Despite the heartbreaker loss to Morehead State in the NCAA tournament last month, Louisville basketball fans have largely gotten over the heartache.
Easing the pain is the influx of talent that is coming to the Ville in the next two years. The 2011 signing class has been ranked by many national outlets as one of the best in the nation. Headliners Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan are expected to fit in perfectly with the holes left by the departing seniors. 2012 was also looking great with super point guard Rodney Purvis coming to the KFC Yum! Center.
This was all came into flux with the loss of recruiting stud Tim Fuller yesterday. Fuller was widely known to be Purvis’ best friend on the Louisville coaching staff, and his loss could be costly for the Cards. Fuller is taking an assistant coaching position at Missouri where the new coach Frank Haith has been a long time friend and mentor.
Bloggers and radio hosts commented on Fuller’s departure all day. Most chalked it up to the ties with Haith, others with higher pay. One co-host on the Bob Valvano show yesterday suggested that it may have to do with Fuller being an African American.
Whatever caused Fuller’s decision, its a bad one. Why you would leave a program where you are learning from the great Rick Pitino? Let alone to go to a program with few accomplishments and an unproven coach. Missouri isn’t going anywhere. Its simply a stupid move for Fuller.
Purvis was quickly pursued for a comment on Fuller’s departure. He tweeted “CardNation” yesterday morning, and confirmed later in the day that he intended to stay on the Louisville signing class.
Fuller’s loss is now the third vacancy in Rick Pitino’s coaching staff. Steve Masiello, as widely expected, took the head coaching job at Manhattan, and Mark Lieberman has stepped up to head of basketball operations. While no official word has come, there are massive rumblings that Richard Pitino, Rick’s son, will return to Louisville after a two year stint at Florida.
Now Rick Pitino is headed back to the resume list to reload. Cards fan shouldn’t worry. expect a home run recruiter and another great assistant to be named within the next couple of weeks. Coaches want to work for Rick, and he’ll have his pick of only the best.
Terrence Jennings to test NBA waters
The senior forward will take a look into the pros, but won’t take an agent. Jennings had an up and down year. He struggled at the start of the year, but when freshman Gorgui Dieng sat with an injury, TJ stepped up his game.
When asked about TJ, Pitino commented that he doubts the big man will leave Louisville. “I think it’s almost good because they’ll tell him, ‘You’ve got to get your rebound numbers up, you’ve got to get your balance better’ — all the things I’ve been telling him, they’ll reinforce it,” he said.