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UK’s Calipari Defiant After Championship; Writer Says He’s Just Getting Started… We Agree

John Clay of The Lexington Herald-Leader doesn’t sound like a man who thinks John Calipari will be leaving for the NBA’s New York Knicks anytime soon.  And it doesn’t sound like he believes Calipari’s first national title will be his last.

An excerpt from his column today:

“Outside (UK’s locker room on Monday night) stood John Calipari, weary and happy and a tad defiant.

‘There’s a lot of angry people right now, that said you couldn’t do it,’ the Kentucky coach was saying.  ‘Tried to put the black hat on me and all that stuff.  They’re not real happy.’

Those mad men (and women) better get used to it.

Monday night wasn’t the end of something, it was probably the beginning.

‘If this was 1985, I’d have all these guys back and we’d be trying to go undefeated next year,’ he said.  ‘It’s not 25 years ago.  It’s now.’

No one has figured out ‘now’ better than John Calipari.”

Indeed he has.  UK could possibly lose its entire starting lineup to the NBA Draft this summer.  We’ll know next Tuesday who all is a’ goin’ and who all is a’ stayin’.

But is there any doubt that Calipari will simply reload with five of the best recruits in the nation if/when that happens?  And after three years of doing things his way, Coach Cal’s track record looks pretty good: Elite Eight, Final Four, national title.

Whether kids arriving, playing and leaving in seven-month intervals makes a mockery of “college” basketball or not, Calipari didn’t create the rule.  He just knows how to win while using it.

Clay is probably right, SEC fans.  Kentucky and Calipari are on a roll.  Eventually the coach will land some kids who won’t have the attitude to buy into his team-first philosophy, but he hasn’t yet.  (And if he has, they’ve made it at least as far as the Elite Eight anyway).

The only thing that can run UK off the tracks at this point is a Calipari departure or some sort of NCAA bust.  And as we noted earlier today, Calipari’s never been caught doing anything wrong despite the fact that he’s the most-eyeballed coach in the country.

So get used to it.  Just as Alabama will be the SEC favorite in most years so long as Nick Saban is in Tuscaloosa, Kentucky will be the league favorite in hoops just as long as Calipari is kicking around Lexington.

The league’s traditional powers both look as if they’re just getting started.



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