Saturday, January 19, 2002

Five questions with Rick Pitino

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        This is why we love Five Questions. How else would we find out that if Louisville coach Rick Pitino was stranded on an island with a portable CD player and one CD, he would pick “something uplifting ... probably something by the O'Jays.”

        “It would have to be something I could continually listen to, through the boredom and loneliness,” he told us.

        Pitino, who coached Kentucky to three Final Fours, including the 1996 national championship, brings his Cardinals into Shoemaker Center today to face the University of Cincinnati. Earlier in the week, he answered five (actually six; see above) questions from Enquirer reporter Michael Perry.

        Q: What's your all-time favorite book not authored by yourself?

        A: Trinity by Leon Uris. It taught you about the struggle in Ireland having nothing do with religion, but really the background of the struggle between two different sects of Irish people. The author put rugby players as characters in the book into the struggle and it was really well done.

        Q: If one of your children comes to you and insists they want to be a coach, what do you tell them?


        A: I had two that I discouraged, but the third one (Richard) wants to be a coach. He's an assistant at St. Andrews High School outside Providence; he's a freshman at Providence College. I tried to discourage it, but he wants it and it's up to him.

        Q: You're coaching an all-star team of your former or current college players. Give us the starting lineup and some reserves.

        A: Billy the Kid Donovan at the point, Tony Delk at the two, a tie between Derek Anderson and Ron Mercer at the three, the four would be Jamal Mashburn, and I'd probably play Antoine Walker at the five. The top reserves would be Anthony Epps at the point (he has no ego, runs a team well and has the size to defend bigger point guards), Nazr Mohammed at the five and Delray Brooks at the two guard (he was a terrific player at Providence).

        Q: If you never became a coach, what profession would you have entered?

        A: I probably would have gone to law school or worked on Wall Street.

        Q: Are you a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll?

        A: I'm very little country and much more rock and roll. I do really love music. Nothing against country, it's just that I didn't grow up around it. There's not a lot of country music on 26th street in the east side of Manhattan.


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