and easy!

    Pitino has no chance, no chance at all!

  58. Hashla

    Just joking. I’d obviously take Cal.

  59. Josh

    I will take the one who gets Top notch talent like Davis, MKG, Teague, Jones and Lamb to listen and play unselfish. ONly one man can do that, and he will have on a blue tie!!!!!!!1

  60. ThankfulCat

    I want Cal coaching this UK team

  61. Billy

    I would prefer to have Cal, he always has more talented players that Pitino has not been able to recruit since he left Kentucky.

  62. Hashla

    Nope, Ricky P it would be!

  63. Monty

    How am I an idiot for making an objective opinion? Saying I made a terrible point because of louisvilles draw is a bit much, KY by far has had the easiest draw to the final four I can remember in recent history, which I think is warranted because of last years murder row they through us in. As far as the results always justifying the means, the decision was made twice with a 50/50 success rate, the fact we won by 12 is a shining example of the superior talent that KY possess over anyone else in this tourney. Pitino has taken 4 schools in 4 different decades to a final four, so to say he isn’t an excellent coach is absurd, how many future all-stars did he ever coach? I think we as KY fans need to lay down the bias and show some love for the man that won 6 and built 7.

  64. Hashla

    I’m just full of jokes today. Can’t help myself.

    No. 8 is coming, and it’s because Cal is the best coach remaining.

  65. bmt22033

    I think the real question is in a late game situation would you rather have some combination of Teague, Lamb, Jones, MKG, Davis and Miller or Siva, Kuric, Dieng, Behanan and Smith? I think people put *too* much emphasis on coaches in late game situations. You can have the best coach in the world draw up a superb plan but without players who can execute it or defend against it, all the coach can do is stand in the box and watch.

  66. Josh

    #62, then you should wear RED saturday and your wish will be granted. GOOD LUCK

  67. Monty

    Yeah, I’m just joking too. Cal all the way.

  68. BobKYCats

    I’m confused.

  69. SEXINGTON

    is this real? how is the even a question. DUH cal

  70. Aengr

    We have already had Quick Rick up 2 with 2.5 seconds to play and the ball out at the far endline….how did that work for you…..or Coach Rick (rhymes with……nevermind) taking one of the best college rosters ever assembled in ’96 up against Dingle, Bright, Travieso, and the Padilla Brothers (and to be fair M. Camby) and splitting with them on the season…..(pounding them in the Final Four by 7) thats some good coaching there……

  71. Championship Banner

    I will only go with Pitino.

  72. Championship Banner

    Oops, sorry. I meant Cal.

  73. Smiffanator

    #17 I believe you are right, Im going to have to go with Ditka on this… Go Cats!

  74. Orlando Smith

    Me!

  75. BPM

    Monty, what about Kansas’ road this season? Only single digit seeded team they played was UNC and UNC didn’t even have their point guard. We played a 3 and 4 that were both in the top 10 at one point during the season and playing their best ball of the season. Not saying we had a murderers row but it wasn’t as easy as you suggest.

  76. I Say

    What has Rick Pitino done that’s so great in late game situations? All he does is give te ball to Siva and he drives wildly and blindly into the paint only to throw up some crap shot.

  77. wh

    am i the only one who watched Cal blow the championship game against self??

  78. MtnCat

    Got Cal? That is the only question.

  79. GBB

    We have Coach Cal, so they have Coach Pit, right?

  80. Tim

    Cal recruiting, Cal coaching. Cal, period

  81. MtnCat

    I’d take Tubby over Rick.

  82. Aaron Craft's Rosacea

    Cal vs. Izzo may be debatable. Cal over the Crypt Keeper any day.

  83. Mustangcat

    They said the same thing about Pitino until he won a title. Havnt read the other comments, but i wouldn’t switch coaches if you spotted us 25 points, and took 10 minutes off the clock!!!

  84. Don
  85. CAUKFAN

    Cats haven’t lost a home game since Cal took over 3 years ago. Nuf said.

  86. UKBlue

    People give Cal crap because of his calls during the Memphis Kansas game. Then again you can also give Pitino crap for not guarding the inbound pass in 92.

