“You don’t buy houses without looking”

ALBANY, NY (AP) — Rick Pitino insists he doesn’t know his next move. It gave a pretty good clue as to what is being studied.

After the 70-year-old Hall of Fame 13th-seeded Iona was knocked out of the NCAA tournament by UConn on Friday, he addressed speculation that St. John’s were targeting him as their next coach. .

He also said he didn’t know if he coached his last game with the Gaels.

“I really don’t have an answer to that, to be honest with you. I have no idea if it is or not because I focused everything on this game, trying to develop a plan to beat Connecticut,” Pitino said.

Pitino spoke earlier this week of his admiration for St. John’s president Reverend Brian Shanley, who previously worked in Providence.

Pitino broke into the Big East as a head coach at Providence in 1986 and had one of the most memorable Final Four runs in tournament history with the Friars in 1987.

St. John’s, which fired Mike Anderson after the Big East Tournament, was a powerhouse in the conference at the time, but the Red Storm sank into a long period of mediocrity over the past two decades.

Pitino said he didn’t have a timeline as to when he would make a decision about his future and spoke directly to the reports of St. John’s interest.

“I really didn’t think about it at all,” Pitino said. “I hear the question from you, and I think when you start thinking about the future, you always fail.

“We put a lot of effort into this game. I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s good for me, another job. I don’t know. It’s something, as I said before, I know you’re all referring to St. John’s, but I’ve never seen St. John’s. Someone sent me a clip.

Pitino recounted an anecdote about playing at St. John’s in 1987, beating Lou Carnesecca’s team, then shoving star goalkeeper Billy Donovan into the locker room shower because officials were still debating whether to hand over a second more on the stopwatch.

“That’s the last thing I remember being in St. John’s. It was 1987, guys, 1987,” Pitino said. “So I don’t remember too much, to be honest, to be perfectly transparent.

“You don’t buy houses without looking at the garage, the floor, the kitchen and everything. You are not just buying a house.

Pitino won national championships with Kentucky and Louisville, but he was fired by Louisville before the 2017-18 season after an FBI investigation into college basketball led to allegations of NCAA violations.

It was the third scandal, both personal and professional, in eight years with Louisville.

Ultimately, Pitino was exonerated in the FBI-related case — which he reminded everyone about during his postgame press conference on Friday — five years after he was fired.

“So for five years they put me in addiction because they couldn’t get their stuff together,” Pitino said.

“So these are just the breaks from the game. You can’t look back. The past, it’s always cherished. You learn from it, you cherish the past. I’ve been in seven Final Fours, two championships, and I cherish that. I also learn from the mistakes that have been made,” he said.

Pitino is 64-22 in three years with Iona of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, including two NCAA tournament appearances. The small Catholic school in New Rochelle, New York, just north of town, hired him with the NCAA cloud still over his head, but that’s a far cry from the Big East.

He lamented earlier this week the pressure of being in an NCAA bid conference. After being routed by UConn in the second half, he explained that the Gaels simply could not physically match one of the best teams in the country.

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


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