Bravo. Bravo to you, Kevin Stallings.
It’s obvious that talent-wise this year’s Pitt basketball isn’t able to stack up with most ACC programs.
Last night at Louisville, Pitt’s starting lineup consisted of five freshman, which was the first time the program has ever done that.
Not surprisingly, Louisville, whose roster is filled with four- and five-star recruits, dominated Pitt.
Stallings’ team might have lost by 26 points but he gained a lot of points in my book for defending his players.
During the second half of the game, a group of Louisville fans were heckling members of his team. Instead of doing nothing, Stallings responded to the fans by reportedly saying, “at least we didn’t pay our players $100,000.”
— Whitney Harding (@WhitneyNBC4) January 3, 2018
Good for Kevin Stallings.
In the postgame press conference, the Pitt coach responded by saying, “Somebody said something bad about my players and so, I’m just going to stick up for my players.”
”I probably said the wrong thing, but I’m not going to let people talk crap about my players. We’re down. The game’s over with. You don’t need to insult kids that are out there fighting hard and trying to do their best.”
“I’m not going to let people take shots at our players.”
The only thing I disagree with is Stallings apologizing for saying the wrong thing. No, he didn’t, he spoke the truth. It might be blunt and Louisville fans might not want to hear it but it was accurate.
Louisville is one of the most corrupt athletic programs in the NCAA. If you want evidence, do a google search on Rick Pitino and Bobby Petrino’s history.
If there’s anything you should now about Stallings and that he’s an emotional coach and will speak his mind.
Now Pitt fans should also realize and appreciate that he has his players back and will fight for them.
This could be a long year for this young Pitt team and they could see more results like last night. Stallings probably realizes that and is trying to protect them emotionally. Losing like this could take a toll on a team full of freshman and I applaud the coach for attempting to protect “his kids”.
Stallings has had his share of detractors in his two years at Pitt and I’m sure a segment of the fan base will use this as ammunition to continue to rail against him.
In my opinion, those are the people who are going to criticize him no matter what.
If any other manager or coach in this town did what Stallings did last night, he’d be viewed as a “hero” and fans would love them forever for it.
Unfortunately, Stallings isn’t at that level with the Pitt fan base. Yet.
The only thing that probably matters to Stallings is having the love and respect of his players and I’m certain after last night, the Pitt players appreciate what their coach did for them.
Pitt lost the game last night but Stallings won the respect of a lot of people, including me.