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Article written by TJ Walker

74 responses to “What’s next for UK after James Wiseman picked Memphis”

  1. drew_123

    Get a new assistants who can actually recruit worth a damn.

    1. Irish son

      Yes, they realized he really isn’t a great coach. He’s a decent coach who needs GREAT talent to win

    2. KentuckyFan232

      Pathetic “fan” right here. Hop on someone else’s bandwagon.

    3. drew_123

      How is it pathetic that I’m expecting coaches to do their jobs?

    4. jahanc2uky

      Or maybe, Cal switches his strategy and goes after the 3-4 year players like UNC & Nova have done over the last 5 years. It has worked out pretty well for them and if everyone but Johnson, Washington, Reid come back to next years squad, UK would be in great shape to compete for 9 wins in a row come March.

    5. madarchitect

      Real fans see this comment as pathetic. How many recruiting classes were better than Kentucky’s?

  2. Shagaris Sock Puppet

    Cal has not been the same since he took the USA coaching job. Something happened that turned superstar talent to go elsewhere.

    1. drew_123

      He hasn’t been the same since losing to Wisconsin. Ironically that season might have been the downfall for him at Kentucky.

    2. E11Q

      I think it started even prior to that when Coach O took the job at USF. I’m not saying that Barbee is to blame for the lack of top 5 recruits over the past two seasons, but UK has definitely missed out on some high level NBA guys since the Fox/Monk/Bam class which is right around the time Barbee took a more active role on the staff. I’m hoping that recruiting is just cyclical and that the pendulum swings back towards the UK side of things soon. However, if you really look at it, the first two schools that really embraced the one-and-done thing, UK and KU, have both been missing out on the top 5 guys since Duke decided to jump on the ship too. I’m wondering if the debacle that was the one year with Skal, whom Cal openly admits to having almost ruined, hurt recruiting more than anything. I mean yea we got Bam the following year, but I don’t believe he was a top five recruit in his class.

      Hopefully this year’s team gets it together and can make a deep run in March that spurns another wave of great recruits. Personally, I think that we might be bringing in TOO many players per class. You look at Cal’s best teams at UK and they’ve only been about 6-7 deep. The obvious exception is the class with KAT, but that’s because we had the rise of WCS and the surprise return (based on pre-season hype) of the Twins that led to a more bloated roster than Cal originally anticipated.

    3. TonyMontana

      Granted, he does get the #1 or #2 recruiting class every single year and he does already have two Top-10 players for next season, but yea ok.

  3. Truman Claytor

    The grad transfer?? Is there even one serviceable, let alone stand out, player that would A) be eligible to be a grad transfer & B) bring the kind of talent that Kentucky is looking for? Read Travis is not common, and the idea of the grad transfer sure you’re available for the picking is ludicrous. One jackass mention idea, and everyone else keeps repeating it mindlessly

  4. UKfanman01

    Bring Coach O back

    1. CATandMONKEY


  5. 2blues

    When Penny took the job Wiseman was lost. No matter who Kentucky has as the recruiter. Can’t blame UK staff for this.

    1. BigolBlue

      What about all the other guys Cal lost?

    2. bigbluebanana

      Other than Duke, who has had better recruits? Since Cal has been here, overall, we have had far better players than Duke year in and year out. Duke has changed that the last couple years, but we are always number 2 in recruiting. Your argument makes no sense, you’re just bitter and you’re a fair weather fan. Kentucky has never been as prominent as we are now with Cal…NEVER

    3. BigolBlue

      1 title in cals tenure banana. 1. What about final fours? What about elite 8? Blah blah. It comes down to titles. You think the patriots count their super bowl appearances? You think Celtics count eastern conference titles?

    4. bigbluebanana

      Yes…that’s why they hang those banners in their stadiums you sardine. Also, other than Rupp, who else at UK won multiple NC’s? Other than Rupp, who puts us in the discussion year in and year out? The product when Rupp coached was so terrible that 7 six foot white dudes could win every year. It’s not 1958 anymore. I cannot wrap my head around what you want out of this man. There is literally no one else who could do what Cal has done, and will continue to do. If 1 NC is your logic for hating Cal and calling him a failure, then it should stand to reason you consider every other coach st UK a failure too. So, by using my usually flawless logic, you haven’t been happy since Rupp won his 4th in 1958. Joe B., Pitino, Tubby…all won only one. 1title in their tenure bigolblue. I’m going to venture a guess that IF you were alive in 1958, you were very young. No one since then has had more success at UK than Cal. NO ONE!! So, have you just been a miserable, fair weather fan this entire time????????

