John Calipari Schedules Old Friend for First Game in Barclays

Even though Kentucky fans aren’t thrilled with Maryland fans after all that happened after the Harrison Twins picked Kentucky, the coaches of each team happen to be friends.

The Kentucky Wildcats open up with the Maryland Terrapins at the Barclays Center and the way the game was set up was John Calipari trying to help out an old friend in Mark Turgeon.

So when Turgeon took over the Terrapins in 2011, Calipari called and proposed a game: Maryland-Kentucky in 2012 at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center. Maryland would get national exposure, an ESPN broadcast against a team that would win the national title and three home games as part of the Barclays Center Classic.

“It was a no-brainer,” Turgeon said. “As a friend he didn’t have to do that, but he wanted to help our program.”

Playing on a neutral floor helped sweeten the deal. Kentucky hasn’t lost at Rupp Arena since Calipari took over. But don’t expect the marquee matchup to continue into future seasons.

“This is the last time we’ll do something like this,” Turgeon said.

Lets hope this friendly battle ends up with Kentucky starting 1-0.

About Scott Anderson

I love covering the Kentucky Wildcats and even though I can't cheer on the outside when I go to games now, I am definitely cheering on the inside. You can follow me at @SAndersonNOB on twitter.

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