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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Cal really to blame for roster weaknesses?

(If you haven’t noticed, the Rants and Ramblings are moving to 9AM permanent to make room for some kind of comments post about a radio show.  I thought this world had moved past radio, but what do I know.  And despite arguing with Beisner about my 3 1/2 years at 10AM, he gave me this message and ended the discussion:

Sie werden einschlafen oder ich werde Sie stellen, zu schlafen. Was ist das, Ihre Finger verletzen? Gut jetzt ist Ihre Rückseite gonna Verletzung, weil Sie die Postenpflicht von Nacht gezogen haben. 

Translate it jerks.)

It’s no secret that this year’s roster is a little thin.  Honestly, only 6 regular players, with fans cringing with about the next 2 or 3 off the bench.  Certainly not what fans thought would ever happen under Cal, but a lot of odd occurrences happened over the past year to lead us where we are today.  And you have wonder how much blame Cal should take for the problems with the roster this season.  First, take a look at what the roster was PROJECTED to be in the middle of last season: 

Projected 2011 Roster
Eric Bledsoe
Daniel Orton
Darnell Dodson
Brandon Knight
Terrence Jones
Doron Lamb
Darius Miller
Deandre Liggins
Josh Harrellson
Jon Hood
Enes Kanter
Stacey Poole
Jarrod Polson (walk-on)

Bledsoeleaves, which wasn’t a surprise in March because of his draft stock.  But, when he was recruited in 2009 he was expected to be an “understudy” to John Wall and then take over the program for at least 1 season in 2010-11.  His draft stock suddenly rises.  He leaves.  So be it.

But Orton was really the killer.  If Orton stays, as he should have and was expected to, he would have given them a defensive and better offensive presence in the post, allowing Harrellson a better opportunity to play spot minutes, which would be more to his strength.  Plus, Eloy Vargas was only recruited in response to Orton leaving, so we wouldn’t have to struggle through his play. 

Dodson leaving cut the Cats back at the guard spot, which would have simply allowed the Knight-Lamb-Bledsoe trio some less minutes, possibly saving them more on the stamina side of things.  But, Dodson would not have seen many minutes with those expected guys ahead of him. 

Then Kanter is declared ineligible, which hurt with the CURRENT roster, but not would not have been such a killer with the EXPECTED roster.  With Orton and Harrellson still on roster, Kanter would have been a bonus.  He was always a risk from the get-go, but once Orton bolted, it made him necessary to success.  He then is declared ineligible, and we have the center dilemma UK has. 

So, Kentucky lost Bledsoe, Orton, Dodson, and Kanter.  In return, they got Vargas and more minutes for Harrellson.  Seems like a pretty poor switch to me. 

But the question is: Is any of this Coach Cal’s fault?  It seems many blame his “recruiting practices” as the reason this roster is so young.  But in reality, if things had worked out as Cal had hoped, he would have actually had an EXPERIENCED team coming back.  And remember, the players in the junior and seniors classes are Billy Gillispie’s, so those players and their performance does not fall squarely on Cal. 

Point is, Bledsoe’s draft stock rising was not Cal’s fault.  Orton being an idiot and the Magic being dumb enough to draft him was not Cal’s fault.  Dodson loving the plant more than schoolbook may or may not be Cal’s fault.  The NCAA decision on Kanter was not Cal’s fault.  Three of the four players that are missing from the roster Cal could do nothing about.  Dodson was a problem anyway, so did we really want him? 

People who criticize Cal’s coaching this season, his vulgarity towards Jones, and his late game decisions I can understand.  What I don’t get is how the ACTUAL ROSTER itself is Calipari’s fault.  What could Cal have done differently to change the roster for this season?  Your thoughts?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

109 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Cal really to blame for roster weaknesses?



  1. twnky
    9:04 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    All i want today is a W! Thank god we are playing at home.



  2. average fan
    9:09 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Cal probably knows more than I do about basketball. Maybe!



  3. will
    9:09 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    what you dont know is if Orton had stayed would Kanter or Jones even been here? Dodson hurts but he is an idiot so do you really want him out there? The main problem is not getting the bench ready to play.



  4. 2 confused
    9:09 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I’m actually too confused to respond to this post because it actually makes sense…with BTI’s name on it…head hurts.



  5. Moose
    9:10 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Bryan,

    Great post! I have been saying this all along to people down here in west TN who are giving Coach Cal grief. Orton was so dumb for leaving and his draft stock would be so much higher this year. We are 17-7 with this young, short roster but are so close to being 22-2. Coach Cal can’t control everything that happens to his roster, but we can always count on him to do his best to reload.



