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Rick Pitino Says Louisville Basketball Will Be "As Good As Ever" Next Season

Rick Pitino of Louisville at a press conference.

Rick Pitino Louisville

The 2015-16 season will go down as one of the worst in Louisville basketball history. Not for the on-court results, but what's transpired off of it. The Cardinals, a top 20 team, have self-banned themselves from playing in the NCAA Tournament due to the prostitution scandal. 

Knowing his fan base is as emotionally down as ever, Rick Pitino spewed some optimism during an interview this afternoon. 

The Cardinals' coach says his team will be "as good as ever" in 2016-17. 

">February 17, 2016

He's not the only one thinking for the future, either. 

">February 17, 2016

Louisville won a national championship under Pitino in 2013. Will the Cardinals be that good in 2016-17?

Pitino's team will lose two of its best players in graduate transfer seniors Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, but should return everyone else. 

Louisville also brings in heralded five-star small forward V.J. King and three-star shooting guard Frankie Hughes. 

It's possible, though, that the NCAA further punishes Louisville before next season.