University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and his son, Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino, visited with the media on Tuesday evening ahead of their teams facing each other in the Armed Forces Classic on Friday night.
The nearly 30-minute press conference was light-hearted throughout, with verbal jabs being occasionally tossed between the father and son.
It marks the second meeting between the two, with the first coming in December 2012 when Richard was head coach at Florida International. While the Cardinals throttled FIU by 24, the opener against the Golden Gophers, the 2014 N.I.T. Champions, will be a stiffer challenge.
"It's not a father-son matchup, it's Minnesota - Louisville," said Rick. "We both know we have good teams and we are both preparing for somewhere down the road. It'll make us both better. We know each other inside-out and outside-in. We know our plays and we know our offenses and defenses. It's going to be all about execution."
Due to the familiarity of the two programs, the elder Pitino joked that he was installing a new defense prior to the season-opener.
"He knows we are going to try to do some different things." he said. "We have never played a triangle and two and he will not be ready for it. Their backcourt is something that must be stopped, so I'm going to try it for the first time in my coaching career."
When asked if he believes his father, Richard quickly responded, "no, I do not."
The Golden Gophers won a school record 25 games during Richard Pitino's first season with the school. The Golden Gophers have also won three of the five previous matchups between the two programs. The two last met in the 2008 Stadium Shootout at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., a 70-64 Minnesota win. Louisville’s two victories in the series both came in the NCAA Tournament -- the 1982 NCAA Mideast Regional Semifinals and 1994 West Region Second Round.
Louisville has won 19 of its last 21 season opening games, including winning its last 10 straight openers. The Pitino v Pitino matchup is the 18th time a father-son coaching matchup has occurred in college basketball. Dad has won 15 of the previous 17 games.
Armed Forces Classic will played in a hanger at U.S. Air Station Borinquen, a Coast Guard base in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 pm and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.