  6. Persian
    9:12 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    BTI at 9 am?!? This is Madness!!



  7. I can't see the comments
    9:13 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Good post. Mumford and Sons would be proud.



  8. PharmSchoolFan1989
    9:13 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    @3 Kanter would still be ineligible, and Jones plays a different position. So Jones’ recruitment would have been a non-factor regardless of Orton’s decision.



  9. Mr. Translator
    9:13 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    They will fall asleep or will place I you, to sleep. What is that, your fingers injure? Goods now are your back gonna injury because you pulled the post duty of night.



  10. Capnmonkey
    9:15 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    If the responsibility has to fall on someone, it has to be Cal.
    If Cal were the boss at any random company and a number of his employees got fired or quit it would be his responsibility if the work didn’t get done.
    It’s like the story of the chicken and the pig. Cal is the pig and all the responsibility falls on him. The players are the chickens, and while they arguably control the pigs fate in significant ways, the blame still rightly falls on the pig for the overall success or failure.
    I’m a big fan of what Cal has done so far, but the best recruiter in the country and the highest paid coach in history should never be caught in this situation.



  11. Japrick
    9:16 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I like seeing Jorts play. Cal’s teams have always been perimeter oriented. Last year was not his style of play. We played that way because it fit the roster. The center position is usually a simple one under Cal. Rebound the ball and get put backs when available. The dribble-drive offense does not run through the post. With tat being said I think Harrelson’s play has been more than adequate.



  12. CoCoUK22
    9:16 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Everybody needs to chill out on Coach Cal. He is, by far, the best pick for the Cats and he hasn’t even been in the program for more than two years. Yes he is going to crank out players to the NBA but not ever year is he going to produce 5 first round draft picks! Let Cal settle in for a couple of years and then if things don’t change, then so be it. We still have a chance year in and year out of reaching our #8. Let Cal get his guys and not Billy G’s guys on the court. Nothing against Liggins, Jorts & Miller but Cal has turned them all into better players. Just think of what he can do when his whole team is players that he recruited to fit his style. Cal is an unbelievable coach and he really doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Yes, we know he is a terrific recruiter. But, he is also in the top 3 of NCAAB coaches. Moral of the story, cats fans need to be patient and watch Cal bring UK back to the top.



  13. The Situation
    9:16 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    You will fall asleep or I’ll put you to sleep. What is it, cut your finger? Well now is your gonna back injury, because you have taken the post of night duty

    Ummmm…???????



  14. Cats#1
    9:16 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    How many can we sign this year? Should we take a couple big guys from Juco teams? This would help with some size and help the team not to have to count on so many Freshman next year. This would give us a more balance roster.



  15. Bryan the Intern
    9:17 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    9) Well, that was close I guess. But not quite there.



  16. Eli
    9:17 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    He practically ran off those five last year. You know he does that. “For their benefit.” Yes, he’s to blame. And if he keeps doing it we’ll always be thin, relying on Freshmen. The fans won’t tolerate that, no matter how many pompous rationalizations he offers up.



  17. ihate1andDones
    9:19 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    This is the result of one and dones. It so absurd. Whats the point in coming to college. If your good enough to go pro then do it out of high school.



  18. bigbluefan1
    9:21 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    How many of our recruits would have come here last year if bledsoe and orton wouldve stayed?



  19. Timpleton
    9:21 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    At no point last year was that our projected roster. Jones, Polson and Kanter didn’t even commit until after the season was over.



  20. GummyBear
    9:25 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    16… “the fans won’t tolerate that” … yeah, the fans will get sick and tired of being in the top 25 and national title contenders every year. Success be damned! The fans want 10 mediocre players who might be good by the time they are seniors instead of five really good players now.



  21. Bryan the Intern
    9:26 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    For #18

    March 31: Orton declares for draft
    April 8: Bledsoe declares for draft

    April 14: Knight commits to UK
    April 17: Lamb commits to UK
    May 15: Eloy Vargas commits to UK
    May 20: Jones commits to UK



  22. 3 fan
    9:28 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    To those crying, would you rather have Gillispe? Then our freshman class this year would have been Dakota Euton!!! Seriously, some of you are complete idiots. Relax and enjoy this year. Cal’s already reloaded and looking to add even more talent. Orton screwed UK all around when he left. You want to bitch about something, bitch about Orton.



  23. the nail
    9:28 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    19) Proving BTI wrong is like Karen Sypher, everybody gets a turn.



  24. Coach Cal
    9:28 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Eloy is my scape goat. I knew I could bring him in, knowing he was going to be terrible, and when people ask ‘why’, I can say, hey he scored 30 in junior college. How am I supposed to know he is going to suck in the worst basketball conference in the history of time and space?



