Calipari's assistants embrace UK fans

John Calipari certainly has made his feelings known about the University of Kentucky fans since become UK's new coach.

John Calipari certainly has made his feelings known about the University of Kentucky fans since become UK's new coach.

His coaching staff that he brought with him from Memphis, though, is just as excited — and impressed — by the Big Blue faithful based on what they have seen and heard since arriving in Lexington.

Here is what each assistant coach said when asked about the Kentucky fan base:

John Robic: "You can see the passion. That is what you can see more than anything just in overhearing people talk. I have been doing this for a while now, but you can see the desire for this program to do well. You can also tell it is the Commonwealth's team and we haven't even begun to travel throughout the state.

"There are certain sports that you know that sport carries the state. Well, you know this state is blue. That's something we had to fight in Memphis. That Tennessee football is pretty big. Orange is big except for that little pocket over in western Tennessee. It is kind of neat to have it this way here and I think we are going to enjoy it."

Orlando Antigua: "It's unbelievable. Passionate, supportive, crazy and it's exciting for us. The amount of time we have been here we have got a lot done and it has been a great experience. For us to be able to do what we have been doing, some stuff had to fall in line and a lot of stars had to line up for us. It is just a great fit and the people here are unbelievable."

Rod Strickland: "I am excited about it. It is a great opportunity to come into an environment like this. I am still trying to get acclimated to everything, but I am already looking forward to the season.

"I played against (former UK guard) Ed Davender in high school. I was well aware of Kentucky back then. Dirk Minniefield. Melvin Turpin. I remember Goose Givens. I remember Sky Walker. I definitely know the tradition of Kentucky and understand it even more now that I am a part of it."


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