Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2016-17 Big Blue Madness INFO



Tickets for the 2016 Big Blue Madness in Rupp Arena will be available on Friday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions and online at Ticketmaster.com. Big Blue Madness, the first open practice opportunity for UK’s 2016-17 men’s and women’s basketball teams, is Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. It will also air live on the SEC Network.

Tickets are free again this year for the annual spectacle in Rupp Arena, which will feature introductions of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, practice drills, videos, and more. Like last year, the ticket distribution will take place on Friday night both at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions and online at Ticketmaster.com. All patrons require a ticket to Big Blue Madness, regardless of age. There will be a limit of two tickets per person at Memorial Coliseum. Online orders will have a minimal service fee attached, and there will be a limit of two tickets per household. All duplicate orders will automatically be cancelled. 

To support regular campus operations and facilitate student pedestrian routes to and from class – which have been affected due to surrounding campus construction – space will be limited to fans wishing to line up ahead of time for tickets. Fans are highly encouraged to use Ticketmaster.com to obtain tickets, though UK Athletics cannot guarantee fans will receive tickets by lining up or going online.

A limited number of control cards will be issued to those camped out on Friday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. In a change from previous years, fans will receive a maximum of two tickets per control card Friday night. No more than four control cards will be distributed to each tent. Fans with control cards are encouraged to start lining up for Friday night’s ticket distribution by 8:30 p.m. All fans must be present to obtain their control cards and only one control card per person will be accepted at distribution. 

Campout

At the request of campus public safety officials, fans wishing to line up ahead of time at Memorial Coliseum for ticket distribution are asked to do so no earlier than 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28. At that time, campers are expected to be courteous to their fellow Wildcat fans and use caution when crossing Avenue of Champions and Rose Street over to the Memorial Coliseum and Joe Craft Center blocks to occupy a spot in line. Public safety officials will be on site to aid and assist a safe move-in. Campers displaying unsafe/disorderly conduct risk being removed from the line.

To support regular campus operations and facilitate student pedestrian routes to and from class, this year’s camping area will be limited to the following areas:
·         The eastern portion of the main entrance of Memorial Coliseum
·         Along the east side of Memorial Coliseum and the Joe Craft Center
·         Along the east entrance of the main entry way of the Craft Center
·         In the Coliseum Lot
·         A designated section of the College View Lot

A map is attached of this year’s available camping sites.

Campers are expected to be respectful to fellow campers, students, faculty, staff, security officials and pedestrians during the campout; and to abide by all university policies. The university will be operating normally with classes in session.

Because of the limited space, fans are highly encouraged to use Ticketmaster.com. UK Athletics cannot guarantee a spot for those wishing to line up ahead of time on Wednesday at 5 a.m. Once available space for fans has reached capacity, remaining fans will be asked to acquire tickets at Ticketmaster.com. As in past years, UK Athletics will inform fans when available space has reached capacity and they are unlikely to receive control cards for the in-person ticket distribution.   

The athletic department will provide portable restroom facilities, but the use of permanent, wooden-type structures, portable generators, and propane tanks or other open flames used in cooking is prohibited due to safety concerns. Campers may not drive or drill stakes in the pavement to secure tents in the parking lot areas. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are not permitted. Additionally, selling sports tickets in excess of face value is illegal in Kentucky.

Parking and Transportation

Fans camping out for the Big Blue Madness ticket distribution may utilize the Wildcat Plaza area located directly across Avenue of Champions from Memorial Coliseum for a maximum of five minutes to drop off campers or unload their vehicles. Campers may also pay to use any metered spaces on city streets near the Craft Center-Memorial Coliseum complex.

The Coliseum Lot will be monitored by UK Parking and Transportation. Only UK employee-permitted vehicles will be allowed entry unless guests are using the metered spaces to use the UK ticket office or bookstore.

Campus safety officials request that campers not block bike lanes and/or sidewalks with their vehicles at any time. Vehicles left unattended or creating a traffic hazard will be cited and/or towed.

After unloading, campers must relocate their vehicles to off-campus locations.  Public parking options near campus include the Transit Center Garage and the Lexington Center Corporation, both of which have entrances accessible via High Street.  Both parking lots are within walking distance of Memorial Coliseum and provide daily parking for a small fee.  Please visit lextran.com/routes for information regarding Lextran bus routes to campus.     

Beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, the gates of the South Limestone Garage (PS #5, located next to Kennedy’s Wildcat Den) will be open and the structure will be available for free parking. The garage will remain open until 1 a.m. on Saturday.

Fan and Sponsor Activities

After a successful debut at last season’s campout, the UK Sports Network will once again produce live video stream coverage of Big Blue Madness Campout with the airing of “Tent City Live.” Broadcasting from the Coca-Cola Stage, now located outside the Joe Craft Center and Wildcat Coal Lodge, the live stream will air Thursday, Sept. 29 from 7-10 p.m. ET on UKathletics.com/tentcitylive. Fans can also tune in to 630 WLAP-AM to listen to the radio broadcast of the show.

Christi Thomas and Dave Baker return as hosts for the show and special guests will join throughout the evening, including the Voice of the Wildcats, Tom Leach, for a night of interviews and roundtable discussions previewing the upcoming season. Fans are encouraged to submit questions and comments for the hosts and guests to the UK Sports Network via Twitter at @UKRadioNetwork to be answered on the live stream.

In addition to “Tent City Live”, the Coca-Cola Stage will also be the setting for interactive sponsor promotions and fan events, including a live performance on Wednesday from the acoUstiKats and Paws and Listen, the University of Kentucky’s respective male and female student a cappella groups. Coke will also have an inflatable football toss and photo station backdrop on site for fans to share pictures of campout. Specialty Foods Group will once again be on-site with a Fischer’s hot dog grilling station to help feed fans. Also, one of the most popular events to close out the evening will be the Papa John’s pizza handout to fans.


Kentucky Open Practice On ESPNU Oct. 9th



Kentucky fans will once again get a sneak peek at the UK men’s basketball team for a live, televised open practice on ESPNU. This year’s open practice will be televised Oct. 9 from 7-9 p.m.

The Wildcats will go through various agility and shooting drills in addition to 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 scrimmaging.

Doris Burke, Seth Greenberg and Fran Fraschilla will be on hand to call the action for ESPNU, along with Andy Katz, who will handle sideline reports.

It’s the third season in a row UK has had a practice televised live.

Kentucky is coming off a 27-9 season that included both the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament championships. The Wildcats will have to replace 75.8 percent of their scoring and 70.0 percent of their rebounding from a year ago, but as John Calipari has done in every season he’s been at UK, he’s reloaded with even more talent.

Calipari will welcome six newcomers to the 2016-17 roster, including Bam Adebayo, Brad Calipari, De’Aaron Fox, Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Malik Monk. Five of Kentucky’s six signees are considered consensus top-25 players in the class of 2016, according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. Five of the six are consensus four- or five-start recruits.

In addition to the star-studded recruiting class, UK will also welcome back experience with sophomores Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries, and seniors Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Eighth Annual John Calipari Women's Clinic Info...




The eighth annual and always popular John Calipari Women’s Clinic has been set for Oct. 23 from 1-4 p.m. For the first time in the event’s history, the clinic will take place in historical Rupp Arena, which was recently renovated. 

The clinic is designed for women with all levels of basketball knowledge and experience and offers an exclusive inside look at the University of Kentucky men’s basketball program. The cost will remain unchanged at $100.

For the first time ever, each participant will be guaranteed a small group (10 people) picture with the entire Kentucky men’s basketball team. Participants will be able to download their picture for digital or print use after the clinic. 

To minimize waiting time for fellow clinic participants, attendees will be limited to three basketballs for purchase from the camp store. Due to time constraints, the only items that will be guaranteed to be signed by UK personnel are the camp store balls, which will be on sale at a discounted rate this year at the on-site camp store. Clinic attendees will be allowed to bring one additional item to be signed by Coach Calipari only during registration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Check-in for the Women’s Clinic will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the media/security entrance on the west side of Rupp Arena. Participants can access the entrance through the Manchester Street parking lot.  

Parking is free and will be available in the lot located adjacent to Manchester Street and the west side of Rupp Arena. Attendees must park in a legal parking spot.

Registration is available online. Interested participants are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible due to limited spots available. The past five clinics have been sold out.

