The Calipari Era Officially Begins

Although the Wildcats are missing one of their top players in John Wall, the Wildcats open the season tonight against instate opponent, the Morehead State Eagles.

Although the Wildcats are missing one of their top players in John Wall, the Wildcats open the season tonight against instate opponent, the Morehead State Eagles.

After easily defeating both of their preseason opponents, the Wildcats begin the games that count tonight.

The Wildcat coach is ready to tip it off. "Yeah. I'm anxious in this way: I'm learning about players and it's going to unfold right before my eyes and I'll see. We're all going to learn," said Calipari.

While it is a season opener against a team that the Wildcats have always had great success against, Calipari still views this as a big game. "It's a huge game because it's the next game. Hopefully I'm going to walk in that arena excited every time I walk in," said Calipari.

Calipari is aware that Morehead was in the NCAA tournament last season and will be a team that the Wildcats can't experiment against. "They're good," said Calipari. "I must learn about my team. Now we want to win every game we play, if you know me and how I am. But the most important thing is to learn. You cannot learn against "Popcorn State." What you learn against "Popcorn State" is that you're better than "Popcorn State" - that's all you learn," Calipari continued.

"The only way you can learn is against teams you risk losing games to. It's the only way. Our first two games we could be 0-2 and me feeling wonderful that I've learned enough to know what I've got to do. They've exploited our weaknesses and we move on and we get ready."

Morehead returns one of the nation's most underrated players Kenneth Faried, who averaged almost 14 points and 14 rebounds a game. Morehead was defeated by another familiar foe, the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA tournament last season. Morehead kept up with the Cardinals for a half (35-33 at the half), but Louisville wore them down as the game progressed, winning 74-54.

The Wildcats won't overlook the Eagles and they expect to come out ready to go.

"(Calipari) just wants us to go out there and do the best of our abilities and we'll come out victorious," said sophomore Darnell Dodson.

Morehead State at Kentucky
Time & Date: Friday, November 13th, 2009. 6:30 pm Eastern
Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington Ky.


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