Ex-Cats

Davis, Cauley-Stein attest to recruiting power of Big Blue Madness

Anthony Davis, assistant coach Kenny Payne and DeMarcus Cousins joke around during Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Amy Wallot
Anthony Davis, assistant coach Kenny Payne and DeMarcus Cousins joke around during Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Amy Wallot Herald-Leader

Former Kentucky players Anthony Davis and Willie Cauley-Stein testified to the recruiting power of UK’s annual Big Blue Madness.

Speaking before their NBA teams played a preseason game in Rupp Arena on Saturday, Davis and Cauley-Stein said Madness played a big role in their decision to play for the Cats.

Davis and Cauley-Stein got a reminder of that power of persuasion by attending Friday night’s show.

Davis described the Madness effect on a typical recruit succinctly. “I’m coming here,” he said. “Something like that. Nobody puts it on better than Kentucky.

That’s one of the things that made me commit. It opens your eyes to a lot of things.”

Of course, Davis led UK to the 2012 national championship. He was National Player of the Year.

“You just get chills,” he said of his 2010 visit to Madness as a prospect. “Even when you’re walking around, people are ‘What’s up, Anthony?’ You’re, like, man, these people already know me. It just changes your whole perspective on college basketball.”

Cauley-Stein spoke of a similar swept-off-his-feet reaction to his visit during 2011 Madness.

“I don’t know how you don’t come here ,” he said. “I didn’t think I was coming here. Then I came here and it was like, ‘Oh, there is it, Mom. I’m coming to Kentucky.’”

UK had three top 10 prospects in the class of 2016 visit this year’s Madness.

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