Throughout the designated check-in time, attendees can enjoy refreshments and a self-guided tour of Rupp Arena. Men’s basketball staff members will be stationed throughout the facility for directions and questions.

Following check-in, the women’s clinic will begin at 1 p.m. with the introduction of the 2016-17 UK men’s basketball team. Also included are scheduled presentations by staff and players on the inner workings of the program, as well as a Q & A with Calipari, UK coaches and staff members.

The event will feature a camp store with Kentucky basketball items available for purchase. Please note that the camp store can only accept cash or checks as a form of payment. No credit/debit cards will be accepted.

Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable attire (athletic shoes) and participate in activities and presentations at their own risk.

This clinic is open to women only. Recruitable-age females (currently in grades 9-12, junior college or prep school) are not permitted to register for or attend the clinic, per NCAA rules.

Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive a confirmation email with an itinerary. You will receive reminder emails with additional details of the event.

Any clinic-related questions can be answered by calling into the men’s basketball camp line at 859-257-9457 or 859-257-1916.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Here Is Kentucky Basketball's 2016-17 Conference Schedule



The 2016-17 Kentucky men’s basketball schedule is now complete as the league office announced the upcoming conference schedule on Tuesday. The Wildcats are seeking their third consecutive regular-season league crown and fifth under eighth-year head coach John Calipari with an 18-game schedule beginning on Dec. 29 at Ole Miss.

Kentucky will play all 13 Southeastern Conference teams at least once during league play in addition to home-and-home dates with Georgia and Texas A&M, and permanent opponents Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

UK’s schedule is balanced with no road trip or stretch of home games lasting more than two in a row. Kentucky tips off the season on the road at Ole Miss to play in the newly-constructed Pavilion at Ole Miss for the first time on Dec. 29 – the earliest the SEC slate has opened since the 1987-88 season.

Kentucky hosts back-to-back contests in Rupp Arena following the league lid-lifter. Up first is a date with last season’s co-SEC champs in Texas A&M on Jan. 3 before welcoming Arkansas on Jan. 7.

Kentucky will then alternate home-and-away designations for the next 10 SEC contests.

UK’s home slate in that stretch includes Auburn (Jan. 14), South Carolina (Jan. 21), Georgia (Jan. 31), LSU (Feb. 7) and Tennessee (Feb. 14). The road contests include Vanderbilt (Jan. 10), Mississippi State (Jan. 17), Tennessee (Jan. 24), Florida (Feb. 4) and Alabama (Feb. 11). In between the stretch, UK takes on Kansas at home on Jan. 28 in the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The Wildcats’ regular season will begin to round down with sets of away games at Georgia on Feb. 18 and at Missouri on Feb. 21, before home contests with Florida on Feb. 25 and Vanderbilt on Feb. 28.

The season will conclude away from home with a rematch against Texas A&M on March 4. In each of UK’s last three outings in College Station, Texas, the game has needed extra time to decide a winner. UK won matchups in 2013 and 2015 before dropping a 79-77 close call a season ago. 

The SEC had seven teams advance to postseason play a season ago, including three in the NCAA Tournament. The league will turn to new faces as no player from last season’s First-Team All-SEC squad returns in 2016-17. A wealth of experience roams the sidelines, however, as 11 of the 13 coaches have captured a league coach of the year honor throughout their career, while another, Avery Johnson of Alabama, is a former NBA Coach of the Year. Additionally, 11 coaches have directed their teams to at least once conference title or tournament title in their careers.

Calipari leads the way in all categories with 14 league titles, 13 tournament championships and nine coach of the year honors.

In addition to the conference schedule, UK has also confirmed times and TV networks for several of its nonconference games (all times are Eastern).

·         Nov. 15 vs. Michigan State (Madison Square Garden, New York) – ESPN at 7 p.m.
·         Nov. 28 vs. Arizona State (Imperial Arena, Paradise Island, Bahamas) – ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
·         Dec. 3 vs. UCLA (Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.) – CBS at 12:30 p.m.
·         Dec. 11 vs. Hofstra (Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.) – ESPN at 3 p.m.
·         Dec. 17 vs. North Carolina (MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas) – CBS at 5:45 p.m.
·         Dec. 21 at Louisville (KFC YUM! Center, Louisville, Ky.) – ESPN at 7 p.m.

