With all the bluechip recruits considering the University of Kentucky right now, I put together a list of 15 Reasons to Choose to Kentucky. I’m sure Coach Cal and his staff have a much better pitch for recruits, but I thought my two cents wouldn’t hurt.
(1) TRADITION — The University of Kentucky has an unrivaled basketball tradition. UK is the winningest program in college basketball in both all-time wins and all-time win percentage. Kentucky also leads all schools in total NCAA tournament appearances with 50, is second in NCAA tournament wins with 101, and ranks second to UCLA in NCAA championships with 7.
(2) COACH CAL – He’s hip, players love him, fans love him, and opponents hate him. Coach Cal is at the top of the game right now and nearly everyone wants to play for him, myself included. No other coach gets players NBA ready like John Calipari and he does it while shaking every hand from Pikeville to Paducah. His last name alone can get you 10% off that Papa John’s pizza and he has to be the only man in America not named Henry Earl who will try to sell you an empty liquor bottle for $40.
(3) DRIBBLE DRIVE OFFENSE – With Coach Cal comes the dribble drive. Some say it’s just street ball, some call it “Princeton on steroids”, but there is no denying the excitement of the DDM. The dribble drive offensive strategy is a “four-out” motion offense, meaning one player plays the post while the other four surround the perimeter. There are no set plays, and instead relies on the skill set and the decision making of the athletes. To put it simply, if a player can create their own shot and get to the basket, they can thrive in the dribble drive. (See: Rose, Derrick; Evans, Tyreke; Wall, John)
(4) RUPP ARENA – 24,000 screaming fans make up one of the most intimidating venues in college basketball, which has a sell out streak of 33 consecutive seasons. If that doesn’t impress you, this certainly will.
(5) NATIONAL ATTENTION – Kentucky basketball gets more TV time than Heidi Montag, Ryan Seacrest, Mighty Puddy, and the Awesome Auger, combined. Look it up. That’s a fact. There isn’t a spot on the continental United States where one can’t catch a UK basketball game.
(6) CELEBRITIES – Kentucky games are becoming the hottest ticket in college basketball amongst the rich and famous. No longer is Ashley Judd the biggest name in the crowd. Celebrities such as Lebron James, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Drake, Mike Tomlin, and Ben Roethlisberger all took in Kentucky games during the 2009-2010 season.
(7) TWO KEYS TAVERN – Excuse me, The World Famous Two Keys Tavern. If players can hold off on those NBA dreams for a few years, Two Keys is the place to be for upperclassmen. Some might even be famous enough to have a shot named in their honor. Like, the Mark Coury Shot (two parts Skim Milk, one part Nesquik, and a cherry garnish, served with a spiral straw) or the Dwight Perry Shot (order anything and leave it sitting at the end of the bar until 20 seconds before you leave, then take the shot)
(8) FOOTBALL GAMES TAILGATING – Need something to do on a Saturday afternoon before the season gets going? Head over to Commonwealth Stadium for some tailgating and SEC football action. Just be sure to wear tennis shoes, you could easily find yourself hanging from a goalpost when you least expect it.
(9) KEENELAND – Hot girls wearing dresses, horse racing, hot girls wearing dresses, bourbon, and hot girls wearing dresses. And bourbon. Did I mention there will be lots of hot girls wearing dresses?
(10) BIG BLUE MADNESS – No event epitomizes the passion and enthusiasm for Kentucky basketball like Big Blue Madness. This season, 23,500 tickets sold in less than 45 minutes for Kentucky’s first official practice of the season.
(11) NIKE / LEBRON JAMES – Kentucky basketball players and staff wear top of the line Nike Elite gear. Throw in the Lebron brand that came with James’ newfound love for the university and you’ve got a match made in shoe heaven. Only the old denim Converses could compete with UK’s Hyper Elite uniform and kicks – and let’s face it, the Cons aren’t coming back. Sad, I know.
(12) BILLY GILLISPIE – He’s not here anymore.
(13) JOE CRAFT CENTER – Kentucky’s state of the art practice facility is located directly across from Wildcat Lodge. It’s so close, you could throw your first NBA paycheck from your bedroom and hit the $30 million structure. The facility houses the men’s and women’s basketball teams plus many administrative and UK athletics staff offices. Plus, it has a Gatorade machine. I’m sure these are common everywhere, but I mean, it’s a Gatorade machine. It offers like 45,000 different flavors. Right there. For free. Awesome, yeah I know.
(14) TOLLY HO – Just trust me on this one – Tolly Ho Burger, cheddar tots, and a Reese’s milkshake. Make sure it’s after midnight, too. Just don’t get in a fight.
(15) KENTUCKY SPORTS RADIO – It won a Webby for like best site ever.