  87. Mudcreekmark

    77) Yea Cal sure did make those players miss a bunch of free throws. He should have told them to underhand them or something. I know he could have coached those free throws better somehow. On the other hand he sure did do a great free throw coaching job against Indiana. He must have learned from his mistakes.

  88. Towns

    Totally depends on the team. This year’s team is the best defensive team in America. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell them to get in a stance, move their feet, and somebody be a man and get a big rebound. Either coach can do that. As far as having to call a play, again, it depends on the personnel. Pitino can call a great play only to have one of his guards throw the ball in the 14th row. This is such a moot argument in my book it isn’t even funny.

  89. blueinmemphis

    With comparable talent, I would say Pitino with a week to plan would be a scary proposition. However, the talent isn’t comparable. And the same goes for the last 5 minutes; comparable talent and Pitino gets the edge, but it just ain’t that way. Give the players some credit, they will be most in control of the outcome of the game.

  90. BobKYCats

    There’s just no argument here. Cal any day.

  91. CAUKFAN

    How many games have the Cats lost since Cal took over? What is it……like 6? Cats are ridiculously good with Cal at the helm. I dare say it has worked out better that our collective wildest wet dreams and the Cats are better than ever. And I mean EVER!

  92. UKChillfan

    I haven’t read any comments to this yet so I may repeat what others have said, but, I have always believed that Pitino was not a good “end of game” coach. I would put Tubby ahead of him. I firmly believe that Tubby was instrumental to Rick in the days they were together. I believe Cal did as good a job as anyone this season at the end of the games.

  93. Mudcreekmark

    Guys, just look at this year alone. We had a bunch of games that could have gone either way the last 5 minutes. In the Indiana game he actually coached it correct, the players just didn’t follow instructions on giving the foul at the end of the game. Was that his fault? I don’t think so. The rest of the close games we won. Look at UofL close games this year and see how may of those Pitino lost.

  94. mcmermaid

    Remember, Pitino did not guard Grant Hill and put no pressure on Laetner

  95. ak40099

    Just because Cal has more talent and generally lets his players decide the outcome of the game in the last 5min doesn’t mean he isn’t a good bench coach. You coach kids up when you have to. Cal is a master at what he does and who he does it with. I remember people used to argue that Phil Jackson couldn’t really coach because of the personnel that he had. Lets not take things away from great coaches because they have good players. Case in point Baylor has great talent and got SPANKED by UK

  96. Howie Lindsey

    You UK fans live in dream land. Pitino is a Hall of Famer. While banging Sypher he was winning games and keeping this hush, hush from his wife, son and family. Could Cal do the same?

    Pitino has proven he can win games with no talent or fan support. Sure UK’s open pratice drew higher ratings than UofL’s games, but so what? That proves Pitino can still coach with the best of them.

    Use common sense. If Pitino stayed at UK, would you even have Cal? Of course not. I rest my case.

  97. memphis wildcat

    One MAJOR improvement I have seen in Cal from Memphis is his willingness to call a TO early in the game. He used to let them play through it. I believe the turning point was when Wall, etal, lost to USC at Columbia

  98. Mudcreekmark

    How can you not pick a coach that in 3 years has taken you to the Final Four twice and an Elite Eight once. All of this success with young players, mostly freshmen. Don’t tell me this guy cannot coach. He is the best coach in the nation right now, period. Does he make mistakes? Everyone does, but how can you argue with what kind of coach he is? Believe it or not, most of these kids coming in think they can poop ice cream, has never played defense and are used to shooting a third of their teams shots. How he is able to teach these kids to play as a team and to play defense at the level they do in such a short period of time is masterful.

  99. Bluesbrother

    Not even close. Pitino made Laettner famous with his late game coaching skills. Calipari is a real man, real coach, real friend to his players…AND…only goes to Italian restaurants for the food.

  100. lilWildcat

    Coach Cal hands down. His record speaks for itself.

  101. John Calipari's Amazing One and Done Flying Circus

    1992 Duke 103 – UK 102

    2011 Kentucky 62 – Ohio State 60

    Need I say more?

