(photo by: @UKAthleticsNews)
Just so you know, Big Blue Corner was supposed to be in attendance at BBM tonight, but car trouble prevented us from attending. I can't begin to explain how good of a mood that put me in for the rest of the evening...
Before Madness got started we were forced to watch Rob Bromley and Co. for the first 20 minutes of the televised broadcast, but then came the video of the campers scrambling for their spot in "Tent City" to camp-out for BBM tickets. It's no wonder Calipari says "Y'all are crazy"
If you had the TV on mute waiting for the festivities to start, then you should've been following the Madness updates on Twitter. Besides the entertainment that continuously came across the twitter feed you would know that John Wall and the Wizards along with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans were in attendance for the event with some of them being quoted as saying "this is crazy", welcome to Kentucky Basketball fellas.
Again, the night started off with a performance from UK women's coach, Mathew Mitchell that brought the crowd to it's feet with him appearing dressed as James Brown dancing to "I Got You" and just like that ending up sporting a pair glasses and a sport coat dancing to Britney Spears "Hit Me Baby One More Time". As much energy John Calipari has brought to Kentucky MENS Basketball, Mathew Mitchell has done the same for the women's program. Both of these coaches are EXCELLENT at selling the UK brand and representing the university in a positive light.
I'm gonna skip highlighting the women's portion (NO DISRESPECT INTENDED, had to leave the house for a bit) of the evening and dive straight into what you have been waiting for since what seems like an eternity...
The mens portion of the night opened with one of the most stern, hardcore, passionate and heart felt speech that John Calipari has ever given. The crowd never left their feet as he talked about how proud he was of every single one of his players including Anthony Davis, John Wall and Darius Miller who were all present and was greeted by an ear shattering roar. By the time Cal had wrapped up his speech that reminded you of the Gettysburg Address because of the passion behind it, I myself was ready to say "Hell with it, Give me a jersey I'll suit up." Once again, Calipari DOES NOT disappoint.
The player introductions was definitely something to see. You don't realize just how big this team is until you see them being announced along with their height. This team is going to be crazy big and long, and if they ever decide to put on a press, good luck trying to go around or throw over that. One thing we did learn during intros is that Jarrod Polson is the best dancer on this team, pretty impressive.
This group looked focused from the get go and the rest of the night did not disappoint.
The beginning was pretty much what it is every year, just more talent than before. We saw lots of nerves, senseless shots, no defense and a lot of fun being had amongst the guys. That is exactly what this night was meant for. The one thing that was different is the fact you could see the potential of this team and you didn't have to look no further than 6'9" Julius Randle's drive, coast to coast with a behind the back twist and a hard, rim rattling dunk at the other end. This kid just sweats talent and expects others to wipe it off the floor.
Derek Willis showed something that I didn't know he had and that was somewhat of an outside shot, that will be handy if he could improve on it. Every single player looked good, but the freshman didn't disappoint if you take into consideration that this is really just a practice and no seriousness is given by the players or coaches. Just judging by the looks of this team, things could be interesting going forward if everyone learns their role, puts egos aside and plays as a team. If all that happens, other teams should be put on notice, this team is not to be taken lightly and yes I'm looking at you Mr. Patrick Young.
I'll close with a quote from Calipari's speech tonight "WE DON'T JUST PLAY COLLEGE BASKETBALL, WE ARE COLLEGE BASKETBALL"-- John Calipari