August 17, 2019

Cheaterpari at it Again

Speculation is swirling around another Kentucky basketball recruit which isn’t surprising when you consider who is at the helm. Highly touted center Enes Kanter will be receiving a call from the NCAA in the coming days after reports surfaced that he had been paid thousands of dollars from a professional Turkish basketball team. The GM for the team allegedly provided housing to Kanter’s family for more than three years and paid Kanter $6,500 a month in his final season with the team. If these reports are true there is no way 6-11 Kanter will ever play ball for the Wildcats which would be a blow to the 2010-11 squad. Since this has broke before the season has started Calipari will dodge another bullet, but sooner or later he is going to get caught.

Enes Kanter

Calipari Reloads

Yesterday John Calipari started to rebuild his empire at Kentucky with the commitment of point guard Brandin Knight who is regarded by most as the best player in the 2010 class. This commitment wasn’t too much of a surprise, but the news of small forward Michael Gilchrist (the best player in the class of 2011) committing to the Wildcats on the same day was a shocker. These two studs will definitely follow in the same foot steps as previous Calipari ‘playas’ like John Wall, Tyreke Evans, and Derrick Rose by jumping ship after one year in college. Other uncommitted rising stars like Josh Selby (guard) and C.J. Leslie (forward) very well could commit to Kentucky in the coming days which could instantly bring the university back to a national prominence this coming year. Let’s face it, if you are a guard (or small forward) and have aspirations of playing in the NBA then hook up with Calipari and dribble-drive your way to the promise land. I know it’s tough on these guys to grind their way through an entire semester of classes before heading to the NBA, but sometimes you have to suck it up to succeed.

Could Kentucky Take a Major Tumble?

Things have been very exciting over the last few months in the state of Kentucky, but that all came crashing down Saturday night when the Wildcats were upset by West Virginia. Yes, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall both made first team All-American, but they are off to the NBA along with Patrick Patterson and freshman shooting guard Eric Bledsoe. Many NBA general managers think all four could end up as a lottery pick with Wall and Cousins going in the first and second picks of the 2010 NBA draft. Couple the potential loss of these four phenomenal starters along with the possibility of losing 6-10 forward Daniel Orton to the pros and there is a major depletion of talent in Lexington. Calipari is one whale of a recruiter and I don’t doubt he will land some big names (C.J Leslie, Josh Selby, Brandon Knight, etc.) before it’s all said and done, but can he reload in one year? Unless for some reason Bledsoe and Orton do return I predict the Wildcats will not be in the AP preseason top 10, but will make some noise in the weak SEC and then flame out in the NCAA tournament because they will even be less experienced than this year.

Jerry Stackhouse Meet John Wall

Check out this video of soon to be Kentucky freshman John Wall dunking all over Jerry Stackhouse in a S.J.G. Greater NC Pro-AM game from this past weekend. S.J.G. Greater NC Pro-AM the so called “Rucker of the South” has an impressive list of talent and you check the rosters here. S.J.G. Greater NC Pro-AM rosters Marvin Williams, Kyle Singler, Flip Murray, Raymond Felton, Seth Curry, Chris Duhon, and Josh Powell are some of the names headlining the talent ridden teams.

John Wall to Kentucky

After weeks and weeks of speculation the word is the number one point guard coming out of high school will play for the Kentucky Wildcats next year. Before Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky it was pretty clear Wall was headed to Memphis, but once Calipari bolted it left Wall reconsidering his options. Wall was courted by Duke, Florida and Miami in a big way along with Memphis and Kentucky, but in the end Wall went with his initial notion of wanting to play for Calipari. This latest signing for the Kentucky Wildcats is another huge notch in the belt for the program. Less than two weeks ago stud forward Patrick Patterson pulled his name out of the of the NBA draft after averaging almost 18 points a game last year as a Sophomore. Throw in the signing of highly touted newcomers like Daniel Orton, Darnell Dodson and DeMarcus Cousins and you immediately have a team that could contend for a National Championship this coming season. Finally, let’s not forget there is a possibility that scoring machine Jodie Meeks could return to the program as well. Meeks averaged over 27 points a game last year and is currently determining if he can be a first round pick this year or if he should return to college. I got a strong feeling Meeks is going to return to Kentucky due to the potential the team has to win a title. We will find out very soon if Meeks will be back and if he returns I think the Wildcats are immediately the best team in the country. I’m sure Michigan State, Kansas, Duke and other solid programs will feel differently, but Kentucky could be back and stronger than ever folks.