  102. Troy

    45 – Rock on bro! Well said.

  103. John Calipari's Amazing One and Done Flying Circus

    Sorry 104 – 103

  104. the Big Dog

    The answer is given to us daily in those stupid UPS commercials. You don’t need a PhD in physics to figure it out.

  105. Stats Man

    Pitino is terrible in close games. He even has a losing record in overtime games. Here is a chart and stats from the Final Four coaches head to head.
    Final Four Coaches You will also see from that link that Pitino leads in two other hilarious categories, such as embarrassing Karen Sypher incidents and backstabbings. LMAO.

  106. Mike

    Help! My wife and I will be in Nashville this weekend celebrating a granddaughter’s birthday and I need to know a sports bar in Nashville that is frequented by BBN. Can you help me out? Go Cats!

  107. UKChillfan

    Also, thanks to #13 for the link. For you Rick lovers, please review it.

  108. UKChillfan

    #106 – Corner Pub – you might have remebered the Vandy game in Nashville, Helmut Man etc

  109. Calipari's Blue Ballers

    I’m going to live or die with Cal. No one wants to remember the job he did with Ohio St. last year. That was a masterful game plan Kentucky executed. He can flat out coach. You don’t win at the clip he does without being a great coach. He will get his redemption this year when his team is the last one standing but even so he will still have plenty of haters out there. There is no one I would want as our head basketball coach other than him. Even if they don’t win it I won’t change my stance.

  110. uk3k

    Well if you are looking for someone to just go for the last 15 seconds and then it is over… Pitino comes to mind.

  111. George

    I heard the same crap. I’m forced to listen to those goons on 104.5 The Zone because I can’t get any other sports talk where I am. I mainly listen to hear the whining from Vandy and UT fans after they take their whippings from the Cats. Clay Travis frequently discusses how he thinks Coach Cal is a cheater, then has Bruce Pearl as a weekly analyst. These guys have no credibility when it comes to college basketball and should stick to football and hockey.

  112. Danny

    Tubby Smith. Exhibit A UK vs Duke 1998

  113. Adam

    Can’t go wrong with either but I’ll take Cal over Rick because Cal is great and he coaches the cats. When we were beaten by “the shot” in 92 couldn’t pitino have done a better job coaching us to victory in the final seconds of that game? And when Pitino won his only title in 96 he had a great team loaded with NBA players, similar to this years Cats. So I don’t see how we can give pitino credit for being a great in-game coach because he won a championship, and then turn around and discredit Cal because he won with great players. They are both great coaches. I appreciate Ricky P for what he did for the big blue, but i’ll take Cal, and hopefully for the next decade.

  114. Charles

    I loved Rick when he coached here with one exception. He never ran a play in close games and for that reason I don’t believe he would have won the NCAAs in 1998. The Shawn Woods shot in 1992 against Duke was pure luck, but the defense on the Laettner play was horrible!

  115. BlueFins

    Cal. The only thing Rick has done over the last 3 weeks is to stop belittling his players and started to smile and have fun. It’s like Screwge (see what I did there) was visited by 3 ghosts (past(UK), present(UL), future(died of syphilis)).

  116. Charles

    I agree that Tubby was much better than Rick when you needed a basket because he “ran an actual play”. I believe that we lost several close games when Rick was here and most wins were not close. Cal has several wins in close games this year and the Indiana loss was good fortune for them. Teague barely missed fouling the ball handler before he reached midcourt. A timely screen enabled him to continue and Indiana wasn’t in the bonus, yet.

  117. Bigblue73

    Cats fans: There is no question that should be posed. Traitor Rick left us, then returned to Louisville of all teams. He now stands in the way of the upcoming UK national championship which will occur next Monday night. What a disgrace for him being at the final four coaching a team against out beloved Wildcats! The Commonwealth has one team, that being UK. Coach Cal is about to take us to the promised land again. Cal’s name should never be mentioned in the same sentence with that guy.

  118. Charles

    Overtime records: Cal is 20-9, but Rick has a losing record of 18-19.

