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KSR’s Highs and Lows of Big Blue Madness 2020

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Kentucky basketball season is officially here, as the men’s and women’s teams made their unofficial debuts at Big Blue Madness just days before games officially begin Nov. 25.

Between player introductions, head coach interviews, 3-point and dunk contests, and scrimmages, there were plenty of takeaways from the highly anticipated annual event.

To break it all down, the KSR crew took all 90 minutes of the broadcast and split it up into the event’s biggest highs and lows.

HIGH: Families introducing the women’s team

With no fans in the stands, we knew this Madness would be different. For the most part, UK did its best to make up for it. My favorite touch was having the women’s players’ families introduce them. They all did well, but Olivia Owens and Blair Green’s families were my favorites.

— Tyler

LOW: Volleyball Makes it a Late Friday Night 

When Kentucky fans turned on the SEC Network at 9 pm ET, Georgia was narrowly leading Florida in the fourth set of a volleyball match in Gainesville. The Bulldogs needed to score ten more points to secure the win, but the Gators went down swinging. After a couple of reviews, Florida appeared to be on the cusp of forcing a fifth set. Luckily, the Dawgs spared us from a long night by winning in four, but it still postponed the start of Big Blue Madness until almost 10 pm ET. The event did not end until 11:20 pm ET, well passed Coach Cal’s bedtime.

— Nick  

HIGH: Ellen introducing her “roommate”

The men’s team was introduced by former players, but when it came to John Calipari, UK had to bring in The Princess. Ellen Calipari, decked out in head-to-toe blue, introduced John Calipari as the father of Erin, Megan, and Brad, and her beloved roommate.

“The Princess probably had some fun with it,” John Calipari said afterwards. “We laugh. I just said, ‘Man I wish when I die, I want to come back as my wife.'”

— Tyler

LOW: The Scrimmages were a Crime Against Basketball  

The Big Blue Madness scrimmage has never been an intense event for the men’s or women’s team. What happened at Memorial Coliseum could hardly be considered basketball. Players were throwing underhanded passes the length of the court. The women seemed to only try to make half-court shots while the men exclusively dunked. There was absolutely zero substance whatsoever in either of the scrimmages. I don’t think the fans are asking much from these “scrimmages,” but some sort of real 5-on-5 would have been nice when it’s one of only two opportunities to see the team before they play for the first time.

“I want everyone to scout us off this.” Of course you do, Cal. 

— Nick

HIGH: B.J. Boston’s Hair is Bouncy

My eyes were glued to his bouncy locks. Maybe it’s because I wish I could have hair that immaculate. I could not even attempt to asses his shot because I couldn’t take my eyes off hair that’s destined to be featured in a Head and Shoulders ad.

— Nick

HIGH: Isaiah Jackson is a one-and-done

Hate to break it to anyone hoping for two years out of Isaiah Jackson, but it’s just not going to happen. After an entire summer of growing buzz, coaches and players constantly hyping him up during preseason media sessions, and ridiculous measurements and testing results, the five-star forward followed it up with yet another impressive outing at Big Blue Madness.

He started the event by showing off a gorgeous jump shot during the 3-point contest, then pulled off a one-handed windmill dunk from the free throw line during the dunk contest.

Every opportunity we’ve had to see him and/or talk to the people who watch him every day in practice, the result has screamed first round, one-and-done talent. Things could change when the season opens up on Wednesday and beyond, but you better believe NBA scouts are already doing their homework on the high-flying freshman.

— Jack

HIGH: Maybe Davion Mintz is a lethal shooter?

Much has been made of the Davion Mintz/Devin Askew battle for Kentucky’s starting point guard spot, with the argument for Mintz leaning toward his experience and defense. But after the 3-point shootout at Big Blue Madness, maybe Mintz should be looked upon as UK’s best shooter?

A small sample size, we know, but let’s not act like the transfer from Creighton didn’t fill it up in the 3-point contest at Madness. He finished with 22 points in the competition with a pure stroke that has fans wanting to see more.

Yes, it was an empty Memorial Coliseum, but that shot looked nice. New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley even noticed:

— Drew

LOW: Outside of Mintz, the 3-point contest wasn’t very uplifting.

