Rick Pitino press conference notes

An especially chipper Rick Pitino met with various members of the local media on Wednesday to touch on a number of subjects as his team prepares for its preseason trip to the Bahamas next week.

You can check out the full 40-minute presser here, or just check out the notes below.

--Freshman center center Zach Price is currently sidelined with a concussion. He slipped and hit his head on a door knob in his Minardi Hall dorm room (seriously). Pitino expects Price to be ready for action once the team gets to the Bahamas.

--The schedule in the Bahamas has changed from three exhibitions against professional teams and one intrasquad scrimmage, to two games against professional teams and a pair of intrasquad scrimmages.

--Pitino says the ten practices allowed during this period are much more beneficial than the actual games that will be played. That said, the two Red/White games "will be very beneficial for us."

--Jared Swopshire was recently re-examined in Philadelphia and underwent minor surgery. It's similar to the injury that Taquan Dean dealt with when he was at Louisville.He has started training to try and get back.

--"Swop will definitely be back before Rak."

--On the UK All-Star team vs. Dominican National team exhibition: "I know nothing about it. I haven't followed it. Someone just asked me about it for the first time this morning. I don't know anything about it."

--Would not be opposed to the UK team playing in the Yum Center. "It's a public facility. It's our home court during the season, but anybody can go in there now. If Lady Gaga can go in there, the Dominican team can go in there and play."

--On UK's offseason circus: "We're just concerned with Louisville first. We're not concerned with anything that any of our competitors do. We don't pay any attention to any of our competitors, except when it's time to play them. I really mean that sincerely."

--If the season started today, the starting five would be: Peyton Siva, Chris Smith, Kyle Kuric, Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng. Not sure if that will be the starting lineup once the season goes along, but that's where we are right now.

--Rakeem Buckles will definitely be able to play this season.

--The only guy Pitino would consider redshirting is freshman Angel Nunez because he's so physically weak and doesn't have enough time to change that before the season. The redshirt would be worth it because once Nunez gets stronger he will be very good. He's so similar to Francisco Garcia that it's scary.

--This will be the toughest schedule a Louisville team has faced since he's been here.

--All these practices have been great for Chane Behanan because he's going to play a lot of minutes this season.

--"Since I've been here I've never had more fans come up to me and say they love a team as much as they loved last year's team."

--Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware are doing well. Wayne hasn't played basketball in a long time because of his injuries. Hasn't played since the McDonald's All-American game, which he never should have played in. Fully expects both of them to be with the team once the fall starts. The only reason it's being talked about is the team is going to the Bahamas without them.

--Luke Hancock has the same type of injury as Blackshear, but he should be ready to be back in 2-3 weeks. He's a very good basketball player. We're just as excited to have him as we would be any highly rated recruit.

--Behanan reminds him of Rodney McCray and (former Providence star) Ryan Gomes. He still doesn't have a great understanding of the fundamentals of the game, but he's physically ready and highly talented.

--Gorgui's a great passer, scorer and offensive rebounder, but he's got to become an elite shot-blocker. He plays defense with his hands down far too often.

--Pitino recently got on Gorgui after he allowed Elisha Justice to get into the lane and score without a serious challenge. Gorgui's response: "I like Bullet very much."

--Expects to have a full allotment of players by October.

--Peyton Siva is a natural leader. He talks the most, he leads on the court, and he sets the best example off the court. He might be the No. 1 overall person that Pitino has coached.

--Believes the loss to Cal in 2010 was worse than the loss to Morehead State last year. We would have won that game if Preston Knowles had not been hurt. But still, it's motivation for the players, they talk about it.

--Peyton's shot has improved, but not dramatically. Balance is the biggest thing for his shot.

--Doesn't see much difference in Kyle's game. He has to get out of that left corner and improve his mid-range jumper.

--Stephan Van Treese has improved his jump shot more than anyone on the team.

--Last year's team was the most fun he's had coaching at Louisville. Really made him him enjoy basketball more than he had in a long time.

--Knows we're going to have one of the premier football programs in the country in about a year. Not going to happen this year because they're very young, but watch out the following year.

--He would love to see a pro team in this town...at Freedom Hall. It's not going to happen anytime soon because you'd have to put $100 million into the Hall.

--Is not a big fan of Twitter. Believes it hurts athletes and teams, but helps writers. That being said, he believes coaches should be allowed to text recruits, because that's all kids do these days. Also believes they need a shorter recruiting period in July because the athletes are drained by the second half of the month.

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