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Calipari and the Recruits at the Card Game

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They didnt win the game, as of right now they didnt get any commitments and when it comes to the fan rivalry factor, they didnt get any bragging rights against their Big Blue neighbors. Thus the folks in Louisville have to have something to complain about the day after the Governor’s Cup. This time they have chosen the idea that John Calipari was somehow involved with their recruits on their visit during the game yesterday. Complaints come from a report on television (I believe from the pregame show on WTVQ in Lexington) in which Calipari was claimed to have walked near the UL Assistant coaches and recruits on campus and kept their attention while doing television interviews. Someone used the word “stalking” and the tv commentators mentioned that the looks on the faces of the Assistant coaches and players was priceless. The story has now developed that Calipari kept looking and “stared down” the UL recruits on their visit, all causing Card Paranoia to hit higher decibels than normal.

Here is the reality. I spoke with an individual around the area in question and they told me that Calipari was asked to do an interview with Channel 36 on their pregame show and he went to where their cameras were set up. The UL coaches had made the poor decision (potentially because their coach didnt seem to be in attendance, or at least didnt get noticed by the cameras) of having their recruits waiting there as Calipari came over. As he always does, Calipari drew a lot of attention and my sources says that the UL recruits “looked at him constantly during his entire interview.” Calipari didnt talk to the recruits or make any looks in their direction, likely for one obvious reason. At this point, he isnt actively recruiting any of them. The Quincy Miller recruitment is totally over and the Chane Behanan one seems to be on hiatus with the commitment of Kyle Wiltjer. Calipari walked past the players and Assistants after the interview was over, and soon thereafter the story began getting out that he was following the recruits.

While some fans picked up on the words said by the WTVQ announcers, one also has to assume that part of the whisper campaign comes from those Assistants as well. Steve Masiello is notorious for feeding information to the media and message boards about Calipari and he has joined our good friend Pat Forde as seemingly the biggest attempted provider of John Calipari “information” of anyone in college basketball or the media. It is widely whispered that Masiello seems almost “obsessed” with Calipari and his doings and those that speak with him have told me that if “you get in a conversation for five minutes with Steve, John’s name will come up…guaranteed.” Whether he put out the story of Calipari following the UL players yesterday or not is unclear, but if there is a face of Cardinal paranoia, thy face is a Masiello.

Ultimately this whole thing doesnt really matter. Kentucky has four players that are in contention for the best class in UK history, and at some point will likely have another. Thanks to hiring a shoe company executive, Louisville will likely get one of its best classes in history, although still behind UK. But the worry about Calipari still dominates everything in Card land, so much so that even when they have players he doesnt want, they assume he will find a way to take them anyway.

Article written by Matt Jones