John Calipari explains why Kentucky’s road game vs. Gonzaga will not be at The Kennel in November

When John Calipari and Mark Few introduced their settlement to a home-and-home collection, there was a small — however vital — distinction in the lingo utilized by the 2 legendary coaches. Few mentioned he was excited to take his Gonzaga group to Rupp Arena, Kentucky’s dwelling court docket, whereas Calipari notably stopped wanting committing to take his Cats to The Kennel.

Turns out, it was not a coincidence. As Gary Parrish defined in element, the selection in language by the Hall of Fame coach was intentional. Calipari then confirmed on Thursday the selective distinction and defined why Kentucky — set to make the journey to face Gonzaga on Nov. 20 this 12 months — will not play on the Bulldogs’ typical dwelling court docket, however as an alternative at the 12,000-seat Spokane Arena.

“I’m enthusiastic about taking part in Gonzaga. I’m disenchanted that now we have to go there first, however to make it occur I used to be keen to try this,” Calipari tweeted. “Playing in entrance of 13K loopy followers in Spokane Arena will be thrilling similar to it will be in entrance of 22K followers in Rupp subsequent 12 months.

“Anybody that desires us to play in a 6,000-seat facility, needs us to lose!” Calipari added. “And I get that. I attempted to look again and discover the final time UK performed in a real regular-season road game with 6,000 or fewer followers. I ended taking care of the 70s.”

Amid all the joy in this week’s announcement of the collection, it was considerably misplaced that this at all times appeared like a risk. Not solely did Calipari cease wanting committing to play at The Kennel, he confirmed some considerably awkward pressure about the entire deal, figuratively puffing out his chest in entrance of Big Blue Nation when saying it.

“This man will get on me on a regular basis. He needs to schedule a game,” mentioned Calipari in a name with Few that aired in entrance of UK followers whereas Kentucky was serving to with a telethon to boost funds for flood victims. “But the whole lot’s acquired to be on his phrases. I believed we have been Kentucky?”

“First of all, we have been positive,” Few playfully poked again. “We have been wanting good, and also you simply mentioned, ‘Hey, you wanna play?’ And I used to be like, ‘Yeah, I’m good with taking part in.'”

It actually stinks for faculty hoops followers that this is not a true home-and-home collection because it initially appeared. Big groups taking part in in massive, dwelling environments are what makes the game so nice. But it is Kentucky and Gonzaga, in spite of everything. Two groups that undertaking as preseason top-five groups in 2022 and will virtually actually be in that very same combine a 12 months from now when the collection concludes. Even if The Kennel will not be the venue in November, this game ought to nonetheless be a terrific one.

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