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All-Access Kentucky Highlights

We knew it was going to be good. We knew it was going to be really good. So it should probably come as no surprise that the first installment of the All-Access Kentucky series did not disappoint. From start to finish, the production value was second to none. If you are a Kentucky fan, and you didn’t get chills during various points of the 30-minute show, check for a pulse. The 30-minute special showcased all of the best parts of Kentucky basketball under John Calipari: the facilities, the atmosphere,  the championship, the tradition, his recruiting philosophy, his ability to put players in the NBA, the unmatched fan base, the family atmosphere, the player’s first approach, getting guys prepared for every aspect of the NBA/future, not holding players back back, the hard work involved, etc. In case you missed it (what were you doing, anyway?), here are some highlights:

– The show started with a clip from the moments following the national championship. “6 months later…” came across the screen and Calipari was shown in his car on the way to Wheeler’s Pharmacy. “When I first got the job, I was told, you better to go Wheeler’s. Every coach who won national titles came here. The guys who didn’t win national titles never came. So I said, well I’ll be there.” The tradition. The championship. 

– The footage then moved on to Calipari addressing the crowd of fans at the Big Blue Madness camp out. By now, a lot of folks outside of the state of Kentucky have heard about the hysteria that is the madness camp out, and just how many people actually show up days in advance to get tickets for a scrimmage– but this put it out there for anyone who hadn’t heard about it yet. In one neat quote during this part, Calipari reminded the crowd about this year’s team, “Yes, they can all play basketball, but they’re also good guys” The unmatched fan base. 

– Calipari then enters his office, where he takes a moment to stop by a framed picture from his first recruiting class at Kentucky. The picture has all of his guys after they were drafted in the NBA. “Five first round draft picks,” Calipari points out. Calipari revisited his previous assertion that it was the greatest/biggest moment in UK basketball. Calipari still believes it, and still believes it’s why the program is where it stands today coming off of a national championship. “I want 6 in the first round now, or 7. That would be okay, too. If we ever won a national title and not one of my players got drafted, I’d be disappointed. I’d be happy for the fans and the program, but we’ve all got to benefit from this thing.” His ability to put players in the NBA. 

– Nerlens Noel was the player who the ESPN crew focused on the most. Calipari talked briefly about Noel and what he thought when he first saw him. “I’ve got another Anthony, another Marcus Camby. He’s got a ways to go, but there’s signs that it’s like whoah!” Noel talked about Calipari and part of the reason he came to Kentucky. “What he’s done for young men like me. Every birthday I’ve had since I was like 8, I’ve wished to play in the NBA.”

– Calipari also touched on how he makes sure never to hold a player back. “Would you tell a kid who’s the number one pick to come back to school? What if he got hurt? If it’s your son that I’m coaching, what would you want me to do? What would you want me to do? I am not going to have a young man come back and get hurt and look at me and say, ‘what do I do now?’ Whether that’s right or not, I’m telling you…that’s how I feel.” The player’s first approach/not holding guys back

– One of the coolest parts of the show was when the cameras went into a conditioning practice with the team and Rock Oliver. The practice was supposed to start at 6 a.m. and it appeared as if a few of the players strolled in late. Instead of crushing the guys for it, Oliver made a point to relate it to the NBA and how in the NBA that would translate directly into a monetary fine. During the workout, not only was Oliver pushing the guys to their limits, but he was shouting things out such as, “NBA, NBA!” when the going was the toughest. Calipari on what guys like Noel said when they chose Kentucky: “Coach never promised me anything. I’m going to have to work hard for everything.” Calipari then said about his players, “You’re going to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. If you don’t want that, then don’t come here.”  The hard work involved/getting guys prepared for every aspect of the NBA/future

– The next segment showed Calipari going through some of the recruiting process, from early morning and days filled with flights and visits before coming home the same night. Calipari talked a bit about the recruiting process and how it’s about perfecting what is already clearly working at this point: “This is a touch-up. We’ve already done it. I’ll be honest with you, you’re babysitting it at this point. I like the fact that we can now text and call. I don’t call that much. But I text. You’re only recruiting 7 scholarships, so you’re talking 15-16 kids. I tell them, if you want me to call you once a week, I will. But you’re 17 and I’m 50-ish. What are we going to talk about?” Calipari also talked about the fact that he doesn’t promise everything to these kids. He talked about being unselfish and how you will not get 30 shots a game at Kentucky. He talked about Davis being the #1 draft pick despite being 5th in shot attempts on the team. He then talked about MKG being the #2 pick and the 4th in shot attempts. “Your responsibility will be to get in the best shape of your life, improve your skills, and play for your teammates. If you can’t do that, then you won’t come here.” The recruiting philosophy. 

