"Right now, if we travel with nine people I wouldn't be surprised," Pitino said at Wednesday's press conference. "We have had a bad two days of practice and I would not be surprised if some of these guys are left home. That is how upset I am at them."
Pitino suspects where part of the problem stems from.
"I think they've handled adversity well, but I don't think they are handling success well."
Without or without a full roster, Pitino says the battle in Greeneville will be very tough for the Cardinals, who lost at ECU last season 87-77.
"Anytime you play at a place like Duke or East Carolina, where most of the people in the building are students, it is so much louder," he said. "This year, what it boils down to, is they have outstanding talent."
The Cardinal talent will have to overcome a raucous crowd, but Pitino says the crowd is only a factor if a team allows it to be.
"Emotionally, it is an edge in the first five minutes," Pitino said. "After that, it always comes down to talent and execution."
The Pirates (10-3, 1-1 C-USA) have three starters averaging in double figures, led by 6'4 Derrick Wiley. The junior guard is averaging 14 points per game and shooting 47.1 percent from the floor this season.
A big concern for Pitino is stopping 6-foot-8 forward Gabriel Mikulas, who comes into the game averaging 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds.
"Mikulas is a terrific low post player who has all of the low post moves and he gets to the foul line a lot and shoots almost 86 percent," said Pitino.
East Carolina also has a big presence on defense in the form of 6'10 sophomore Moussa Badiane, who is one of the nations top shot blockers with 38 already on the season.
The Louisville players now have some experience playing in Williams Arena and that could be a factor, as they try to avenge their lost there last season said Simeon Naydenov.
"They have a very strong home court advantage," said Naydenov, who pumped in 26 points against the Pirates in Freedom Hall last season. "With the students right on the floor and it is loud and the atmosphere there is very intense and exciting."
The Cardinals (10-1, 2-0) have not lost since an 86-84 defeat at the hands of Purdue in the John Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, but even the newcomers are hearing about how tough it is to play on the road in Greenville.
"They (the other players) have told me about it," said Francisco Garcia. "They told me it is just like Duke were the fans are right up in your face and they are going to be saying all kinds of things to you."
Tip off for this Thursday night contest will be 9 p.m. EST. on ESPN2