  25. CadizCat
    9:28 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Free Enes!



  26. Lou eaton
    9:29 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Speaking of Cal’s tough words to Jones, I seriously doubt that the Kan St coach last night was asking the player whether he intended to attend Mass on Sunday! Talk about going bonkers on your players now this guy needs serious medication….



  27. BlueinMI
    9:29 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Well stated. Cal is NOT to blame for the current roster shortage by any means. “His” freshmen players are excelling and we’re just struggling to get the upperclassmen to adjust to their roles as leaders. Wait until he has a full roster of players next year or the year after before blaming this on him.



  28. Bryan the Intern
    9:30 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    The only recruit who came because of somebody leaving was Eloy Vargas, who was recruited because Orton left. Jones, Knight, and Lamb all would have VERY LIKELY come no matter what.



  29. BA
    9:30 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    None of the players like him. Ask them after they leave. The problem with Poole isn’t a lack of talent. He doesn’t trust the coach and the coach doesn’t trust him. Period. Liggins should have played ahead of Dotson last year. He’s the same guy he was last year, Cal just chose to treat him bad. Ask him when he leaves if he plays differently. NO! He plays that’s the difference. Cal said last summer BEFORE workouts, that he would play six people. It hasn’t worked, so he blames the four reserves who he told to fight their way out of a hole that he stuck em’ in. Silly.



  30. big blue
    9:30 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    To be honest, we dont really know what kind of impact Orton would have had on this team. We’d like to think, and I’m sure all agree that he would have been more reliable than Jorts, but that’s just an assumption. Maybe Doyel (I believe he was the one who wrote the article) was right, maybe Orton left last year because he didnt want to be dsicovered a fraud in the next few years, and took the NBA money when he knew it would be the best and and knew his stock would not get any better. Dodson wouldnt have helped this team at all. I defended him to the bitter end last year, and he never came through. I’d much rather have Lamb out there than Darnell. Cant blame Bledsoe for leaving, but he would have been huge to this years squad. Really miss Crank Dat Mustard!!!!!!



  31. Sheeeeiiiit
    9:30 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    12) well said.
    16) if cousins or Bledsoe would have stayed and then gotten a career ending injury then what. It’s why Jones will go pro and why Cal encourages them to fulfill their dream.
    Here is a thought. If you were consulting for UK engineering students and they had an opportunity to leave school early and get a job paying millions with a great company based soley on their skill set, what would you say? Are you suggesting the best advice is for them to stay at UK for the benefit of the schools engineering program.



  32. William Braskey
    9:31 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    BTI is a moron. You are making the assumption that keeping guys around wouldn’t change the minds of the guys who HAD YET TO COMMIT. We didn’t have the situation like this year, where our class is already signed, sealed, and delivered. We didn’t get commitments from half of the 2010 guys until after the 2010 roster had made up their NBA minds. Remember all of the 2010 guys saying Cal had told them 5 were gone? We weren’t going to get Lamb and/or Knight if Bledsoe stayed. Cal had stated how much he disliked walk-ons prior to the mass exodus, so Polson probably wouldn’t be on the roster either. I am not sure that Jone’s decision would have mattered much, since Orton can’t play the 4, but there’s no way Kanter and Jones would have come to sit on the bench.



  33. 3 fan
    9:31 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    17, Go root for Tubby.



  34. BigRudy
    9:32 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Orton do good?



  35. William Braskey
    9:36 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    All of the one-and-done haters need to remember these names:

    Alleyne
    Orbzutz
    Perry
    Simms
    Chiles

    Now tell me how those names are better for the program than

    Wall
    Bledsoe
    Cousins
    Orton
    Jones

    There needs to be continuity in the roster, and we aren’t going to have 5 guys leave for the pros every year. Cal brought in Poole and Lamb to be here more than a year, and he’s talking to the Anderson kid for the same reason. The cupboard was left barren by Gillispie and a quick-fix was needed. Now give the man time to put his players on the floor together.



  36. Bryan the Intern
    9:36 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    32) Which guys would not have come in if Bledsoe and Orton had stayed. The point guard (Knight) and power forward (Jones) spots were going to be open. Maybe Lamb? He was a Kentucky lean the entire time.



  37. JimmyJohn
    9:38 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I think Coach deserves a little blame for the lack of depth with the BIGS. Orton was real possibility of going pro, and Kanter was 50/50 at best. I think Coach should have had somebody in the mix as a back up in case things didn’t work out. Now, Coach has 5 kids go pro and the very next year we are in the top 10. Also, if Kanter did work out……this team would be a top 4 team without question. So, things didn’t work like he wanted, but he is still the right guy for UK, but the question is…..”Is Coach Cal to blame for lack of depth?” The answer is yes in my opinion.



