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Rick Pitino talks Louisville basketball and John Calipari (sort of)

Rick Pitino appeared on The Early Birds Show with Drew Deener this morning, and gave a lengthy interview filled with a bevy of goodies for U of L basketball fans.

The sexiest exchange, however, took place near the end of the interview when he was asked about his recent war of words with Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

Pitino: "I'm not interested in that, Drew. Let's get to important matters. That's totally unimportant. It's about Louisville, it's not about anything else. We just speak here about the University of Louisville. If that concerns you, you speak on your time, not my time."

Deener: "I just know you had fired back..."

Pitino: "There's no firing back. I personally, in my life, will turn the other cheek. I've done it in this town with the news media in a number of instances the last couple of years. I've turned the cheek all my life. If you look at my record, all I say is positive things about coaches to the point where I have the best Lou Holtz act in the history of the game. And I will continue to do it, because I believe in it."

"But If someone hits the University of Louisville in any way in a derogatory manner, you will see someone not turn the other cheek from this point on."

Love it.

Here's everything else Pitino talked about Wednesday morning:

--Jared Swopshire is playing right now, but he is not 100%, it's probably closer to 75-80%. His biggest issue right now is getting over the injury mentally.

--Rakeem Buckles is not playing and will not return to the floor for at least another two weeks.

--Wayne Blackshear injured his other shoulder (he suffered a shoulder injury during practice for the McDonald's All-American game) and has not been participating in many on-court activities with the team. He also came to Louisville extremely out of shape. The staff wouldn't let him on the court until he got in better shape because they didn't want him injuring anything else. There is a possibility he could play Friday.

--Elisha Justice has missed a lot of time, but will be back for the scrimmage on Friday.

--Peyton Siva's team always wins during scrimmages, but they're going to try and make the teams as even as possible on Friday.

--"Louisville First" will be the theme for this season.

--Kyle Kuric is still quiet, but he's really come out of his shell mentally. He's so similar to Larry O'Bannon that it's scary.

--Made the decision to do a "midnight madness" event because the Bahamas trip has them so much further along this year. The scrimmage is going to be taken very seriously.

--This team is very close, as was last year's. We're definitely going to miss Preston Knowles. All you have to do is look at the Morehead State game to see how much we're going to miss him.

--Gorgui has improved immensely. He's a totally different player than he was last year.

--Chane Behanan had 20 points and 20 rebounds in a scrimmage the other day. Haven't had a guy who can put up those types of numbers since he's been here.

--Wants to see if Siva can be beaten, so he's going to stack the teams against him on Friday.

--Conference greed is to blame for all of this realignment madness.

--Blames a lot of the Big East's current instability on the Pitt chancellor not signing the television contract that was proposed by ESPN.

--He would prefer to coach in the Big East, but "I put Louisville first." The Big East took us away from Conference USA and he, personally, is very loyal to the Big East. That said, he'll coach wherever is best for the University of Louisville.

--"I'm not thinking about retiring. I'm more passionate about this game than I was 20 years ago."

--"I coach basketball. I may blog once in a while, but my opinion is irrelevant. So is the football coach's, so is the tennis coach's, so is the track coach's. We're all equal here at the University of Louisville. The only opinion that matters is Tom Jurich's. Along with, of course, President Ramsey's approval."