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National media picks Pitino as the best coach in Kentuckiana

Cal has never been popular with the national media, but according to a new poll, he’s not even the best coach in the Kentuckiana area. By far.

WDRB in Louisville (home of Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich) conducted a poll of 41 writers and media members from across the nation to see who they thought was the best college basketball coach in the Kentuckiana area, and–drumroll, please–Rick Pitino won by a landslide. Here’s the final tally:

1. Rick Pitino – 25 votes
2. John Calipari – 11 votes
3. Tom Crean – 4 votes

Okay, boys, let’s justify this:


“That was a hard one,” said Jim O’Connell, the national college basketball writer for the Associated Press. “You can argue 10 different points and get different answers. But I think Pitino would get it with the main reason how his teams improve over the course of the season.”

“Pitino, by a hair over Calipari,” said Lenn Robbins of the New York Post.

“Rick Pitino is as good as any coach of any level of basketball right now,” wrote Frank Burlison, a Hall of Fame writer from Los Angeles who writes for Sports Illustrated’s web site.


“I thought you said these (questions) were easy,” wrote Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News. “All three teams have great centers, and all have great coaches. But Calipari built and sustained enormous success at UMass and Memphis before coming to UK, and he’s in the sweet spot of his career now.”

“Calipari,” wrote Tom Kensler of the Denver Post. “He’s unmatched as a recruiter, motivator and team psychologist, and highly underrated as a game coach.”

“You’ve got to go with Cal,” said Mitchell Light, editor of the Athlon Sports College Basketball Yearbook. “It’s hard to argue with the results. You can’t go wrong with any of the three, but Cal is at the top of the profession right now.”

Well, at least we can all agree on Crean’s spot.

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.

30 Comments for National media picks Pitino as the best coach in Kentuckiana

  1. NotKarenSypher
    10:51 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    I guess since Cal has out-coached Pitino and won all four games they have met during the last three years makes Pitino the winner over Coach Cal? The only place Pitino has out-coached Cal is at Porcini’s!

  2. CatGrad7072
    10:58 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino by a hair?; I think the writer meant Pitino by a hair-plug.

    10:58 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    So Calipari did in 3 years what Pitino hasn’t been able to do in 11 years at Louisville.

    Cal is on top right now.

    Look at Pitino’s 11 years at Louisville:
    NIT – 2 years
    1st Weekend Exits from Tourny – 5 years (3 first round exits)
    Final 4 – 2 years
    Elite 8 – 2 years

    ^ Wow … that is just amazing. lol

    Cal in 3 years, has more championships, same amount of final fours and 1 less elite eight appearance. ha

  4. Rod
    11:00 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Looks like Pitino just 15 seconded in his pants

  5. Fat Boy
    11:01 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Wow! Coach Cal has put on some serious LBS since that photo of him and Rick were taken!

  6. Interesting
    11:02 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    It depends if you factor recruiting. If not, Pitino is the better coach. He had zero nba players last year and we had a bunch. Both games were pretty close. Not sure any other coach in the country gets last years tard team to the final 4. I love Cal, but if the coaches switched teams, I’m not sure Cal could come close to uk if he coached the uofl roster. Just my honest opinion.

  7. BlueBear
    11:03 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah, i guess that’s why louisville can get beat by 30 by providence, and morehead in the first round of the tourney with far superior players. what a joke.

  8. BigBlueBrian
    11:06 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Luckily top High School talent see it otherwise. It will be interesting to see if Ricky P can live up to this with a truly special team this year. I am leaning towards NO.

  9. HopeI'mWrong
    11:07 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    I think ricky p cuts the nets down this year.

  10. gossie21
    11:08 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Tom Crean receiving any votes is an embarrassment. But then again Rick Bozich has never had a problem being embarrassingly wrong.

    Trying to be as neutral as possible, I would call it a tie between Cal and Pitino. They both have one national title, Pitino has one more final four, but he has been coaching longer.

  11. SexnNursinHomes
    11:09 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Media are idiots. Good to see them basing their pick on the Rick at UK and not the Rick at ul. Morons. Rick hasn’t done crap in a decade.

  12. stan
    11:09 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    One thing Quickie Rickie has going for him,don’t spend much time being intimate WITH FEMALE FRIENDS, SO HE HAS MORE TIME TO COACH…….POW!15 SECONDS…..I AM DONE,LOCK THE FRONT DOOR ON THE WAY OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. LoganBleedsBlue
    11:09 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    The first guy interviewed is a complete idiot! This is something I here all the time in Louisville and that’s that Cal can’t coach. Say what?!! He’s bringing in completely raw talent that are going through puberty basically and trains them and works them up to national champs. To be able to calm their egos enough for that special chemistry we saw last year was nothing short of a big blue miracle. Only Cal can and has done it. That’s incredible coaching!!

