Kareem Richardson is the latest addition to the UofL men’s basketball coaching staff. Rick Pitino’s coaching tree has produced 25 future head coaches, including assistants and former players.
Richardson comes to UofL after serving for one season as an assistant at Xavier. Prior to that he also coached at Drake, Missouri-Kansas City, Evansville, Indiana State, Wright State and Indianapolis. He played for Evansville, and after graduating, received his M.B.A. from the University of Indianapolis.
Richardson and his wife, Greta, have three children, Jasmiyn, Amari and Andre.
Kent Taylor: What put this job over the top for you, to leave Xavier?
Kareem Richardson: To get the chance to work with one of the best of all-time in Coach Pitino, and at this point in my career it was obviously the motivating factor for me.
K.T.: What about him has impressed you this summer?
K.R.: I’ve been able to get on the floor, and the big thing that I’ve picked up so far is Coach’s delivery with the guys. He just really knows how to put things into words and into perspective for the guys to be able to learn quickly.
K.T.: What do you like about Louisville?
K.R.: People, great people around, both on the UofL campus and in the community. The people have really made it an easy transition for (me) and the family.
K.T.: What is your strength as a coach?
K.R.: I would say scouting has been a strong suit, and recruiting ties. This is going on my 16th year and I’ve built a lot of recruiting ties across the country.
K.T.: Coach Pitino has talked about how much he learned about scouting from Hubie Brown; do you anticipate learning quite a bit from Pitino?
K.R.: No question about it. I know Coach is going to be really meticulous about the scouting reports, and that’s going to be exciting to be able to learn from him and how they’ve done it.
K.T.: What are your impressions about Peyton Siva and his ability to lead this team?
K.R.: Fantastic kid. I’ve been surprised with all the guys, how genuine they are. They’ve embraced me as a new coach. Peyton is an excellent leader – just a prime example, one of the head coaches out at the Adidas Nations called and just went on and on about how good of a person Peyton is, and when other people offer that up, it goes a long, long ways.
K.T.: Gorgui Dieng also has a big upside, how well have you gotten to know him?
K.R.: He and Peyton are great guys. Gorgui has a great personality, really a funny guy and he’s confident. He’s confident in his skills and what he can do, and he’s had a great offseason, and I’m really looking forward to him having a big year.
K.T.: How are these guys dealing with the added expectations, coming off of a Final Four run?
K.R.: Really a lot of motivation with that, they really feel like they had an opportunity to win the Final Four game against Kentucky, and I think all of it has been motivation. They’ve worked extremely hard in the weight room, and obviously when you have a head coach like Coach Pitino, you don’t let guys get too full of themselves anyway.
K.T.: From what you have seen around the country, what do you think of the facilities and the commitment to basketball at UofL?
K.R.: Outstanding. The KFC Yum! Center (is) the best arena in the country, and I would even put it up with any NBA arena. The commitment around here for all of the sports facilities is through the roof.
K.T.: What do you tell recruits, and how much do they ask about the Big East situation?
K.R.: I’ve talked to a lot of kids and it hasn’t come up. I think that now that all of the talk has kind of died down, no parent, no kid, is really even asking about it.
Kent Taylor is a sports anchor for WAVE 3. See more of his work at www.wave3.com or by tuning in to the NBC affiliate.