"Who Wants To Be Next?"

  • Kentucky held its “Big Blue Madness” last Friday. Drake did a video message and several past Wildcats were in attendance.

    “He (Calipari) unsubtly mentioned all the wins and his 2012 national title and that just about every move Kentucky makes these days gets on national TV – even practices and, ahem, the on-campus combine for NBA scouts that no one else in America has even attempted.”

    I hate to say that this is the direction college basketball has gone in… but this is the direction college basketball has gone in. A video message from Drake is a big deal. Having a Kentucky basketball practice on TV is a big deal. Running your own combine is a big deal.

    It is all about glitz. It’s about saying Kentucky basketball is “Hollywood” (even though Lexington is 3400 miles away from the glitzy town).

    So what wins out with kids? Having a museum and burial place of the founder of basketball, or a video clip from Drake?

    Kentucky’s madness event smears the national headlines. Kansas’ late night… not so much. (nothing)

    Ex-Cats, Drake fire up Big Blue Madness

  • @drgnslayr It makes them look even more stupid when they fail.

  • Wanted to post something positive - From Seth Davis at SI.com - this is No. 7 on his list for the upcoming year:


  • One good thing about Big Blue Madness is that Marques Bolden was not there …

  • @nuleafjhawk

    I guess failure is relative. If UK starts missing the tournament, or getting knocked out in the early rounds, then they look silly.

    If they keep going to the Final Four, they really don’t look silly.

    I think @Crimsonorblue22 has a good point about the video game. These are the type of things that kids think about. Remember, most top players start with a list of maybe 8-10 schools. That means that most schools are never even seriously considered. Those decisions are made when a kid is 13, 14, 15 years old, long before the recruiting starts, when a kid is still deciding which schools are “cool” and which ones are not.

    UK is cool, so every top player considers them. They are on every single list. Drake, NBA players, it all helps build the brand not with current recruits, but with kids that aren’t even in high school yet.

    KU has similar opportunities, but they need to be sure and capitalize. You have to be on the list.

  • @justanotherfan I’m too old, and old school to make a relevant argument. My perfect recruits are guys like Raef, Kirk, Nick, Danny - well, there’s too many to mention. But I want hard nosed, tough, decent kids who are willing to play the game to win championships and not kids who are only there because their favorite rapper is being paid to advertise for the school. I guess that’s great for the OAD’s, but I would never let my son choose a school for an idiotic reason like that.

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  • @Statmachine Who are the guys who are going against each other every day?

  • @justanotherfan

    “They are on every single list. Drake, NBA players, it all helps build the brand …”

    I’m not a fan of Cal… but there is little doubt about his ability helping build the UK brand.

    I want to see us take the LEAD more on the trends in college basketball, instead of FOLLOW. If we could get out there FIRST on a new structure to maximize player development, we could take the LEAD on that. It would make UK’s “Hollywood approach” look absolutely stupid!

  • @drgnslayr is he building uk brand or nba brand?

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Not saying they will make the choice based on that, but that gets schools into the discussion.

    For example, you only get 5 official visits. You get to pick 5 schools, and that’s it. You can take more visits if you like, but you have to pay for them. So that means your top 5 is really all that matters.

    So how do you get into that top 5? Well, that starts early, when a kid is first deciding who he likes and doesn’t like. 12 year olds aren’t necessarily concerned with history, but they do think about things like, that looks fun, I like the way they play, etc. Remember how many kids in the mid 1990’s considered Michigan? That’s the Fab Five influencing those kids. Now, a lot of those kids didn’t ultimately pick Michigan, but Michigan was in that conversation.

    This is much the same. No HS player picks UK because Drake is there. But a 12 year old may say Kentucky is awesome and I like Drake, and that thought may stick around when they are 17 and deciding where they want to go to college. That won’t make the decision, but maybe that makes them say “I want to visit Kentucky.”

    I just looked at ESPN’s rankings. Almost every kid in the top 30 that isn’t signed for 2016 (13 total players) is considering Kentucky. Probably only one or two of those kids will actually go to Kentucky. But Kentucky is in the conversation on almost every single guy.

    The brand building is for the kids too young to be recruits. History, winning, tradition, etc., that’s for once the kid decides to visit. But if everyone wants to visit, you will always land some of them.

  • I think a lot of these kids play “follow the leader” and the crowd has UK at the top of their list.

    Momentum is a huge factor with kids. The excitement has to be there. Cal keeps the excitement going. He keeps the “buzz” going for UK. Every year he will organize something that will collect plenty of media attention specifically to Kentucky.

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  • @Statmachine think BG is going against Tyler?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I don’t know about that match up? I haven’t heard that.

  • @Statmachine kidding!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 He did play well or under control during late night. He has been doing some work with the team! I think Coach Self could beat him 1 on 1.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Well in fairness his parents didn’t want to foot the bill for plane tickets to the events seems how he had already visited officially. Sheds more light to the canceling after the ku visit. His visit here helped us but it’s not like anyone is ranting and raving that he’s coming here…

    But I get your comment, just was elaborating

  • The funny thing is that Drake has become such a joke in regards to UK, and the fact that he has no credibility, this whole thing works against UK too.

  • @Statmachine he? Tyler or BG?

  • @drgnslayr “follow the leader” is a great point! Those are EXACTLY the kinds of kids I want to go to Kentucky. I want people who can think for themselves to come to Kansas. Let the followers go there, the leaders can come here.

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    it defintely doesn’t work against them with having Drake. The new Drake album was the intro song for what 3 KU guys at Late Night.

  • @BeddieKU23 I am apparently way out of the loop since I just had to google who Drake even is.

  • @nuleafjhawk Lack of leadership has been a problem with KU for several years now so getting leaders hasn’t exactly worked out for KU too well.

  • I would invite P Diddy and while he is introducing the players, play the video of him beatch-slapping Drake and sending him to the hospital…

  • This discussion reminds me of watching “what’s hot” regarding pop music and pop culture over the years. Calipari simply must be complemented for taking the UK brand into the “popularity” ocean. Its about media attention, “whats trending now…”, etc.

    Personally I’m a bit more of a traditionalist, but one can easily see that Calipari is boldly going where few coaches have, or can, or even have the ability to. I also must say that I find his press conferences pretty candid, and actually entertaining in a Frank Martin sort of way. His analysis usually is centered on players performing their roles to the fullest, and it is obvious now that by March, his gang-o-frosh usually are playing like a team, so as much as we’d like to discredit his “analysis”, he usually has a point about his own team. When they perform their roles correctly enough for enough of a game, they win. Its the same general lesson that applies to most teams, and Calipari is allowed to have his own system.

    Of course, I’ll be watching his (& Self’s) every comment about the KU-KY game: Calipari got his coaching start as an assistant at KU, and also met his wife in Lawrence (she a KU grad). I’d like to see what Calipari has to say about KU and AFH, and I’m not sure if he’s ever been back to AFH? Did his UMass or Memphis teams ever come to AFH?

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 At least the lack of leadership thing can afflict any program…as we saw the Harrison Twins at KY were very lackluster and sporadic in the leadership dept. Their best game was against WSU (both went for 20, and outclassed VanVleet and Baker in every way). Going late 2nd round, almost makes me think they should have come back for a senior year? Haha, they cannot say Calipari held them down or shackled their play, everybody knows they flopped on their own.

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