Dear reporters, Kevin Ware is over your questions regarding the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry. Leading up to the Cardinals’ Dec. 28 showdown with hated rival Kentucky, Ware was succinct in his evaluation of how he and his team view the game.
“It gets old; it’s boring. It’s just another game,” Ware said. “Nobody’s from here except a couple guys on the team. We really don’t get into the whole UK-Louisville rivalry. It’s just another game for us. A lot of people take it to that further extent, all the UK and U of L bashing each other. And even with a lot of stuff that they put on us this year, we really don’t care that Kentucky exists. We just look at them as another school.”
Ware has a point. Only three of the players listed on Louisville’s roster are from Kentucky, while a total of six on the Wildcats’ team this season are from the Bluegrass State. Approximately 29% of the players on either squad are from Kentucky. To a lot of the players, it very well could be “just another game.”
To fans, however, it’s more than a game. It’s state bragging rights. It’s Alabama-Auburn of college basketball. By electing to put on either team’s jerseys, the players have no choice but to loathe the existence of the other program.
As much as Ware was trying to simply say the right thing, that his team was focusing on the task ahead, John Calipari will likely spin his comments into bulletin board material to motivate his young Wildcats.
Following is Ware’s interview, via courier-journal.com.
[Thanks to CBS Sports for the hat tip]