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Cal Wants to Continue to “Push the Snowball Down the Hill”

 

[T]he biggest challenge when you win is complacency.

Such is the unofficial motto of John Calipari during the first post-championship offseason he’s ever experienced.  Clearly, the celebration is over, and the work has resumed in full force.  That’s not to say that Cal isn’t enjoying himself: I think he loves recruiting in the summer.  And now that he’s added hardware to the hoopla, it’s gotta be even more fun than usual.  As he discusses in his most recent blog,

I look at this as though we are pushing a snowball down the hill. At some point there is going to be a hill and we’re going to have to go up, but the harder we push now and the faster we get this thing rolling now, the easier it will be to overcome that hill later.

I just want to make sure that neither my staff nor my team is complacent as we move forward. Wearing the Kentucky uniform and being the coach at Kentucky does not guarantee success. You have to work at it. Nothing is automatic. You’re not going to automatically recruit the best players and win games just because you’re at Kentucky.

We understand there is the Kentucky Effect, but that only comes into play when you’re driven to be the best and you work to be the best. For my staff and players, are you willing to put in the time and sacrifice certain things to achieve elite status?

I always love to keep you informed. I know you are starving for any recruiting information, and I want you to know we are not going to take any steps back coming off our championship season. We are going to continue to push the snowball down the hill.

We know from past experiences that the admonition against expecting success “just because it’s Kentucky” is well-merited.  To think that four years ago, Billy Gillispie was taking his team to the NIT amidst a swirl of rumors and suspicions, while many of us expected him to do well with the tools the Kentucky job offered, is proof enough.  It’s not enough for the staff to expect success, any more than it’s acceptable for the players to expect it.

In the same way, I think this is a good opportunity for Kentucky fans to sit back and appreciate just how much this coach “gets it.”  Cal is fresh off his first championship, working to secure what could be the best recruiting class anyone has ever seen in college basketball.  We should not take this success for granted.  This is an unprecedented era in modern college basketball; where parity was supposed to be abundant, Cal has seemingly furthered the gap between himself and the competition.  I’m still amazed at the level of excellence the program has achieved, and sustained, in his tenure.  As he and the staff works to secure the future of the program, we should be (and are) extremely thankful for its present.

Also, in typical Cal fashion, there’s the ever-so-sly Pitino dig:

I want us to stay humble in the fact that five different coaches have won national titles at Kentucky and none have won any at any other school.

Brilliantly played, Coach.  That was so subtle, you could almost think it was unintentional.  I like to think that everything Cal does is intentional, even if he leaves some wiggle room in the interpretation every now and then.

Article written by Corey Nichols

15 Comments for Cal Wants to Continue to “Push the Snowball Down the Hill”



  1. QuoteyMcquoterson
    1:08 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    that last quote is pretty genius



  2. Will Totten
    1:12 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    I wish I could start my day off every morning by giving John Calipari a high five. He was born to be the coach at Kentucky



  3. old blue
    1:15 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    2. I hear that!



  4. MyronPryorsLivingRoom
    1:24 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    Great article Corey. Keep it up.



  5. Sheeeeiiit
    1:32 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    4-I agree!
    This was a very good article. Cal is doing things at UK that will last. He thinks about his own legacy but combines it with the state of the program after he is gone. The locker room at Rupp is a good example of him pushing things that have a long term effect. I think Cal has proven he is a good hearted person. His detractors are simply not paying attention to the good side of Cal.



  6. keepitreal
    2:50 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    Okay Cal, took a dig about not winning a championship at another school. Well Cal, was coaching at the same time Rick won his first with our boys and yes Rick had a loaded squad but other programs had that type talent also spread out. So Cal, should not get the big head besides Rick, has kept all his post season wins on record. It kills me to see fellow BBN fans, laugh at what or forget what he met to us her. Cause without Rick,at that time.Uk is nothing anymore.



  7. uofl fans
    3:06 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    All uofl fans HATED pitino when he was at UK, hated him! But we all loved the fact that we got him – (in our minds) away from UK. If you told us all then that pitino would have as many NITs as Final 4s, we wouldn’t belive you and probably wouldn’t want to waste our time. And most of us would have rather not have made the Final 4 this year if we knew we had to lose to UK and watch them win it all.

    We all say Cal cheats and talk bad about him – but we would ALL trade him for pitino in a heart beat, believe that!



  8. Bluey
    3:16 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    But the Crypt Keeper hasn’t kept 8 NCAA violations or paying to abort babies off his record



  9. woo's gummy snacks
    3:17 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    fellow cats fans…support our coach and go to his website to read the article



  10. kyblue2 says
    3:45 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    CoachCal is so good at coaching and recruiting all Fans out side of UK is Jealous.



  11. Cat's Balls
    4:09 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    Billy Clyde used to push the snowball down the hill too, but only in the hope that there was a huge glass of Wild Turkey at the bottom.



  12. Tommy
    4:13 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    Do you think sometimes Cal is just ending his letter with a fact. Do you honestly believe that he has to put a shot in his notes every time. I think some of the writers on KSR are conspiracy theorists and this is coming from a hardcore UK fan. Then again I could be wrong and you could very well be right.



  13. East Kentucky Infidel
    4:48 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    Look out below! That’s one big snowball Cal is pushing.



  14. coyotevomit
    5:16 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    I think Billy Clyde pushed snowballs down hills too….to put them in kiddie pools of bourbon at the bottom to keep them chilled.



  15. COBB SALAD
    6:43 pm July 22, 2012 Permalink

    Cal has plenty of history using media to indirectly communicate to players. Whether it be to call them out of psychologically motivate them, it’s pretty obvious when he does it.

    This however, is directed 100% at the staff recruiting IMO.