Freshman Stacey Poole says Kentucky’s returning players have tried to tell him what to expect and he can’t wait for the experience.
“So I want to go out there and enjoy it. I want to enjoy the fans, too. I know these Kentucky fans are crazy. I am just waiting for the opportunity to go out there and just have fun and live it up. I have had people run up to me and ask me if I am ready and tell me that I don’t know what I am getting into, but we will see. I am a little nervous because it’s my first showing,” Poole said.
He hinted there might be a rap song — Kentucky coach John Calipari had Drake as his special guest last year — and indicated he might sing a few lines himself.
Freshman walk-on Jarrod Polson lives less than 20 miles from Rupp Arena, but he’s never been to Big Blue Madness even though he grew up a Kentucky fan.
“I’ve watched it on TV a lot. They say being there is a whole different story. I’m a little excited and a little nervous to be a part of it,” Polson said.
Freshman guard Brandon Knight didn’t make a visit to UK last year for Big Blue Madness like UK’s four commits for 2011 — Marquis Teague, Michael Gilchrist, Kyle Wiltjer and Anthony Davis — will all be at Big Blue Madness.
“I am excited, but I won’t be dancing,” said Knight, who said he didn’t dance at his high school prom. “But I know it will be fun.”
That’s why sophomore Jon Hood has been eagerly anticipating his second Big Blue Madness. “Of course, I’m looking forward to it. The fans make it great. It’s been something I have been looking forward to ever since last season ended,” Hood said.
The Wildcats had a practice session for Big Blue Madness on Thursday and women’s coach Matthew Mitchell, who will also unveil his new team after its Elite Eight run last year, said that is a necessity.
“There is so much that goes into this production. The introductions can be complicated and the players all have fun with it. You have to know what is going on, so we have to practice,” Mitchell said. “The basketball part is easy, but the introductions are all part of a big production that really helps showcase everything about Kentucky basketball.”
And Mitchell says it is great for his team to share the spotlight with John Calipari’s team.
“How could that be bad for us? Our girls interact with Cal’s players and they all get along. It’s great for us to get some extra attention because of this. It’s really a great night for fans and Kentucky basketball. It’s a win-win for us all,” Mitchell said.