– Calipari expanded even more on the family aspect of recruiting and Kentucky. “I wonder if I’m in the business of basketball or helping families. The parents want to know if you care. Mothers are looking at you, ‘are you going to take care of my son? Are you going to take care of my baby? This is my baby.’ Calipari continued, “These kids all need me in different ways. Some kids need affection. Some kids need my direction. I’m still learning.” The family atmosphere

– The end of the show concluded with the lead up to media day and Big Blue Madness. DeWayne Peevy came in the meeting room to brief the team on what to expect (over 100 media members). “You’re creating your own headlines today,” Peevy told them. The show also highlighted the best parts of Big Blue Madness, capturing the hoopla, the rock star atmosphere for the players, the rabid fans, the excitement around the program, and showcased just how special Big Blue Madness at Kentucky is/was for anyone who has never seen it before. He also threw in a “These people are crazy.” (Drink). The facilities/the atmosphere

– Calipari concluded with a great couple of lines about being at Kentucky and this year’s team, “There’s no place to hide here. It’s not easy being here. It’s not easy coaching here. It’s the life you’ve chosen. I hope we’re as good as everyone thinks we are.”



Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

24 Comments for All-Access Kentucky Highlights

  1. Oops
    8:02 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Did anyone else notice that it said “Kentucky Cole Lodge”???

  2. Pioneer
    8:04 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    What do you want me to do? Tell u you are the best things since buttered bread? That you poop ice cream? Hahahaha love Coach Cal

  3. Garmaster
    8:04 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    1.Just started watching on the DVR and was gonna make the same comment. Who is this mysterious “Cole” feller?

  4. Sittin' Bull
    8:08 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Im concerned this All-Access thing will not end up good for UK. Dont know why or how, just uneasy about it.

  5. Ridge Runner
    8:18 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    4…I think it’s because with Cal, we are continously reaching new heights and doing it FAST by way of marketing. It scares a lot of people even with the rich tradition and notoriety we have had in the past, this is a whole new and unprecidented (<spell check??) level. Pinch, it's real and we are along for the ride. Embrace it. I know…the train is moving faster than Felix-the-outspace-skydiver…but it's our train and we are on a solid track.

  6. BlueMist
    8:23 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    5) well said ridgerunner

  7. Catfan
    8:45 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t remember the advisor but Cal asked someone for some advise after he won number 8 for the BBN. There response was to never be complacent and go even harder for what got u to this point in your career. If the upcoming recruiting class is any account of Cal taking this advise to heart opposing schools need to look out for a decade of dominance aka UCLA In the John wooden era

  8. Al's IndiCats
    8:54 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Being an OLD varmint (I listened to Caywood calling the games when Cotton Nash played)I can understand how some people think being in the lime light may not be such a good thing, but this is FREE publicity for our university and all it involves. The Campers, the blue hairs, (thank God for just for men)and how this whole state revolves around UK basketball. Bad thing? I don’t think so, for as we watched it tonight, there are kids who watched it also and thought, I really want to be a part in a program just like this. It could be much worse…….. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be but, just a few short years ago it was!

  9. BGKY Dave
    9:16 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Did not get a chance to see this on ESPN. Anybody have a link to it on ESPN?

  10. ReplayYesPlease
    9:43 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    9 they are showing it on ESPN again at 10:30EST

  11. BGKY Dave
    9:58 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks 10(head hanging in shame and almost tears). I dont have ESPN. We only have the first 20 channels on Insight to save money for the budget. During the season I just go to friends, or a bar, or I stream the game. I know, I know I’m crazy but times are rough! That said do you think it will make You Tube? Im dieing to see it.

  12. Michael
    10:01 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone know where i can watch this now. Had to miss it unfortunately.

  13. Uncle Ted
    10:19 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I need a torrent!

  14. Dr. Tom
    10:32 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I thought one of the best parts of the show was the clip of Coach Antigua perusing the message boards to see what both fans and haters were saying. His big smile said it all regarding how great the current ride is for all BBN fans. We all appreciate what we have in Coach Cal but his staff is incredible.

  15. Big Ball
    10:49 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Did you notice the 500 win ball behind CAL’s Desk?
    I think he might have a couple of those.

  16. Floyd County
    10:53 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    You have to post a link for those who missed it can watch.

  17. Dalton
    10:57 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    7- I believe that was Nick saban (not 100% though)

    15- I saw that ball. I think it was his “first” 500 wins ball(said vs Florida on it) possible jab at NCAA?

  18. JRupp
    11:31 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why are the headings of each paragraph placed at the end of each paragraph?

  19. johnblinkybolton
    12:48 am October 18, 2012 Permalink

    I need a torrent man, I wanna keep this video forever

  20. chase
    1:25 am October 18, 2012 Permalink

    Someone needs to upload this ASAP. Anyone got a torrent/download link for it?

  21. drewsster02
    1:25 am October 18, 2012 Permalink

    I was surprised to hear Cal say that he disliked Big Blue Madness. It’s almost as if he was about to say that he was afraid someone would get hurt.

  22. Behind Enemy Lines
    8:33 am October 18, 2012 Permalink

    He clarified on twitter. I believe he meant to say he didn’t like the scrimmage aspect of it, so yes, I think you’re right about the fear of getting hurt. The #1 item on the white board before BBM was “No Hard Fouls”

  23. Joe Derringer
    9:07 am October 18, 2012 Permalink

    John Calipari is a good man as well as great coach. I hope he is enjoying his time here as much as we enjoy having him here leading our basketball wildcats!

  24. theWilkman
    10:50 am October 18, 2012 Permalink

    How can you not like Calipari?