  6. mgwolfe


    I’m not comfortable with anyone coming back except for Green. Whitney not signing early is a red flag IMHO. Have no confidence in any of the bigs currently still possibilities.

    Can only hope Whitney does sign or show up and miraculously Montgomery comes back along with bringing in Hurt and Edwards then I’d feel real good again.

    Probably would be some small ball play next year.

  7. cking

    Cal has been missing big recruits since 2013… Wiggins…
    Then we lost on Bennett, etc etc.
    The kid that went to UCLA etc etc
    Jaylen Brown

    Losing Wiseman sucks…but it’s nothing new.

    We are not winning again with Cal…

    We are in decline…It’s all Duke now.

    1. E11Q

      Wiggins wasn’t even the best player on his own team lol. And didn’t that team fail to advance as far as UK that year?

      The best players are very seldom ranked #1 in their class. AD is the exception (and he wasn’t a consensus number one). Look back at the rankings coming out of high school on ESPN. Wall/Cousins weren’t ranked number 1. MKG wasn’t. Harrison Twins weren’t. Julius Randle wasn’t. Booker/KAT weren’t. Jones wasn’t. It’s not about getting the number 1 recruit, it’s about getting the ones who are the best in their class come Feb/March.

      Sometimes that is evident right away (Wall’s class comes to mind) sometimes it takes much longer (Fox’s class comes to mind). But by the end of the year, there was no arguing that both Fox and Wall were the best guards in the country (I’ll die on the hill that Fox was/is/will always be better than Lonzo was). That wasn’t the case last season and I fear it may not be the case this season. Each of our guards has such a glaring weakness that idk if they’ll have time to develop it before crunch time.

    2. Ez21

      Wall was ranked 1

    3. BigolBlue

      True ck

    4. Wade

      Your a bitch!

  8. notFromhere

    He has a relationship with Penny that goes back years. He could do anything for the kid and the NCAA couldn’t say squat. Memphis is somewhat of a fortress/prison and Cal knows that better than anyone. Hard to get out once you’re in.

  9. cking

    Hurt is going to Memphis now…book it!

  10. Bobbum Man

    I wonder if there’s more to the adidas/sponsors paying these kids and Kentucky (knowing they’ll be under the microscope) not touching any of them or not being willing to give anything extra to land a commitment. Not making excuses but as you said it’s sure been a strange year or so in the recruiting trail

  11. pcashen

    He was going there for Penny but if we don’t get at least one of those guys your talking about I’ll be very worried

  12. binarysolo

    Don’t forget, the one-and-done rule will be gone in a few years.

    1. big cat

      I hope that will change the landscape for the better. I would prefer to get to “know” a lot of these players for more than 1 year….bring back that old tradition.

  13. lexslamman

    Like I said before, it feels more like we’re returning to the Tubby Smith era every day

    1. kjd

      At least Tubby teams played defense.

    2. BigolBlue

      Yeah and Tubby was a better coach. So we are in trouble

  14. big cat

    A lot has been discussed about Cal. I believe he’s done. He’s complacent. He is NOT the same coach. It seems that the sentiment surrounding Cal’s abilities are increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger concern every year….and yep, here comes Tubby ball all over again. You can’t help to like Coach Cal…..but I like the old Coach Cal….the one not afraid to rip someone, but it just seems like the past few years he has been way to hung up on sending guys to the league. I think his ultimate goal is about his ego and for some reason he gets more satisfaction in sending guys to the league instead of hanging banners. I can’t stand to watch this experiment any longer. We know the results…..reload, create our own hype, then get let down, then do it all over again. I love UK sports, but I’m not feeling it like I was when I was a kid. I get it. Things change, but I’m cannot be the only one, can I? I don’t want to feel disinterested. I am genuinely concerned that we are at the point where we need some leadership change. Again, not attacking Cal here, but something seems wrong. If recruiting has become this crazy, then I’ll move on to watching volleyball or something else.

    1. E11Q

      Cat, we’re averaging over 85 points per game. On what planet is that “Tubby Ball”? We are still constantly signing MULTIPLE 5 star guys per season. On what planet did that happen under Tubby? We have been to more Elite 8s and Final Fours under Cal than we did under Tubby by far. If you think the ten years with Cal have been ANYTHING like the ten years under Tubby, then please do us a favor and forget to pay your internet bill next month so we can be spared from your asinine comments and ridiculous observations.

