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The Top Ten Players of the Calipari Era

In just three years in Lexington Coach Cal has coached an astonishing 28 different players. Among those 28 guys 15 of them will have gone on to the NBA draft due to the incredible amount of talent and all of the great performances in Lexington. But who would you place inside the top ten players of the Calipari era? In order to rank them I am going to use the CassCo. certified S.L.A.M system of rating players. The SLAM index takes into account Statistics, Legacy, Attributes, and March to determine the rank for each player. So without further ado here is number ten.

10. Josh Harrellson: The big man from St. Charles makes this list the same way he made the NBA, due to an excellent March. Jorts proved that through hard work anything is possible. His game of dodgeball with Jared Sullinger will always be his defining moment.

9. Darius Miller: The native son and only triple crown winner in UK history, Darius Miller undoubtedly left his mark on the program. After being a three year starter Darius accepted coming off the bench his senior season. Miller played with heart and intensity and the incredible legacy of a Kentucky kid playing alongside superstars like John Wall and Anthony Davis. Every kid in the commonwealth wants to be Darius Miller.

8. Doron Lamb- From Queens, NY Doron Lamb will always be remembered for his shooting prowess as he currently ranks first from beyond the arc with 47.52%. Lamb was also capable of putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket but for some reason would rarely dunk. Statistically he will be known as one of the best shooters to set foot in Lexington.

7. Terrence Jones- There were times during both Terrance’s freshman and sophomore year he looked like the unquestionable player of the year. Then there were times when he seemed to be completely checked out. Jones had the size and skill to dominate the post and his return for a second year of college was a major component of UK’s eighth title.

6. Patrick Patterson- Patterson may have saved UK from complete disaster. The PF from Huntington spent two years under Billy Clyde and was one of the few high points of some abysmal seasons. Patrick’s third year things changed. With added superstars he was no longer required to be the go to guy but he still had a lot great games. He will have a lasting legacy as the guy who stayed. Through bad times and then good and kept the program from going off the rails. Seeing P-Pat achieve his dream of playing in the NCAA tournament was a great memory of the 09 season.

5. DeMarcus Cousins- Cousins was more like a force of nature than just a center. Once he got the ball on the block he was going to find a way to score. Plus his greatest attribute was his personality. UK loved DeMarcus while every other fanbase despised him. His infamous call me to Miss State fans was one of the funniest moments in recent UK memory.

4. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist- MKG is a winner. Simply put, the guy does whatever it takes to achieve victory. He also had a bit of John Wall in him because if he was driving down the court you knew he was going to score. He had a great March capped off with his second half barrage against Lousiville. MKG will always be a favorite for his heart and intensity, a true warrior on the court.

3. Brandon Knight- Brandon Knight tried to hit the game winner several times on the road during the SEC but came up short time and again. That is, until March. His shots against Princeton and Ohio St  sparked an incredible March run that resulted in the first final four in 13 years. Knight had an incredible freshman year with  657 points, the most of any player under Cal and good for 12th in a single season.

2. John Wall- Wall might be perhaps the most skilled point guard to ever play for the Cats. He possessed incredible speed and athleticism that made him unstoppable in the open court. Wall was an absolute rock star during his time at Kentucky with people going crazy over the John Wall Dance. Imagine if there was some sort of four year college rule and Wall would be entering his senior season. Unreal.

1. Anthony Davis- Statistics: All time leading shot blocker, second in field goal percentage. Legacy: Consensus Player of the Year. Attributes: Grew to be 6’10 after learning to be a point guard. An unstoppable combination. March: Final Four MOP despite only scoring 6 points in the championship. No matter which way you look at the SLAM rating Anthony Davis is incredible. He is the best player of the Cal era and one of the best to ever play at Kentucky.

What do you think? How would you rank your top ten? Should I have included Eric Bledsoe or Deandre Liggins? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @ACassady_KSR. Thanks for reading and be sure to check KSRcollege!

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

68 Comments for The Top Ten Players of the Calipari Era

  1. First
    2:32 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink


  2. Allen
    2:37 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    this list is all kinds of jacked up.

    10. Patterson.

  3. dave
    2:37 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    sad when u cant get your own players name spelled right!

  4. Ridge Runners
    2:41 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Your list isn’t bad…here’s mine:

    10. D. Miller
    9. J. Harrellson
    8. T. Jones
    7. D. Lamb
    6. P. Patterson
    5. D. Cousins
    4. B. Knight
    3. M. Kidd Gilchrist
    2. J. Wall
    1. A. Davis

  5. Andrew Cassady
    2:43 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Corrected. I always twist that up, apologies to TJ

  6. JMac88
    2:43 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    #1 – Eloy!

  7. Terrence
    2:43 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    You must be a selfish mother f’er to not bother to look up how to spell the player’s names correctly.

  8. Whatshouldido?
    2:44 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    No way jorts is in the top 10. Laughable.

  9. john
    2:44 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Has any one seen where you can buy these team photos? I’ve looked everywhere, and asked many stores bit no one seems to know. I have many of the older years team photos, but none of recent years.

  10. Whatshouldido?
    2:45 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Cousins will have a better career than all of them.

  11. Jimmy Schmitz
    2:45 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Reverse Knight and Wall, and you have Harrellson too low and Patterson too high. It is a myth that Calipari turned Jorts into a monster. He was getting more rebounds per 40 than Pat even under BCG. The more knowledgeable fans of the game were pointing that out even back then. He was underutilized, not underdeveloped.

  12. jmoney
    2:46 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    I think you could make a case for Bledsoe or Liggins for the 10th spot but that’s a fair list. Those are probably the top 10, regardless of order.

  13. Ridge Runner
    2:48 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    8…Well then, who would you replace the player who held his own against Sullinger & Zeller & was on a final 4 team?

  14. PoopTooth
    2:50 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Miller under Harrellson? Smoking crack, Ridge Runner?

  15. furd turgason
    2:52 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    I think that was a really good list. Can’t argue with any of them being too high or too low. Bledsoe was talented but too out of control. He would have been much better as a sophomore.

  16. Ridge Runner
    2:52 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    14..haha, I take some pride in providing “a” list…unlike some …..umm-uumm, –but back to your point and it’s a valid one but Darius (I love him) would disappear often and his role to this years championship team was that of a 6th man. But I could have flip-flopped them.

  17. Ghost of Enes Kanter
    2:53 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    In the NBA, it’s this way:

    (1) Davis
    (2) Cousins
    (3) MKG
    (3a) KANTER!
    (4) Knight
    (5) Jones
    (6) Wall
    (7) Harrellson
    (8) Patterson
    (9) Miller
    (10) Lamb

  18. Union Farmer
    2:53 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Cousins has to be atleast 3 on the list. I’d go 3. Cousins, 4. MKG 5. Knight

  19. nassau65
    2:54 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    rough crowd today. hangover Sunday, no doubt.

  20. Ghost of Enes Kanter
    2:54 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    #8 — See #11, and you obviously don’t follow the NBA.

  21. Ridge Runner
    2:56 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Enes’ Ghost….dude….Wall…number 6? whoaaa… sumbody give me a glass of moonshine!

  22. lexslamman
    2:56 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Hard to pick a top 10 out of that group, so I’ll just comment on how huge our 2009-2010 team was – Cousins, Orton, Harrellson, Stevenson, Patterson, Miller, Hood and Harris – how did that team NOT win a title with that kind of size?

  23. Ridge Runner
    2:57 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    19…haha – yessir

  24. ALUKfan
    3:00 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah, Cousin’s has got to be higher than 5. At least in my own opinion he needs to be up there. I’ve still never seen a big man in the last few years have the same kind of post moves that he had when he played here. He had a great personality and he stuck fear in the hearts of all the opposition!

  25. Daniel Orton
    3:00 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    This isn’t funny.

  26. Andrew Cassady
    3:03 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Ridge Runner I had MKG and Knight switched like you do, but when I wrote why I switched them. I couldn’t complain with you order either though. It was a tough list to make.
    Ghost of Kanter- You have Wall that low on the NBA list? Once he gets on a good team or some help he will be fine i think

  27. Daniel Orton
    3:05 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t argue with Big Cuz love shown so far. He’s vastly the most upside for sure if thats part of your ranking system.

    He could easily be higher but I think some still hold his attitude (at times) against him in what could have been chemistry issues during the season and not getting past the elite 8.

  28. 44 Stitches
    3:05 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Just think in another 3 years or so how hard it will be to make this list.

  29. Ridge Runner
    3:06 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    26..I hear ya Andrew and heck, all these players for the most part could have cases made for them. Not enough to debate seriously, really. Cool post.

  30. bluecat
    3:09 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t argue with that list much. I would probably put MKG and Cousins ahead of Knight though, but thats just my opinion. You can’t go wrong with any of these guys. I think Kanter would be pretty high on the list as well, had he actually got to play in college.

  31. cwhite
    3:14 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Has everyone forgotten Bledsoe? He has to be in the list

  32. Ridge Runner
    3:18 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    31, I hear ya but I think comment #15 sums that up enough to have him outside the top ten.

  33. Radio Ron
    3:21 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Anybody notice in the 2010-2011 pic…as many suits/coaches as the number of players? LMAO.

  34. Andrew Cassady
    3:21 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    28. Yeah, after Cal is finished in Lex it will probably have to be a top 30 list to do the players justice. Next year he will bring in 5 maybe 6 new players. The will be 33 players during 4 years. I dont know how he does it!

  35. CalifCatFan
    3:22 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    What about Jai Lucas?

  36. Dan Issel
    3:38 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    You’ve got Knight rated at least two spots- maybe 4 or even 5 spots- too high.

    Harrelson probably shouldn’t be in the top 10 (and he was both underutilized AND underdeveloped under BCG).

  37. Red Bird
    3:48 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    This post has been done 1,000 times.

  38. Ridge Runner
    3:56 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Anybody got a UK – LSU Baseball score? Live out of state and finding it hard to locate a score on the net.

  39. Eric K
    3:57 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    #1 Davis #2 Cousins #3 Wall #4 MKG #5 Knight #6 Jones #7 Miller #8 Patterson #9 Lamb #10 Bledsoe #10a Liggins ! That’s my list! IN CAL WE TRUST!! GO CATS!!

  40. Mike
    3:57 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    7-6 cats win.

  41. Ridge Runner
    3:59 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    40, thx Mike! Awesome!

  42. Eric K
    4:02 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    #37 if you don’t like, go to your own LOSERVILLE site!!

  43. tdogg40330
    4:03 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    38) CATS WIN, CATS WIN !!!

  44. Ridge Runner
    4:05 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    tdogg, yeah that is fantastic. BIG series win for us!

  45. blueblue
    4:26 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Think it may be time for KSR to fill us all in on the format for SEC and NCAA baseball playoffs. I know the CWS is always in Omaha,Nb, but besides that, I have alot of questions. When and where is the SEC tourney? What format, 3 game series? When is selection day for the NCAA? How many regional host sites are their, and what are our chances of being a host? What is the format for the regionals? How many teams qualify for the CWS and how many wins does it take to win it? Anybody know?

  46. New Jortsey
    4:31 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Brandon is #2. He is way too underrated.

  47. Goggles
    4:33 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    1. AD
    2. Cousins
    3. Wall
    4. MKG
    5. Knight
    6. Jones
    7. Patterson
    8. Lamb
    9. Miller
    10. Liggins

  48. bung
    4:44 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    ad, cuz, wall, pat, mkg, miller, knight, jones, lamb

