Rick Pitino spoke with the media (whom he thanked for all their hard work this year at the end of the press conference) Monday afternoon and addressed a number of items.
Pitino began by stating that Peyton Siva and George Mason transfer Luke Hancock will be the co-captains for the 2012-13 season. He continued to praise Hancock, by saying he was a leader this past season even though he wasn't able to contribute on the floor.
Audio should be available from U of L later tonight, but for now, here are the main points of emphasis from a loaded press conference.
--Richard Pitino will be taking former director of basketball operations Mark Lieberman and assistant video coordinator Casey Stanley with him to Florida International.
--With Richard gone, Pitino expects Kevin Keatts to move into the scouting/game preparation role that the younger Pitino held last season.
--Pitino says he is in no hurry to fill the vacant assistant position.
--Andre McGee has been promoted to director of basketball operations.
--Elisha Justice is officially transferring to Pikeville College. Pitino says he wants to play major minutes and also be closer to his grandparents who are dealing with some health issues. Justice is a Pikeville native.
--Louisville will not be wearing the infra-red uniforms next season (pour two out for Infra-Russ). Although Pitino did hint that he would like to have uniforms made with the same material, but the correct color, if Adidas could make that happen.
--Mike Marra had a much more serious injury than Rakeem Buckles, and Pitino is unsure how healthy he'll be by the start of next season. Buckles, again, will miss all of next season.
--Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan both have to improve their perimeter shooting before next season. He needs to become a more consistent three-point threat, but other than that Wayne is going to be special. Pitino added that if Behanan improves his shot, he could be one of the best players in college basketball. He also said that Chane is acting a little "too Hollywood" right now.
--Pitino praised the careers of both Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith, but said the team will be better offensively next season with new guys stepping into their roles. He also said that while both had a great ability to understand scouting reports and where to be on defense, neither had tremendous natural ability on defense.
--Pitino would love to play IU next season and will speak with Tom Crean at some point during the offseason about possibly scheduling that game.
--Angel Nunez is the hardest-working player on the team, and they expect him (so long as he puts on the required weight) to backup Chane Behanan at the four next season.
--Russ Smith was probably the team's most valuable player last season. He had a conversation with Leslie Visser of CBS during Final Four weekend, and she said Russ was the MVP "for both our team and the other team."
--The 2011 recruiting class is wildly underrated. Angel's going to be great and so is Zach Price. Zach just has to really work on his free-throw shooting.
--He expects that Luke Hancock will play the two next season. There's no way to know right now what our starting lineup will be next season (my guess as of right now is Siva, Hancock, Blackshear, Behanan and the Gorgster).
--Would like Gorgui to get his weight up to 255 before the start of next season.
--Luke Hancock spoke later and said he wasn't surprised that he was named captain despite this being just his second season in the program and the first where he can actually play in games.
--Hancock said that early on last year some guys were late to some weight-lifting sessions and he had to blast them. He had no problem doing that even though he was a newcomer.
--Getting to the Final Four last season just serves as more motivation to get back there this coming year.