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Monday, October 3, 2011
Jim Calhoun responds to Rick Pitino's barb

By Diamond Leung

While the Big East presidents and chancellors have authorized commissioner John Marinatto to pursue new members and expand, Connecticut is in a holding pattern regarding its interest to join the ACC.

That bit of news should make Louisville coach Rick Pitino smile after he questioned UConn's thinking process regarding following Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC. Pitino told last week it was "the dumbest thing I've ever heard of."

During speaking engagement Monday, UConn coach Jim Calhoun responded to Pitino's comment, according to the Hartford Courant.
"We are going to play in a conference, but we're going to be in a place that's best for us," he said. "We've worked too hard to get where we are, we've worked too hard to let anyone stop us."

And as for Rick Pitino's comment that UConn moving to out of the Big East was "the dumbest thing he'd ever heard," Calhoun responded, "The coach who said that has been talking to every conference in America." But later, he said he was joking.


"… If we play in the Big East, I don't think anyone would be angry with that. Rick [Pitino] was thinking of Louisville's interests and we have to do what's in our best interests, as, by the way, Syracuse and Pitt did."

No matter what the coaches say, it does appear UConn's preference is to leave for the ACC. Consider that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has called the Big East a fallback option. Calhoun himself has said he wants the program to be in the best basketball conference in the nation, which in the future could very well be the ACC.

There's little Pitino can say or do to change that.