Hello all you readers out there, this is the inaugural round of the sports bloggers. You may or may not have noticed, we here at those sports guys try not to write on the same topic as to not steal each others spotlight or step on each others toes, but we actually discuss a lot of sports issues on a regular basis. So the goal of the sports bloggers posts will for you all to get to read all of our opinions on the same topic. This will read a bit like a conversation because we will all be able to read and react to each others commentary. I have decided to pose the first topic so I will pose a couple of quick questions to Benton and Marris, and I will add my own commentary in there from time to time.
So Gents, today's topic is on Coach Calipari, head men's basketball coach at Kentucky University. As I am sure you saw over the weekend, Coach Cal got in some hot water due to another under performing Kentucky team. He didn't make things any better when he got tossed in a loss to none other than South Carolina and then ducked the media entirely after the game. What are your thoughts on the situation down in Lexington?
I don't normally like to be harsh but you reap what you sow and currently Calipari is reaping the consciousnesses of recruiting one and done college players. Take a journey with me and imagine building a college basketball program is like growing and selling Christmas Trees. You may get a tree or two to grow quickly but if you plant a bunch of trees and try to sell them one year later...everyone would either take home a tiny tree or you would have no sales. If you give the trees a few years to grow and mature then people will go home with a big tree and you end up with cash in your pocket. Currently Kentucky fans are taking home a small tree and Calipari has empty pockets. Plain and simple - Kentucky had high expectations and they aren't living up to them.
T.O.: Good news though Marris, Kentucky has 4 more "top end Freshmen" coming in next year, that will surely solve the problem. Time to print the 40-0 and shirts.
"You reap what you sow" sums it up nicely. Last year was the same issue and we're seeing it again this year. I have never been a fan of one-and-done type players especially when they usually don't have a team player type of mindset. Not to mention most of his starters are 17-19 years old and are experiencing college for the first or second time. Try to imagine LeBron in college. I can't. College basketball is much more team focused than the pros, look at Duke, Syracuse, and Indiana (last year) for examples. There's no way the Cuse get as far as they did if they weren't committed to working on that zone defense as a team. T.O., sign me up for a box of 40-0 shirts. I know some kids in other countries that would love a brand new blue t-shirt.
Next question: This season alone he has claimed the expectations are just too high on his teams, but isn't he the one who will tell anyone who will listen that every year he expects a national title after his latest prized recruiting class and telling the media that the fans down in Kentucky are the only fans in the country who never set foot on the court after a big win nor do they taunt opposing players. Are things as rosy down in Lexington as Coach Cal always seems to be saying to the media?
Coach Cal has a big head and as B said...is full of it. Things are not rosy in Kentucky but Coach Cal isn't going to let the world see his kingdom struggle.
I'll be brief: Cal is full of it. Also, keep in mind, this is the coach who refused to play Indiana last year in Lexington because he wanted it on a neutral court (also, to protect his home winning streak).
Question 3: Does Coach Cal try to talk Kentucky's board of directors to move out of the S.E.C. after this year? After all he does have a tendency to drop teams that beat him off of the schedule... or at least try to not play them anywhere but neutral locations.
I don't think so...he wants to make sure they stay in a big and relevant conference.
B: Where would they go? Conference USA? American? Side note: I'm watching Sports Center right now and Gerald Green is making the Pacers front office look bad. OK back to Cal, Conference USA would be a joke for them to go to, no offense to CUSA, UK wouldn't fit. American isn't a bad option but this is Louisville's last year in what use to be the Big East (they move to the ACC July 1). Granted either of these options would be decent for the Kentucky football program. I can't say much given the current condition of IU football. You know why don't IU and UK play in football. We should pitch that idea. To get back to your question T.O., Cal can try but I think the SEC is their best bet.
So question number 4: After back to back disappointing seasons despite highly talented recruiting classes, does the issue lie with Calipari down in Kentucky, or do you think that the whole one-and-done recruiting strategy appear to finally be showing its flaws?
I think this is a trick question. The one and done strategy is killing Kentucky so therefore Calipari is killing Kentucky. Calipari is the ultimate one and down strategy coach - he pitches to his recruits if you want to play in the NBA come to Kentucky and we will get you there quickly. If Kentucky wants to start winning consistently and be in contention year after year for a national championship they need to build a start freshman through senior basketball squad. An "all freshman", one and done strategy, may win you a random national championship but it won't build a dynasty.
I'll agree with Marris here and say it's a mix of both. Clearly the one-and-done isn't working. Their National Championship a few years ago wasn't all just freshman. Sure it was a talented class but their were experienced leaders. OF course that didn't help them at Assembly Hall! However, Cal needs to look up the definition of "coach" because some of the stuff out of his mouth the last two years has not been that of a coach. For instance, he complained that the 2012-2013 team got "hijacked" because he "surrendered" to the players. Um, coach? You're supposed to be the teams rock and guide, their teacher. You blamed last years disappointing performance on the players. I'm sorry but you recruited them and you're supposed to train them and get them to play how you want them to play. Earlier this season, he said that "they're relying on me too much" and that he wanted to sub themselves out. If you don't want to do your job Cal, then can I have some of that $5.2 million you get each year? In my opinion, a coach his like the captain of a ship. Captains go down with their ship Cal, either steer it straight and away from trouble or go down with it. If not I'm going to switch from Cheatapari to Scaredapari. We could get that to catch on right? Also, can you imagine if I had text all of this?
Last question boys: Does Kentucky make the tourney and, if so, are we headed for another first round flop like we saw in the N.I.T. last year?
Kentucky will make the tourney, they will be a topic of conversation, but won't advance past the Sweet 16...if they make it that far!
As much as I don't want them too, they'll make the tournament. Barring a complete collapse and first round loss in the SEC tournament. They'd seal the deal with a win in Gainesville on Saturday but I don't see the Gators dropping that one. A sub par performance in the SEC tourney puts them into the bubble in my book especially since they have one win over a ranked team all season and some bad losses. Translate that performance to the Big Ten and they'd have a record similar to Indiana. Keep in mind they've loss 2 of the last 3 and almost 3 or four but squeaked by LSU in Lexington with a one point OT win. Yeah LSU...all I'm saying is that they're no Ohio State, Iowa, or Nebraska for that matter. Sorry Tiger fans.
I guess the question is probably a mute point... I mean the tourney wins will likely get vacated, just like everywhere else Coach Cal has been.