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Hey Rick, ball’s in your court

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.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

46 Comments for Hey Rick, ball’s in your court

  1. Ridge Runner
    4:03 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    My wife & I caught that comment immediately watching the conference. Awesome stuff.

  2. the anti-cat
    4:05 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    But it is all about the players.

  3. minton
    4:06 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    First? Your making something out of nothing, Ms. Thompson.

  4. Blue Bayou
    4:07 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    3) Your living in denial. Cal is strategy 24/7 and remembers everything.

  5. CA
    4:08 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Cal just ‘gets it’ Love the man!

  6. Blue Bayou
    4:09 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    2) jealousy sux….huh?

  7. SexnNursinHomes
    4:09 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Rick has his best chance to beat us next year, if he doesn’t, then he’ll never beat Cal at UK. Ever.

  8. kentuckyrules
    4:11 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Not sure why some are all butthurt about this statement about being a No.1 seed…if he said U of L should be a 50 seed, that is bad. Sheesh…

  9. bluefan
    4:11 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Yep and Pitino started it at 6:00 at their belated Final Four shindig on Fourth Street. He said, “and you know the BEST thing is, we’ve got all TEN players coming back!” The crowd went wild.
    He knew darn well Coach was going to announce an exodus of major proportion. I guess it’s a good thing that the NBA doesn’t want his guys.
    He who laughs last.
    Come on Bennett! Help us laugh.

  10. mwgocats
    4:11 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Cal keeps in contact with players of the past

  11. October 15th 2012 say
    4:14 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    betcha everyone cant wait to see me

  12. Ridge Runner
    4:17 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    The nation got to hear Rick say it in the interview both coaches had with Jim Rome as well. So Cal was sure to get that crap put to rest with the statement at this conference. Cal is the man!

  13. BigBlueCats
    4:19 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    I know he’s messing with Pitinos head but its a statement that all UL fans already believed. They really think because we went to the Final Four last year then won it this year, that they think the title is theirs next year. LMAO. Unfortunatly they forget they still have Siva running the point. Little Brother syndrom at its peak. I know we lose some experience but we still have Harrow with a year in the system and recruits already talking about going for number 9. I say our guys work their butts off and make some noise and surprise a lot of people

  14. Curiosity Kitten
    4:19 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    No.11 – What’s significant about October 15th, 2012?

  15. SexnNursinHomes
    4:21 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    12- I’m just glad we get another year of siva’s dad

    mee pequeno boy siva, do good, he goo boy. he do el pappi nice tings

  16. Section 133
    4:22 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Dick Clark has died.

  17. Ridge Runner
    4:23 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    8, 13, others… I think the major statement Cal was getting back at Pitino was NOT the #1 thing reference. No offense to Ms T with that reference because I see what she’s saying.

    But I think the major dig was the statement…”You cant get close to players in 1 year” from Jim Rome was where Cal was aiming.

    Just my 2 cents.

  18. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    4:24 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Hahaha I love that. “Louisville should be able to do what we did this year”

  19. Ridge Runner
    4:25 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    SnH –so true, yes!

    By the way…why do I want to keep looking and fantasizing everytime I see Marie Osmonds photo from weightwatchers on KSR…? I can’t stop it. Snh…thoughts? hahahaha

  20. minton
    4:27 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    The coaches have slightly different opinions as do most coaches. That doesn’t mean they hate each other. The media wants them to hate each other becasue it provides juicy stories when they don’t have anything else to write about. Don’t get suckered in to the media drama.

  21. SexnNursinHomes
    4:29 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    19- man, I dunno. but she’s fiddy sumpin’ and still looks great. She probably has vaginal dryness, but that’s ok, spit on it and it should be better.

  22. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    4:30 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    20) if you don’t think they take (thinly?) veiled shots at each other thru the media you’re out of your mind.

  23. Marcus L. Owens
    4:31 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    I’m excited to see how Kyle Wiltjer will develop, I think he has a shot at 2nd or 3rd team all conference and that’s at worst. Cal will challenge him and he will get stronger and better developed psychically and may grow an inch or two. Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin have to be licking their chops because if they can stay out of foul trouble both could average 33+ minutes a game and will be able to show their stuff in the half court and out in transition with Noel protecting the rim blocking shots and rebounding. Ryan Harrow is still some what of a mystery but with 2 years of college basketball under his belt he should be able to run the team with confidence from the jump. Cauley will be challenged every day playing against Noel in practice and should be able to contribute something. The x factor in my opinion is John Hood, he will have to make an impact either shooting, defending or ball handling if can put the ball in the hoop consistently when he is on the court we should be straight. Adding Bennett will be the cherry on top and make this team a true final four contender.

