Rick Pitino, who is now leading Greek club Panathinaikos B.C., said the atmosphere for his team's 96-84 Euroleague win over CSKA Moscow "reminded (him) of Kentucky."
"Just like that, and that's the highest compliment I give any crowd," Pitino said per an ESPN.com report. "Because I've always felt that in Kentucky basketball is a religion, and the fans tonight motivated us to play that type of defense."
Pitino knows a thing or two about raucous atmospheres, as he's coached since 1974 with stops at Louisville, Kentucky, the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics along the way.
Video of the atmosphere certainly backs Pitino's point. The stands were packed as the two teams were warming up:
The home crowd also went wild after a dunk from Panathinaikos big man James Gist:
They even get excited about layups:
Their devotion is impressive considering the rough Euroleague year Panathinaikos is having. Despite the win, the Athens-based club is just 7-8 and sitting 11th out of 16 teams in the table.
Still, Pitino has had just one game with his new team, and the two-time NCAA champion's coaching resume is one of the best in the sport today. He could be giving his team's fans plenty to cheer about in the ensuing months.