  119. UKloyal

    With 5 minutes left I gotta go with Cal but with 15 seconds…!?!

  120. crazycatfan

    # 117 – agree. WE WANT CAL … CAL … CAL!!! Easy decision!

  121. Zyzz

    #45 Honestly, that’s what I call a cool story bro. Such a riveting tale, I honestly copy and pasted it to word, saved on my hard drive, backed it up on a jump drive, drove to the bank, put the jump drive in the safe deposit box, and will leave it there until my kids turn about 12 (when they can actually state their age, and ask what it is I’m showing them), when I will pick it up, put it in an old USB drive reader and relay this cool story to them and tell them, “kids, this is what a cool story should look and sound like…not like the stories your generation tells.

  122. strings1127

    The Cards are due to lay another egg .

  123. headcase4uk

    The knock on Rick when he was at UK was his management of the game. He seemed great at preparation but pretty inflexible in the game (KU’s 150 points….). I used to joke that I wanted to hire an asst with those skills to manage the close ones late. I’ll take Cal thank you.

  124. Ashland Lurker

    Remember the 97 NC game? Pitino pressed and pressed against the much quicker Arizona guards, and they broke the press repeatedly. Yes, he’s a great coach, but he didn’t make great adjustments in that game. I’m with the majority. Cal all the way!

  125. strings1127

    I would take Cal any day over Rick. I’ve seen rick Blow a lot of close games. the Duke game stands out the most, what poor choice not to gaurd the in bounds man with a big.. Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb.

  126. Tad

    One mark of a good team, and a good coach, is they don’t lose to teams they should beat. Calipari’s teams at Kentucky have rarely lost the games they should win. Check U of L’s record in February to see how well they did in tight games. When UK has tight situations this year, save for two, they won. Cal, and the team, did well the last five minutes. Vandy can be excused, as can the IU game in December – away game, young team. I’ll take Calipari.

  127. BravoBigBlue

    Rick has NEVER been considered a great game coach, even going back to his UK days. If a game is close at the end, Rick’s teams have always had a better than 50/50 chance of blowing it. Oh, he is wonderful against certain coaches like Boeheim and Donovan, both of whom are intimidated and/or in love with Rick. I’ll take Cal over Rick in any coaching category, unless you’re talking about coaching the sluts at Porcini’s. Then it’s Rick, pants down.

  128. Mustangcat

    Pitino didnt even get there until his 7TH year at the helm! Take away what for rebuilding? Like Cal took over a program at the top?! Place was a wreck after two years of Billy G ball!! Pitino couldn’t go anywhere that first year, so we go with 6 years to be fair. Cal has been to 2 FF’s now, in 3 yrs. Odds on favorite to get that 1st title in 3rd season. Topping Pitino in all catagories. I’m like others, i don’t want a coach where the only thing to respect about them is just that? coaching. Give me Cal, titles or not.

  129. Charlie Perkins

    I’ll take Cal over Rick in every situation. There is no such thing as purely a late game situation. The coach brought in the players, taught and conditioned them. Except for small adjustments, virtually all the work is already done. Rick is excellent on the bench, but to get him there, you must take the rest. No thank you. Cal is on his own level now. Only Self may come close, except for recruiting. No one comes close in that category.

  130. TheTruth

    Cal. Look how UK finishes the last 5 minutes of most games this year.

    Pitino’s not so great the last 5 minutes. See UK/Duke ’92; UK/Arizona ’97

  131. Mike Hunt

    I’d pick CRaP in a fifteen second or less sprint. That’s about it.

  132. cameljockey

    @117 holy crap dude you are delusional.

  133. kybigblue

    If Cal and Rick have the talent they usually have I would go with Cal.

  134. Fred

    All things being equal, I’ll take quick Rick over Cal any day. Rick will beat you with his and then take yours and beat you again. His wiil, passion, and motivation are unsurpassed!

