Notebook: 2009-10 Tip-Off Luncheon

Rick Pitino captivated a sold-out crowd at the 2009-10 Tip-Off Luncheon Thursday afternoon. Pitino spoke at length about this year's team and each individual player. has complete audio, plus a notebook full of interesting tidbits.

Rick Pitino, Part 1:

Rick Pitino, Part 2:

Luncheon Notebook

One of the big items, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich didn't attend Thursday's tip-off luncheon, an event he usually doesn't miss.

While doesn't know Jurich's whereabouts (He was said to be in Florida), towards the end of the program Rick Pitino thanked several people and mentioned that Tom Jurich wasn't in attendance for today's function, which was a sell out of 1,100 UofL fans.

Pitino said something to the effect, "I don't where the hell he is," jokingly.

Then he called out to Kenny Klein in the crowd asking if he knew where Jurich was today. I couldn't see Klein from my vantage point, but Pitino told the crowd that Jurich was in "BIRMINGHAM."

Maybe a joke? Maybe not? Regardless, it was pretty good stuff from the maestro.

On the basketball front, Pitino said this team is the closest one he's coached at UofL. "The freshmen are humble and hard working and the seniors are willing to lead," Pitino said.

On Kyle Kuric, Pitino playfully teased the sophomore about his unwillingness to talk much. Pitino brought Kuric to the microphone to say a few words and Kuric said, "I really don't know what to say Coach."

On Terrance Jennings, Pitino said he's a lot like Earl Clark. "He disappoints you in practice but pleases you in games," Pitino said. Jennings said he would block a lot of shots and get a lot of dunks this season.

On George Goode, Pitino said he's expecting the 6'8 sophomore to "do big things this year" especially blocking shots and rebounding.

On Jared Swopshire, Pitino said he'd play both forward positions. Pitino also praised Swopshire's work ethic.

On Samardo Samuels, Pitino said he had a terrific freshman year and didn't get as many rebounds last year because Terrence Williams and Earl Clark got all the rebounds. "We expect better things from him this year," Pitino said.

On Preston Knowles, Pitino said he may not be a sixth man this year and might start a lot of games. Pitino said Knowles energizes the crowd when he comes into the game.

On Chris Brickley, said he "lives in the gym," noting that the transfer sat out two years to play one season at Louisville.

On Reggie Delk, Pitino said he is a very gifted player and "we need him to have a big year." Pitino said Delk needs to step up and rebound, defend and run the floor.

On Jerry Smith, Pitino said he's had trouble coming in to the season in great shape. Pitino asked him to come into practice in great shape and said he's in the best condition on the team. "I believe we have one of the strongest backcourts in the nation," said Pitino.

On Edgar Sosa, Pitino said he believes Sosa is going to have a big season. Pitino said he's in great shape and will be one of the premier point guards in the nation.

On Mike Marra, Pitino said he's "an outstanding shooter and great guy. He's going to help us when we have shooting woes and opponents double team the low-post."

On Chris Smith, Pitino said he was the best player on Manhattan's team. "[He] can really play. He's going to be a terrific basketball player at...Louisville," Pitino said.

On Stephan Van Treese, Pitino said he's a great rebounder and plays hard. Pitino said he'll benefit from individual instruction and is willing to pay the price to be an outstanding player.

On Peyton Siva, Pitino said he's very mature and has great leadership potential. "I've never come across anyone with this talent to lead," said Pitino.

On Richie Phares, Pitino said he understands the game and will probably redshirt this season because of a knee injury. "We're really excited to have him apart of our basketball team," said Pitino.

On Rakeem Buckles, Pitino said he's oozing with potential and has room to grow. Pitino said he's put on 12-13 pounds. "He's going to be a special player," Pitino said.

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