Rick Pitino Says The Cards Are "Banged Up" Heading Into Memphis Game

Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

A few notable items from Friday's pre-Memphis press conference featuring Rick Pitino and Peyton Siva.

Rick Pitino

--This is an old rivalry that we're really looking forward to. Memphis is as physically gifted a team as we've played this year. It's going to be a hostile environment and definitely one of the premier games on our schedule.

--We've been very impressed by what we've seen from Memphis over their past three games. They dominated a very good Ohio team. They're capable of beating anyone in the country.

--Anticipates it being just as much of an up-and-down game as last year's.

--Gorgui Dieng's status is "uncertain." He'll visit the doctor on Monday and will hopefully be cleared to practice then. He definitely will not play against FIU on Dec. 19. "It's all up in the air right now." It's not the bone in his wrist, it's the amount of practice time that he's missed.

--Pitino told John Thompson and Jay Wright this summer that their schools were going to get fed up and break away from the Big East. "It should have happened years ago." It's ridiculous what's happening right now. Basketball and all these other sports are being hurt all because of money and a bunch of guys running around with helmets. People are willing to sacrifice years and years of tradition for money.

--The team's practices have been very cautious recently. He's very concerned about this team not having to go through what they've gone through the past several years with injuries.

--The team is very banged up right now. He won't name names, but he's not sure of the status of some of the guys for tomorrow's game.

--The injured players are "a couple of key froncourt players." It's nothing serious, they should be fine in a week, we're just trying to get through the weekend.

--We know they're going to have a home court advantage tomorrow, but we've been the best road team in the Big East since we joined the league.

--Talks at length about his admiration for Jim Boeheim and the loyalty he's shown to Syracuse. "Jim is one of the premier coaches and people in the game."

--Would really like to see the Louisville/Memphis rivalry continue even if they're not in the same conference. We're very similar programs.

--After the past few years he gets a sick feeling every time rainer Fred Hina walks into his office. He's been walking in the last couple of days.

--Pitino says Louisville and Memphis is "a friendly rivalry" and that there's a lot of respect between the two programs. Not sure he's ever been Brick Rolled.

Peyton Siva

--Practice has definitely been a little lighter this week, but the injuries don't phase him or the team. "I've been here four years. I'm used to it."

--Asked about how much he and the team know about the Louisville/Memphis rivalry: "not a thing." It was before our time, but we've heard that it was a top five rivalry before we left Conference USA. We just know they're always very good.

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