Basketball been berry, berry good to Rick Pitino and how he’s looking to help take the Latin flavor to the next level at the 2011 FIBA Tournament Of The Americas where the Ticos [Correction per Sarah who caught this mistake; Ticos are Costa Ricans not Puerto Ricans, apologies to all offended Ricans and thanks to Sarah] will try to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.  Pitino is hoping his experience at the college level translates to the attitude of international level players:

They understand their backs are to the wall as players and they’ve got to finish in the top two to qualify for the Olympics.  It’s very similar to Kentucky in the fact everybody there is so passionate about basketball. It will be a great challenge.

Pitino has said he will look to install the same up-tempo style he has become known for with Puerto Rico.   While the role may limit Pitino’s availability for recruiting it will not impact his role as head coach at the University of Louisville and plans to have the Cardinals practicing with and against Puerto Rico when possible. 

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