Calipari enjoys beating generational poverty

John Calipari with John Wall at Big Blue Madness Friday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari with John Wall at Big Blue Madness Friday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari constantly talks about how difficult the head job at UK can be on a coach because of the pressure and demands on the head coach.

“What this job does is every morning you wake up to put your feet in your car, you sit down in that chair and say my team has a chance to win the national title. That’s every year. You know you do,” Calipari said. “The second part of this job that keeps you going and makes you excited is at no other time in the history of our sport has a program done what we’re doing for players. You can all say what you want.

Just beating SEC teams with losing records could propel UK to annual success

Jordan Jones (34) and Derrick Baity celebrate the win over Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jordan Jones (34) and Derrick Baity celebrate the win over Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL

During the bye week I was thinking about UK’s recent wins against South Carolina and Vanderbilt and wondering if those wins signaled hope for the future of Kentucky football.

My first inclination was to find out how unsuccessful programs became successful in the SEC. I needed look no further than Vanderbilt under James Franklin. Franklin’s teams finished 2-6, 5-3 and 4-4 in the SEC during his tenure from 2011 thru 2013. His teams went to three consecutive bowl games and finished ranked 23rd and 24th in the AP poll his last two years. His overall record the last two years was 18-8.

Guest post: Can Cats make another deep NCAA run?

Malik Monk (Vicky Graff Photo)

Malik Monk (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL

I watched the UK Pro Day on Sunday and came away impressed with the length and athleticism of this year’s basketball team. I think they will be similar to the 2010 team in getting out on the break with De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, controlling the paint area with Bam Adebayo, Isaac Humphries and potentially Sacha Killeya-Jones or Wenyen Gabriel and playing tough defense through Cal’s normal switching man to man.

Big Blue Madness Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff

Could Calipari really be disappointed if UK won title yet no player was drafted?

John Calipari wants to win, but also wants to get players drafted. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari wants to win, but also wants to get players drafted. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Not once has John Calipari ever tried to hide his belief that getting players drafted to help them secure their financial future is his primary focus.

During Thursday’s  Media Day, Calipari risked infuriating Kentucky fans again by saying the draft was more important to him than a national title.

UK Media Day Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff

Even Calipari not sure about UK’s shooting

Isaiah Briscoe says he's an improved shooter. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaiah Briscoe says he’s an improved shooter. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During Kentucky’s combine for NBA personnel, ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla wondered if perimeter shooting might be a problem for Kentucky this season.

Kentucky coach John Calipari would not go player-by-player to rate his team’s shooting during Thursday’s Media Day. He even said there was a chance shooting could be a problem, or it might not be.

“May end up being the best shooting team I’ve had. It’s too early. The combine was a huge success for these players because every player helps themselves. Every single guy that was there helped themselves.

They now can put all that stuff behind them and understand you’ve been evaluated,” Calipari said.

Big Blue Madness presented Papa John’s to Feature Interactive Light Show

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Big Blue Madness presented by Papa John’s, the annual celebration of the start of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, is a favorite event of Kentucky fans. This year, fans will be able to take an active role in the spectacle at Rupp Arena.

This year’s Big Blue Madness will feature an interactive light show originating from fans’ mobile devices. To participate, fans should download the Kentucky Wildcats Gameday app. The app is available in the App Store or Android Marketplace by searching “Kentucky Wildcats.”

Willis, Monk, Fox on Big Blue Madness

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here is what a few of the UK basketball players had to say Thursday about Friday’s Big Blue Madness.

Derek Willis on his final Big Blue Madness …
“It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal for our players and especially the freshmen who are coming in. It’s a big deal for me since it’s the last time I get to do it. It’s especially big for the fans. It’s a good time and a good show for everyone.”

Calipari expects a “mauling, shot-blocking team”

John Calipari. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari held court at UK’s Media Day today and was at his swaggy best. It’s obvious he’s expecting this team to be really good but he did caution that it might be February again before the Cats reach a peak.

So how will this freshman-heavy team play? Enjoy Calipari’s answer.

“If you’re 10,000 feet looking down, I would say we’re going to be a mauling, helping, rotating, shot-blocking team. Probably picks the ball up the court because we can. On offense, a team that tries to score within three seconds, and if not, is doing something to attack the rim or throw it to the post,” Calipari said.