KSTV kicked off their coverage of UK’s chase for a national championship with a special, commercial-free episode of the show that aired at midnight on Monday. If you missed the show, here are the highlights from “KSTV’s Midnight Madness”.

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In Their Own Words: UK Basketball Players Preview Upcoming Season

09/30/2013 11:00 PM

It’s officially “Time For Nine” and KSTV kicked off their coverage of UK’s chase for a national championship with a special, commercial-free episode of the show that aired at midnight on Monday. If you missed the show, here are the highlights from “KSTV’s Midnight Madness”.

Despite losing four starters from a team that finished its season in the first round of the NIT, the Cats have high hopes because of what some call the best recruiting class in the history of college basketball. The freshmen, as well as the veterans, discussed their first impressions of the team.

Without a doubt, the goal this season is a national championship. It’s putting the bar as high as it can go and the players explained that they aren’t backing away from any talk of titles or an undefeated season.

During the 2012 title run, UK fans saw just how critical leadership can be to a great team. Conversely, during last year’s struggles fans saw how a lack of leadership can destroy a team. KSTV talked with the players about who they think the leader is and Julius Randle explained what leadership means to him.

And as Randle emerges as one of the voices of this team, there’s no doubt about the impact he can make on the court. His teammates explained what makes him so great and then they broke down the practice battles between Julius and Alex Poythress.

That heated competition is nothing new and it’s something that Randle says he thrives on. So, we asked him about John Calipari calling him the best freshman in the country and what he thought of the Andrew Wiggins hype earlier this summer.

Perhaps no player made a bigger leap in his development last season than big man Willie Cauley-Stein. Now, after bypassing the NBA, the seven-footer looks to make another leap forward explains his goals and his teammates discuss what they’ve seen from him in practice.

During the summer, John Calipari said that he may use Cauley-Stein on the wing and, during our interviews, we were told Cauley-Stein had been bringing the ball up the floor in pickup games. So is Cal going to sign off on that when practice starts? We asked his teammates.

On paper, this team is loaded and appears to be without a weakness. So, what will their biggest challenge be this year? The players explained.

This is the time when teammates become brothers and you learn more than you could ever imagine about the guys you share the locker room with. And that’s both good and bad. We posed a few questions to get to know the individuals on the team better and started by asking “Who has the dirtiest room?” Here were there responses.

And with players coming to Lexington from all over the country, there’s sure to be some cultural differences. In this clip, the team explains which player has the worst taste in music and why.

Be sure to watch KSTV Tuesday night at 7:30pm and 11:00pm for more from this year’s UK basketball team, as well as a one-on-one interview with UK head coach John Calipari.

It’s basketball time in the Bluegrass.

Thomas Beisner

TJ is an Anchor for Spectrum News. You can catch his work on KSTV, the only nightly show in the state focusing on UK Sports. When it comes to UK Basketball, TJ covers recruiting, the NCAA tournament and everything in between. During March TJ probably sees the players more than he sees his family but he’s able to provide Spectrum News viewers the unique insight that only a lifelong fan can give. He’s also taken on several special programs including “Wildcat Forever: The John Stewart Story.” KSTV airs weeknights at 7:30 and 11pm on Spectrum News. You can also catch podcasts of the show as well as bonus podcasts, just find KSTV on Itunes. For the latest on everything going on with UK Athletics, recruiting or if you just need some hilarious parenting anecdotes follow TJ on Twitter @tjbeisner.

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