    2. bigbluebanana

      People like that won’t listen. They cannot be moved away from their stubbornness. We could win the championship this year and they’d only b!tch because we didn’t win it by enough. Miserable people = miserable fans.

    3. bigbluebanana

      Who you want to get? Who is going to do better? I’ll wait all day long for your suggestions. You guys don’t want OAD’s. When we get a bunch of solid 2-3 year guys, you folks don’t have the patience for them! I don’t blame Cal if he is disinterested, our fans are an absolute cancer. There’s a reason UK fans have a reputation of being absolute shite. Hint: because it’s true. Why would any coach or player even want to come here? Anything short of a 40-0 Championship season triggers all you folks to non-stop complain. Would you honestly be happier with Shaka Smart and a bunch of 4 year guys that would be lucky to even make the sweet 16 once every 5 or 6 years?

    4. ryan1723

      Tubby – 10 years – .76 win percentage – 5 SEC titles – 1 NCAA championship
      Calpari -9 years – .81 win percentage – 5 SEC titles – 1 NCAA championship

      It’s really not all that different?

    5. Matt10

      Tubby’s one title was with Pitino’s players. It went downhill from there.

    6. bigbluehank

      Couldn’t agree more, big cat. Since his arrival, one of Cal’s top priorities has been sending guys to the NBA. Fans went along with it the first few seasons, seeing it as a refreshing change from the Billy G seasons. However, Cal’s fascination with loading the Association with “his” guys has finally surpassed his desire to win games and titles. Some fans may enjoy watching the NBA Draft every year; fair enough. I just can’t get excited about watching a guy who stuck around campus for nine months then bolted for the pros. And for the fans who claim not caring about UK players in the NBA makes a person less of a fan…no, it doesn’t. In my eyes, it proves that person is even more of a UK fan, caring about players currently on the roster. KSR has not helped with this issue by loading their site with the nightly stats from every UK player in the Association.

  15. Jiminy Crickets

    Coach Cal has most talented team in country in 2015, and couldn’t beat Wisconsin. He followed that up with Team USA U19 where he hand picked from the best talent in the country and lost convincingly because he couldn’t figure out how to stop one guy. Cal has has numerous 9+ loss seasons and his teams struggle all season before hoping to turn it on in March. Most real UK fans have known Cal isn’t a great coach, now everyone knows it. Getting blown out by Duke was the straw that broke camels back. Cal has had most NBA talent than anyone else by a mile, but only 1NC in 10 years, and that only occurred because he caught lightening in a bottle.

    1. E11Q

      Do me a favor. Outside of Jay Wright, K, and Roy Williams, tell me how many other coaches have multiple NCs in the past decade since Cal joined UK…..don’t worry, I’ll wait.

    2. Jiminy Crickets

      So Calipari has been here 10 years and you asked me to name other coaches to have multiple championships other than the 3 coaches that have each won two, add in the 2 NCs UK lost to UConn, plus Cals 1. That’s 9 of last 10. And the 10th was UL winning title while we lost to Ralph Mortis. So it’s hard to name more coaches with 2 when K, Wright, Roy each won 2, and UConn also won two (8/10) and pitino won the other….Soooo…. you don’t think Cal should have been able to beat WVU with Wall/Cousins/Patterson? You don’t think 2015 was most talented team in basketball, or losing to the UConn team that Louisville destroyed by 30 just 2 weeks before we played them. You do me a favor and show me a coach in last 10 years to have more talent than Cal has had…. don’t worry I’ll wait

    3. secrick

      You guys are a bunch of cry babies, read all the post . CRYYYYINNNG,. Maybe you are all card fans and just glad we didn’t get this guy. Most of you would cry no matter who the Coach was. The guy that wrote this article seems to think we might as well close down Basketball .Good God T.J. stop all the negative B.S.

    4. E11Q

      You’ve had 7 coaches win a championship in the past ten years. Cal is one of them. I mean damn dude! He literally only lost 1 game the year Wisconsin beat them in the 4 (and that was a fluke). Dude it’s impossible to go undefeated! Even as good as Duke is this year, they’ll probably lose 2 games. The last time UNC won it was the year they beat us on a last second shot, otherwise we probably win that Chip.

