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Does College GameDay create too much pressure?

Saturday’s matchup between Kentucky and Kansas is a marquee game for college basketball, meaning ESPN’s College GameDay will, of course, be in town. And while one group may be worried about the size of the crowd, there’s another that worries about the distraction it creates for the players. Does playing The Game of the Night add too much pressure?

“I don’t think so. They don’t go down there; they don’t see it,” John Calipari said. “I don’t think it does, but it’s great for our fans. It’s great for the people to see…It’s a pretty big deal.”

While the players may not actually see the GameDay set up, they’ll definitely experience what will probably be the best home-game environment Rupp has created all season.

“It’s good to play in front of the home crowd. I think we’re still going to come in with that focus to come and do whatever it takes to win,” Keldon Johnson said. “It’s good to be playing in front of Rupp, in front of the Big Blue Nation, but we’re still going to come with that same focus.”

While Johnson admits he probably gets the most fired-up for games (don’t worry – he listens to music to calm down and “get in the zone”) there’s one player he’s not concerned about: Reid Travis.

“He’s been through it. He’s been through this process a lot, from being at Stanford. He’s played in a lot of big games,” Johnson said of Travis. “It’s him telling us, ‘Stay calm, have the right energy and just go out and perform.”

For the most part, that argument holds up. During Kentucky’s four biggest games (Duke, North Carolina, Louisville and Auburn) Travis has averaged 17 points and 6.25 rebounds.

While the players may think they know who stays the most calm (Travis) and who gets the most pumped (Johnson), Calipari sees Saturday’s game as a good way to decide.

“This is one where we’ll learn about each other – who’s amped up, who’s calmed down,” Cal said. “This is the kind of game you do that. So, we’ll see.”

Well, what about the other side of the argument? Will people even show up for GameDay?

“The only thing to be concerned about is the parking to get to the arena – it’s crazy right now,” Calipari said. “Someone says the crowd is ‘late arriving.’ Yeah, they’ve been here for 30 minutes – they can’t get in the building. So, that’s made it tough, but no, I think our fans will come… It’s a big deal and let’s take advantage of it.”

Make your way to Rupp Arena to support the Cats Saturday morning – doors open at 9:00 and the show starts at 11:00.


@MaggieDavisKSR

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

19 Comments for Does College GameDay create too much pressure?



  1. notFromhere
    10:34 pm January 25, 2019 Permalink

    If you’re just trying to get the NBA, it probably does.



    • 4everUKblue
      10:50 pm January 25, 2019 Permalink

      Why wouldn’t a highly talented kid not be trying to get to the NBA? Would you turn down millions? Are you suggesting these kids don’t care about the team, etc? Glad you’re not from here.



    • 4everUKblue
      10:51 pm January 25, 2019 Permalink

      *Why wouldn’t a highly talented kid be trying to get to the NBA?



    • blueblood4life
      11:03 pm January 25, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly 4ever !!!



    • IrishCat
      11:43 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      “Just” trying to get to the nba. Lmao.



  2. RAGE
    11:19 pm January 25, 2019 Permalink

    If College Gameday is to much pressure on our players then I think they are in the wrong line of work… I remember growing up playing Sports and this was the reason you came to a college like Kentucky… You come for the BIG GAME!!! Honestly I am sure that every kid in both locker rooms can’t wait for this game…



  3. davis2319
    11:41 pm January 25, 2019 Permalink

    Seems to bother us for some odd reason. We have the third lowest winning percentage (6-10, .375) out of schools with 4 or more appearances (20 schools). Hopefully tomorrow we overcome it. The truly special teams find a way to win no matter what’s going on around them.



    • Take a Deep Breath Please
      12:35 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      That stat is likely skewed because most of our Gameday appearances are when it’s hosted in someone else’s gym.



    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:50 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Counting today, this is UKs 17th appearance on GD. With today being the 8th appearance in Lexington means UK will have played 8 at home and 9 on the road.



    • JASUN74
      1:59 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Wouldn’t 6-10 be .600. Or 60%?? Lol I still get your point but!



    • JASUN74
      1:59 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Wouldn’t 6-10 be .600. Or 60%?? Lol I still get your point but!!



    • davis2319
      2:26 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      No I meant a 6 and 10 record haha. Sorry I should’ve clarified what I meant



    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:41 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      Nope 6 out of 10, with woulda been listed as 6-4 would be 0.60, but 6-10 would be 0.375.



  4. ClutchCargo
    1:05 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

    No. It means we’re probably playing a top notch opponent. The record is what it is.



    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:44 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

      People hate it when you’re rational. It’s gotta be some outside force, or playing on the road, or refs hate us. Stop it with all this Gameday means big games sensibility



  5. rickat
    5:24 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

    Serious question. Does it interfere with the timing of morning shoot-around?



  6. Kat4Life
    9:34 am January 26, 2019 Permalink

    Wooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!!!!!