  38. Jacocat
    9:38 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Its not very smart to say Cal runs guys off to NBA. I am sure you would stay if you could be a millionaire.It is an NBA rule you have to 20 yrs old or one year out of hs.



  39. sunnycat
    9:39 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    17 You cant go pro straight out of high school.



  40. KevinC
    9:42 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Cal’s recruiting practices are definitely at fault, in some part. But they’re also the reason UK has had more #1 recruiting classes & McD’s AAs in the last 2 (soon 3) years than the entire history of the program combined.

    It’s the ultimate Catch 22, and if you’re Cal…and most UK fans…it’s a problem you’re happy to have. Tubby Smith had 2 good classes in 10 years at UK…and the best player on those teams didn’t really shine until they left UK (and his coaching style) and entered the NBA. Cal gets immediate impact players, and manages to make them better than advertised, in most cases. Demarcus Cousins ends up another Renardo Sidney or Tiny Gallon, without Cal as his coach, mentor, and father figure last year.

    I do believe this though: at some point, Cal is going to have to find a way to strike a balance, either in the types/caliber of players he gets…. or at least find a way to convince them they need 1 more year under him to be ready for the NBA. If he continues to “reload” every single year, UK will NEVER see another NC under Calipari.



  41. hilljack
    9:42 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Cal was punished by NCAA indirectly by ruling Kanter ineligible so it is his fault on Enes.



  42. bung
    9:43 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Run



  43. Emmert still sucks
    9:43 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I trust Cal and his recruiting record is second to none. But I am still confused about Poole. Was he a total miss on Cal’s part or did he really think he could play and it just hasn’t panned out. We definitely need more and better numbers. Don’t think 6 players will get us very far.



  44. sunnycat
    9:45 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    16 What are those five he ran off are doing this year. The players he ran off were BCG recruits and didnt get any playing time under BCG. If BCG wouldnt play his own recruits why should Cal.



  45. CM
    9:45 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    If Kelenna Azubuike stays his senior season 2005-2006… Rondo, Morris, Crawford, Bradley, Sparks, And Kaz…



  46. Meine zwei Cent
    9:47 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Sprechen sie Deutsch? Nicht schlect, ein wenig rau aber. Ich nahm ein Stuck deutscher wahrend seines Aufenthaltes in Berlin. Gehe Katzen! Gewinnen Miss St. Nicht schieBen jemanden wie UT.



  47. Aebly
    9:48 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Orton would have been a non-factor anyway due to his knee injury. Stayed or went, he would have been just as useful. Moot point with that one.



  48. sunnycat
    9:48 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    45 If a frog had wings he wouldnt bump his ass



  49. Meine zwei Cent
    9:48 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Lassen Sie sich nicht BTI haben neun. Gib ihm das 6.00-steckplatz.



  50. KyReds
    9:49 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Yes he is to fault!He cannot depend on only 1 center with a bad backup player!Jorts is only a ok player !He needs to recruit & have a backup for every player on the roster!He put all his eggs in 1 basket & you can`t do that !To get that type of player to come you can recruit 2-4 all americans & then the rest of the players in the top 100 that will commit to more than 1 year!I do not like the 1 & done players!



  51. CM
    9:54 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    If Shawn Kemp didnt steal some jewelry and a bag of money didnt open in transit.



  52. Sheeeeiiiit
    9:57 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I’m a big fan of Cal. But he does need to learn a lesson from this season. Mostly about the SEC. We will need some big guys every year that will go in and defend the post in the SEC. Not saying to run the offense through the post. Just get some regular meatheads with attitude to add fouls and rebounds.



  53. Oops
    9:58 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Wanna get revenge on Mississippi State? Here is Renardo Sydneys cell number. Blow it up 310-733-7951



  54. Mike
    10:00 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Calipari needs to take some of the blame for Kanter. Everyone knew when he was in high school about his eligibility issues.



  55. bigcat76
    10:02 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I also think Cal underestimated the weight the NBA would place on a player from UK, because he wasn’t used to having a name like that behind him and his players, have last years record didn’t hurt either. As far as last years draft goes…lightning in a bottle. He never in his wildest dreams expected Bledsoe and Orton to get drafted in one year, then early March came along, their stock was high, and he was playing recruiting catch-up from there. Not ALL his fault, the stars aligned a little too well last year to be overcome this year.