      He took a 7 (or 8) seed to the Final Four and you’re not giving him any credit for that at all. I mean its HARD to win an NCAA championship. You have to win six straight games, at 3 different locations. You only get one day to prep for 3 of those games (including the national championship game) and you can’t make any mistakes because it’s single elimination, not a best-of (insert number here) series. It’s HARD my dude!

      I get you WANT to win a championship every year, but to actually EXPECT to is ludicrous. You can’t ask for more than Cal has done for us. We have been a legit threat to win (either because we made a run or had the talent) to win a chip every year except for when Noel got hurt. You can’t ASK for more than that.

      Again, I emphasize, only 3 coaches have won 2 titles since Cal came in 09. There’s so much luck involved in winning a national championship that it’s ridiculous. If you can’t see that then you’ve got no business commenting on these boards. And I’d better not see you posting on here if this year’s team messes around and wins a championship (or even makes a run to the Final Four).

    5. bigbluebanana

      You’re being to rational for these guys. 40-0 with a championship every single year would be the only thing good enough for these guys, and that’s just a maybe. Bunch of spoiled rotten jerks. Actually, I bet I know what would make them happy…a team full of Tyler Herro’s. We could go 0-32 then but they’d be praising the effort. Bet.

    6. BigolBlue

      Banana prob thought Gillespie was a good coach. Big blue tint apologist

    7. bigbluebanana

      Nope, he was terrible, but I still cheered for him and the team every game. Please look at the top comment where I owned you on coaching throughout UK history. It’s tough to make delusional arguments when I hit you with facts isn’t it?

    8. Kat4Life

      Nothing personal, but you are over-reacting here. Cal has established himself as one of the very best of his profession. He consistently has a top 3 recruiting class, has won over 80% of his games, is in the HOF, has won a national title, and has arguably the hardest job in America. Time to pump the brakes a bit on bashing him. Coaches rarely win games anyway, players do… for the loss to West Va when Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe were there, that loss was on the players.

    9. E11Q

      Big Blue and Blue Banana, you guys are exactly right! Unreal expectations for this team because their life is so unfulfilling on its own, they must live vicariously through the exploits of 18-20 year old college basketball players.

  16. Kat4Life

    Well…..not sure how this will be interpreted, but from where I sit we will likely have Junior Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery back next year. That along with a ridiculously stacked backcourt will ensure we are Top 10 next season, and give us another year to sign a few decent bigs……Do not even allow yourselves to get excited about Carey or Stewart, cause they are not coming. Not sure about Hurt, but the latest FBI brouhaha around Kansas might help us, might not. Regardless, he is not a true “big” anyway.

  17. clarks

    wiseman for nit mvp next year.penny cant coach and will b exposed as the year rolls on.we will be fine and if it takes shady dealings to get a commitment then move on to the next.not saying wiseman going to memphis is shady but several out there are.we lead for zion but back off and its already been reported in first fbi trial that his dad had hand out to kansas.ill take the players that want to come here without being paid over forfeiting games and probation.C A T S CATS CATS CATS

  18. dbake

    It is obvious that something is wrong. Something is different. I’m going in on the assistant coaches. Joel Justice how exactly did he become a asst. he does not have a track record to be a assistant coach…brings no recruiting pitches what so ever…hey come here I played at UNC Wilmington….tony barbee hey come here I got fired at auburn for my coaching….kenny payne…most qualified of any…should be there…but his skill set was big and no one can argue the past two years he has lacked there and looks like year 3 will be the same…gotta make changes at some point

  19. BPatte

    I can’t understand why we spend time and money chasing lost causes! We’ve done it for the last 3 years.

  20. BigolBlue

    Losing more recruits. Thats whats next. And not winning titles. Cals seat needs to be warm

  21. BPatte

    Wonder how many times Wiseman gets on tv this year??

  22. Booby Petrino

    These comments are hilarious. The hall of fame coach with over 80% winning percentage at Kentucky can’t coach. Should be fired. But if the only thing that makes a coach a great coach is titles, then basically you’re saying the only people who should replace him would be Coach K, or Ol Roy, or Kevin Ollie. Because who else has won more titles that could currently coach? So stupid. No wonder other fan bases hate uk fans… So many idiots.

    1. E11Q

      Definitely not Ollie lol. Dude won EXCLUSIVELY because Kemba decided he was gonna be NBA Kemba the last month of the season lol.

    2. bigbluebanana

      Can’t you see we are hopeless? Can’t you see Cal sucks? UK couldn’t win an NAIA title! Etc, etc…I’ve stopped defending UK fans to my friends who are fans of other schools, because they’re right. We have the worst fans on the planet. If I was Cal, I’d be disinterested with fans like this. It’s embarrassing to those of us who love our team win, lose, or draw. We are LUCKY to have gotten Cal, and are lucky to still have him.