All Hail The King of Memphis

And on April Fool’s Day, Mitch Barnhart will introduce John Calipari as the basketball coach at Kentucky.

This is the show-stopping conclusion to a two-year running prank Barnhart has been playing on the populace, showing what a wacky jokester the publicly bland athletic director really is.

Seriously, see if this isn’t short-sheet-the-bed hilarious: In two years, Kentucky has gone from paying national championship-winning coach Tubby Smith $2.1 million a year to reportedly forking over $31.65 million plus incentives over eight years for a coach with less bling on his finger and more bones in his closet.

With a Billy Gillispie train wreck in between.

Mitch, you’re killing us! Enough with the tomfoolery!

But seriously, Mitch, given the embarrassing failure of the Gillispie era, let’s hope this one goes better. At least you got what you most needed: a big name who actually said yes, and quickly.

Of course, the quick part didn’t really play to your favor last time, did it? Hopefully, the exhaustive “fit” check on Calipari in the vast expanse of time between Friday afternoon (when Gillispie was fired) and Sunday morning (when word first got out of your impending meeting with Calipari) came back to your liking.

I know in your research you came across many people who love Cal — they love the success, the coaching acumen, the energy, the charisma, the community generosity, the battler’s spirit, the dreamer’s ambition. I’ve heard those things myself from many people I respect in college basketball.
ncb_u_jcalipari_288v
But I’ve heard a lot of other things, too. So before you two ride off to restore the glory of Big Blue Nation, a few questions for the AD:

Why didn’t you hire Calipari two years ago, or even entertain him as a serious candidate? Surely it wasn’t because Gillispie had a better coaching record — he didn’t. Surely it wasn’t because Gillispie is a better people person — few can match Calipari’s outgoing personality and zeal to sell his program on every platform.

So if Calipari was interested — and plenty of basketball insiders said he was at the time — what was the problem? Was there something else that made you leery?

Would the apparent change in your perception of Calipari as a UK coaching candidate have anything to do with the fact that your own six-figure job is very much on the line after the Gillispie fiasco? And maybe now it’s time to play ball with the boosters who see Cal’s excellent record in Memphis and want to win big again? No matter what baggage he brings to Lexington?

Look, we all know Calipari brings plenty of wins with him. Over the past four seasons, he racked up 137 of them — the most wins of any four-year stretch in college basketball history. That included four Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and a national title game appearance. Compare that to Kentucky, which in the same four-year span won only 84 games, didn’t win an SEC title, didn’t make a Sweet 16 appearance and failed to make the NCAA tournament this season for the first time in 18 years.

What is the deal Calipari???

The whole Calipari saga began only five days ago, but it already feels like it has been going on for at least 3 months. Last Friday after Billy Gillispie was fired from Kentucky the rumors immediately started flying that Calipari and at that time Billy Donovan and Tom Izzo were the leading candidates to replace Gillispie. It wasn’t very long after those rumors that ESPN was reporting Calipari wasn’t interested in pursuing the Kentucky gig. Ok, done deal right? Now we can move on to Travis Ford or John Pelphrey as the leading candidate becuase there is no way Donovan was going down that road again and Izzo is the Don of East Lansing. Well, then on Sunday a lot of new reports started coming out that Calipari was interested in the job and had even met with Kentucky officials that Sunday. This lead to basically the crowning of Calipari as the new king of Kentucky on Monday with a reported offer of 8-years and $35 million smackeroos. Ok, done deal right? Well, it is now Tuesday and Calipari has been counter-offered by Memphis the same amount of money to stay put.

Let me help you make this decision John. You can now make the same amount of money and not have to deal with the whacko Kentucky fans who will turn on you in a heartbeat. You can stay in Conference USA and possibly not lose a conference game for the next ten years. You can build a program in Memphis that people will remember for many years to come and not have the likes of Pitino and Rupp hanging over your head. STAY IN MEMPHIS AND SAVE THE DRAMA! You won the battle by getting paid so now pull your name out of the Wildcat hat!