  56. Just saying
    10:04 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    If Dodson didnt leave, along with Bledsoe we would have never gotten Lamb and Knight. Wishful thinking though.

    Kinght and Lamb waited until AFTER the draft cats to decide on UK. Whats the excuse going to be when next years freshman leave after one year, Liggins and Miller graduate and the team has a full roster of freshman???

    The truth to this season is actually more defined as Calipari’s inability to recruit a top big man. He saw Orton was leaving, and didnt have a back-up plan, so be thought he’d try his best to sell Kanter to the NCAA and if it worked great, and if not “its not my fault”. Where are the big men next year? As it stands, Vargus may need to start for next years team because if anyone thinks Davis at 6’10 200 can play center full time, theyre crazy.

    Its already showing that Calipari knows it, by going after 3-star PFs to fill the gaps. Calipari can get any guard he wants, and can have the pick of most small forwards, but Post men will be Calipari’s weakness. DeMarcus Cousins was the exception, not the rule to Calipari’s big man recruiting. And its obvious if Calipari doesnt have 5-star talent he cant win.

    I hate UL and Pitino, but they dont have a 5-star player on their team and what I wouldnt give for Terrence Jennnings, or even George Goode. Watching Kuric, Chris Smith (walk-on), and even Marra play and get great production makes me finally realize the difference between a coach that can recruit great talent and put them together as a team, and a coach that can win with no matter who is on his roster. If UK and UL switched coaches for the year, UK would be top 15 team (under Pitino) and UL would be in the NIT 9under Calipari). Id bet my life on it.

    Calipari said when he came to UK “If you cant play, I cant hide you”. Man was he telling the truth there, problem is he cant help them play either. If Kanter was eligible, Harrelson would barely ever play and when he did, he would look like Vargus. Harrelson progressed because he went to China over the summer (hence Calipari had NOTHING to do with his progression)



  57. The Scarlet Pumpernickle
    10:05 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah….I gotta agree 100% with all of this. Very good post.



  58. UK
    10:08 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    53, seriously? 5 years old?

    Leave the guy alone.



  59. Big Blue 66
    10:09 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Look, how many coaches can have 5 players go in the first round of the freakin draft and come back, reload and have a legit team the very next year? Look at little Butler, lose one guy basically and they are back to being nothing. And Im soooo glad to finally have a coach in place that is going to bring in the best year in year out and challenge. If Cal did anything wrong this year, it was maybe not playing Poole, Hood and Vargas a lot of minutes early in the season agaisnt lower teams. In Cal I trust



  60. Jacocat
    10:13 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    If there is a lockout in NBA this year next year we set a new record in the draft.



  61. BigBlueFan31
    10:17 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    53. Really?? Revenge for Boogie??



  62. Recruiter
    10:18 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Cal recruits kids who have only the NBA in mind. So they will always leave at the first opportunity. I played D1 sports at a top 5 – 10 program, and my coach harped on the professional ranks all the time. we didn’t have a realistic chance to leave early, no one ever did it back then. But it’s all we thought about. Fast forward to today when they have the chance and they will do it every time. The roster will always be a roller coaster with Cal, and since juniors/senior usually win the NCAA that will be tough to do with Cal. Not to mention his in game coaching.



  63. Just saying
    10:19 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    The other thing is Bledsoe and Orton WERE NOT NBA talent, and neither are Jones, Knight, or Lamb, but if even a slimmer of hope for first round…theyre gone.

    Just like Orton and Bledsoe (and Patterson) this years freshman will be lucky to even make a NBA roster. Knight cant take physical play, Lamb is to small and not all that athletic to be any different than all the other 6’3 shooting guards in America, and count the number of times per game that Jones gets knocked to the floor and he thinks the SEC is physical?

    But they’ll go, and next year will be 4 freshman + Liggins and Miller, another 6-man rotation with ZERO bench that will have Vargus, Hood and Poole as the first (and only) in the rotation. Next years team has as much potential to be WORSE than this one as it does to be better



  64. ukchampion
    10:24 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    BTI i agree entirely. and i didn’t read the whole post so i don’t know if you addressed this but even further to Cal’s credit he coached up Harrelson to help deal with losing 3 elite big men. just imagine if Harrelson did not improve much since last year how bad would we be??

    Cal caught some bad break with the roster and i do hope he learns from that and compromises his strategy a little to retain more players.



  65. WhatIfs
    10:24 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    If my aunt had testicles she would be my uncle. I can only imagine, What if?



  66. jumbo
    10:26 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    everyone just needs to calm down!



  67. Just Saying Sux
    10:32 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I’m just saying, just saying sux with his view on everything.



