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What you need to know for Big Blue Madness 2019.

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Big Blue Madness 2019

Start Time: 7:00 pm EST on Friday, October 11th

Location: Rupp Arena - Lexington, KY

TV Channel: SEC Network. That’s DirecTV channel 611, AT&T U Verse channel 607 and Dish Network channel 408.

Announcers: Tom Hart, Sean Farnham, and Debbie Antonelli

Online Stream: You can watch Madness online via WatchESPN and on mobile devices via the WatchESPN app.

Replay: You can catch a replay of the event online via WatchESPN or the SEC Network (check local listings for replay time).

Recruits Attending:

  • 2020 five-star guard Terrence Clarke (commitment)
  • 2020 four-star forward Lance Ware (commitment)
  • 2020 five-star guard Cade Cunningham
  • 2020 four-star forward JJ Traynor
  • 2021 five-star forward Paolo Banchero
  • 2021 five-star forward Moussa Cisse
  • 2021 four-star forward Trey Kaufman
  • 2022 five-star forward Brandon Miller
  • 2022 four-star guard Paul McMillan IV
  • 2022 forward James Jewell

Around 24 hours before we find out who will take the first snap for the football Cats vs. Arkansas, we will be introduced to the 2019-2020 men’s and women’s basketball teams at Big Blue Madness, the first open practice opportunity for both teams.

Rupp Arena will be filled with screaming fans, standing on their feet and ignoring the new seats in the upper arena to cheer on the Kentucky Wildcats.

The women’s team is coming off of a second-round loss in the NCAA Tournament last season, as well as the loss of senior star Maci Morris. Head coach Matthew Mitchell and his staff will be looking to take a strong core and see them take the next step in their development.

Big Blue Nation will also be introduced to two new freshmen, including UK native Emma King, but the return of Freshman of the Year Rhyne Howard is why these Cats have a chance to make a deep postseason run in March.

The men’s basketball team will look to replace PJ Washington, Reid Travis, Keldon Johnson, and Tyler Herro from last year’s Elite Eight team. However, there is a lot of buzz about this year’s incoming freshman class, which includes Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks, and Johnny Juzang. The team also welcomes transfer senior Nate Sestina. The men are projected to have a top-five team entering the 2019-20 season in many preseason polls.

Coming off of Sunday’s Pro Day, the men’s team looks like they have all of the pieces to have a special season. The talented incoming class will join veterans Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery. Calipari has been gushing about the group, and believes it will be a strong team defensively, which is what Calipari preaches early on to each new team.

This is also the biggest recruiting event at UK every year, and for good reason. Each year John Calipari and the coaching staff will ensure that several top recruits from various classes are present for Big Blue Madness. This allows the high school players to see first hand just how passionate and engaged the Big Blue Nation is. Many schools try to copy Big Blue Madness and throw a similar type of event, but none measure up to what UK does each year.

In 2020, the big focus will be on No. 2 overall recruit Cade Cunningham, who UK has been picking up steam with in recent weeks, so this official visit could be a game-changer in his recruitment.

Another 2020 recruit set to attend this weekend unofficially is in-state star JJ Traynor, who is drawing heavy interest from UK and Louisville. If the Bardstown product is ever going to get a UK offer, this might be the weekend it comes.

In 2021, five-star forward Paolo Banchero is taking his official visit this weekend. He’s the No. 2 overall recruit and is someone UK is in good shape with, though a decision isn’t expected anytime soon.

2021 four-star forward Trey Kaufman is taking an unofficial visit this weekend. He’s a new name on the recruiting trail but looks like someone good enough to eventually land an offer from John Calipari.

In 2022, top-10 recruit Brandon Miller will be in town for an unofficial visit. The Tennessee native only has an offer from the Vols thus far, but UK and Louisville are among the schools also showing interest.

One under-the-radar name visiting this weekend is in-state recruit James Jewell, who is part of the 2022 class and plays at Eastern High School in Louisville.

Of course, plans can change and there will be more additions and possibly subtractions on the visitor list by the time Friday night rolls around.

The Big Blue Madness visitor list would be even bigger if not for the USA Basketball camp taking place this weekend, where UK recruits like Scottie Barnes, Greg Brown and Jaden Hardy will be instead.

If you cannot make it out to Rupp Arena on Friday, tune into the action on the SEC Network. You could also come to the “Blue Carpet” event at 5:30 at the Lexington Center to see the team and special guests enter the arena.