Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The head coaches of the top two teams in the Big East already have beef.
It didn't take long for the first (new) feud of the 2012-13 Louisville basketball season to develop.
Speaking to reporters during Big East media day, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim responded to Rick Pitino's assertion that the Big East would be fine after replacing the Orange with Temple and Memphis next season by saying the Cardinal coach is "full of sh-t."
"Rick's full of s***t if that's what he really said," Boeheim said to a handful of reporters at Big East media day. "If he was in the Big 12 right now like he wanted to be, he'd being saying the Big 12 is the best. That's the bottom line."
"The only thing I'll say about what Rick said all summer is that if Louisville could have left they would have left," Boeheim said. "Everybody knows it and I'm really tired of him saying what Syracuse should be or should have done because they would have left in a heartbeat. Everybody knows it.
"I don't mind him denying that fact, but when they start talking about Syracuse, I'm going to start talking about them."
"If you think those schools are better than Syracuse than you don't know what you're talking about and I think Rick's smarter than that," Boeheim said. "At least I thought he was."
You have to hand it to Boeheim, I've never seen anyone make the transition from "likable aging guy" to "perpetually angry old man" in a more complete or accelerated fashion.
When told of Boeheim's comments, Pitino responded as you might expect: half-jokingly, but also unwilling to back down from his previous assertion.
"I think he's full of s**t, and so we're both full of it," Pitino told SNY.tv with a broad smile. "I think without question Temple and Memphis...Look, we're going to miss Syracuse because they bring more than just a team. They bring the fans and Memphis and Temple can't do that.
"But anybody who looks at where Memphis has been in the last 10-12 years, anybody who looks at the tradition of Temple and knows Franny Dunphy, would know I'm not full of s**t.
"If Temple played Syracuse 10 times right now, one's gonna win six and the other's gonna four. Syracuse and Pitt are two great teams."
He added: "I think [Boeheim] is full of s**t. I've worked with Jim, I don't always agree with him."
Pitino's points aren't without merit. While the Big East will miss Syracuse for both its fan base and its on-court product, this is still a program that has been to just four Final Fours in its history. In Memphis, the Big East is bringing in a program that has been to just one less Final Four and played for the national title (unofficially) in 2008 and Temple is one of only 13 programs to make each of the last five NCAA Tournaments. Losing Syracuse hurts, but it's not like we're replacing Duke with Auburn and Louisiana Tech here.
As for Boeheim, obviously he's right about Louisville wanting to get into the Big 12, but if he'd followed any of Pitino's comments during this whole realignment period he'd know that Rick wouldn't be trumpeting the league as superior to the Big East had U of L received that invite. I understand him feeling the need to defend his school...but why so angry?
An already exciting pair of showdowns between the Cards and Orange just got that much more intriguing.