Maybe there was some truth in Cal’s comments to Immanuel Quickley?

Calipari told Quickley he misses him already. “We can’t make any shots!”

— Drew

LOW: The event was pre-recorded

SEC Network commentator Tom Hart shared on Twitter earlier in the week that Big Blue Madness was being pre-recorded on Wednesday, even posting a preview of one of Jacob Toppin’s throwdowns during the dunk contest. Though Hart quickly deleted the tweet to keep things quiet for a while, John Calipari again let the cat out of the bag by previewing “today’s NBA Draft” during one of his interviews.

It also didn’t help that Hart was live tweeting the event while he was talking to players and providing analysis on television.

Solid effort by UK and the SEC Network, but Coach Cal spoiled the surprise.

— Jack

HIGH: Rhyne’s crown still fits

“Yup, still fits.”

That was all Rhyne Howard needed to say for my entire back and spine to fill up with chills. The reigning SEC Player of the Year and consensus favorite to repeat again this season plopped a crown right on the top of her head during her video introduction. She hasn’t been quiet about coming out on a revenge tour this season after being snubbed from an All-American roster a season ago and the swagger isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

I, personally, am here for every second of it.

— Zack 

HIGH: Chasity Patterson wins back-to-back(-to-back?) 3-point contests

She did it in high school and now she’s a repeat champion; Chasity Patterson has won three 3-Point Contests (that we know of). Her first win came back when she was a McDonald’s High School All-American, and she was also the winner at last year’s Big Blue Madness during her debut season in Lexington. Going up against first-year player Erin Toller in a sudden-death round, Patterson made it back-to-back 3-Point Shootout wins on Friday night.

Why couldn’t we bet on this??

— Zack 

LOW: No Matthew Mitchell dance

Kyra Elzy’s introduction was fun, but nothing can compare to the empty feeling we all had when Matthew Mitchell never took the dance floor. We can all agree that Coach Elzy is going to be a fan-favorite for years to come, I just wish we could have gotten one more Classic Mitchell Moment.

— Zack 

Article written by KSR

23 Comments for KSR’s Highs and Lows of Big Blue Madness 2020

  1. Cousins Fake Tooth 2
    12:05 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

    I wasn’t aware they were even having it this year until just now.

  2. itsfootballtimeinthebluegrass
    12:36 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

    It’s assess not asses ya chump

    • ukkatzfan
      12:59 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

      It’s sir and not ya chump also. Hahahahahahaha.

  3. UKCatAttack
    8:39 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

    Low: The entire event. I turned it off for the first time ever.

    • mashman 93
      9:31 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

      When the scrimmage started I turned it off too.

  4. millertim
    9:07 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

    Simply UNWATCHABLE and becoming more of a nuisance. Coach Cal is slowly killing Midnight Madness. Why not allow a somehwhat competive scrimmage? What are we afraid Transylvania or Morehead State will SCOUT us??? Seriously, we’re now afraid of minor low-level D-1 opponents in the season openers to scare us into a farce basketball “game”? The greater teams on the schedule will have ALREADY SCOUTED us from the season opening games against much lesser opponents… Worried about getting injured??? I’m sure they play full-out scrimmages in practice… also, the football teams have no problem going full speed in their preseason Blue/ White scrimmages with much greater chances of injury than basketball. Coach Cal says he does these “Madnesses” for the fans, but last night’s version was beyong MADDENING— it was a JOKE! BTW, I’m glad to finally start getting more people on my side about Mintz. For weeks I’ve been screaming about him being a starter, not a backup guard to a true freshman who has shown limited ability to hit open shots— even Cal admitted that teams will run under the screen for him— making his pick and rolls limited in effectiveness if he can’t hit the opening jumper. Why start at a deficit when you have a BONA FIDE shooter and EXPERIENCED point guard ready!!! Bone-headed, unforced error Cal!!

