Expecting a Spectacle

UK head coach John Calipari speaks at Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena on Friday, Oct. 15, 2010. Photo by Britney McIntosh | Staff

By David Schuh | @KernelSchuh
dschuh@kykernel.com

Big Blue Madness has reached a level of excitement under head coach John Calipari that UK fans have maybe never seen before.

His pre-scrimmage speeches, filled with hyperbole and catchphrases, have been a staple of the mantra he has instilled in reviving the program.

We’ve seen John Wall lowered from the rafters, Enes Kanter emerge in full costume, and a dance move from nearly everyone imaginable. But what will this year bring coming off the program’s first national championship in 14 years?

“(Calipari) always has something up his sleeve,” junior Jarrod Polson said. “I guess there’s a lot of expectation from the crowd. They’ll be hyped as usual.”

The spectacle of Friday night most likely will be unlike any Madness fans have seen in a long time.

The excitement now surrounding this team is at an all-time high, and Calipari will surely capitalize on that as much as he can. After last season, fans now expect that same level of play.

The expectations will be great, but with that will come unmatched levels of anticipation.

“You can’t get much crazier than the Big Blue fans,” sophomore Kyle Wiltjer said. “As our first official kickoff to the season, we’re looking forward to it.”

One thing seen in the past few years is the increased excitement of the players involved. Each year, there are more players playing up the crowd, fueling the passion of the fan base.

A big reason for that could be that since Calipari has so many recruits come to Madness to get a feel for the program, they know how to react.

They’ve seen it before so they know how much the fans are into it. After a national championship season, fans probably can look for the freshmen to have a good idea of what the night means.

We can expect the fans to be crazy. And we can expect Calipari to put on a show.

But this Madness, coming off one of the best seasons in school history, could be an event unlike anything Rupp Arena has ever seen.