J.J. Barea had a lengthy get-together with Louisville coach
Rick Pitino and he already has a good idea of what the Puerto Rican national
team is going to look like next summer.
Basically, Pitino is hoping that the full-out, chaos-causing
pressure defense that he has used with great success at the collegiate level
translates into the international game.
“He said we’re going to pressure full
court,’’ Barea said. “He’s ready. He’s excited.
He told me already what we’re going to do and he asked me about the guys.
I think that will be a good experience for me and it’ll be great for the
kids growing up in Puerto Rico.’’
Barea has known Pitino for some time and the coach already
has had a hand in helping Barea’s basketball career.
“He was the one who got me to Northeastern
(University),’’ he said. “He was the one who called my coach.
He knew he needed a point guard and he said, ‘I saw one in Miami, you
should go get him.’ ‘’
Barea, by the way, will have a large contingent of family
and friends in American Airlines Arena tonight.
“Everybody made the trip up from Puerto
Rico,’’ he said. “I love playing here.’’