  68. Just saying
    10:33 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    64. Harrelson improveed because he went to China, and didnt spend one red minute with Calipari over the summer being “coached up”.

    Harrelson did improve, but at the beginning of the season, when Calipari still thought Kanter was going to be eligible, he treated Harrelson like a rag (remember Josh was mad Cal would even tell him good game, and tweeted about it, only to have Cal take his twitter account away). It wasnt until everyone realized Kanter wouldnt be here, that Calipari even gave credit to Harrelson for his improved play.

    Harrelson improved because he wanted to improve, it had absolutely nothing to do with Calipari



  69. enes
    10:38 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    The original enes says. As Cal says you people are crazy. We have the best coach and recruiter for our program. Shut up and do your job if you have one and let Cal do his. Meantime go sign up for more unemployment. Beware the fake enes!



  70. enes
    10:38 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    The original enes says. As Cal says you people are crazy. We have the best coach and recruiter for our program. Shut up and do your job if you have one and let Cal do his. Meantime go sign up for more unemployment. Beware the fake enes!



  71. john4uk
    10:50 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Are you trying to tell us that the roster is not Cals fault?Whose fault is it that Vargas ,Hood,Polson,and Poole are’nt making significant contributions? Vargas is 6’11”,Hood 6’8″,Poole 6″4″ and yet these guys are playing sparse minutes even in games that were decided in the 1st half.



  72. sailorman
    10:51 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Cal’s next recruits look a little skinny to me. Why not also get a couple of 6’8″ athletic four year bruisers to put in when the 5 stars are tired and the refs swallow their whistles?



  73. Dodson
    10:58 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    There aint nothing wrong with loving the plant.



  74. ctcats
    10:59 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    16….you are an idiot. How does Cal “run off” 5 first round picks. The NBA had to want them. I would think Cal putting them into position to be drafted Round 1 is not a negative thing.



  75. nunja
    11:00 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    One could easily make the argument that his attitude that the most important thing is getting players to the NBA as quickly as possible led to Bledsoe and Orton leaving (the best day in UK history isn’t one of their 7 championships- its when 5 19 year olds got rich). Everyone (outside of a few folks in lexington)knew Kanter was going to be ruled inelligible. After all, an “anonymous” coach was reported as saying that if Kanter was ruled elligible he was going to recruit Ricky Rubio next year. Plus, you can’t forget Cal kicked 4(?) scholarship players off the team last year. If Cal isn’t to blame, its the shortsighted fans and administration to blame for the “win now or leave” attitude.



  76. LOOK @ MICHIGAN STATE
    11:01 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Seriously! Look at Michigan State. They have loads of experienced veterans who some of which have played in TWO FINAL FOURS!

    Michigan State will be lucky to make it to the tournament! Coach Cal is the best recruiter in the country and we are lucky to have him. With Cal ww are good every year! By good I mean a ranked team with potential to go deep in the tournament EVERY YEAR!

    Michigan State is the prime example that talent is better than experience!

    All you haters need to shut up, this is Cal’s 2nd year and we are good! You idiots dont have a clue what your talking about saying we need four year players! Harrellson is a four year player, has he in his 3 years at UK contributed more that Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Knight, Lamb or Jones? NO WAY!

    Just shut it cause you guys are unreasonable!

    GO CATS, COACH CAL FOREVER!



  77. Cristoforouk
    11:02 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Bledsoe’s draft stock rising is definitely Cal’s fault! He got the most out of Bledsoe and let him shine in a role for scouts to see. Obviously this is a huge positive as a coach, so it being his fault is not a bad thing, but I think Cal is responsible for Bledsoe’s rise in his stock.



  78. Mack
    11:05 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    4) You hit the nail on the head, surprised! Or maybe it was not BTI and Matt hired a ghost writer.



  79. kyjerry
    11:07 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with this article on Bledose and Bledsoe alone.

    1) There was obviously bad blood between Orton and Calipari and Orton clearly didn’t get enough minutes last year. At least partial blame for Orton’s decision is in Cal’s hands.

    2) Cal knew exactly what he was getting into recruiting Kanter and took a major risk recruiting him and expecting him to be eligible. It didn’t pay off. This is not just the NCAA’s fault.

    3) His lack of oversight of Dodson (and all other players re: academics) was made blatantly clear by the media. This was also at least partially his fault.

    He just needs to get it together. There’s only so much stability #1 recuriting classes can give a major program like this one.



  80. RICK
    11:08 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I think we should have a frigging blue out, white out, blue and white out and get out of the out house.



