Over the past few years, the Kentucky/Duke rivalry has amped up thanks to Duke’sÂ 2015 title and Coach K’s success on the recruiting trail. As a result,Â John Calipari has upped his gameÂ and, in the past six months, recaptured the momentum from his friendly foe. Not only did Duke have a roller coaster season after everyoneÂ predicted they’d win the title and possiblyÂ go 40-0, it was full of drama, and this morning, freshman Frank Jackson announced he’s staying in the draft, theÂ third Duke freshman to do so alongside Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum.
To add insult to injury for the Blue Devils, on Saturday, Kevin Knox shocked everyone by picking Kentucky over Duke, Missouri, Florida State, and North Carolina. All of the momentum was going in Duke’s direction before the announcement, but Knox chose Calipari over Coach K, a turn of events thatÂ pushed Cal into super swaggy mode. Not only did Cal ride a hover board around his kitchen, he told reporters he’s “not done yet” with his 2017 class yesterday at the combine, a not so subtle nod in Mohamed Bamba’s direction. Duke is also a contender for Bamba, which makes the tweet Cal sent earlier today so great. While having lunch in Chicago this afternoon (at which appears to be Rosebud on Rush again), he took a minute to compose this tweet that includes a shot at the Blue Devils:
I was in this restaurant the day we played Duke in 2015-16 and Malik Monk committed! It was like we won three times that day. pic.twitter.com/tHv98berFw
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 12, 2017
That day was November 17, 2015, and not only did UK beat Duke that night, they got a commitment from Bam Adebayo that morning. Malik Monk announced his commitment to Kentucky the following day, the 18th, but I’m guessing Cal knew about it beforehand, making the 17th a red-letter day in his book.
Between Bamba, Diallo, and Cam Johnson’s decisions, there’s plenty of uncertainty right now, but Calipari feeling good makes me feel good.