Ladies and Gents, tomorrow is arguably the biggest day of the year so far.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m counting down the seconds until tomorrow night’s game (21 hours, 50 minutes). This may have been the longest week of my life, and everything culminates tomorrow night as Kentucky seeks a win over Wisconsin and their second straight trip to the title game. While the team is preparing in Indy, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has experienced quite a day. Most of the state is flooded from around 6” of rain in the last 24 hours, leaving some roads impassable
and parts of the state under a tornado watch. Adding to the drama, Louisville’s GE Appliance Park went up in flames today. The six-alarm fire was the largest structure fire ever in Jefferson County with 200 odd firefighters reporting for duty. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but the fire now leaves about 3,000 employees waiting to hear about their job status on Monday.
It has undoubtedly been a crazy week here in the Bluegrass so let’s all take a short breather and catch up on today’s news.
-Billy Gillispie is going back to school.
After three years without a coaching position following his stint at Texas Tech, Billy Clyde has landed the head coaching job at his alma mater, Ranger College, a junior college located in Texas. Ranger went 2-23 this season. Best of luck to BCG.
-Update on the t-shirt situation.
Remember a few hours ago when Tyler posted that the student section was getting free T-shirts tomorrow? Scratch that. I received an e-mail from UK shortly after Tyler’s post stating that the weather has delayed shipment of the shirts from Louisville to Indy. There is still a possibility that they could get there, but right now the T-shirts are listed as ‘doubtful.’ That won’t stop us from being the best student section there, right?
-Cal won AP coach of the year.
In today’s press conference, Cal was announced as this year’s AP Coach of the Year. John Wall sent out his congrats to his former Coach today on twitter,
Speaking of John Wall…
-Kentucky’s open practice was today and as usual, blue got in.
-Press Conference Highlights.
* Cal said that the team had two 'vicious' practices Tuesday and Wednesday.
* The last time Anthony Davis was in Lexington, he told Karl Towns that it was time to step on the gas. “It’s been fun being a part of this family, knowing that they benefited by the experience of being a part of Kentucky and they give back to each other," Cal said.
* Cal got asked if he has hobbies. His response? “The people that know me know that I have other interests. I’m focused on helping these kids reach their dreams. Their dreams are my dreams. Our season ends June 28th. That makes it different, for me anyway. (…) I like to travel, I like to go to baseball games, football camps, go to different events and hang out. I love being with my friends- big dinners. That’s who I am and what I do.”
* When asked about the pressure and drama surrounding this team’s historic run, Cal said, “We have to play at our best, that’s the best we can do. I can’t ask them for anything else. I told them, I don’t know the outcome. I can’t promise you the outcome. But I do know our chances are best when you are the best version of you and we are at our best as a team.”
* Andrew thinks the pressure of 40-0 and title dreams are more of what the media has put on them and less of what they’ve put on themselves, “The pressure is more of what other people have put on us. So I don’t think that’s too real. We have to do what we’ve been doing, stay together, and stick to the script.”
* Favorite quote from the presser? From Aaron Harrison, “It’s a blessing just to be on such a great team. I can tell my kids and grandkids about being on a team that is so far, 38-0. We’re just so blessed.”
-Willie continues to be Willie.
We all know how big of a heart this team has as a whole, but more and more great stories about WCS are coming to the surface this week. If you didn’t hear about Olivia’s story
from earlier in the week, it’s a read that is sure to melt your heart. Willie also did a couple of heartwarming things today. During today’s media session, Willie noticed a young Kentucky fan in a wheelchair in the corner with his father. After finishing the interview, WCS went over to him, sat down for a little while, and took a picture. Willie also talked about his 9-year old friend Blake who is battling brain cancer.
During an interview, Willie told the story of how he met Blake and how his family raised enough money to bring him to Indy, “he told me he’d tell me where he’s sitting so I can wave to him.” If you don’t read anything else today, read this run-down of the conversation from Mrs. TT.
In a less touching, but hilarious moment, Willie compared Frank Kaminsky to an old uncle,
“Dude plays angles. He’s like, when you were younger, playing against your old uncle or something and he’s going to use the backboard, he’s going to make shots that you don’t think should go in, but he’s perfected the shots.”
-Jim Nantz and Rex Chapman appeared on KSR today
The legendary Jim Nantz made an appearance on KSR this morning
and called his second appearance on the show ‘a tradition unlike any other’. Another highlight of today’s show was an appearance by UK great Rex Chapman who will be commentating tomorrow night’s game on Kentucky’s ‘Teamcast’ on TNT with Buzz Baker and Michael Eaves. Rex did an awesome job today and was very frank about his addiction struggles, the notorious Lakers tweet, and his rehab experiences. We are sure he will do a fantastic job tomorrow night. Listen to Rex's segment on KSR here.
-Shaka Smart is the head coach at Texas.
In non-UK news, Shaka Smart was introduced as the new head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Smart signed a seven-year, $3 million dollar contract to leave VCU behind. I’d say it was a pretty good move for the Longhorns; Smart is one of those up-and-coming coaches with 163 wins and 5 NCAA tourney appearances in the last six years.
-The KSR Pregame Show will be live from Tin Roof tomorrow!
Make sure you tune into the pregame show tomorrow at 6 pm
where Drew and Ryan will be broadcasting live from Tin Roof with Allen Edwards and Heshimu Evans.
That’s it for me. I’ve got to hit the hay, because by the crack of dawn, I will be on the interstate somewhere on my way to cheer on the Cats in Indianapolis. If you want to see all the shenanigans I run into and rowdiness of the student section tomorrow night, head over to my twitter and give me a follow (shameless self-promotion). @JC_KSR