Rick Pitino talks Louisville dynasty

Updated: October 22, 2013, 1:03 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Much of the early talk in college basketball has centered on Kentucky's young stars, but Rick Pitino thinks defending champion Louisville can do something great.

"It's going to be an exciting season," the Cardinals coach said, according to The (Louisville) Courier-Journal. "We are one year away from a potential mini-dynasty -- one year."

Louisville has been to seven straight NCAA tournaments, made the 2011-12 Final Four and then won it all last season.

"If these players rise to the occasion once again -- win another conference championship, go back to the Final Four -- it takes three to have the makings of a dynasty," Pitino said.

Louisville returns a number of key players, such as senior captains Luke Hancock and Russ Smith, but junior forward Chane Behanan has been suspended indefinitely.

Pitino won't be starting five freshmen, like highly touted Kentucky might, but he'll also have to integrate some new players.

"I think this team is nowhere near its potential," he said, according to the newspaper. "We have so many new parts ... you've got five guys you're trying to put into the lineup, and then you try to take Montrezl Harrell and take him from a role player to someone who will play a lot of minutes. Right now we're nowhere near where we need to be, but that's to be expected."

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