Mitchell: We will sell out Rupp

Matthew Mitchell issued a “don’t make me look stupid” challenge to Kentucky fans on Wednesday morning.

At his annual morning media day, the Kentucky coach was asked if he thought his team could sell out Rupp Arena for a second straight season after breaking the school’s single-game attendance record of 23,706 against Duke.

This time the Cats will face Baylor on Nov. 17 at Rupp Arena. The biggest difference this time is the game is on a Monday night in the middle of November. The game against the Blue Devils was on a Sunday afternoon in late December when schools were out.

Mitchell seemed undeterred.

“We will sell out Rupp,” Mitchell said. “There’s no question about it. The Big Blue Nation will rally and we will sell out Rupp. Did everybody hear me? We will sell out Rupp.”

He nodded toward the cameras in a row facing him.

“Put this on the news tonight: We will sell out Rupp,” Mitchell continued. “And in order to sell out Rupp, you have to go out and buy your tickets, so everybody go out and buy your tickets, so I won’t look (bad). … If we don’t, I’ll look bad, so no one wants me to look bad I don’t think if you’re a Kentucky fan. So let’s sell out Rupp for the Baylor game.”

In a related note, UK single-game tickets for the 15-game home schedule went on sale this week. Fans can call the Joe Craft Center ticket office, go to UKathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at (800) 928-CATS. Season tickets also still are available.

Mitchell said selling out Rupp for a second straight year would be good for the program.

“It’s the launch of 24 Hours of College Hoops is a very unique basketball event on ESPN, and I know just as a fan, I always tune into it,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of eyeballs on Rupp Arena that night, and if we can sell out Rupp and great a great atmosphere, that’ll help our players, and a big win and a great night would help us a bunch. It would be important to do and to happen.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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