I’m sure everyone saw the “tent city” taking over north campus last week. In case you were wondering why people would camp outside in the cool fall weather for a week, even braving the rain, the answer is simple - the first official basketball practice of the season.
To Kentucky fans, Big Blue Madness is much more than just a practice. It is the first time fans get to see the new team in action, as well the beginning of another basketball season to which they hope to hang another banner at the end of.
Big Blue Madness will take place October 12 in Rupp Arena starting at 5:00 pm, with a women’s volleyball game before the basketball begins. Tickets are sold out but the game will be aired on ESPN 2, ESPN U, and streamed at UK Athletics website.
Last year, former UK fan favorites such as John Wall, returned for Madness as well as celebrities like Drake and Ashley Judd - both of which identify themselves as members of BBN. This year players will return, and there are rumors of more celebrity appearances this year. High ranked recruits such as the Harrison twins and JaQuan Lyle are supposed to be in attendance as well.
With one of the top freshman classes in the nation, and several returning players Coach Cal and the Cats are in a good place for this season. Lets meet the Cats:
#3- Freshman, Nerlens Noel
Noel is 6-10 forward from Massachusetts and one of the top prospects of his class. Anthony Davis himself said Noel had the potential to be as good as he was. Noel has made his hairstyle, the flat top, famous in college basketball. UK fans already using phrases such as “fear the fade” and “fear the flat top.”
#4- Redshirt Junior, Jon Hood
Hood is a 6-7 guard from Madisonville, Kentucky. Coming back from an ACL injury he looks to secure some play time this season.
#5- Junior, Jarrod Polson
A 6-2 guard from Nicholasville, Kentucky; Polson is a fan favorite for being a “hometown hero.”
#10- Freshman, Archie Goodwin
A 6-5 guard from Arkansas, Goodwin was also one of the most highly recruited players for the class of 2012.
#11- Senior, Twany Beckham
Beckham, a 6-5 guard from Louisville, Kentucky, transferred to Kentucky last year and was eligible to play midseason. Beckham is expected to be an impact bench player this season.
#12- Sophomore, Ryan Harrow
Harrow, a 6-2 guard from Georgia, transferred to Kentucky last year and was ineligible. He is expected to receive valuable minutes this season.
#13- Sophomore, Sam Malone
A 5-11 guard from Massachusetts, Malone had an ACL injury last season and looks to see the court this season.
#15- Freshman, Willie Cauley-Stein
A 7 foot forward from Kansas has been compared to former Calipari product DeMarcus Cousins, and is expected to be a big force on the court this season.
#22- Freshman, Alex Poythress
A 6-7 forward from Tennessee is projected to be one of UK’s stand out players this season.
#32- Sophomore, Brian Long
A 5-9 guard from New Jersey saw some minutes last season and looks to increase on that this year.
#33- Sophomore, Kyle Wiltjer
The 6-10 forward from Oregon was known last season for making it rain from the 3-point line- his shot is money. Wiltjer was often the 6th or 7th man last season and looks to move into the starting line up this year.
#34- Senior, Julius Mays
A 6-2 guard transfer from Wright State is known for his speed and looks to make an impact for the Wildcats this year.
If you were lucky enough to score tickets for Big Blue Madness, wear blue, yell loud, and take it all in. Kentucky has one of the most storied programs in NCAA history, and in every event it shows. If you aren't attending, make sure to tune in on TV because at Kentucky, everyone is a basketball fan.