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Another UF assistant is on the clock ... How long before Richard Pitino leaves the Gators?

GAINESVILLE -- Well, Billy Donovan finally went and hired an assistant who might stick around for a few years.

Richard_pitino The University of Florida announced on Monday morning that 26-year-old Richard Pitino [pictured] will replace former UF assistant Shaka Smart, who spent one year at UF before leaving to coach Virginia Commonwealth. Pitino is the son of Rick Pitino, who coached Donovan at Providence and gave him a job as an assistant while at Kentucky.

Pitino The Younger is the latest (and youngest) assistant basketball coach at UF since every team in the country started hiring UF assistant basketball coaches. Since Anthony Grant left in 2006, UF has had to replace an assistant coach every offseason. According to Donovan, that revolving door is as much to blame for UF's recent recruiting woes as anything. (I'm not buying that, of course.)

Richard Pitino coached at Louisville for two years before leaving the family nest and, well, moving to the extended family nest. Let's face it, Donovan is like Rick Pitino's son, so that makes Richard Pitino like Billy's nephew ... or brother once removed or something. Whatever it is, this hire is the closest thing to nepotism as the University of Florida probably allows. (Wait, who am I kidding?)

“I’ve known Richard his whole life. I feel like we’re getting a terrific recruiter, basketball coach and person," Donovan said. "We’re also getting somebody that also understands our program and system because of the similarities between what we do and what Louisville does."

That was Donovan's written statement on Monday. Of course, there was one more line. Donovan made sure to thank Don Corleone.

"I’m grateful to Coach Pitino for allowing me to help Richard continue to grow and develop as a coach,“ Donovan said.

What Donovan is really thankful for these days is a fan base who is either apathetic towards UF's current basketball situation or just not paying attention because the football team is on ESPN all the time. UF basketball is in treading water right now and in need of some serious help in the form of two or three additions during the late-season signing period (which began on April 15 and ends mid May).

More on the state of UF basketball either tonight or tomorrow. Today is supposed to be my off day, so I'm stepping away from the laptop for a few hours and taking the pups to the Suwannee River.

(P.S.: I won't be twittering.)

-jo-

Comments

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Nobody can touch Bowden in the nepotism arena.


I like how you say, "I'm not buying that.". Why not? You don't think kids develop relationships with the guys who recruit them? Granted it is not in the top two reasons we have had recruiting problems recently, but it is not to be dismissed by any means.

And I don't think there is any apathy to the UF basketball program. Some people choose not to go off the deep end and freak out because of a few lackluster seasons, that's all.Peraonally, I'm pissed that we have strugled the past two years, but I am able to rationalize and understand why.

Oh, I'm not dismissing it. It's certainly part of the problem just not the entire problem.

-jo-

There is no problem LARGE ENOUGH TO WORRY ABOUT. Winning 2 NCs quite recently should give anyone substantial slack.

Billy has all the slack in the world. He's not going anywhere. He's a great coach. That still doesn't mean there's a problem.

-jo-

WHERE'S THE BEEF!!! That's a big part of the problem. Not only are our guys relatively short for their positions but about 30 to 40 pounds too light to get in there and bang with the big boys. Why can't we get the 6'11" or 7 footer just once in Billy's career?

Oh yeah, buy the way. Let's don't hire any more good coaches - they just leave anyway.
WHAT A CROCK THAT IS!! Let's get the best we can.

Bud,

Just being a little sarcastic about the whole revolving-door thing. I mean, I worked at a Ruby Tuesday in college that had less turnover.

-jo-

If the past assistants who left were responsible for recruiting, then I'm glad they left because our recruiting classes the past few years were probably the most overrated in the country. Kadji and Vargas were rated 4 or 5 stars and currently, they'd each get 1/2 star. As I've said in the past when ESPN releases their most overrated recruit list, Dan Werner will be in the top 3 of all time busts. Our two NCs did absolutely nothing for our recruiting classes - we still would have gotten who we got! (I know, thats horrible English). When your 2nd leading scorer Tyus)who started every game (and would have become the team's leading scorer next season)leaves your program, that can't be seen by others as very positive. Kenny Boyton is not going to save the Gators basketball program and besides, after a few off years, Kentucky will resume its position within the SEC (winning 3 out of 4 Conference titles, sweeping the Gators, etc.)
I'm just disappointed that the Gators didnt use their 2 NCs and national exposure to build the program into a yearly contender like Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, etc. Granted, I didn't expect to become those schools but at least competitive year in and year out.

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