VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Calipari lauds team at Big Blue Madness

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - John Calipari served as the opening act for Kentucky's banner recruiting class, and the veteran coach knew exactly what to say.

Advertisement
Speaking at Big Blue Madness on Friday night, Calipari delighted the capacity crowd at Rupp Arena with a rousing talk more reminiscent of a campaign stop than a basketball practice.

''The competition will be fierce, the road will be difficult,'' he said. ''Every team we play will be more experienced than us. But if we become one unit, play with one heartbeat and a love for each another, we will be unbreakable.

''With these players, these fans, and this coaching staff, we will build on the greatest tradition in the history of college basketball.''

The optimistic tone for Calipari comes in the wake of last season's disaster, when the Wildcats failed to make it to the NCAA tournament and lost to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT.

But the expectations remain high in Lexington, thanks to a heralded group of recruits that will comprise a good portion of Calipari's regular rotation this year. The seven-man class features forward Julius Randle, considered a preseason candidate for national player of the year and a possible No. 1 draft pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

''Our biggest opponent: ourselves,'' Calipari said. ''At Kentucky, we are competing against ourselves every day. We can't let the strain and spotlight of this program affect you. We are the place to help you achieve your dreams.

''We don't just play college basketball, we are college basketball. As you know, we are everyone's Super Bowl.''

Calipari said playing for Kentucky isn't for everyone, and he's confident this year's team is up to the challenge.

The touted recruiting class also includes identical-twin guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and swingman James Young.

After Calipari's talk, the Wildcats played a running-clock, 20-minute scrimmage that was mostly a showboating display of dunks and 3-pointers.

Kentucky's Big Blue Madness - an annual event that marks the beginning of the basketball season - attracted several high-profile recruits that could be a part of the event in the future. With Washington and New Orleans playing a preseason game at Rupp on Saturday, a handful of NBA players also were in the crowd.

Washington point guard John Wall and Anthony Davis, Darius Miller and Tyreke Evans of the Pelicans all were in attendance. Wall, Davis and Miller played for Calipari at Kentucky, and Evans was one of Calipari's players at Memphis.

Kentucky women's coach Matthew Mitchell put on a show before Calipari's appearance. He was introduced as ''The Godfather of Soul,'' and danced around as James Brown, complete with a wig and sweatsuit.

He then tore the wig and costume away and did a routine to the tune of Britney Spears' ''Baby One More Time.''

It was another in a long line of memorable displays for Mitchell at Big Blue Madness. In years past, he danced to MC Hammer, Michael Jackson and ''Teach Me How to Dougie'' at the event.

Mitchell's Wildcats lost in the Elite Eight last season for the third time in four years. SEC coaches voted the Wildcats to finish second in the league behind Tennessee.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Saturday's Elite 8 Tips
Sportsbook.ag: Saturday's Top Action
Hoyas to consider Ewing as next coach
ISU gives Prohm extension, raise
Cleveland State tabs Felton as coach
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA BK Hot Streaks
5-2 L7, 20-7 Run, 9-3 L12 G-Plays
19-7 L26, 33-13 Streak, +6,809 TY
3-0 L3 G-Plays, +6,651 Totals TY
6-2 L8, 27-10 Run, 9-2 G-Plays
9-1 L6 Days, 4-0 L4 Guarantees
8-2 L10 Guarantees, 5-2 L4 Days
3-0 L3, 9-2 L11 Picks, +2,124 TY
11-3 L14 G-Plays, 12-4 L6 Days
5-2 L7, 15-7 L22 Guarantees
4-2 L6 G-Plays, 25-14 L39 Picks
+5,367 Net Profits L28 Days
+1,792 Net Profits This Year
18-8 L26 Picks, 16-8 L24 G-Plays
14-6 L20 Over/Under Plays
12-4 Win Streak, 11-2 Totals TY
NCAA BK College Basketball Expert Sports Picks - NCAA Tournament
2016 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 6573
NeiltheGreek + 4386
Don Anthony + 2109
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 651
Kyle Hunter + 576
Michael Black + 520
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Don Anthony 57 %
Bruce Marshall 57 %
Zack Cimini 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 1095
Chip Chirimbes + 900
Dave Cokin + 896
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 6523
Bruce Marshall + 1591
Antony Dinero + 1573
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2301
Bruce Marshall + 2067
Dave Cokin + 1548
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership