On John Calipari

So, I had a lot of fun watching Kentucky’s men’s basketball team this year, and I think 30 wins is an impressive feat any year but especially in what was perhaps the most competitive season of SEC men’s basketball during Cal’s tenure in Lexington. I also freely admit that if you equate fun basketball with winning basketball–and I mostly do–anyone who could reasonably replace Calipari would only produce a less enjoyable basketball viewing experience.

Having said all of that, I have to point out the following:

  • After ten seasons in Lexington, Tubby had one national championship and averaged 26.3 wins/season and 2.3 NCAA tourney wins/season. For those efforts, Tubby was run out of Lexington.
  • After ten seasons in Lexington, Cal has one national championship and averages 30.5 wins/season and 3.1 NCAA tourney wins/season. For those efforts, Cal was awarded a lifetime contract with the University of Kentucky.

So, a little more than 4 extra wins/season and a little fewer than 1 extra NCAA tournament win/season is the difference between packing your bags for the frozen tundra of Minneapolis and a lifetime contract. How do we explain this? Racism? Institutional insanity? How many AdCon faculty at UK can’t afford basic dental care while Cal is kept on a permanent retainer until his corpse is emulsified and served as the flavor of the month at Orange Leaf? Do we, in the most obnoxious, grating voice possible, say, “well, actually, that’s an apples to Orange Leaf comparison; those are two different eras that come with different expectations?” Can I point out that Tubby only had 4 fewer wins/season and 1 fewer NCAA tournament win/season with far, far, far less talent than Cal? Can we draw any conclusions about Tubby and Cal as in-game coaches? If we do call Cal’s in-game coaching into question, could he improve? Could he have more than one baseline inbounds play? Could he learn to make in-game adjustments? Given his massive salary and lifetime contract, should he improve? Or should he just cash those checks and continue to get out-coached by the likes of Bruce Pearl and Bruce Weber and Roy Williams and Tom Crean and Bo Ryan and Kevin Ollie and Andrew Toole?

Just some questions 🤔

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