Combined with the conference schedule, Big Blue Madness, Blue-White scrimmage, and exhibition games, UK has 29 events scheduled to appear on either ESPN, ESPN2, CBS or the SEC Network. That does not include still-to-be announced TV designations for six nonconference games and the SEC Tournament.

All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the SEC Network) will be available through WatchESPN accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the ESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. Each of the CBS Sports games will be streamed on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports mobile app and mobile website. 

Kentucky’s 2016-17 season will tip off in Rupp Arena on Oct. 14 with the annual Big Blue Madness beginning at 7 p.m. The Blue-White contest follows just a week a later on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in Rupp.

Clarion, Calipari’s alma mater, will serve as UK’s first exhibition opponent on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. The Wildcats’ final exhibition matchup will come vs. Asbury on Nov. 6, also at 7 p.m.

Remaining network and time adjustments will be announced at a later date.

Kentucky’s regular season begins Nov. 11 with 2016 NCAA Tournament participant Stephen F. Austin in Rupp Arena.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Champions Classic Renewed Through 2019




College basketball’s season-opening marquee event, the Champions Classic, which has pitted the best against the best for the last six seasons, was renewed and will continue through the 2019 season. Kentucky will continue to be a part of it. 

The Kentucky men’s basketball program, in conjunction with Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and ESPN, will continue the doubleheader series through the 2019 season. The event began in 2011 in esteemed Madison Square Garden in which Kentucky earned a 75-65 win over Kansas, while Duke prevailed over Michigan State. The teams have rotated opponents along with varying cities allowing fans all across the country to watch one of the nation’s premier basketball events.

“We’re excited and honored to be a part of the Champions Classic for another three years,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “It’s become one of the premier college basketball events on the national schedule every year. You’re talking about four blueblood programs playing on a neutral, NCAA Tournament-like stage. I know our fans love traveling to those cities. It’s always a tough way for a young team like ours to face those types of teams that early, but it’s a great opportunity for us to learn and to prepare for that type of environment down the road.”

The doubleheader event will be played in Chicago (2017), Indianapolis (2018) and New York (2019). It will also continue to be the final event of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon that provides more than 24 hours of consecutive basketball coverage to mark the start of college basketball season.

This year’s sixth edition of the event is slated for Nov. 15 in Madison Square Garden. Kentucky will take on Michigan State at 7 p.m. Duke and Kansas will follow approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the opening contest. 

Kentucky is 3-2 all-time in the event, which includes the memorable 72-40 win over fifth-ranked Kansas in 2014 to spark the beginning of a 31-0 regular season. The Michigan State vs. Kentucky game in 2013 was the most-watched Champions Classic game ever. It pitted the No. 1-ranked Wildcats vs. the No. 2-ranked Spartans in the first regular-season matchup between the two top-rated teams since 2008. Kentucky’s matchup with Duke in 2015 was the most-watched game in all of college basketball during the 2015-16 season.

The Champions Classic features three of the top four all-time winningest college basketball programs, including UK. The four schools in the event have combined for 18 NCAA championships and 57 Final Four appearances.

For more information about the series please visit the event’s official website


Date
Matchups
City
Arena
Nov. 15, 2016
Michigan State vs. Kentucky
New York
Madison Square Garden
Nov. 14, 2017
Kansas vs. Kentucky
Chicago
United Center
Nov. 13, 2018
Duke vs. Kentucky
Indianapolis
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Nov. 12, 2019
Michigan State vs. Kentucky
New York
Madison Square Garden


Monday, August 22, 2016

A Little Late, But, USA Basketball Wins Gold




Snatching up what seemed like every rebound, former Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins also hauled in the first Olympic gold medal of his career with a strong performance Sunday in the championship game of the 2016 Olympics.

With a gold medal on the line, Cousins saved his best for last for USA Basketball. Coming off the bench for a third straight game, Cousins set the tempo early by dominating the paint, sparking Team USA to a 40-15 first-half run, and ultimately to a 96-66 rout of Serbia.

Cousins played as well as he has all tournament, posting 13 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for his third double-digit scoring game of the Olympics. He had 11 points and 12 rebounds by halftime.

