ALBANY, N.Y. — The Rick Pitino sweepstakes are officially on.
Pitino’s upset-minded Iona Gaels made it entertaining, competitive and had the affair in doubt for 20 minutes against No. 4 UConn on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But when the teams emerged from the locker room after halftime, Connecticut reminded the nation why it’s been ranked among the top teams in college basketball for a majority of the season: Huskies 87, Gaels 63.
UConn will move on to play Saint Mary’s on Sunday in the second round. That can wait.
The story Friday in New York’s capital city was all about New York’s most eligible college basketball coach. Reading the tea leaves, Iona’s loss likely means Pitino has coached his last game with the Gaels after three seasons. The industry has been abuzz with Pitino’s future going on close to a month at this point.
He stopped short, however, of going that far in his postgame press conference.
“I really don’t have an answer to it,” Pitino said when asked if this would be his last game at Iona, later adding, “I really haven’t put any thought into it at all.”
More Pitino: “I don’t know if it’s right for me, another job. I don’t know that.”
Does anyone actually believe this?
Here’s what we know:
St. John’s has privately reached out to Pitino’s camp about coaching the Red Storm, as CBS Sports previously reported. School president Rev. Brian Shanley has been putting in work for weeks to bring Pitino to Queens. In recent days, Pitino spoke openly with the media about the possibility while also admitting he doesn’t even know how to get to St. John’s campus or where it is. (Seriously.)Georgetown, a job Pitino would also seemingly be a great fit at, is not involved. Sources told CBS Sports the school has not made contact to this point and is pursuing other candidates. Perhaps Iona’s season being over changes that calculus, otherwise that would narrow down the field…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/rick-pitino-poised-for-return-to-big-leagues-but-a-question-lingers-is-st-johns-the-best-option/
Author : Matt Norlander
Publish date : 2023-03-18 04:13:20
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.