By LARRY VAUGHT
Almost any time Kentucky goes on the road to play, coach John Calipari makes sure to let everyone know what the environment will be like.
Kentucky has not played at West Virginia since 1970, so Calipari knows it will be an even more energized crowd when No. 7 West Virginia host his team Saturday night in Morgantown.
“We got West Virginia, we got a fish fry, we got (ESPN College) GameDay, we got hat night, we got blue out, yeah, it’s going to be an interesting one,” Calipari said Thursday on the SEC coaches’ teleconference.
I don’t know about hat night or blue out, but he’s right about the fish fry.
The sixth annual Bob Huggins Fish Fry ix tonight. Proceeds benefit both the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment Fund and the Remember the Miners Scholarship Fund.
Calipari is scheduled to attend the event with West Virginia coach Huggins, a long-time friend. There have been reports Calipari has autographed 200 basketballs to be auctioned during the fish fry.
Tickets were $120 per person in advance and will be $150 tonight. That’s high priced fish but it’s no surprise Calipari would agree to join his friend to raise money for cancer research and a coal miners scholarship fund.
West Virginia has lost three of its last four games. Unlike the Cats, the losses have not damaged West Virginia’s ranking that much — the Mountaineers are still No. 7. However, Calipari warned Thursday not to be fooled by the recent losses.
“West Virginia is really good. They’re a veteran team. Really physical. Defensively, press, disrupt, deny. They’re a top-five team,” the UK coach said.
“I know there are some other teams that may be ranked above them, but I’m going to tell you, in a one-game contest, they’re hard to beat.”