For UK basketball fans, the day of October 16th, 2009, represents a new lease on life.
With Big Blue Madness kicking off tonight, the ceremonial start of the college basketball season has arrived and there is a feeling of excitement and joy in Lexington unlike anything seen in 10 years.
Goodbye Recent History
UK hoops has struggled to remain relevant for a decade. After reaching dynasty status in the mid and late 90s, the program meandered off course. Gone were the household names, top five recruiting classes and preseason Final Four expectations. Gone was the voice of Dickey V screaming about UK running, pressing and dunking teams out of the gym. Gone were the days of highlight reels and SportsCenter catch phrases.
But with the arrival of Coach John Calipari, along with one of the greatest incoming recruiting classes of all time, UK hoops has experienced another tectonic shift.
Waking up in the morning as a UK fan once again feels great. Hope provides a healing foundation for a deeply fragmented fan base, desperate after years of subpar finishes, culminating in the Cats missing the NCAA tournament last season.
A Watershed Moment
The BBL is salivating at the thought of seeing John Wall in a UK jersey for the first time during the Blue-White Scrimmage, which will be televised nationally in HD on Fox Sports South this Saturday. And we’re not the only ones. Thousands of fans camped outside Memorial Coliseum for the past 10 days hoping to get tickets to see Big Blue Madness.
That passion and exuberance did not go unnoticed by Coach Cal. Check out his commentary about the fanbase as told to Larry Vaught:
“We are going to do more than we have ever done at a Madness. If people can stay out there seven days in the cold and rain to enjoy this night, we are going to do things we have never done before,” Calipari said.
“We are going to have special guests that will be co-coaches from the sports world to entertainers at this event. You know why? For the fans. If they are going to camp out for tickets, we are going to show them a good time.”
It’s hard not to appreciate the love Calipari is showing for the program.
Glimpse Into the Future
Here is the list of expected recruits in attendance to witness the rebirth of UK basketball:
Kyrie Irving (Rivals #9)
Tobias Harris official (Rivals #5)
CJ Leslie (Rivals #14)
Michael Gilchrist (Rivals #1…likened to Lebron James athletically)
Quincy Miller (Rivals #3)
Achraf Yacoubou (Rivals #76)
We’ll sum it up with this comment from Vaught: “Both DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall talk about wanting this to be a historic season at UK. They talk about undefeated, championships, etc. And Cal said he embraces that feeling”
Ladies and Gentleman, get ready for something special. And make sure you program your DVR to capture The Blue-White Scrimmage starting at 4:30 EST Satuday on 646 on DIRECTV. Where is Cawood Ledford when you need him?go back