There arent too many opportunities you have as a male to be stuck in a building with 500 women and the only men around are the UK basketball players/staff and Jerry Tipton. However such was the case on Wednesday night, when I attended the UK Women's Basketball Clinic at Memorial Coliseum
. Normally in this space on the site, I update the news of the day, but except for the continued freefall of the basketball program in our sister city, there is little of consequence on the agenda. So instead, a little recap of the events at the Clinic seems in order.
First of all as a starter, if you are a female UK fan and you dont come to this Clinic at least once, you are making a mistake.
The women who attend get their pictures made with the coaches, players, get strategy sessions with UK assistants and got a chance to see a little bit of Calipari's offense broken down in terminology that was actually a bit complex. All in all, it is a perfect basketball gift for a diehard female fan. And from the looks of the gym on Wednesday night, not only are there a lot more of you women than I realized, many of you read Kentucky Sports Radio. I had countless women come and talk about how much they loved the site, its information, humor, writers (except BTI) and get pictures to "show their husbands." While I tried to make as many of the husbands jealous as possible (I even combed my hair), I was more blown away by just how strong a KSR female fan base we have. We will do our best to cater to that audience more in the coming months, although one woman's suggestion (have a "Hottest Man In Kentucky Contest") is likely not on the agenda.
As for the event itself, there were a number of highlights:
1. Erin Andrews
: The Dancing With the Stars contestant was the main non-UK attraction and I must say that in person, Erin passes all the tests. She is as beautiful as you would imagine, and also amazingly nice. I got a couple of minutes to speak with her before the evening started and she told me she read KSR, which I dont believe, but I give anyone credit for at least fibbing to make me feel better. She was the MC for the "UK Fashion Show" (more on that in a minute) and was one of the four "stations" during the small group stage. She talked about how she got into sports, gave Dancing With the Stars gossip, complained that she cant find a man (I have a hard time believing this...although it seems her one criteria is that they have "made their own money", thus eliminating all the guys she meets on college campuses during Gameday) and generally being charming to all. Her appeal was not lost on Enes Kanter, who I introduced to Erin for a couple of pictures. After she left, Enes looked at me and said, "who is that?" I told him she was on ESPN and he responded, "I need to watch her show...WOW." Enes is correct.
2. The UK Fashion Show
: One of the traditions of Womens' Clinics is that the players come out and try to be sexy, while the women hoot and holler about how hot they are and just generally have a grand old time. It is what I would guess a Chippendales Show is like, however without the nudity. Or at least that is how it normally is when Jorts is not involved. Each of the ten players came out in various forms of UK gear, from the uniforms, to the practice suits to the warmup gear. Each gave a little dance (absent Jon Hood...more on that later) and showed off their muscles while the women screamed. Then came out Jorts, wearing UK practice gear, but also the workout wear the guys use as well. When he walked out, Jorts took off his top and the crowd approved...and then he took off his warmup pants and was standing there in what essentially amounted to biker shorts. The crowd cheered, his teammates laughed and refused to touch him, while Jorts danced for the ladies. Some seemed to love it and the whole thing was beyond bizarre. The picture is after the jump and well, is an image that I could have done without. But as Jorts told me after it was over, "you have to give the ladies what they want." I guess so.
3. The John Robic Show
: If you havent been around the team much, it is hard to get to know the coaches beyond John Calipari. Orlando Antigua is very friendly and always greets the fans whenever he meets them. Kenny Payne is new to the staff, but was careful to make clear to all in attendance that he bled blue now, not the red from his college days. But John Robic has always been a bit of a mystery. He is quiet and unassuming and only those that really know him recognize what I have found to be his best quality, his dry sense of humor. One of the breakout sessions included questioning of the Assistant Coaches. Robic was great, making jokes and keeping the ladies on their toes. As they walked out, one woman said to Robic that he "had the best personality I have ever seen", a compliment that may be a bit much, but is still impressive. During one of his talks, he asked for questions and a woman stood up and said she was proud of Brandon Knight and his academic work. She then looked at Robic and said, "GO CATS! FREE ENES! and NEUTER THAMEL!"
It was the one time all night Robic was speechless and was for me, the highlight of the show.
4. Jon Hood Turns Down Erin Andrews
: As I mentioned earlier, all the players came out on the court for the fashion show, and the MC was Erin Andrews. Early on it became clear that all the players would do a little dance while the music played and some of the players were very good (Doron Lamb, Eloy Vargas) and some were not quite as smooth (Stacey Poole, Josh Harrellson). But when Jon Hood came out, no dance was to be seen, causing Erin Andrews to ask Hood to "dance for me Hood!" Jon just looked at her and shook his head and said "No"...causing a feeling of rejection in the Blondheaded beauty that Beisner felt just a few months ago. Andrews said it made her sad and then moved onto the next player, while Hood felt the pride of being the lady killer. It was a strange scene that could only happen at a UK Basketball Clinic....Jon Hood rejects Erin Andrews...who would have imagined?
All in all a great night that included some great moments for me, including me realizing that Enes Kanter could join Demarcus Cousins and Woo in the Comedy Upper Echelon for UK players, the sight of 500 women sitting in the stands and one Jerry Tipton mixed in between them and Coach Cal giving KSR a shout out that was unbelievably nice. It was a cool night to be a part of and one that I encourage people to do in the future. It was quintessential Lexington...hardcore fans, bedazzled UK sweaters, Raffertys food and Blue everywhere. What else could you want...except for Jorts to keep his pants on.
Lots of pictures from the event if you click the "more" button below. Stay tuned all day for news as we get ready for Auburn: