LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Most coaches remember their first-ever game as a head coach. There’s no doubt Kentucky State’s Darnell Williams will forever remember his. It will happen Friday night when his Thorobreds visit Rupp Arena to take on 2nd-ranked Kentucky in an exhibition game.
“There’s an exciting atmosphere around here,” Williams told WKYT-TV in Lexington. “There’s a lot of nerves building up for this game.”
Williams was named head coach last October after serving as an assistant for three seasons at Kentucky State.
While there’s little chance his Division II team can leave Rupp with a win (Kentucky State’s tallest player is 6’8 center Julius Barton), Kentucky head coach John Calipari says he hopes the Thorobreds have a positive experience.
“This was an opportunity that they deserve. For us, I want whoever our opponent is to walk away from this (and say) this was great for us. This was a great experience that we will remember. And it’s not just playing the game; it’s more than that for the programs that come in and for us,” said Calipari.
Calipari says if he were in Williams’ shoes, he knows what he would be thinking heading into Friday night’s game.
“Gotta chance to do something crazy. That’s what I’d be thinking. Let’s go do this (and) see if we can shock the world,” Calipari said.