While I try to only rant about things concerning my beloved Blue Devils, there is just something about John Calipari that just irks me to no end. Sure he says all the right things, but as we have seen with his exits from his last couple of programs that there is a stink that follows him around. He has seemed to master the art of benefiting from one of the biggest problems in college hoops. There is a reason why he is a magnet for the one and done players, there is a reason why he is the program killer, captain sanctions. The fact that an institution and fan-base as proud as Kentucky would stoop to such a suspect hire is pretty telling and reeks of desperation. To overlook the way he left Memphis is a mistake that I hope comes back to smack Kentucky in the face.Â Sure Cal will continue to grab recruit after recruit that either wants the shortest possible trek to the NBA or doesn’t want to have to perform in the classroom, and that’s fine for some programs. Of course Kentucky fans will continue to love Cal and turn a blind eye to any and every indiscretion that occurs, until Cal leaves them high and dry. And if Cal shocks the world and looks to stay at Kentucky for a lengthy term, how long would they be ok with exiting the tournament prematurely? Would number 1 recruiting classes every year be enough? Relevance is great but it doesn’t win titles. Tubby Smith will tell you first hand about that rabid, impatient and occasionally dastardly legion of fans that ran him out of town.
I can’t help but look back at the indictment by Bob Knight in his speech last year. He was right about integrity, it definitely isn’t living in Lexington, that much is for sure. Look at the guilt trip that Cal threw on Terrence Jones. To say to a kid that he is hurting people by choosing a different school is just down right gross, and petty. I can only guess what things he promised Jones’ mom. Coaches, in my opinion, are supposed to impart tools to these players, not just X’s and O’s. They need to held just as accountable as teachers do, they need to be molding young men not just basketball players. We need to remember that they work for institutes of higher learning, not the NBA.Â I really don’t blame these kids, after all they are just that, “kids”, easily influenced, and if it were my son or daughter, I know where and what kind of person I would want looking after them. He is not in the state of Kentucky, that much I assure you.
I doubt the model that John Calipari is using will ever net him a championship but I’m not so sure that is his endgame anyway. I think eventually he is going to dip his hand in NBA waters again, and really that is where I think he belongs. He’s already sullied the waters of the college game enough for my taste.
I certainly don’t mind Cal grabbing up every suspect and tunnel-visioned recruit who is looking for a conduit rather than a true college experience thats ok with me, and I’m glad I waited until after Duke won the tournament to say all this so no one in Kentucky blue can accuse me of sour grapes. the proof is really in the pudding, I much rather have a recruit that is ready to unpack his bags, commit to a process and a school rather than commit to the quickest way out. I’ll take all the Jon Scheyers the world has to offer. I do have to wonder how well Duke would have been had they landed Jon Wall, I wonder if the chemistry would have been as good, something tells me no. No one in a Duke uniform would ever speak out in any way against Coach K in the mediaâ€¦in any way shape or form.
Is the Kentucky model a sign of the times? Nah, I really don’t think so.