By Kia Tyus
Many people believe the whole point of playing a team sport is to not only win but win by as much as possible. Many competitive athletes love to completely dominate a team. In the case of Savannah State vs. Louisville this was exactly the case.
The players and the fans were probably amped up about the blowout win. But, not Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. Instead, Pitino early on in the game decided to come up with ways to not beat Savannah State by so much.
The question you should ask yourself is, when competing in a game should you hold back from destroying a team? Personally, I have mixed feelings about what Pitino did in the game. I understand that when your team is blowing out another team, it is important to reserve those players energy. It also lessens the chance of an injury.
But, is it fair to tell the players who rarely see playing time to hold back? No, I agree with the Jeff Eisenberg, the author of an article on the subject. When you put your backup players in the game, I feel as though they should get the same chance to pad their stats. It is their turn to have a feeling of accomplishing something.
Eisenberg also touched on Pitino’s post game press conference that was in fact a risky one. Pitino pitied Savannah State, stating, “I don’t like to see any team struggle like that. I really don’t.” Pitino furthered his comments by saying, “We tried everything” Referring how he was trying to not beat up on Savannah State so much.
Pitino ended his press conference making a statement, “You get nothing out of this, you just feel bad for the other team.” As a former athlete, I feel no matter how bad you get beat, I would never want a team to feel sorry for me. Clearly, Louisville was a better team being ranked in the nation. Savannah State is a struggling Division 1 school playing in a poor conference. No one should have been that surprised by this score.
Eisenberg began to compare Louisville blowout to their in-state rivals Kentucky; who blew out Montana State 86-28. Of course, Pitino refused to comment.
Eisenberg wrote a great article that made you think about what if you were in Pitino’s situation and how you would handle it. I feel as though Eisenberg gave great statics on each team such and the score, record, and even went as far as making a point of how this isn’t even Savannah State’s worst point differential in the shot clock era. In fact, in 2008, Savannah State scored a measly four points in the first half.