Not even the afterglow of a National Championship and five of his underclassmen starters leaving for the NBA could stop Cal from tossing the ball into Rick Pitino’s court.
Mere moments after his title-wining team broke apart for greener pastures, Cal turned to the question the national media has been pondering today: will next year’s squad measure up? Because he just can’t help himself, Cal shook the pressure off his shoulders and directly onto the plate of one Rick Pitino:
We’ve got our work cut out for us. Now, I will tell you, we have two teams close to us – Louisville will be preseason No. 1 and should be able to do what we did this year. They got NBA players, they’re talented. Indiana’s pretty darn good. Everybody coming back. We’re going to have a brand new team, it’s going to be hard. But you know what, that’s the challenge of this, bringing a team together.
Too benign for you? What about his quote stating that those who say you can’t become attached to a player in one or two years are “crazy”? Know who said that? Rick Pitino. It’s an oft-used critique of one-and-done recruiting, especially by Rick in the last few years.
The best way to lower expectations for a repeat when the vast majority of your team is gone? Shine the spotlight on another. The icing on the cake is that it just so happens to be your number one rival. It’s yet another reminder that Cal never stops working. Whether recruiting, coaching, or finding a way to dig into the corners of Rick Pitino’s psyche, the man is tireless.