Cardinal Caravan visits Elizabethtown

A number of Cardinal coaches, including Rick Pitino, joined Athletic Director Tom Jurich in visiting with fans in Elizabethtown.

A great turnout of Cardinal fans poured into 3 Putt Willie's at the Pine Valley Golf Resort in Elizabethtown on Monday evening to visit with a number of Cardinal coaches and support staff.

Women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson

The coaches that were on hand were men's basketball coach Rick Pitino, women's basketball coach Tom Collen, softball coach Sandy Pearsall and women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson. Also on hand was Athletic Director Tom Jurich.

ITV was on hand for the first stop on this years Cardinal Caravan as each coach and Tom Jurich spoke to the fans about the progress of their teams and the U of L athletic department.

Tom Jurich: You always want to make sure you stay ahead of the posse and think we've done that. Whether we are in the conference that we are in now or wherever we are going to end up being, we want to be the best. We always want to be on the cutting edge.

Athletic Director Tom Jurich

The thing I have been so fortunate with is that I have always been able to surround myself with better people than me.

Tom Jurich on the upcoming football season & Head Coach Bobby Petrino: I think it's going to be a good season. I want to be realistic with everybody. I think Bobby [Petrino] has a rebuilding year in front of him. He's a strong disciplinarian as a coach. He's very precise with his details. He knows exactly what he wants and he's a guy that works really hard on developing goals and objectives and he's going to meet those. He's got a passion for what he does.

Rick Pitino on his schedule: The month of May was great. Believe it or not this is basketball camp month. July is recruiting month and August is back to school. You recruit almost everyday of your life.

Rick Pitino on last season: What I did was watch about 15 films after last season ended. My expections going into the season were optimistic, but I never thought we could win 17 games in a row. The one that amazed me the most was the IU game, because with three minutes to go in the game we took a one-point lead and then we won by 19 and it was surprising because you don't see that happen to often. Then we had an overtime win at Ohio State, a great win at the end at Tennessee, a tough loss at Purdue and then some exciting conference games. Winning the conference championship was special as well because we were outplayed and came back. The whole season was something very special.

Head Coach Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino on Reece Gaines: Reece Gaines right now is probably going to be a lottery pick or right on the verge of being a lottery pick. I can't tell you, the season is one thing, the television exposure is another thing, but Reece Gaines being 1st round draft pick shows the star quality that our program has.

Rick Pitino on Luke Whitehead: What was amazing about last year, right before Luke went on that tear, I called him into my office and said, 'Luke, it's just not meshing the right way.' I said, 'you don't understand what we want in our program. You want to be a small forward that shoots jump shots and we don't need that from you. We need a slasher, a rebounder, a killer inside who can step away from the basket and do other things.' And I said, 'Luke it would probably better for you to look elsewhere to play your senior year just so you would get something out of it.' Then I've never seen a rebounding demon like that in my life. He was getting 13, 14, 15 rebounds and totally changed his personality. What that tells you is how much he loves playing at the University of Louisville and that he did not want to give that up.

Rick Pitino on Ellis Myles: Ellis is doing much better than we ever anticipated. I thought his injury was career ending. Right now he's shooting and riding a back. He could probably come back this year, but I think we would redshirt him anyway.

Rick Pitino on Freedom Hall: We have 19,700 season ticket holders. We are the number one revenue producing basketball program in the country. When you get 19,700 people that are season ticket holders that's an amazing feat because the students are apart of that.

Rick Pitino on his assistant coaches: I knew what I was getting into with Mic Cronin. A lot of people thought I hired Mic because of his recruiting, but I knew he'd leave in a year or two, so I knew we wouldn't get the fruits of Mic's labor in recruiting. The reason I hired Mic, besides being an outstanding teacher, I thought he knew the conference. From a scouting standpoint, I hired Mic because I thought he knew the conference really well from winning it each year in Cincinnati. Mic was the 17th assistant coach to move on. I'm taking my time in hiring in the new position, because this position I want this person to stay around awhile.

There will be two more stops for this years Cardinal Caravan, with the next one coming tomorrow in Lexington. Details of the remaining locations are below:

Remaining Cardinal Caravan Sites

Date    Site                     Time
June 3  Marriott Griffin Gate    7-9 p.m.
        1800 Newton Pike
        Lexington, Ky.

June 16 Huber Orchard & Winery   7-8:30 p.m.
        19816 Huber Road
        Borden, Ind.

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