UK TIPOFF LUNCHEON | Mitchell jabs Calipari, hopes for the Pope's help to have a great season

10/07/2015 05:24 PM

LOUISVILLE — The offseason has come and gone, and UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell admitted during the 2015 UK Basketball Tipoff Luncheon on Wednesday afternoon he can’t believe another season is already about to begin.

“It’s incredible that another year has gone by, and it’s time for basketball once again in Kentucky,” Mitchell said to the more than 700 guests in attendance at the Galt House in downtown Louisville. “There’s no greater place in the world to be coaching basketball than at the University of Kentucky, and I’m awfully grateful to be doing that.”

The Wildcats qualified for the NCAA tournament for a school record six consecutive season in 2015, earning a No. 2 seed and hosting their opening two game before dropping a 99-94 upset to No. 7 Dayton in the second round. The surprise loss snapped a seven-year streak of 57 straight wins over non-conference opponents for UK Hoops at Memorial Coliseum.

In order to advance further in the tournament this season, Mitchell jabbed Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari during speech for the recent trip Calipari took to Washington D.C. to attend Pope Francis’ meeting with the U.S. Congress.

“I was hoping I was going to meet the Pope, but I was not able to,” Mitchell said. “I think when you are 38-1, you don’t need to meet the Pope as much as you do when you’re 24-10. I needed the Pope! I needed a blessing, big time! I’ve already gotten close to [Calipari] over here, and hopefully some of it has rubbed off on me.”

But Pope blessing or not, Mitchell is excited for his team in 2015-16 and looking forward to another successful season on the court.

“We’re looking forward to a great season,” Mitchell said. “We have a great team — as long as the coach doesn’t mess them up.”

Click below to watch Mitchell’s complete comments from Wednesday’s tipoff luncheon:


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