Following the night after Big Blue Nation, Kentucky’s Rupp Arena will play host to three former Wildcats.
On Oct. 19, Anthony Davis, Darius Miller and the New Orleans Pelicans will go head-to-head with John Wall and his Washington Wizards. The Bluegrass Sports Commission and Global Sports Management announced the scheduled preseason NBA this past Wednesday.
“This game will be an exciting weekend of basketball for Kentucky fans,” President Global Sports Management Maury Hanks said in a statement. “They can start off the weekend with Big Blue Madness on Friday and an NBA game on Saturday.”
“We are excited to partner with Global Sports Management to bring this unique event to Rupp Arena,” Bluegrass Sports Commission Executive Director Terry Johnson added. “It will bring thousands of fans to central Kentucky and be a terrific addition to our sports calendar.”
The somewhat extended Big Blue Madness welcomes back Davis and Wall, who both only spent a year in Lexington. Of course both had highly-anticipated appearances at the annual season tip-off, including Wall who used Rupp Arena as his own stage for his signature dance. Although it’s an exhibition NBA game, one intriguing storylines of the event is that neither Davis or Wall lost a game inside Rupp Arena.
“I am very excited to return to Rupp and compete with two of the BBN’s finest and members of the Wildcat family, John Wall and my teammate, Darius Miller,” Davis sad.
Tickets for the event went on sale last Friday with prices ranging from $10-$250 a ticket.
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.