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…and hello Coach Calipari

So really quick I just wanted to drop some thoughts on the John Calipari hiring. (PLEASE click the links and watch the video… it isn’t easy to find all of this crap!)

In a nutshell this will produce instant results. John Calipari is a pretty good coach with a pretty good philosophy: get a bunch of athletes, press, run and score, a lot. Rick Pitino does it at Louisville and it’s won him a national title and earned him the right to claim the fact that he is the only coach in NCAA history to take three teams to the Final Four. Incidentally, Rick Pitino had a stop at Kentucky where he won his national championship in 1996.

Here is the video of news conference that introduced Coach Cal:

A few things stuck out about this introduction. First off, this guy was extremely smooth, calmly responding to questions and having just right thing to say. Which leads me to the next solid point of the interview, Cal knew his Kentucky. From calling former coaches to having the wife of the late Bill Keightley (affectionately known as Mr. Wildcat) in attendance at the news conference. He contacted former players and important people in Kentucky basketball, so he set himself up well to be able to reference all the things UK fans want to hear. Making these Kentucky connections allowed him to demonstrate his attention to detail.

Kind of random, but here is a video from my boy Michael Wilbon and his co-host Tony Kornheiser from their Pardon the Interruption April Fools Day joke. PTI is GOAT:

I bet a few UK fans flipped out for about a minute and a half. LOL

Calipari said that it isn’t just him that will turn around the program, but rather the proverbial village that will raise a child up to greatness. In making the success of Kentucky Basketball a collective effort he instantly endeared himself with the fandom, truly introducing himself as the people’s coach. Finally, he was gracious in leaving Memphis and embracing UK. He connected emotionally in a way where nobody can really knock his decision, and can relate to being able to actualize ones personal dream. Here is a story by Kernel sports editor Bobby Reagan documenting Calipari’s journey to the dream.

For real this guy is in a personal win, win situation. I could see similar results to Pitino. If you aren’t from Kentucky then let me fill you in…Pitino is a god. In all honesty, UK isn’t that far away, which is why Billy Gillispie was fired. Calipari can flat out recruit and believe his guys will be ready come next season. I think he could turn around things so quickly that Bill Clyde could get fired at his next job for being an inept basketball coach at Kentucky. I had to take some shots at Bill G, but I’m only following Calipari’s lead. He dropped a couple of cheap shots at the outgoing coach which I enjoyed, but probably weren’t necessary. That was actually in the Q/A session… take my word on the fact that it was funny.

Here is some commentary from Gabriel Tarr aka Tarrman blogger responsible for Gabrieloneverything:

Gabriel Tarr, a Duke fan who grew up in Louisville, agrees, saying if Calipari can recruit the nation’s best players at a program like Memphis, he could certainly do that at a college like UK with a rich basketball history.

The fact that Memphis boosters were fighting to keep Calipari says a lot about his character, Tarr, a sociology and mathematics senior, said. He believes the new coach is exactly the person that UK boosters will want to be the face of their historic program.

“He’s a salesman,” Tarr said. “He could sell sand in the desert.”

These quotes comefrom this article by my opinions editor Melissa Vessels in today’s Kentucky Kernel.

There has been speculation as to John Calipari’s record in regards to the method in which he gets recruits, and it will be interesting to see how that works as he moves forward at UK. Here is a little article from the Tri-City Herald up in Washington (the greatest state in the world). It highlights some of the possible questions regarding Calipari’s character along with some character called “World Wide Wes”… hmmm.

I will not be available for comment…LOL


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