Big Blue Madness is a tradition like no other
It is no secret that the University of Kentucky basketball program, both the men’s and women’s teams, use Big Blue Madness as a major recruiting tool. Nearly every school in division I does some form of madness in an attempt to emulate what Kentucky does. But other universities cannot begin to establish a tradition like that of Big Blue Madness. No other school can pack 20 thousand plus people into an arena for an event that doesn’t even feature much basketball.
Hell, there is even line that forms so that fans can get the best spot to wait in another line, all for Madness tickets. You people are crazy!
Last year was the first time I attended a Big Blue Madness event in person and it did not disappoint. The pageantry and theatrics are not something that translates very well to television. So being there live is an experience that all Kentucky basketball fans should have at some point in their lives. I really enjoyed myself and it accomplishes the goal of getting fans, like me, excited for basketball season. That may be a taller task this year than in years past due to the unprecedented success of the football team. I think that Big Blue Madness will be a great reminder for the Big Blue Nation that this basketball team has the chance to be really special.
How awesome is November going to be when the Cats have big games for both football and basketball? Yes, please.
In 2017, Big Blue Madness brought out some big time recruits, including Zion Williamson. Obviously it didn’t help, as we all know that Williamson picked Duke. But it goes without saying that many of these high school players take advantage of an invite to events like Big Blue Madness even if they are pretty sure they are not going to pick Kentucky. Why? Well, why not. I know I would take advantage of an opportunity like that if it was given to me. So it frustrates me when some fans attribute a player not picking UK as them also not enjoying themselves at Madness or another time on campus. However, I would strongly encourage the powers that be to not parade the recruits out on the floor during the Papa John’s pizza box folding competition like they did last year. As electric as the environment was during that period, I think that there could be a more strategic time to walk out the recruits, while ensuring the crowd is paying attention to them.
Who will be there?
Matthew Hurt – 6th ranked player in the class of 2019. Hurt is a skilled Power Forward who can score the ball in bunches. He does currently hold an offer from Kentucky but Kansas is listed as a heavy favorite in his 247 crystal ball predictions.
Matthew Hurt scored 48 points tonight in front of Kentucky coach John Calipari and UNC coach Roy Williams. Hurt, a 5-star 2019 forward from Rochester John Marshall, is expected to get a Kentucky offer soon. He already has one from UNC. Video from @SeanTehanABC6: pic.twitter.com/5Qo8N5wjHb
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) December 13, 2017
Vernon Carey Jr. – 3rd ranked player in the class of 2019 and probably needs no introduction at this point. Carey Jr is a top priority for UK and is someone they will stay recruiting heavily until a decision is made, which likely will not be until the spring of 2019.
Vernon Carey Jr. top 5 schools: Kentucky, Duke, UNC, Miami & Michigan St. @vernoncarey22
R.J. Hampton – 6th ranked player in the class of 2020. Recently received an offer from UK on a visit to Lexington. Most experts consider Hampton to be the top guard in 2020. There is still speculation that he could reclassify into 2019, although he has stated that he will remain in 2020.
RJ Hampton just picked up the Kentucky offer! Top ranked PG in the class of 2020
Dontaie Allen – 73rd ranked player in 2019. Committed to Kentucky.
Khristian Lander – Highly touted 2021 point guard from Evansville, Indiana
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