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Open practice more proof that Calipari, UK a perfect marriage

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UK's practice on Wednesday in Memorial Coliseum will be open to students and faculty/staff. (Chet White, UK Athletics) UK's practice on Wednesday in Memorial Coliseum will be open to students and faculty/staff. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
John Calipari first mentioned the idea publicly after Kentucky's win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

With no mid-week game, Calipari was considering the possibility of holding a special event for students on Wednesday as a way to help his team stay sharp during an otherwise quiet week.

Less than 48 hours later, in a minor logistical miracle, the venue is picked, plans for ticket distribution made and, believe it or not, television coverage is arranged.

On Monday night, UK announced an open practice and scrimmage will be open to students and faculty/staff on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

"We will go through our normal practice routine for 30 to 40 minutes, break for a couple of things for you, and then we'll scrimmage for two 10-minute halves," Calipari told students on CoachCal.com. "The first half both teams will play man to man and the second half both teams will go zone."

The impetus for the one-of-a-kind occasion, even above providing students a chance to support the No. 1 Wildcats, was UK's only loss of the season at Indiana. That game was one of just two so far this season that the Cats have had to wait a full week to play (the other a win the next week over Chattanooga), and Calipari does not want a repeat of that performance.

"The last time we had a week off what happened?" Calipari said after UK's 69-63 win over Vanderbilt. "Yeah, we played Indiana. I don't want to take away (from Indiana). Indiana did their thing and played well, but it wasn't one of our better outings."

Calipari penned that aforementioned letter to students as a way to ask for their help. Sure, Wednesday is for the students, complete with special promotions like a 3-point contest with players and a Q and A session with the coach, but it's also designed for a team that's looking more and more like it could do something truly special over the next two months.

"Understand I'm asking for your help," Calipari wrote. "Because we have a week off, I want this to be a midweek jolt to my players. We want to keep this thing going, so I want a packed Memorial Coliseum. I want everybody into it like it's a midweek game."

Whether it's after seeing 550 tents pop up in line for tickets to Big Blue Madness or when UK fans travel by the thousands across the border to see the Cats play a few exhibition games in Canada, Calipari regularly breaks out a familiar loving jab at the Big Blue Nation.

Wednesday figures to be another one of those "Only at Kentucky" moments that prompts Calipari to say to fans, "You people are crazy."

But after Calipari was the driving force behind a practice on a random Wednesday afternoon that is being broadcast nationally (ESPNU), locally (WKYT in Lexington) and online (ESPN3 and UKathletics.com) and will likely be attended by thousands, I think it's time to make another conclusion too.

Coach Cal, I hate to break it to you, but you might just be crazy too.

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