Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rival Views: Which programs will benefit most from Pitino's ouster?

Reprint from Eric Bossi,
College basketball has been rocked by scandal this week and it appears that Louisville's Rick Pitino is the first high-profile coach to lose his job over allegations revealed in a federal investigation into corruption. With Pitino apparently on the way out at Louisville, which programs could benefit the most? As usual, national analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans have Rival Views.


Romeo Langford
Pitino's ouster at Louisville has to benefit Indiana and Archie Miller more than anybody else out there. They are rival programs, Louisville is right on the Indiana border and has competed with the Hoosiers for players in the past and getting a tough competitor knocked out - especially if the Cardinals get hit with more NCAA sanctions - early in your tenure is huge if you are Miller.
Just look at this year's recruiting. Maybe the single-most important target on the Hoosiers board is five-star shooting guard  . A top 10 player who is from Indiana, Langford lives right outside of Louisville and the Cardinals had been a major factor in his recruitment. With them out of play, Indiana's chances have definitely increased and moving forward it's nice for them to not have to worry about Cardinals. At least not for the near future.

Another program that I could see benefiting is Florida. Under Pitino the Cardinals have been active in the Sunshine State. Their top-rated 2018 recruit   is a five-star from the state who is back on the market. Additionally, the Cardinals had been active in recruiting the state over the past few years and it makes one less team to worry about for at least the next few years.


Courtney Ramey
It's hard to project the domino effect from Pitino's ouster at Louisville, but if there is one program that has the most to gain, it's Kentucky.
While the two programs surprisingly do not battle for similar recruits, if there was an upcoming head-to-head fight, UK would almost certainly emerge victorious.
Both   and   backed off of their commitments to Louisville on Wednesday. Despite the commitment five-star guard  , John Calipari might take a peek at one or the other.  , a current 2019 Louisville commit, could back off of his initial commitment and might draw some Kentucky interest, too.

For as good as Kentucky has been for the past several years, the debate as to who owned the best college basketball program in the state remained a hot topic. Now? Calipari’s program reigns supreme, no argument needed.
While Kentucky should take up what Louisville had owned, Ohio State shouldn’t be too far behind. Just like Louisville, the Buckeyes’ staff has a strong presence in the Midwest, along the northeast corridor and in the state of Florida. Where Ohio State may have failed to gain traction with more highly-lauded prospects in the past, it may now be able to beef up its current roster by locking down the state of Ohio, touching the state of Florida further, investing even more time in the Midwest and, dare I say, the state of Kentucky.