"We know what the expecations are. They really want us to win a national championship, after coming close two years in a row."
Freshman big man Anthony Davis is comfortable with those aspirations for the Big Blue fan base, in part because he was prepared for it.
"I expected it. When I came on a visit, Doron and Darius told me how it was going to be. Even coach Cal said 'it gets crazy here'. Sometimes it gets overwhelming," he said, adding the team draws strength being close. "We have really jelled together and have a good team chemistry."
Many pundits believe Davis will be the first pick in the next NBA draft because of the upside his game features. But for now, he knows he'll have to meet some interesting challenges, particularly when he faces off against a beefier, veteran opponent. But Davis got a taste of that this summer at the Lebon James camp, when he worked with Ohio State All-American Jared Sullinger.
"It helped a lot," Davis said. "Sully is one of the top big men in college basketball and going up against him really helped me out a lot."
"That's a big honor."
That was the reaction of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, when a reporter told him coach Calipari compared Kidd-Gilchrist's defensive ability to that departed UK lockdown specialist Deandre Liggins.
"I love defense. That's my game right there," Kidd-Gilchrist said.
Marquis Teague hopes to become the latest in a line of Calipari-coached point guards who excel in their rookie season of college basketball. Teague says Calipari's Dribble Drive Motion system is a perfect fit for players at that position.
"He gives you a lot of freedom. That's one of the main reasons for coming here. He opens the floor up for you and lets you play," Teague noted, adding that the collection of talent around him makes his job even easier.
"It's almost easy playing with these guys. You make a pass to Doron Lamb and he's knocking it down. Throw that alley oop to Anthony Davis and he's throwing it down," Teague explained. "He (Davis) gets everything. He does something amazing every day."
"Just keep working, with a positive attitude, just keep going."
Morgan Newton says that is his mindset as he tries to bounce back from a miserable day at South Carolina. Newton appreciates the confidence-boosting efforts of offensive coordinator and QB coach Randy Sanders but says that tape doesn't lie.
"There's not really much you can reaffirm after a game like that. Just gotta keep going," Newton said after practice earlier this week. "Going back to the some of the fundamentals this week. You try to look at the tape, try to learn as much as you can."
Today marks the anniversary of the first-ever 300-yard passing game by a Kentucky quarterback.
Vito "Babe" Parilli did it, in 1950, throwing for 338 yards in a rout of Cincinnati for a Kentucky team on its way to a national championship.
Parilli is out with a new book, "Kentucky Babe," that chronicles his time at UK as well as the NFL and other professional football organizations, as both a player and coach.