Found March 24, 2012 on Louisville Card Game:
Ncaa_basketball_louisville_b3ca
Several relationships will be put aside for a couple of hours when the University of Louisville and Florida get together in the NCAA Elite Eight basketball showdown Saturday at 4:40 p.m.
  • Coach and player, dating back to 1987 when Rick Pitino was coaching Providence and Billy Donovan was quarterbacking the team at point guard. It was Pitino who gave Donovan the nickname of “Billy the Kid.” They would make the Final Four that year.
  • Mentor and student. It’s obvious in the way Donovan dresses and talks that he patterns much of what he says and does after Pitino. Not that he’s a clone, but Donovan takes the best of Pitino and applies to his life and coaching.
  • Life counselor. We’re pretty confident that Donovan came to Pitino for advice three seasons ago when the University of Kentucky offered Donovan the head coaching spot at UK. Don’t what Pitino told him, but Donovan eventually turned it down. Pitino would feel the effects whatever Donovan decided because the job would next be offered to Memphis coach John Calipari.
  • Best friends. It was Billy Donovan who took Richard Pitino under his wing at Florida a few months before details surfaced of Rick’s involvement in the Karen Sypher affairs. Donovan did it at Rick’s request, just as he took in John Pelphrey after Pelphrey was fired at Arkansas last season.
Pitino has lots on mind as game time approaches, not the least of which is getting his team to not look past Florida to a possible matchup with Kentucky in the Final Four.But he also has another lesson to pass on to Donovan, that one’s livelihood and loyalty to players and school must come first. They know the strength of the relationship will endure whatever challenges the game provides.
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