  81. dudeupnorth
    11:13 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Everybody needs to just chill out! Coach Cal may be at fault for the current lack of depth this team has, but what coach out there could come back after losing 5 players to the draft and not have a weak bench? It’s insane to think any other way. This team got over-hyped at the beginning of the season and the current state has everyone thinking and saying pure craziness. I didnt expect a whole lot out of this team, as many of you obviously did. I thought they were a sweet 16 team at best with a chance to sniff the final four had Enes been ruled eligible. Bledsoe and Orton leaving were a bit surprising and can’t really be forseen. I personally don’t think any of our freshman this year are ready to play in the NBA (and yes that’s including Jones) but you can’t blame a kid with $ being waved in his face for grabbing it. In my opinion both Knight and Lamb will be back next year, Jones is probably gone because of the hype around him and the fact that he’s being projected as a lottery pick.(Good luck getting him involved anytime soon whoever drafts him though) The NBA loves potential! i.e. Bledsoe and Orton. It may take time but Cal can and will adjust his recruiting methods and everything will be okay in due time. Patience PLEASE!



  82. kyjerry
    11:14 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Also as other people pointed out (intelligently), Cal preaching the idiocy of the one-and-done rule and then at the same time relying on players to come back is silly. He needs to prepare for every top recruit to leave with the opinions he takes.



  83. U.S. Marshal Raylon Givens
    11:22 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Too many idiots in this fanbase.



  84. Al's IndiCats
    11:37 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    If you want to blame anyone for the one and dones, blame the NBA and thier scouts. They’re the ones who screwed the pooch when it was legal to go to the pros right out of HS. They couldn’t determine if a kid was ready, and hopeing he’d work out as a “project”, but in the short/long run the kid would be a bust. Not only has this rule damn close to ruining the college game, it’s ruining the pro game also. They need to change said rule to 2 years in college. Not everyone is going to be a John Walls or a BIG CUZ to where they could handle the pro game day in day out right out of HS.
    As for folks to lay the blame on Cal for this years woes, my best guess is that everyone give Miss Cleo a call to see what’s going to happen at the end of the season and next year.



  85. sunnycat
    11:51 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Look what the roster was when Cal came to UK. Without Cal where do you think the roster would be right now. Yeah we might have 13 scholarship players and you can bet your ass they would all be four year players. And instead of a young team losing close games they would be getting blown out on the road and at Rupp.



  86. Peoplewhowork
    11:55 am February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Coach Cal performed a miracle in his first you pulling in Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Orton, and keeping Patterson. He has pulled in a #1 recruiting class again for this year and another for next year. He is in his second year, my expectations have been exceeded.



  87. sunnycat
    12:06 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Cal has had more talent come through Lexinton in his two years than there has been in the last 15 years. Quit acting like the “one and done” players are hurting UK. UK is finally getting the kind of players that would pass us by for unc, duke, kansas or anybody else other than UK. For the first time in college bball history five guys go in the first round from one team and UK fans act like this happens at UK every year. I will take a rebuilding year under Cal over Tubby or BCG any day. There isnt a Tubby or BCG recruit I would take over a Cal recruit.



  88. sunnycat
    12:07 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    86 AMEN….the voice of reason



  89. sunnycat
    12:09 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Cal has kept UK ranked since day one



  90. BigBluReason
    12:14 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I say when the season is done then we judge. What if Cal takes this team to the Final 4, would we even have this conversation? Either way I am happy to be talking about Championships again. Next year could be another magical year, but I am not counting out this year until its over.



  91. Ricky
    12:19 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Poole was the first to commit and Cal had plenty of rides so of course you take a top 50 guy when no one else has signed yet. Cal may have known he wouldn’t be ready in year 1. A lot of UK fans have forgotten what little impact a typical freshman has.



  92. Rob'sHairgel
    12:20 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    The only thing Cal has done that I disagree with is not Redshirting Perry last year.If he was available this year,we would have a team with Veteran Leadership and help down in the post.Would the record be different? I would say yes,but that’s just my opinion.



  93. Rob'sHairgel
    12:22 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Good point #85



  94. Whateva
    12:26 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    You silly people are letting Cardinal fans and the media convince you that getting the best players in the country is a bad thing. Wake up! I am so disgusted with you so called UK Fans. Its like Im reading a Jerry Tipton article or something. A bunch of spoiled brats. Be thankful you have the best coach in the country and enjoy his ride here while he is here. Ask Memphis fans, bet they would take him back in a heartbeat! Coach Cal is the answer and I support him 100%. I don’t think he will win a championship here, I think he will win several. Just be patient!