    3. Kat4Life

      Yup…..there is nothing preventing some of the lunacy typed into this site. Just shake your head and move on……

    4. Booby Petrino

      I forgot Jay Wright. E11 I know we don’t want Ollie, I was just naming coaches who have more titles than Cal since the geniuses on here think the only thing that makes you a good coach is titles.

    5. E11Q

      Banana, I don’t think we’ve got the worst, but definitely some of the most delusional lmao. Many of which have very limited experience with the game itself and those (of the delusional fans) who do have experience, played at some no-name county school that’s never actually been competitive in the KHSAA.

    6. Booby Petrino

      nevermind the Ollie suggestion anyway, I had it in my head he won 2 but he only won 1. My bad. So that lowers it to three people who could currently coach who have more titles than Cal.

  23. Jiminy Crickets

    When this team fails to reach elite 8, and they all leave and its rebuild hype all over again, I’ll come back and find you and we’ll talk. I’ll make a bet with you. If uk wins NC I’ll never post here again. If they don’t you don’t. Want it?

    1. runningunnin.454

      LOL, so we would get UK, and you would get the other 350 Division I teams, including the odds on favorite, Duke.
      Only a fool would take that bet; and, only a fool would think someone would.

  24. clarks

    we r still one of top teams this year everyone relax we will b fine.still great shot at national champs this year.duke is incredible i will give them that but 90% of the time #1 team does not win championship. if they go down in tourney it will be wide open.

  25. recliner coach

    Agree something has changed but what? Is it a bunch of little things adding up or 1 major issue? Cal is stuck in his ways and will always have players conform to his system rather than playing each player to their strengths. Every game he screams at the top of his lungs the whole game calling out players mistakes. That has to get old. Yes u have to coach but a more positive way is needed, his breaking u down to build u up system no longer works. Nor does his spill “I can get u to the league”. So now he has to rely on his coaching and he can’t adapt his team to play the way it needs to play to win some games. I like the man but he has to be willing to admit his system is not working like it used to and I don’t think he will admit that.

  26. DelrayCat

    Too many people pointing to one thing…Cal. But maybe some of it goes back to a spoiled fanbase. In the era of Trump, many young black men may be turned off by moving to Lex and the state of KY because it is mostly lily white and totally right-wing. Also some players from urban areas are also choosing to go to State U, and KY doesn’t have a lot of home grown talent. We’ve also had numerous assistant changes. Plus let’s not forget the Rupp atmosphere is usually like a night at the opera. So my point it is that it could be many reasons we see this small dip in talent…and not just Cal losing his swag.

    1. bigbluebanana

      Hear, hear ^^^

    2. Wade

      Starts with the school. Students should have that place packed! It is a college right?

  27. VirginiaCat

    Big Cat, you are not alone. Kentucky basketball doesn’t feel the same the last three years. Like you, I don’t want to be indifferent or lose interest, but it is hard to stay excited when the program follows the same predictable, disappointing pattern. Kentucky starts the year highly ranked with high expectations, and then we muddle through a regular season with disappointing loses and a diminished ranking. We put our hopes in the post season but, lately, we fizzle out. Last year we had a once-in-a-lifetime path to the Final Four, but lost to an inferior team. We are missing on top five recruits. It’s not so much that Cal has lost his edge on recruiting, it is more a case that other coaches have jumped on the OAD bandwagon and are doing it better than Cal. I appreciate what Cal has done for the program, but I sense that his era has run its course. He was a pioneer with respect to the OAD system and prospered, but college basketball has caught up and Cal has not adapted. Cal has been stubborn, complacent, and his focus on the NBA has short-changed Kentucky. As I have said before, constructive criticism should not be confused with disloyalty. If you truly love the program, sometimes you have to take off the rose colored glasses in order to discern the emerging reality.

  28. michaelb

    It’s not all that bad considering position less basketball . Plus if we win a title some how this year we will get some guys to look at us . Just gotta play good this season (eventually)

  29. Aar

    Next year could be when BBN learns what “Positionless” and “Small Ball” mean, first hand. Not a bad thing, just different. It may also put Cal’s assertion that “without a post presence your team’s a fraud” to the test.

  30. Rocket868

    BRING….. COACH….. O……. BACK!!!!!!