BAD NEWS:Mark Pope the Kentucky coach was just confirmed d…

One of the last to exit a bus full of Kentucky greats on the Rupp Arena floor, Mark Pope held the 1996 NCAA championship trophy aloft and basked in the cheers during his introduction as the Wildcats’ new men’s basketball coach.


Pope then ratcheted up the energy in the packed arena, making clear his expectations are as high as the fans welcoming him to the most challenging chapter of his coaching career.

Every coach in America at every other job in America stands up at the press conference and they try and moderate expectations,” Pope said Sunday. “We don’t do that here in Kentucky. When (athletic director) Mitch (Barnhart) called me and talked to me about being the head coach here at Kentucky, I understand the assignment.


It hasn’t even been a week since Mark Pope was announced as the new Kentucky basketball coach — but with everything that’s happened, it’s felt like a year.


Pope was introduced as the Kentucky coach on Sunday in a sold out event at Rupp Arena. Since then, he’s been full steam ahead trying to replace a lot of the talent that left following the departure of John Calipari.


On Wednesday, he joined ESPN’s Sportscenter for a segment to discuss his first couple of days on the job.


“So appreciative of everything that John Calipari did (at Kentucky),” Pope said. “John revolutionized a lot of things in the way recruiting is done and style of play in college basketball. What he did at Kentucky is really incredible. We are all so grateful for that.”

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