UK heads to Nashville early to avoid weather

Chris Leach

The Kentucky basketball team made a late change of plans last night and decided to leave for Nashville a day earlier for its game at Vanderbilt.

Head coach John Calipari joined a teleconference with media on Friday to discuss the decision as well as talk about Vanderbilt’s team. Calipari said the airline that was supposed to take the Cats to Nashville on Friday evening called Kentucky on Thursday to warn them about traveling issues. 

“The airline called us at five o’ clock and said, ‘Hey, there’s some ice, rain and ice and we may not be able to take off,’” Calipari said. “Then it was, ‘Well, we could ride a bus.’ ‘Yeah, that’d be seven hours to try and get up here.’”

Calipari then decided that the team would head toward Vanderbilt after practice to avoid the weather. Calipari said the decision was made around 7:30 p.m. and they got on the bus approximately an hour later. 

“We just gathered up the guys and got in the bus, got up here (Nashville) around 11:30 p.m.,” Calipari said. 

Now the Cats have some extra time to kill, as they weren’t supposed to be in Nashville until later Friday evening. Calipari admitted he hadn’t seen his team yet this morning at the time of the teleconference, and wouldn’t see them until 12:45 p.m.

However, that doesn’t mean that practice stops for the Cats. Vanderbilt has allowed the Cats to practice on their court early so they don’t have to deal with the storm, which is expected to get bad in Nashville. 

“They’re (Vanderbilt) going to practice before us because they’re going to close down the school, they want everyone off their campus by three,” Calipari said.  “Hopefully it clears up by tomorrow so that we won’t have any issues with the game.”

Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.