Rick Pitino talks 2011-2012 Louisville basketball

Here are the highlights from Rick Pitino's afternoon press conference on Louisville basketball media day:

--This will be Jared Swopshire's final season at Louisville. After the season he will have the same option that George Goode had last year. "We're out of scholarships."

--Anticipated being a very deep team, but that isn't the case right now. The difference between the first five guys and the next five guys is substantial.

--When Stephan and Rak are back, then we'll have the team we anticipated having heading into the year.

--Bullet is back from injury, so with he and Blackshear we could have seven guys who are ready to play.

--Wayne has done a good job getting his body fat down, but now he has to get back into basketball shape.

--Blackshear will play in the scrimmage on Wednesday. Both his shoulders are healed.

--Because of the schedule this season, we have to be ready right away. We haven't talked about preseason expectations, but we have talked about the schedule.

--The starting five is ready ago. It's been really difficult getting the next five ready.

--Rak will probably be ready in 6-8 weeks.

--Jared Swopshire is playing, but he's nowhere near where he was a year and-a-half ago. He's having a hard time getting over his injury mentally and is not playing very aggressively at all.

--Chane is very talented, but he has to get the fundamentals down to be a great player. Really got on him after the scrimmage because he didn't do what he needs to do for this team to win. He didn't have an offensive rebound and he didn't have an assist. He responded well and had a tremendous practice the next day.

--Bullet can go in and hold his own if Peyton is out. Gorgui is the guy this team can't afford to lose. Zach Price has a great attitude, but he's not ready to play. He's going to get better in time, and we will use him, but he's just not ready to play right now.

--Really wants to enjoy the Big East this year because it's such a special league.

--Working really hard with Gorgui on knowing when to block shots and knowing when to not leave his feet. We need Gorgui to play 30 minutes a night, minimum.

--Kyle Kuric will need to play about 36 minutes a night. He's still playing some backup four.

--Stephan Van Treese should be back in a week to ten days.

--Shocked at Kyle Kuric's progression. Thought he'd be just an ordinary walk-on. Coaches kept telling him "we need to let Kyle transfer to a lower school so he can get more minutes." Boy were they wrong.

--Guys like Kyle, Chris and Bullet aren't really walk-ons because of how much impact they have. They may not e on scholarship, but they're impact players.

--Russ hurt himself in the last scrimmage, but it's not a serious injury (thigh bruise). Not sure where he fits in with Wayne back, but he is playing much better. It's feast or famine with Russ. All he thinks about is scoring.

--This is the most cohesive coaching staff he's had. Everyone is like a best friend. Everyone is involved in all recruiting efforts. There's no such thing as "Kevin's recruit" or "Wyking's recruit."

--It's very important for guys like Kyle and Peyton to have postseason success because they haven't tasted it and they're very hungry for it.

--Not sure how many teams the Big East will get into the tournament, but thinks the league will be just as strong as it was last year.

--He and Jim Boeheim are both Big East guys, but both understand that you have to do what's best for the university. He's obviously disappointed to leave the Big East, just as I would be, but you do what's best for the program.

--I hope we don't forget in our additions to the league to add strength to basketball because we are losing strength in Syracuse and Pitt.

--Hopes to eventually have a 9-man rotation when Stephan gets healthy and Zach gets better.

--If we're one of the nation's leading rebounding teams then we're going to very good.

--We could definitely get beat in either exhibition game. Those teams are both national champions and we're going to treat it like an NBA exhibition game and play a lot of guys. That's not to say we're not going to play to win, but we know we could get beat by either team.

--Finally got to watch some normal TV (other than ESPN) the other night. His wife made him watch NCIS. "It was awesome."

--Hardest part about the schedule is that we're playing a lot of very experienced teams very early on. Teams like Vanderbilt and Long Beach State have a lot of veterans and will be enormous tests right out of the gate. Scheduled like this because he thinks his team can handle it.

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