This week as UK students returned to classes the Cats and the student body also returned to Rupp for what we hoped would be an easy home win over the A&M Aggies. As surprised as I was about that loss, I witnessed a few things in Rupp I thought I’d never see.
I got to Rupp about an hour before tip, just in time to see nearly twenty football recruits and Tyus Jones walk into the arena and take up about two rows behind the bench. The football to basketball recruit ratio was very lopsided to say the least.
As I’m watching my “basketball school” lose to a “football school’s” basketball team, I hear everyone around me in the student section talking about none other than football. Honestly, I was a little shocked. I have lived in Kentucky my entire life and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much football coverage mid-basketball season in every year combined.
The eRUPPtion Zone, rather than the typical witty basketball signs, had football recruit and Stoops signs instead, although sometime before halftime a “Tyus Jones” chant broke out.
To me the whole thing is really bizarre just from observations in previous years. I can honestly say I’d never thought I’d see the day when Kentucky fans were more concerned with football in January than basketball. I also never thought I’d see a John Calipari-coached team lose twice in Rupp Arena in a single season. I also never thought UK would be recruiting such high football prospects so quickly. I definitely never thought I’d see all these happen on the same day. The Mark Stoops era is in full effect, my friends.