By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky basketball season ticket holders got a message from coach John Calipari asking them to show up for games to support the current team.
Attendance has been down at UK this season and Friday night’s win over Mount St. Mary’s was not sold out, either.
So I asked Calipari after Friday’s win what prompted him to send that “encouraging” message to fans and did he ever think asking fans to show up for home games would be something he would ever have to do at Kentucky?
“No, I don’t need to do it. But I want the fans to understand the part they play for these kids,” Calipari said. “When they walk in this arena, these fans are for them, even when they’re struggle, it’s a big deal to help me build this team up. You (fans) help me.
“The tickets are sold. I mean, they’re sold. That’s not the issue. The issue around the country, not here, but around the country, getting students to games, then getting ticket holders to make sure someone is sitting in their seat. Not just a Kentucky issue, it’s everywhere.
“You think if it’s a little issue here, it’s a huge issue in other places. All I’m saying is we got the greatest fans. What if a player comes in here, an opponent, gets a 50-point game or 40-point game, he’s walking off the court? He’ll get a standing O (ovation) from our fans. We got the greatest fans.
“Everybody wants to play here. There’s no liquor, people spitting on people, throwing things, cussing, that doesn’t happen here. This is an unbelievable crowd. We need them.”
Fans will get a chance again Sunday night when UK hosts Lamar to “help” Calipari build his team up.