He now plays — apparently very well and without incident — for Tony Barbee’s UTEP Miners. He’s had a number of double doubles and no suspensions since gaining eligibility.
The fellow who used to be the bane of The Rick’s existence has some perspective on his days as a Cardinal.
Apparently Caracter bought in at first.
” . . . when I got to Louisville, I weighed 320-pounds. I was just eating Chinese food and doing unnecessary stuff. My first year at Louisville was cool. I felt some of the assistants were harder on me than the other guys, but that just made me better.”
His further comments give insight into what was going on in the locker room during his stay here.
“It seemed like I had a certain leadership on the team. A lot of guys would follow me, do what I did, even dress like me. In some ways that hurt us and in some ways that was a good thing. But if I felt like I was better than David Padgett and I was not playing, I would be negative. Coach (Rick) Pitino felt it was like a cancer, that it would spread.”
Caracter mentions in the article how his buddy Earl Clark helped him get in shape for his stint at UTEP.
“It gave me a whole new outlook on fitness. When I was at Louisville, I was dieting all the time and eating so little I just never felt strong.”
I think he’s delusional about his leadership skills versus those of David Padgett.
But his comments about Rick Pitino’s ways resonate some. There’s no doubt RP considered his attitude a cancer. Nor, one guy’s opinion, that he made Caracter diet to the point where he was less effective on the court than when a bit heavier and stronger.
In this Cardinal winter of moderate to heavy discontent, many red & black fans have been questioning some recurring traits of The Rick.
One, that he’ll give up on recruits. If a player the coach thinks he can paternally mold into a fixture on his team doesn’t buy in quickly, Pitino’s tendency is to cut bait. UK Exhibit A: Rodrick Rhodes. Celtic Exhibit B: Chauncey Billups. U of L Exhibit C: Bryan Harvey. To name but a few.
Disgruntled former Card Derrick Caracter is not the only one of The Rick’s charges from the past to mention the extreme exercise regime and how it sometime sapped energy and resulted in tired legs as the season progressed.
Then again, Pitino’s teams at Louisville have tended to peak as the season progressed. Pitino’s exemplary February and March success is a matter of record. So the postulation I’m presenting is certainly fair game for discussion. There are legit arguments that I’m full of it.
But, to use the vernacular of the day, I’m just sayin’ . . .
Which is to not even mention the kind of eerie disengagement with which Pitino addressed some of U of L’s recent setbacks, compared to his former fiery ways.
One has to ask if he’s lost some Eye of the Tiger?
– Seedy K