Rick Pitino ‘accepts’ St. John’s vs. Kentucky home-and-home

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 15 Apr, 2024 at 07:51 PM

Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Pitino said on social media that St. John's will visit Kentucky in the 2024-25 season and host the Wildcats at Madison Square Garden the following season.

The Red Storm coach expressed excitement that Mark Pope, one of his former captains at Kentucky, was hired as the program's next head coach.

When Pope was introduced on Sunday to a packed Rupp Arena, the former BYU coach asked the crowd, "Anybody down for a game with St. John's?" The crowd applauded in approval.

"Wow, just saw clips from our Captain's press conference," Pitino wrote Monday on X, formerly Twitter. "Not shocked, but pleasantly surprised. Would expect nothing less from (Pope).

"Also, (St. John's) accepts, this year at UK, next year at the Mecca! Looking forward to saying goodbye to (Kentucky)."

Pitino, 71, coached Kentucky from 1989-97 in between stints with the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. He took the program to three Final Fours and a national championship in 1996, a team Pope was on. The Red Storm went 20-13 in Pitino's first season on the job.

Pope, 51, went 110-52 in five seasons leading BYU and 77-56 in four years as coach of Utah Valley.

--Field Level Media