With basketball season right around the corner, recruiting visits have already been scheduled and Calipari has numerous high school players coming down to Lexington this fall to get a feel for the campus and meet current and former players. Some are coming for the 2010 vs 2012 Alumni Game in early September, while others have scheduled appearances at the annual Big Blue Madness in mid-October. Obviously, one can’t really go wrong in getting the whole “Kentucky experience” by coming to either of these events, but if you were a 5-star recruit deciding where to go to college to play basketball, which event would entice you more to play for the Cats?
2010 vs 2012 Alumni Game
-A direct look into what the University of Kentucky can do for you. Watching two of the greatest Kentucky teams play against one another back on the floor of Rupp Arena should get any high school recruit pumped up, especially if nearly all of them are current NBA stars.
-It will be a pleasant reminder to a high school player how despite the fluke of last season, Calipari’s system works, and gets you to where every young basketball player wants to go.
-Highlights the camaraderie of Kentucky basketball as this event serves as a “homecoming” of sorts for some fan favorites. Once a member of Big Blue Nation, always a member of Big Blue Nation. (Except for Rick Pitino)
-For recruits who are more interested in the present of Kentucky basketball, this might not be the most ideal event for them. They wouldn’t get to see Rupp Arena packed to the brim.
-Some recruits might not see this event as “relevant” because the players playing have already come and gone. In today’s personalized society, some players might want something a little more geared towards the present day.
Big Blue Madness
-This annual event has become a staple for being the final decision maker for recruits before they decide to come to UK. The pageantry and passion for the first practice of the year among both players and fans is unparalleled by any school in the nation.
-Recruits can see how Kentucky basketball is truly a “family” experience and with both the goofiness of the players intro songs/dances and the crazy dunks and shots from the short practice, this event
-Seeing a packed house of Rupp Arena for a practice will show a high school player just how much of a celebrity you can become at UK.
-Recruits could be skeptical about this year’s players and team, wondering if this will be just the beginning of another let down NIT season like last year.
–These players have yet to do anything/prove themselves on the court of Rupp Arena like the ones playing in the alumni game have, so why get excited about them?
-Having to sit through some of the other stuff before actually getting to watch any basketball played could get boring for a high school recruit, as Big Blue Madness is a pretty long event with both men’s and women’s teams highlighted.
At the end of the day, there really is no “wrong” choice for which event a recruit should go to. Kentucky basketball is Kentucky basketball, and anyone being recruited by Calipari knows that. Personally, I think Big Blue Madness would serve as a better tool to recruit a player, because who can say no to 23,000 screaming fans who will most likely be chanting your name at some point during the night?