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Chris Mack has high praise for John Calipari

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Rivalry aside, Mack has great admiration for what Calipari has accomplished in his career.

Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Louisville Cardinals coach Chris Mack had some very nice things to say about Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari, something we’re not used to as Kentucky fans.

In an interview with KSR’s Aaron Torres on the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, Mack spoke highly of his rivalry counterpart:

“I can tell you that Coach Calipari does as good of a job as anyone in college basketball,” stated Mack. “He has to almost start over every year with the new guys that he brings into the program.

“And I don’t care how talented a freshman is. That’s really difficult to transition from high school to college no matter what your talent is. Then putting those guys on the same page, he does it as well as anybody who has ever done it.”

Safe to say, you wouldn’t have ever heard those words come out of the previous Cardinals head coach. I love that Mack has respect for Cal, but it also saddens me because I love to hate Louisville, and Mack seems like a very likable guy just one season into his new gig with Louisville.

Hatred is part of the rivalry, and Mack spoke on that as well:

“It is a huge rivalry. I don’t think you get a full appreciation of it until you live in this state. You’re either wearing something blue, or you’re wearing something red, there’s really no in between. A lot of households are divided across the state of Kentucky, and it’s a great thing, because people feel so strong about the sport of basketball in our state.”

This season, the rivalry will be no different, as we may very well be looking forward to a top-10, or dare I say, a top-5 matchup when Louisville visits Lexington later in December.