UofL BASKETBALL | Pitino releases statement and player evaluations

10/22/2015 12:01 PM

UofL Basketball Head Coach Rick Pitino published a post to his website on Thursday morning, which begins with a statement concerning his future with the program. Pitino said:

“To our loyal fans,

First, above all, I’m sorry we all have to endure the pain of these allegations. I so appreciate your support and friendships.

I will not resign and let you down. Someday I will walk away in celebration of many memorable years but that time is not now. I do not fight these accusations by others but rather turn the other cheek. Couldn’t do it at 33, but at 63 it’s the wise thing to do. Let’s let the investigators do their job and we will play basketball.

I am really excited with our ball team. Their attitude and willingness to learn is the best I’ve witnessed as a coach. We have the potential to be a very explosive offensive team. We must defend like past years. That will come when they come together as a unit.”

Rick Pitino finished the post with individual player evaluations:

The players have improved in many areas:
Quentin Snider – has improved his jump shot by adding more lift and arc.

Matz Stockman – has made great strides. He’s doing things in practice that has all
of us very excited. Now he just has to relax when the lights come on.

Anas Mahmoud – has great footwork and length. Still only 210 lbs., but up from 177.

Ryan McMahon – is crafty and picking up the physical nature of college ball. Although our plans are to redshirt him, he is improving with each practice.

Ray Spalding – has been out of practice due to a sprained ankle. Has a lot of catching up to do.

Donovan Mitchell – is a tremendous worker with an attitude I haven’t seen in my lifetime. Freak athlete who is a joy to coach.

Mangok Mathiang – is consistent in every area. Emotional leader who gives you everything he has all the time. His low post footwork has improved and his rebounding is always there.

Chinanu Onuaku – has improved in many areas. He was fouling too much in our scrimmages, which is a concern. Once he learns to fight through fatigue, his play will be more consistent. Working real hard to improve.

Jaylen Johnson – like Nanu, has been creating too many fouls that would put him on the bench. He needs to cut down on his turnovers and ball fake more on his passes.

Dillon Avare – gives you every ounce he has in him each day. Battles and never backs down vs. stronger players.

David Levitch – as everyone noticed from the scrimmage, he’s not a player you yell to put in the game up 20. He makes players better around him and has had two stellar scrimmages.

Jay Henderson – dependable transfer from St. John’s. Terrific attitude who makes guys compete each day by giving great effort.

Trey Lewis – learning to play more at the point guard position. Strong and aggressive and has a great stroke. We are so lucky to have him on our team. Like Donovan, just a joy to coach.

Damion Lee – explosive scorer. Doing it all for us in practice. Rebounding, passing and his quick release reminds me of a player I coached named Ron Mercer. Another young man with an incredible attitude.

Deng Adel – Wow!! So much potential with such an eagerness to learn. Explosive athlete who gets better and better. Probably will start at the wing.
We are a week away from the Bellarmine game. Get fired up for another great season!

Garrett Moore

Garrett is a Sports Producer for Spectrum News. He is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State and got his start as a sports photographer. He now produces Sports Night, the state’s only nightly show dedicated to in-depth coverage of all sports in Kentucky. Sports Night airs weeknights at 6:30 and 10:30 on Spectrum News. Outside the station, Garrett enjoys golfing, hiking, fishing, and prides himself on being all-in as a sports spectator. He won a gift card for playing an air guitar in the student section during an MTSU basketball game. Follow Garrett on Twitter @SportsNightGM for real-time sports updates or if you just want to see the shenanigans that go on behind the scenes in getting Sports Night on the air.

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