The 6-foot-11 forward, who was drafted fifth overall in 2010 after a sensational freshman season at Kentucky, averaged 9.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in eight games at the Olympics. He shot 61.4 percent from the floor, only shooting less than 50 percent in one game during the run.

Cousins is the 10th Wildcat all-time to compete in the Olympics and win a gold medal (not counting Sam Bowie, who was awarded a medal by President Jimmy Carter after the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games), tied with North Carolina and UCLA for the most among all colleges. Cousins is also the third former UK player in a row to win a gold medal. Anthony Davis captured the gold at the last Olympics, in 2012, and Tayshaun Prince was a part of the 2008 gold-medal team. 

Cousins is the second John Calipari player to win a gold medal, joining Davis.

“Congratulations to USA Basketball on another gold medal and to our own DeMarcus Cousins,” Calipari said. “DeMarcus continues to get better and better and has become one of the best big men in our game. I know how badly he wanted this opportunity and this gold medal. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Though it’s the first Olympic gold medal of his career, it isn’t Cousins’ first major success story with Team USA. He previously helped USA Basketball to a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, averaging 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting a team-high 70.2 percent from the field during that nine-game run.

Cousins is entering the prime of his NBA career. Just a few months ago he was named to the All-NBA Second Team for a second straight year after averaging career highs in both points per game (26.9) and rebounds per game (10.2). The two-time NBA All-Star is just the fourth player in UK’s history to earn multiple All-NBA honors in a career.

In addition to ranking fourth in the NBA in scoring during the 2015-16 season, Cousins was among the league leaders in rebounding (fifth), double-doubles (sixth), blocks (21st) and steals (22nd).

Cousins was a double-double machine during his lone season at Kentucky in 2009-10. His 20 double-doubles are tied for the most in the Calipari era with Davis. He averaged 15.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and led the Wildcats with 67 blocks in helping UK to a 35-3 record, Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament championships, and an appearance in the Elite Eight.

Cousins’ 2016 Olympics Game-by-Game Stats
Game
Points
Rebounds
FGs
vs. China (W, 119-62)
17
5
6-8
vs. Venezuela (W, 113-69)
6
5
2-4
vs. Australia (W, 98-88)
6
8
3-5
vs. Serbia (W, 94-91)
5
3
2-3
vs. France (W, 100-97
9
5
4-5
vs. Argentina (W, 105-78)*
15
2
6-10
vs. Spain (W, 82-76)*
2
3
1-4
vs. Serbia (W, 96-66)*
13
15
3-5
TOTALS (average)
73 (9.1)
46 (5.8)
27-44 (61.4 pct.)
indicates knockout game

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Coach Cal Softball Classic To Take Place of Annual Alumni Basketball Game... For Now



The Lexington Legends have partnered with John Calipari and the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience for the inaugural Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic, which will take place Aug. 28 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington. 

Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with the celebrity softball home run derby at 5:30 p.m. First pitch for the celebrity softball game will be at 6 p.m.

The game will feature numerous Kentucky greats, including NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns, two-time Final Four participant Alex Poythress, 2013 NBA Draft No. 6 overall selection Nerlens Noel, 1978 national champion Kyle Macy and many more. 

The UK basketball legends will play alongside and against celebrities which include NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, ABC’s Quantico star Josh Hopkins, ESPN’s Kaylee Hartung and former No. 1 overall selection and UK Athletics Hall of Famer Tim Couch.

Coach Cal’s Celebrity Softball Classic will feature additional surprise Wildcat greats and celebrities. A full list of confirmed celebrities is below. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Calipari Foundation.

Tickets to the event are available now at CoachCalSoftballClassic.com and will feature three tiers of opportunities for the Big Blue Nation.

General admission tickets are $8, while premium seating is $20. The Coach Cal VIP Experience tickets are priced at $100.

The VIP experience includes seats behind home plate in the Diamond Club/Super Club seats, unlimited food and beverages, an invitation to a pre-game “Cats Conversations,” a chalk-talk forum with a Q&A session hosted by Calipari and Towns. This exclusive opportunity is limited to 200 tickets. 

The celebrity softball game will take the place of the annual UK Alumni Charity Basketball Game this season while Rupp Arena is under construction.


Here's a list of participants at this point:.....