Here today, gone tomorrow. That's what happens when you become one of the key components of a Top Ten basketball team that finishes in the Sweet 16. We're talking about former assistant Mike Rice who recently took over as head coach at Robert Morris. Rice was also a decent recruiter, which is good because we wondered what Jamie Dixon would do without Slice Rohrssen. We caught up with Mike to see what he's been up to since leaving Pitt.
PR: Mike, it's good to see you again. How are things up at Bobby Mo'?
MR: Well it's not
PR: You were at Pitt for a very short time. Tell me about your experience here.
MR: I had a good time here. I worked with a great team and great coaches. Not to mention the fans and students who showed up. The fans aren't the rowdiest bunch. I guess football has taken a toll on them. I don't know. The student section was great. They may not show up most of the time, but they have very creative cheers and chants.
PR: What about the team and their style of play?
MR: Well they're a good group of guys. Each of them brings something to the table. That's why we had so much depth. If we needed a three pointer, we had Ron Ramon. If we needed a rebound or a nice pass, we had Levon Kendall. If we needed athleticism, we had Sam Young. If we needed an erratic jump shot attempt, we had Mike Cook. If we needed a big man, we had Aaron Gray. If we needed someone to step up, we had Antonio Graves. If we needed a Carl Krauser without the street ball, we had Levance Fields.
PR: What about Keith Benjamin?
MR: I like Keith. He brought comedy to the team. I always enjoyed his complaining about relationships. It was only a matter of....
PR: Alright enough of that. Do you think the team lived up to its expectations before the season?
MR: Well we got to the Sweet Sixteen didn't we? What else were you expecting?
PR: Well Uh...
MR: Do the math, pal. We finished tied second in the Big East, runners up in the Big East Tournament, a pre-season Top Ten, favorites to win the conference, and expected to go Sweet 16 or better. We got the Top Ten finish and the Sweet 16. We also won 29 games. We did all this with a 7 foot center that has a hard time dunking, and can't stop fumbling his cars keys or missing the trash can when he throws away his bottle of Gatorade. We did it with a three point specialist who can only hit threes when he's not covered. We did it with our best athlete who also scored points, but was a turnover machine. Finally, we did it with a player named Levon with a Vanilla Ice haircut. I'd do the same if my parents named me that. Who in the hell names their kid Levon anyway?
PR: Well he did score 40 points....
MR: If I hear that comment, I'm going to scream. Who the hell was he playing against? The
PR: Ok, we'll drop the subject. Do you think you can pick up where the previous coach left off at Robert Morris?
MR: I believe I can. I will implement a new style of play and recruiting should be pretty easy.
PR: Easy? How so?
MR: I'm going to recruit the same kids that Pitt will be recruiting. You see, recruiting your top targets at Pitt is like going to Jack's in the Southside on a Friday night. You're all decked out in your nice button down collared shirt with the collar up, a nice pair of jeans, some Raybans, some body spray, a fake tan, blonde highlights in your hair, and your expensive cell phone where you plan to pick a nice college coed hottie. In the end, you end up with the 47 year old woman who sales insurance and listens to a lot of Shania Twain and loves Tim Mcgraw. In other words, it doesn't take much to beat them for a recruit.
PR: You didn't touch on the style of play. Will it be similar to Pitt's?
MR: Not at all. That style was boring. We have a new style in place for next season.
PR: Well what is it?
MR: Mike Iuzzolino style. F' you Fat East!
PR: On that note Mike, we appreciate the time. Good Luck next season.
MR: Thank You.