  24. Ridge Runner
    4:31 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    20…I don’t think Ms T is saying the mere fact “they hate each other” -at least thats not the major point here. I see her post and many of our points meaning…If Cal perceives a dig from Pitino, he will in turn dig back. Kinda simple and we won’t let lil bro have the last word.

  25. Ridge Runner
    4:33 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Snh…understood and yeah, who cares about trivial stuff that can be compensated for indeed.

  26. Chane B
    4:34 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    So if Rick is being honest about not becoming attached after a year or two, then he still isn’t attached to me yet. wow that hurts my feelings to know that coach isn’t attached me.

  27. SexnNursinHomes
    4:35 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    25- ha ha

  28. Mudcreekmark
    4:36 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    As soon as I read that I knew what Coach Cal was doing. He is putting the pressure on Pitino and letting UofL fans know that if they don’t win the NC then Pitino has failed them. He is a genius.

  29. Big Blue 66
    4:41 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    I think that Cal thinks that Rick cant handle the pressure anymore. When the team was losing and Rick stopped beating on them and just said WTF let them play, they did fine, but as soon as there are expectations and pressure, Rick implodes and destroys the team. Cal wants to sit back this year and watch him have multiple melt downs. In a way, Rick has fallen into the same mentality of a UL fan.

  30. Ridge Runner
    4:41 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    28..absolutely. I think I’m just enjoying the other part of the dig (close to players in 1 yr) too much to give that part the credit it deserves as well. I just remember seeing Pitino’s scowl and smirk after he said it on Rome.

    But Yessir, good point in describing the NC dig even better!

  31. Big Blue 66
    4:42 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    hey Rick knows that in less than 9 months of your development, you are not attached and therefore can just abort the relationship

  32. Ridge Runner
    4:44 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    31…haha, indeed.

  33. Ricky Pitino
    4:47 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    You should’ve been able to do what I HAVE done; take three different schools to the final four.

    Too bad they don’t make time machines Calimari.

  34. blitzedanddazed
    4:53 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Cal knows that U of L is going to choke next year. The gagging has already started. Pitino is so freaking nervous that he he needs both P.S and A.S. to polish his balls on a daily basis.

  35. jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj
    4:54 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    I hope someone does a hologram of Dick Clark so he can host New Years in perpetuity.

  36. MKG for supreme ruler of the universe.
    4:55 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Why would anyone want to go to UL and be held back by Pitino? It’s like Calipari is saying, “I’ll make you great and you will be rich one day” and Pitino is saying, “I’ll use you for 4 years, giving you a half-ass effort to make you better, all while disgracing the university with my off the court antics.”

  37. Denny Crum
    4:58 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Mr. Pitino. Remember me? I won two national championships at Louisville – 1980 and again in 1986.

  38. Mudcreekmark
    4:59 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    One thing about it, the monkey is off Coach Cals back.I think this will only help him be an even better coach.He will never again,ever, have as much pressure on him to win a NC as he did this year.

  39. Mudcreekmark
    5:06 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    36)Why would any great player want to go anywhere but UK? Do you think C.J.Leslie from North Carolina State would still be playing college basketball next year if he had came to UK 2 years ago? So he helped get NC State to their first NCAA tourney since 2006 in his second year of college, good for him. If he would have came in with Brandon Knight, Lamb and Jones, he probably would have had 2 National Championships by now or one and a few million dollars in his pocket.

  40. Computer Blue
    5:18 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Good move, Rick hates high expectations. He’ll spend all summer trying to tell us how bad his team is.

  41. BigBlue1976
    5:45 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    How do you be talking about this on the day Dick Clark passed away.

  42. Tim
    6:05 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    He said we got all ten players coming back? I guess Kuric and C Smith are not players!

  43. Rae
    6:59 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    It’s been so long since he’s had real expectations. Oh well, never fear. I’m sure he’ll make it to the Sweet Sixteen and make it look like he overachieved.

  44. australiacatfan
    10:14 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Dick Clark wasnt the nicest person. Have you seen him on the michael moore documentary. RIP

  45. ricky p shut the f up
    2:09 am April 19, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Cal should not even worry about what this pos old washed up coach has to say! As a biased fan I would put any amount of money up front right now even with zero exp UK goes farther than loserville in the NCAA tourmanent 20012-2013 season! Eight was great and nine will be so fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Lou eaton
    9:08 am April 19, 2012 Permalink

    Believe we are too caught up in how great Nerlens will be and forgetting that Cauley is ranked something like #43, seven foot tall and Cal believes he has great potential…seven feet tall and lots of potential…he will be a contributor and much more…believe it!!!