Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is John Calipari The Devil?

Tony Wroten Jr., a high school basketball prospect announced yesterday that Kentucky didn't make the short list of schools he would consider attending next year. This gives me hope that some players are immune to the Calipari rhetoric and see past the UK facade. The Kentucky basketball program is an AAU all star team on steroids. The 2009-2010 team included 5 first round picks, 2 lottery picks, and the #1 overall pick John Wall. They all left as freshmen. The incoming freshmen class has 4 of the top 30 players in the country. As we speak Kentucky already has commitments from the top point guard, power forward, and small forward in the country (the top shooting guard and center have yet to commit) for 2011. I know coach Cal is charming, but damn!Does this sound even remotely possible? The last school to to do something this spectacular was the Fab 5 at Michigan and they only did it once. We later found out the booster paid the players. Kentucky has recruited a Fab 5 caliber class 3 years in a row. Something is not right here. Until the NCAA sanctions hit early next year it's all speculation. I'm just glad somebody stood up to coach Cal. Good for you Tony!

Here is an excerpt from my previous blog:

The UK program is in the process of taking the student out of the student athlete equation. John Calipari sees no reason to sugar coat the truth. If you're coming to Kentucky you're coming to play basketball and for no other reason. Not academics, not quality of life, and not for the college experience. His recruiting pitch goes something like this, "If you can keep your eligibility for 1 semester I'll send you to the pros. Nobody's gonna ask you to stay or make you feel guilty about leaving. We all know the deal, 1 and done. That's what I can do for you. Here's the number for the guy that will take the exams for you. Be careful, if you get caught I don't know anything about it". We all know Kentucky will be on probation by the end of next season, but is Calipari's approach really that off base? Is he the realist while we are the hypocrites? I agree he's doing what the players want and if the end result is an NBA career then everybody wins. The problem is most players won't play professional basketball very long (if at all) and left with no other no other skills to offer the world when it's done. The UK model leaves kids hollow, one dimensional, and under developed. Not everyone is going to be the next John Wall. Doesn't he owe those kids an apology?

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