Yesterday, Drew outlined some of Rick Pitino’s biggest lies over the years, and not even 24 hours later, we have another to add to this list. While discussing the one-and-done rule during an appearance on SportsCenter this morning, Pitino said seven high school basketball players told him they were coming to Kentucky only to go straight to the pros.
“When I was at Kentucky, I had seven high school basketball players told me they were coming and instead went to the pros out of high school,” Pitino said.
If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound right, you are correct. Only three high schoolers went straight to the NBA during Pitino’s career at Kentucky: Kevin Garnett (1995), Kobe Bryant (1996), and Jermaine O’Neal (1996). Three is not even half of seven, but by Pitino math, I guess it adds up. (Update: I forgot about Tracy McGrady in 1997, so you can add him to the list. Regardless, four is not seven.)
Rick did tell the truth when he said he’s still searching for his first one-and-done player.
“I don’t mind it,” Pitino said of the one-and-done rule. “I’m looking for my first one and done. I’ve had top 10 picks, top 20 picks. I’m waiting. I don’t mind it. John Calipari and Coach K have mastered it, certainly. It’s tough to play with freshmen. They have so much to learn on the defensive end.”
Pitino also said that in the next two years, he believes the NBA will change the rule back to letting high school players go directly to the league.
“By the way, I think that rule is going to change back to that. I think high school players are going to be able to go pro again. I think the commissioner is probably going to do it within two years.”
So, by Pitino math, that will probably happen in five years, not two.