October 17, 2012
Some highlights from the first episode of ESPN's All-Access: Kentucky.
-- The show opens with Calipari at Wheeler's Pharmacy with some "regulars," including Sam Bowie. Calipari: "When I first got the job, I was told you have to get to Wheeler's. ... You have to go get breakfast at the drugstore." Calipari said every coach who won national championships at UK came to Wheeler's, and every coach who didn't win a title didn't go there. "So I said, I'll be there."
-- Goes to a scene of Big Blue Madness campout, featuring Calipari's speech to the fans (who he calls "nuts"), Nerlens Noel playing some pick-up, and me filming Calipari's speech (that's why you go behind-the-scenes at UK).
-- Calipari shows a SLAM magazine cover of the five first-rounders. "People got mad when I said that," Calipari said -- at the time he said it was the biggest night in the history of UK basketball -- "but it changed everything for us."
-- Calipari said when he saw Nerlens play, he said "I got another Anthony and another Marcus Camby." Calipari said Noel has a way to go, "but there's signs that are like, 'whoah.'"
-- Noel said that on "every birthday I've had since I was eight I was wishing I could play in the NBA." Noel pointed out Calipari's proven track record of getting players ready for the league.
-- At a practice that was supposed to start at 6 a.m., a couple players (Harrow and Poythress) are late. Strength coach Rock Oliver points out that it would cost them a fine in the league. "You better get your asses going," Oliver tells them, before putting them through conditioning sessions that Calipari said will be the "hardest of their life."
-- Calipari said the new recruiting rules on calls and texts are good, but he prefers texting the 15-16 kids he's "staying on top of." He said that if a kid wants him to call once a week, he will, but -- "you're 17, and I'm 52. What are we going to talk about?"
-- Calipari had the commemorative ball for his 500th win (the one that landed UK in some hot water with the NCAA because it included wins later vacated) sitting behind his left ear through the sit-down interview ESPN used.
-- The Harrison twins make an appearance. ESPN shows the two getting dressed before the show (which was made on ESPNU) and take us through their announcement. They both talked about how Calipari can "make our dreams come true faster than any other coach can."
-- Orlando Antigua reads tweets, such as one wondering how big UK's "checkbook" is (implying dirty recruiting). "Not everybody is happy when you're having success," Antigua said. "We are, though."
-- ESPN shows UK players getting ready for UK Media Day. DeWayne Peevy reiterates to the players that they "create their own headlines." When the players looked at the media contingent -- a little less than 100 -- Alex Poythress was taken aback.
-- The show wraps up with footage from Big Blue Madness, from the players dancing to scrimmaging, including Cauley-Stein's dunk over Nerlens Noel.