Did you ever see the movie Click, the surprisingly gut-wrenching Adam Sandler flick where he has a remote control for his life and can either speed it up or slow it down or pause it or whatever? Aside from the obviously awesome implications a life remote would have, this season has really got me daydreaming about how we can just push “fast forward” and get it over with. Really, it sucks. But as the losses mount, I’m starting to see this season as a terrible aberration that’s going to be completely out of context when we step back in seven years and look at this history of the program.
What I’m saying, really, is that it doesn’t matter. And outside of the benefits of developing the talent of guys who will contribute major minutes next year, it doesn’t really have a purpose other than bringing out the “Fire Pitino” crowd.
What do I mean? The team next year is going to look drastically different than this year. To the point where it’s almost comical. Two starter-ish guys, Reggie Lynch and Davonte Fitzgerald, are sitting on the bench due to transfer rules. Literally wasting away while Bakary Konate fumbles his way through the paint. And two starter-ish recruits, Amir Coffey and Eric Curry, aren’t even enrolled at the school yet. Those are guys who not only will make a major impact on the team next year, but will be here for a long time.
If we think about who’s actually contributing this year in more than 10-minute increments, we’ve got eight guys — Nate Mason, Joey King, Carlos Morris, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer, Kevin Dorsey, Charles Buggs and Bakary Konate. Next year, half of these guys will either not be on the team or will not be playing major minutes, yet they’re responsible for a 12-game losing streak and perhaps the worst start in the history of the program. Next year? A major personnel turnover. King and Morris are graduating, while it’s looking more and more like Buggs simply won’t have a place in the lineup. And the Konate/Diedhiou experiment looks like it’s running out of steam.
I guess my point is it’s hard to project the awfulness from this year into future years, because we’re not working with apples to apples. A lineup of Nate Mason, Kevin Dorsey, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy and Reggie Lynch/Eric Curry looks wayyyyy different than what’s on the court today. In a good way. So, while it’s the apocalypse now, we’re not playing with a full deck. Am I being optimistic? Kinda. But there is help on the way, and lots of it.
Now, that’s not to say Richard Pitino should be given a free pass. 0-11 in the conference is still indefensible, and it’s going to take a major uptick in player development and victories next year for him to quiet the doubters. But it’s also interesting to consider that what he’ll have at his disposal next year is a significant upgrade from what we’re looking at today. There is a 0% chance he gets fired this season. And even if he lost the next seven games by 50 points each, it’s not like there’s even an AD in place to show him the door. He’s got one of the better recruiting classes coming in next year, and he’ll get the chance to develop them.