    • reedwizard
      10:25 am November 22, 2020 Permalink

      I don’t understand Cal and madness. He obviously hates the event. I had forgotten that I’ve skipped it the last few years and tried to get tickets to the blue white scrimmage instead. Love Cal but he hates so many things that used to be so much fun for fans. I don’t understand how not having a competitive scrimmage isn’t the best thing for his team

  5. Pensacola_Cat_Fan
    9:34 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

    You had me until you started ranting about Mintz. You are really screaming about him starting? Wow, maybe you need to take it down a notch and wait to watch at least one game first.

    • Pensacola_Cat_Fan
      9:38 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

      That was for millertim btw

    • millertim
      10:22 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe you should WATCH and pay attention to what we’ve seen so far!!! Mintz is ALWAYS on the 2nd team (blue team) and last night that moron, Dykes, even stated that the White team was most likely the starting 5. Show me ANY evidence that Mintz has been with the first team— meanwhile, every scrimmage photo and video shows Mintz in blue on the 2nd squad! My intent here is to scream loud enough so that Coach Cal DOESN’T screw up a potentially great team. His track record thus far is mixed…

  6. millertim
    10:32 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

    BTW, coaches have a habit of running a “first” team early and often to create chemistry and fluidity before the first game. But what we’ve witnessed thus far, plus comments from Cal, is that the first team has trouble scoring in a halfcourt set. He see’s their length and athleticism and wants them to play uptempo to get quick easy scores— good plan if you had a veteran team— you don’t! Your starting 5 is four true Freshmen and a Senior in the post. ThIs 5 will be limited in offense if Boston isn’t hitting 3’s b/c Askew, Clarke aren’t knock down shooters. Teams will slow down game and push us into a halfcourt set and with Askew at point, offensive options are limited!! Why start in the hole when a PROVEN SHOOTER and point guard is availabel and ready!! Put your BEST 5 on the court to start the game. It looks llike he’s putting Mintz on a 2nd squad to provide scoring when the first squad fizzles… WHY????

    • dcforuk
      11:44 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

      Interesting take and not a horrible take. Pure shooting is so important. Pure shooting is part of the KISS method of winning. It is an exciting “sounding” (vs looking, I have “seen” nothing) team but your analysis sounds frightening similar to recent teams. The 96 team had TD (7 championship game threes). The 98 team had several…….JS, SP, CM and even HEvans sometimes. The 12 team had Doron and Darius. Remember in the Yum Center against Iowa St in the round of 32 when the Cyclones tied it up. Cal called round out and then Darius hit back to back threes and the game was over. You cannot understate Pure shooting!

    • dcforuk
      11:45 am November 21, 2020 Permalink

      “Time” out of course!

  7. Section233
    12:37 pm November 21, 2020 Permalink

    Askew and Brooks will start Mintz and Jackson will play.

    • TBW3011
      2:54 pm November 21, 2020 Permalink

      Agreed even though I think will see pretty quickly Mintz is better than Askew right now.

    • TBW3011
      2:54 pm November 21, 2020 Permalink


    • millertim
      1:41 pm November 22, 2020 Permalink

      WHY should Askew start? What does he do better than Mintz??? Answer—- NOTHING! Why start each game working from a deficit? Again, this is an unforced error!!

  8. dcforuk
    1:00 pm November 21, 2020 Permalink

    Here is the power of a confident Pure shooter. It takes the pressure off others. When the Golden Gate Bridge was being constructed a net was put up that had one obvious and one not so obvious effect. The obvious…..lives saved. The not so obvious…..less anxiety/pressure resulted in much more efficient and effective bridge construction. A Pure Shooter is like a safety net that results in more effective and efficient play.

  9. TBW3011
    2:52 pm November 21, 2020 Permalink

    Someone get Roush a spell checker. Lmao. Past, not passed and assess not asses. ????

    7:59 pm November 21, 2020 Permalink

    No highlights?

    • reedwizard
      10:25 am November 22, 2020 Permalink

      There were no highlights. You missed nothing

  11. GACAT
    11:56 am November 22, 2020 Permalink

    Highs??? I didn’t see a high. It was like watching paint dry. Please never ever show the girls team again

  12. GACAT
    11:59 am November 22, 2020 Permalink

    Who teaches these kids shooting fundamentals? Of course, fundamentals is no longer part of college basketball. These kids know it all