  14. njCat
    11:23 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is the best college coach – by far. X’s and O’s are just part of it – and he’s pretty good at that too, especially when it comes to adjusting his system to match the skills of his players. Pitino is a very good coach, but his recruiting strategy under current NBA rules will mean he never wins a championship. He just doesn’t have the level of talent necessary to win 6 straight games over good competition.

  15. ChiddarCheddar
    11:32 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Really? One is polishing his trophy and the other is….wait, bad analogy.

  16. how about
    12:00 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Using Pitino ‘s. Time at UK in the evaluation skewers the comparison. Equalable comparison would be head to head while at UK. and head to head now. To many variables other wise. For example, at UMass and Memphis Cal didn’t have same resources as Pitino does at U of L. At UK Pitino followed a probation, Cal followed Billy Clyde. Both had handicaps. Equitable opportunity. U of L fans claim their program to be one of colleges elite. So Pitino time at U of L vrs Cal at UK. Equitable opportunity. How do they compare?
    Who knows about what happens this year with U of l. Did coaching change beginning with Big East tournament? Or did they just get hot at the right time? Did percentages finally catch up and a poor shooting team got back to the time that. Makes averages work. I don’t know. Pitino has said this is not his most talented team or was last year.Does that mean his coaching got less out of more?

  17. BigBlueBuddy
    12:08 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Since Cal has been at UK, UK and UofL have played four times. How many total minutes has UofL had the lead in those for games? Just curious if anyone knows.

  18. edrnm
    12:08 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares, Kentuckiana refers to metropolitan areas with counties in both Indiana and Kentucky. The Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, commonly called the Louisville metropolitan area or Kentuckiana, is the 42nd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States. Source Wiki and I grew up in Louisville Fairdale to be precise, go Farmers! So since slick Rick is the Tards coach shouldn’t he be the best Kentckiana coach? Duh

  19. Plain Truth
    12:11 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    This still one of the best before and after photo’s, I have ever seen.

  20. Carl
    12:28 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino looks like he just sharted! Pitino may be good at preparing a team. But he lost some games at Kentucky and Louisville because he couldn’t make the right in-game adjustments.

  21. MustangCat
    12:35 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Lemme see now? Pitino has been at UL HOW LONG? And hasn’t won a title yet? Hard to say he’s still re-building from the mess Denny left him?! Calipari came in at UK, and inherited a far greater mess at UK, and made ELite 8, final four, and WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP, in his first 3 years on the job!! Hard to argue with that level of success. Crean is a good coach, but it should be an argument of whether or not he or Pitino should be #2. Cal is an absolute LOCK. This is just people with a grudge wanting to vent.

  22. portlandky
    1:00 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    No big need to get excited about the poll. It was written by the next BIG DUMBA$$ in line behind Forde & Thamel, Rick Bozich.

  23. Han
    1:09 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    I love how people don’t give Cal credit as a coach because he recruits so well, as if recruiting and developing talent isn’t part of a coach’s job. Ask Caracter how well Pitino develops talent and mentors young men.

    Pitino gets credit for being highly ranked preseason each year, injuring some of his guys, then somehow making a late run with a team that was supposed to be there to begin with.

    Crean has shown he can win with Wade or Zeller. The rest of the time, not so much.

  24. Laker Cat 18
    1:39 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    The writers who truly believe this garbage should be fired. They obviously know very little about college basketball.

  25. Calipari's Blue Ballers
    1:55 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    No one is doing what Cal is doing. He’s hands down the best coach in not only Kentucky but the best in America. He’s making everyone of his peers look old & lame.

  26. Sarcasm
    2:08 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    If only Cal and Pitino’s teams played against each other every year this debate would be easy to settle. I’d probably go with Pitino as well. It’s not like Cal has beat him 4 times in a row or anything.

  27. Obama
    2:10 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Give Pitino some time people. He’s only been there 11 years and George Bush left a huge mess for him to clean up. Btw, here’s some free food, phones and your rent. You’re welcome and thanks for your vote.

  28. Dub C
    2:30 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino is by far the better coach!

  29. truth
    6:08 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Cow has www hand deliver ready made nba players. He just rolls it out there. We will see what cow can do this year. I predict 10 to 12 losses.

  30. markp
    6:23 pm November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Screw that poll. Wins and championships are all that matters.