“The untold story at Kentucky.”
It’s a headline that reeks of Thamel or Forde, but it was actually written by John Calipari. Today, Cal put a post out on his website detailing the program’s many accomplishments under his reign: 17 draft picks, a national championship, unparalleled exposure, etc. etc. But, before you discount his post as another Calipari humble brag, he wants to add another accomplishment to that list: academics.
No, really. Let ’em have it, Cal:
Of our 10 players who have been eligible to graduate by the end of their senior years, all 10 will have graduated after this weekend. For you math majors out there, that’s 100 percent. We’ve also had a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average over the last three years.
(The snarky math majors line makes me love Cal even more.)
Who are those ten? Ramon Harris, Mark Krebs, Perry Stevenson, Patrick Patterson, Eloy Vargas, Josh Harrelson, Darius Miller, Jarrod Polson, Jon Hood and Twany Beckham, the latter three of which will receive their degrees this weekend. Cal also points out that if you count Wayne Turner and Marquis Estill, who have both come back to finish their degrees since he’s been here, the number of graduates goes up to 12. Additionally, the team had five players on the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll this year, which doesn’t include freshmen, and UK’s four-year APR composite score of 963 is “well above the NCAA’s cutoff mark of 930.” Hardly Harvard, but hey, we’ve got national championships to win here.
As college basketball’s unofficial “one and done” rep, Cal has received plenty of criticism over the years for players leaving early. I can’t help but roll my eyes a little bit when he starts raving about our “graduation rate,” but something that he and the program should be commended for is the number of players that return during the offseason to work towards getting their degrees, including Anthony Davis and MKG this summer. The one-and-done rule has made players leaving early an inevitable reality, but Cal fosters an environment that encourages them to finish their degrees in addition to achieving their dreams.
I dare someone to go ask Bobby Knight what he thinks.