Rick Pitino says he has ‘no concept’ what teaching future holds

ALBANY, N.Y. — After the ultimate sport of his third season at Iona, Rick Pitino stated he did not know whether or not he could be again for a fourth — or if he could be teaching someplace else.

Will he keep at Iona, or will he go?

“I really don’t have an answer to it, to be honest with you,” Pitino stated. “I have no idea if it is or isn’t because I’ve focused everything on this game.”

The 70-year-old Pitino, who reached the NCAA match with Iona for the second time after a storied Corridor of Fame profession at Boston College, Windfall, Kentucky, Louisville and the NBA, stays St. John’s No. 1 goal, sources instructed ESPN’s Jeff Borzello on Friday.

The 2 sides have had discussions and no deal has been finalized, sources stated, however the search has remained targeted on Pitino and no different critical candidates have emerged.

On the court docket, Pitino’s Thirteenth-seeded Gaels hung powerful with No. 4 UConn on Friday earlier than falling 87-63.

For a half, it seemed like Pitino would possibly get his first teaching win as a double-digit seed. Iona led UConn 39-37 on the break following what Pitino referred to as the very best half his workforce had performed all season.

However that might not final. Connecticut greater than doubled up Iona within the second half, coasting to the win to ship Pitino into the teaching questions he fielded as typically the day earlier than the Gaels’ first-round NCAA sport as he did afterward.

Earlier than he arrived on the podium for his postgame information convention, Pitino walked by means of the hallways of MVP Area. He wished luck to a Drake participant — Drake and Miami had been enjoying the next sport — after which stopped to speak for a quick second with P.J. Carlesimo, the previous Seton Corridor coach and present ESPN radio analyst. Flanked by an armed police officer, Pitino walked by the Iona band earlier than he bumped into Connecticut coach Dan Hurley.

He and Hurley embraced, and Pitino instructed Hurley, “Win it all. Win it all. You’ve got the team to do it.”

It is one thing he would repeat moments in a while the dais, saying he believed the Huskies had the attributes in place to win a nationwide championship.

Pitino stated he wasn’t turning into emotional on the rostrum when he was requested about his future. He later talked about being exonerated within the Louisville basketball scandal and the way it took years away from his profession. He stated he has cherished his previous — each the successes and the errors — and the place he’s now. On Thursday, Pitino stated he would take into account teaching for one more decade.

Pitino had a 293-140 report at Louisville with three Ultimate Fours and a nationwide championship (two of the Ultimate 4 appearances, the 2013 nationwide title and 123 different wins had been vacated because of the scandal); a 219-50 report at Kentucky with three Ultimate Fours and a nationwide title; a 42-23 report at Windfall with a Ultimate 4; and a 91-51 report at Boston College following a six-game stint at Hawai’i. He additionally coached within the NBA with the Knicks and Celtics and for 2 seasons in Greece at Panathinaikos.

All of it led to his previous three seasons at Iona, the place he’s 64-22 with two NCAA match appearances and could be on the transfer once more.

“The present is where we’re at right now, and it’s disappointing for my guys because they’re a great group of kids,” Pitino stated. “And the future, I really have no idea what the future may bring because I got to look at the grand scheme of things about winning, and winning is very important because we all work so hard, every coach works so hard.

“And we performed virtually an ideal sport, finest half of the season.”

When he was pushed about whether he had a timeline to stay at Iona or go to St. John’s or perhaps elsewhere, he again had no answer.

“I actually have not put any thought into it in any respect. I hear the query from you, and I believe if you begin pondering forward, you at all times fail,” Pitino said. “We put lots of effort into this sport, and I do not know. I do not know if it is proper for me, one other job. I do not know that.”

Pitino acknowledged the conversations around the St. John’s position before saying he has never seen St. John’s. Perhaps he meant in its current form, because Pitino then launched into a story about coaching against legendary St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca in 1987.

After telling the story — Pitino always has a story — he circled back to something that might show some of his thinking.

“You do not purchase homes with out wanting on the storage, the upstairs, the kitchen and all the things,” Pitino said. “You do not simply purchase a home.”

About 20 minutes later, his information convention concluded and Pitino left — guard at his facet, gaggle of media strolling behind him — stopping to briefly chat with a few media members earlier than getting into the Iona locker room as his sports activities data director stated he would not be doing any extra interviews.

Was that the final time he’ll stroll into Iona’s locker room after a sport because the workforce’s head coach? Pitino stated he would not know. He would not have a timetable for it.