  135. fappin strong

    #129 lettuce romaine cereal while we relish and ketchup to real-tea. Allow me to play doubles advocate here for a moment. For all intensive purposes I think you are wrong. In an age where false morals are a diamond dozen, true virtues are a blessing in the skies. We often put our false morality on a petal stool like a bunch of pre-Madonnas, but you all seem to be taking something very valuable for granite. So I ask of you to mustard up all the strength you can because it is a doggy dog world out there. Although there is some merit to what you are saying it seems like you have a hugeship on your shoulder .In your argument you seem to throw everything in but the kids Nsync, and even though you are having a feel day with this I am here to bring you back into reality. I have a sick sense when it comes to these types of things. It is almost spooky, because I cannot turn a blonde eye to these glaring flaws in your rhetoric. I have zero taller ants when it comes to people spouting out hate in the name of moral righteousness. You just need to remember what comes around is all around, and when supply and command fails you will be the first to go.
    Make my words, when you get down to brass stacks it doesn’t take rocket appliances to get two birds stoned at once. It’s clear who makes the pants in this relationship, and sometimes you just have to swallow your prize and accept the facts. You might have to come to this conclusion through denial and error but I swear on my mother’s mating name that when you put the petal to the medal you will pass with flying carpets like it’s a peach of cake.

  136. Cat Fan

    We had Pitino in late game situations once……..and Christian Laettner happened!

  137. Roland

    CBT will prepay the entire lease for the car but read the fine print:

    Winner must be approved by Ford Motor Credit Company to assume the two-year prepaid lease. What?

  138. Roland

    #137, YOU are SO wrong on this post

  139. BigBlueSkyDog

    Pitino had his moments, like LSU in 1994. But aside from Arizona in 1993, I don’t remember any Kentucky team winning on a last possession during his time here. Cal has done it several times since coming here. I’ve also noticed that each time after Cal calls a timeout, Kentucky almost always gets a basket or foul. For me it’s Cal, no contest.

  140. Cat fan in FL

    I did’nt even have to think for one second. Coach Cal all day, every day, forever and ever amen. Pitino is a good coach, but I much prefer Coach Cal’s style of coaching. LOVE COACH CAL!!!!!!!!

  141. CVFutrell

    As a (former) Nashvillian, I’d really love to know which station this was and which show it was.

  142. bigblue

    Any BBN fan knows without adoubt Rick, is the better coach. Cal did not set the c-usa on fire before Rose,Rick owned him before Cal was able to get these ready made loaded NBA teams. Rick all day outside that T-will, team at U of L. His results with out nba types is what is great.Cal would not have been able to do what Rick, has done with this current Card squad nothing but truth.

  143. wh

    142 well said

  144. Rixter

    Then thank god Cal isn’t trying to coach Rick’s weak-assed team. Gimme talent every time.

  145. G

    Any UK fan who chooses Cal over Pitino has had a little too much of the Kool-Aid

  146. David

    Pitino is a master. He makes moves instinctively. Winning with rag tag line up. Cal has 7 McD All Americans.
    Cal struggles to think in late game situations. Of course his coaching bench is not heavy on deep thinkers. Can’t imagine Rod Strickland will offer any epiphanies in crunch time. Example – 17 seconds to go vs. FL. Time out and FL down and obviously fouling. Cal keeps Jones and Davis on floor while Kyle W sits on bench. He should have been in the game for the potential foul and FT shots. It worked out as FL did not foul Davis or Jones (shame on Donovan). Cal lost title not fouling KS late in game allowing an avoidable 3. Great recruiter, great talent developer in practice, average game coach. But supreme talent often trumps coaching flaws.

  147. Dale

    The greatest strength for both is they’ve helped make programs (Cal more so the last 10 years, Rick a little more the 10 years prior)so strong that they didn’t have to deal with alot of late game drama.. Who’s better late in the game would depend on which one had been in the most close games recently, who had the better chemistry, FT shooters, point guard, etc.. A less talented team could also get a never say die attitude from winning a few in a row after successful comebacks or a last second shot or two.. If Cal and Rick had the exact same talent, I’d give the edge to Cal if his team needed great execution for a shot after a T.O. in the last seconds or hold on to a lead wih little time left, and give Rick the edge if he needed to create chaos and comeback with a little more time left. Better in a close game between them? 80% of the time it’s which one has the beter players.