  49. bung
    4:46 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink


  50. UK Homer
    5:07 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    No love for Teague? PG of a 38-2 team…

  51. CatFanNLville
    5:12 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    for what its worth heres mine

    9) Lamb
    8) Jones
    7) Miller
    6) Cousins
    5) Patterson
    4) Knight
    3) MKG
    2) Wall
    1) The Brow

    hurts me to see lamb so far back at 9 but so much other talent ahead and I’m sure I’ll get flack for putting Miller that far at 7 but he was incredibly crucial for #8 to happen. To me Jones and Lamb were just as “disappearius” at times as Miller. Miller Jones and Lamb jummbled from 7-9 any way you like if you ask me

  52. UK Homer
    5:14 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll take the top 6 of this years team + Wall, Cuz, BK, and Jorts/Bledsoe/Liggins.

  53. CatFanNLville
    5:17 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    not sure why the smiley face….

  54. College Ball
    5:28 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    For those of you talking about NBA potential,this was not the title of the post.

  55. Dan Issel
    5:39 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Knight is 5th- at best.

    Anthony Davis was consensus NPOY and All-American, SEC POY, etc.

    John Wall won the Rupp NPOY Award and consensus All-American, SEC POY, etc.

    Demarcus Cousins was consensus All-American, All-SEC 1st team, and All NCAA Tourney Regional.

    MKG was consensus All-American, All-SEC 1st Team, All-Final Four, and NCAA Tourney Regional MOP.

    Brandon Knight was named All-SEC (1st team by one; 2nd team by another), and NCAA Tourney Regional MOP Award.

  56. smigsky
    6:15 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    All Cal Team starting 5

    Davis F
    Cousins F
    (Those 2 on the blocks! DANG!!!!)
    MKG F
    Knight SG
    Wall PG

    6th man PP

  57. HicksPickSix
    6:16 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    Very choppy/spotty writing…

  58. c1doc
    6:41 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    #1 Davis #2 Cousins #3 Wall #4 MKG #5 Knight #6 Jones #7 Lamb #8 Bledsoe #9 Harrelson # 10 Patterson

  59. Crazy??
    7:26 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    It’s amazing how people think knight was/is as good as wall? Or… MKG better than cousins? Davis, wall, cousins, MKG, knight and I don’t care about the order of the rest

  60. @Sam20Whit99
    8:05 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    10 Miller
    9 Jorts
    8 Lamb
    7 P-Pat
    6 Jones
    5 Knight
    4 MKG
    3 Boogie
    2 John Wall
    1 Davis

  61. Mkgistebow
    8:30 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    I love all these guys but knight is easily the 2nd best player cal has coached at Kentucky. We were 2 free throws away from winning a national championship and he was “the guy.” u can say wall because he was flashier, cooler, and more popular but outside of AD Brandon knight is the most valuable player to have passed through Lexington in over a decade.

  62. ksanders7
    8:46 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    1) Anthony Davis
    2) John Wall
    3) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
    4) DeMarcus Cousins
    5) Terrance Jones
    6) Doron Lamb
    7) Brandon Knight
    8) Patrick Patterson
    9) Marquis Teague
    10) Darius Miller

  63. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    9:02 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    That Davis guy is really good

  64. ksanders7
    9:04 pm April 22, 2012 Permalink

    why not my all coach cal team…
    5- Davis
    4- Jones
    3- Kidd-Gilchrist
    2- Knight
    1- Wall
    Beast of a Bench

  65. Mater
    12:27 am April 23, 2012 Permalink

    Boogie @ 3.

  66. Hmmmm...
    12:47 am April 23, 2012 Permalink

    I loved both Liggins and Lamb. I mean I LOVED those two (two of my all time favorites). But I must admit that they are around 8th or 9th on the list. Amazing when you look at the talent over the past three years.

  67. Lou eaton
    8:27 am April 23, 2012 Permalink

    NBA says Cousins, Wall, Davis, MKG, Knight and rest are a few steps below these five…………..first three will all be NBA all stars almost every year…

  68. don boyd
    8:26 pm April 23, 2012 Permalink

    they are all number one especially the great guy from the commonwealth, MILLER !!!!