  95. coldspringmike
    12:28 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Bledsoe leaving was not coach Cal’s fault ? I say it is. He put him in a system and coached him “up” to showcase his talents to the NBA. Problem is, he coached him “up” to much and we lost. Cal’s fault for being a good coach.



  96. Checks Pool Room
    12:33 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I think Orton knew he had bad wheels/knees even sat out most of his Sr. year in high school.So he wanted to get the money(from NBA) and run with it.Just look now, out for the year with the Magic.And it looks like now that Patterson is the one that should have stayed.



  97. Everybody Chillout!
    12:38 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    GREAT POINT #76



  98. UKGOBIGBLUE
    12:44 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Look at the bigger picture; none of these kids are ready for the NBA. If anyone does leave for the NBA, they are stupid !! No matter if the NBA locks out or not; no one from this teams leaves, and Cal has enough openings for this year current team, plus next year recruits. I’m more than happy to give up this year to get the team we will have next year.



  99. Pikeville25
    12:51 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    None of this is Cals fault…U dont expect stuff like this to happen…if it wasnt Cal or UK we wud have KaNTER…..Lose 5 to the NBA, and then Dodson….Cal is doing an amazing job with what he’s got to work with, and help IS coming next year….we only have 7 losses after losing all the players we lost….we have been in the top ten at one time and remained in the top 25….No other coach could do that….Look at Tom “I do No Wrong” Izzo…..hows his final four team doing this season after returning every player from it? Cal is the savior to this program because Gillispie had us going nowhere but down down down……and Tubby started it…



  100. Pikeville25
    12:53 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    sorry 98 but Jones is ready and will be a top five pick, hes gone….Knight is definitely a first rounder, maybe top 20 right now…..who knows who will leave, but Id like for 2 of the three to stay.



  101. sunnycat
    1:00 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    75 Those five couldnt get on the floor for the coach who signed them so why should Cal keep them? Pilgrim had to sit out a year and he hasnt done anything at OSU.



  102. WHO'SBLU4U
    1:06 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Lets not forget Patterson was just a junior! Think about the team we would have right now!



  103. WHO'SBLU4U
    1:07 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    (100) Jones is too predictible for the League right now he is mid 1st round at best!



  104. sunnycat
    1:09 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    55 “I also think Cal underestimated the weight the NBA would place on a player from UK”. WTF are you smoking



  105. WHO'SBLU4U
    1:22 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    #75 must be a Tubby fan! Cal never kicked anyone off the team he simply told them they wouldn’t see the court and he was right! Who cares if he had 12 Eloy Varges’s we would still have 6 players with minutes. The point is, Cal and every coach in America wants the best players! Cal is the only one to be able to actually recruit the best at every position and actually land them. We won’t have five players go 1st round this year or possibly ever again! Lets remember it had never happened before! We are seriously one Enes Kanter away from a gimmie NCAA title this year GO CAL! & GO CATS!



  106. dudeupnorth
    1:39 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    100) Jones may very well be a top 5 pick but that doesnt mean one bit that he is ready. How crazy does that sound? I guess not that much to NBA teams/scouts who wrongfully place these kids so high.



  107. Musehobo
    3:03 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    Ha, remember when we kept winning close games last year, and Cal kept giving us HIS version of our record. Everyone was getting pissed at him saying “We SHOULD be 10-8 right now” (or whatever he said). But that is the difference right now between the two teams. Honestly, with the roster being as it is (Bryan got it right for once- it’s not Cal’s fault) can we really be mad at him because this team can’t finish like last years? We knew this team wouldn’t be as good…but when it comes down to it, we are a few John Wall last second shots away from a similar record. Just enjoy being ranked, and having an opportunity for a shot at this year’s championship. We could still be in the NIT.



  108. Sheeeeiiit
    3:44 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    76) that is exactly right! Also look at KState picked for the final four may not see the tourney….with all the four year players you could ask for.

    107) that’s right too! I think some UK fans are the ones with unreal expectations four this team. Not Cal though and not even last year.

    I keep saying this though. All the crybabies bitching all the time, right or not, will eventually make it suck to coach or play at UK. Is that what we want? To have a rep for bitching Cal and his top recruiting classes out of town because certain dummie fans are impossible to please. Not me. I want Cal here for as long as we can keep him assuming we stay in the hunt for a NC each year.



  109. atlantabrave
    5:29 pm February 15, 2011 Permalink

    I wouldn’t mind, in addition to the elite players cal gets, to see us pick up a 3 or 4 star in every class. Someone who will stay for three or four years so we will always have that veteran base. Im really afraid all these one and dones r going to catch up with us sooner or later. If cal has one down recruiting year uk might be in trouble.