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Last Wednesday night a tent revival broke out in Lexington. No, I’m not talking about a local church event, but rather “Camp Cal” or if that is not team oriented enough for you “Cat Camp.” The line of those waiting for tickets to this year’s Big Blue Madness began forming in earnest on Wednesday and by the time tickets actually were distributed on Saturday morning there were over 400 tents encircling Memorial Coliseum. Tickets for the chance to be one of the first people to see this year’s Cats were gone in just over an hour at Memorial and if you tried to get lucky with Ticketmaster, your first chance was your only one as tickets were gone in seconds.
It’s truly amazing to consider the number of people who camped out for days, JUST TO GET A TICKET VOUCHER!!! In my high school days a group of friends and I spent a night in the rain in tents outside Memorial, so I’m not one that should judge. But at least in those days your place in line determined how close to the floor you got to sit. Of course, we did not have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the players and coaches like the folks this year. Almost all of the players and even Coach Calipari himself spent a lot of time interacting with the fans playing corn hole, pickup basketball games, and signing tons of autographs. The team even brought McDonalds breakfast to the campers and Papa John’s pizza as well. Although the pictures of the tents surrounding Memorial Coliseum were impressive, the best picture I saw of the whole event was one with Patrick Patterson standing inside a fan’s tent waking them up to offer breakfast. Can you imagine looking up to see one of your favorite Wildcats in your tent offering you a sausage biscuit? How awesome. That’s what makes Kentucky Basketball truly the most unique program in America.
Ok, now for the preview of those players we are anxious to meet that I promised you. Calipari took the reins of the program on April 1st and promptly brought together only the number one recruiting class in America in about a month. This group of newcomers definitely is the most talented group that has joined the program in a long time and is even garnering some comparisons to the Michigan “Fab Five” of the early '90s. Hopefully this group can match their success of a Final Four run this season.
Those We Are Anxious to Meet
1. Jon Hood: One of only three Cats from our fine state and the reigning Mr. Basketball. Hood is known to have a “high basketball IQ,” whatever that really means, along with a good midrange game. There is a lot of talented guards on this team and for Hood to spend much time on the court he will have to be able to knock down the outside shot.