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October 3, 2013The pizzas weren't moving that fast.
Fans were more interested in receiving an autograph than a slice of Papa John's from Kentucky basketball players on Thursday night.
Which made freshmen Marcus Lee and Dominique Hawkins wonder if they could trade places.
"I'm so hungry," Hawkins said, standing behind a table set up in front of Memorial Coliseum, handing out slices of pepperoni and cheese pizzas to those interested.
"They're gonna look up and be like, 'why is there a bite out of my pizza?'" Lee said jokingly.
The pizzas ended up in the hands of the fans huddled around the front doors of Memorial Coliseum, but free food wasn't the only thing they came for.
Most wanted autographs. They had to be shooed away at first, as the players found hardly any takers for their designated giveaways. Sophomore Alex Poythress joked about needing to give them out by the box instead of the slice.
Eventually, the players spread out along the sidewalk, and fans moved from huddled mass to huddled mass, asking for a signature or a picture.
Freshman Julius Randle attracted perhaps the biggest mob; freshmen Aaron and Andrew Harrison were, in a rare circumstance for them, split up; Lee and EJ Floreal photobombed each other; sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein fought through a minor injury to his right hand (his pinkie was taped up) to scribble his name; freshman Dakari Johnson was ogled for his size.
After about 45 minutes, the players slowly trickled back inside the privacy of Memorial Coliseum. Fans ate their pizzas and counted off who they had and hadn't been able to get an autograph from. They would try again Friday, and Saturday, too, if need be.
The campout continued. Big Blue Madness moved that much closer.