Thursday's U of L Tipoff Luncheon was loaded with tidbits for Cardinal fans to spend hours discussing. For instance, Rick Pitino surprised everyone by introducing a new member of the team, and also noted that the reason Chane Behanan is currently running with the second team is because he has recently missed practice time due to a minor injury.
The biggest draw of the afternoon, however, was undoubtedly the opportunity to see the players and their head coach put their personalities on full display. The event reenforced the notion that, if nothing else, this team will likely go down as one of the most likable in Louisville history.
Pitino's 34-minute address was the day's main attraction, but he also had the players introduce one another, which proved to be extremely entertaining.
The C-J has videos of all of this, but if you're looking for a quick summary, here are the top 15 quotes from Thursday's U of L Basketball Tipoff Luncheon:
15. "I just wanna thank Coach P. He's really helped the African community and keeps bringing African players on our team." --Gorgui Dieng
14. "With the players, the more you discipline them, the more you love them. Chane, I must love the Hell out of you." --Rick Pitino
13. "I don't really like to party that much." --Tim Henderson
12. "I'm just really looking forward to playing with this group. I think this group is special. I'm not knocking the last group...I just like this group more." -- Chane Behanan
11. "I think Chris Smith and Kyle Kuric will be happy to hear that Chane likes this team better. I'll pass that along." --Rick Pitino
10. "In New York, 'slime' is slang for 'my dude.' And his skin complexion, you know it speaks for itself. So I call him 'Dark Slime.'" --Russ Smith (holding what appears to be a teacup) discussing his nickname for Michael Baffour
9. "Hello, I'm the famous Dark Slime." --Michael Baffour
8. "You guys probably know me as the backup center for Gorgui last year. You know I used to get in at the end of the games. You know when we used to be up 30." --Zach Price (who the team calls "Lester" apparently)
7. "Good day. I'm Mangok Mathiang, and nah, me and Gorgui are not related." --Mangok Mathiang
6. "I have a feeling, even though we've only played each other once in the history of the Final Four, I have a feeling we'll face them again. Because they're of that level, and so are we." --Rick Pitino on Kentucky
5. "He's a good kid. And I really like him." --Gorgui on Stephan Van Treese
4. "So, Coach Pitino went to UMass, and his senior year was a great passer, he tells us all the time. He averaged 6.5 assists, which is excellent. But for some reason, his turnovers are not in the stats. I think he paid the stats guy not to list his turnovers. Another thing I'm going to get on him about is he shot 66 percent from the free-throw line. Now we all know we've had our free-throw problems in the past. It's a credit to this guy." --Peyton Siva
3. "My whole thing is as long as Tom Jurich is here I want to coach here. But I always say this: As long as I can get in at 6:30 in the morning, coach every individual instruction, coach in the afternoon, coach the games with still the same passion, that's really my contract. It's not anything other than that. It's all based on health and emotionally feeling good. And I will say that I feel better than I've ever felt in my life." --Rick Pitino
2. "The next guy that I'm bringing up is probably the fattest, sloppiest kid that ever put on a Louisville jersey who was a McDonald's All-American. He got hurt a lot last year, but he should be doing some big things this year. Here comes Wayne Blackshear" --Kevin Ware
1. "Pitbull is my favorite. He was 305, now he's worldwide...so I'm glad to see he's come a long way since then." --Rick Pitino on the music he listens to while driving to work