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UK – The Exclusive Offer


Recent news tells us that Coach Cal spent time visiting 2012 5-star prospect Archie Goodwin yesterday in Arkansas. Goodwin not only dropped 32 points, but he dropped a few telling lines, as well.

To Nation of Blue, Goodwin texted, “I got the offer from Kentucky.”

The offer from Kentucky. Not an offer, the.

Goodwin also said, “It means a lot to me because I have the option to play for a coach that everyone dreams about playing for,” which we have all gotten used to hearing now that Calipari has signed three straight number one recruiting classes.

We also know we’ve waved goodbye to the days when we sat around and worried if elite-level players would bother to look our way, because frankly, they didn’t. But now, instead of just an offer on a kid’s long list, the chance to play basketball at the University of Kentucky is the hottest commodity on the recruiting market. On the AAU circuit, if there is a chance Coach Cal will be at the gym, the elite of the elite nervously discuss between themselves how excited they are. The best high school players in the nation get nervous about the Kentucky head man watching them because they do not want to miss out on the chance to play for the coach who gets high level performances from his players and wins, all while putting their success and dreams at the forefront.

My, how the times have changed.

These days, you’ll find kids telling tall tales regarding the UK offer, as they hope or even suspect that it may come eventually. Honestly, more times than not, it doesn’t come. The reason for that is because Coach Cal is making the offer as exclusive as possible. He is branding Kentucky basketball in a way that it has never been branded before. It is the new home of the stars, where dreams come true, especially if they involve making it to the hallowed ground of the NBA. The firm offer from Calipari has taken on a ceremonious aspect. Sure, he may mention to a guy, “We’d like to see you playing for us one day at UK,” but most of the elite players are now aware that statement is not enough to be able to commit to the Wildcats.

“Calipari guaranteed an offer in the next two weeks,” Goodwin also mentioned.

Guaranteed an offer? Doesn’t that mean you have an offer? No. Archie’s comment here signals how big of a deal it is to the kids to receive the offer because it is now a formal ordeal. As mentioned above, its become ceremonious: a player’s family and close friends may be in attendance when Coach Cal formally puts the papers in front of a kid and let’s him know that all he has to do is say the magic word and he is as good as family to the Big Blue Nation. It truly is a reason to celebrate.

Being able to have the chance to play in white at Rupp Arena is no longer a common thing. Because Calipari can’t know what roster spots may be open at the end of the year and because he has the full attention of the best of the best, the UK offer can only be doled out to a few deserving prospects. These kids know that. Duke and UNC attempted this branding in a similar fashion, but the level that John Calipari can take it is one that the college ranks have never seen before.

It feels great to be a fan during this re-explosion of Kentucky across the recruiting and college basketball world again. I can’t imagine how great it feels to be an eighteen year old kid and know that you can come UK and play for a coach who will do his best to see you reach the top. After all, isn’t that what dreams are made of?


Article written by Chris Thomas

65 Comments for UK – The Exclusive Offer

  1. Bleedblue
    9:38 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Just come on in to the commonwealth, archie

  2. beatuga
    9:38 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink


  3. harold
    9:39 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    single best piece I have ever read on KSR.

  4. Diller
    9:42 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Very nice

  5. Give'em Hell Cats
    9:42 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Good stuff thomas…

  6. reedwizard
    9:43 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Amazing job Chris! Thank you so much for making this Kentucky fan even more proud of his basketball program and his alma mater. This is why we love Cal, even with his “baggage.”

  7. blueswade
    9:46 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Ewww….Who farted?

  8. oh napier jr.
    9:46 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Son if them kids ain’t comin to play ball for four years at Kentucky then i don’t want em we aint’ never goin to know final for with a bunch of one and dones pitnuh got some white boys in there to shoot the threes and stay in school why don’t jonn hood play more you should play for the name on the front of your shirt i grew up wantin to wear the big blue i didn’t want ot blang blang with my homeboys in the n ba they don’t play no defense
    go big blue and go belfry pirates

  9. oh napier jr.
    9:48 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    #7 you are just reatarded nobody can smell farts on an internet

  10. bluetexan
    9:48 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Great post…damn, how far we’ve come since the days of Billy Clyde! Thanks Coach Cal! Now….if you can just do SOMETHING about that Joke(r) of a football HC…

  11. harold
    9:48 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    “we ain’t never goin to know final for”
    what a fking idiot.
    kill yourself. not now, but right now.

  12. oh napier jr.
    9:52 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    harold you probely would like to see a feller kill theirself but you won’t find that hear because i have the love of my iternal savior in my heart but i know when the role is called up yonder i’ll be there how about you?
    go cats go belfry pirates

  13. bankerbh
    9:53 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    #11….#8 isn’t that far off with his thoughts. Luv the blue. Luv cal but am concerned over the type of recruits he brings to the program. Look at last year….no old heads to turn to for solid leadership when the shots wouldn’t fall. Reload this year. Now there’s talk that many from this year’s crew can ball in NBA. Which means….reload next year. Nobody makes it to final four or hangs anything from rafters when continually reloading. Get the next tier down and keep them for several years.

  14. JMass
    9:57 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    If I were a highly rated prospect coming out of high school, it would be most obvious that I would want to play at the University of Kentucky under the leadership of Coach Cal! The University of Kentucky Basketball program has now taken it to the “next level” by recruiting players who not only come to the university because of the great tradition, but to play for a great coach who is not only a great college coach, but one who is a great teacher to young men in life, and helping those young men reach their dreams of playing in the NBA.

  15. oh napier jr.
    9:59 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    #13 you are right their is a boy up here at belfry that made 37 foul shots in row the other day in practice and you dont see callipari comin up here to recruit him because he wis probelly in harlam recruiting somebody that can dunk it backwards but can’t make no fould shots like john wall he can dunk it but when them boys from west va said we will make you shoot he can’t shoot like this boy up here that made 37 in a row his name is Wilbur Jude and I’ll tell you right now if we had a few more Wilburs and a few less john walls that we would git in the final for because nobody could ever foul us!!

  16. Roggensak
    9:59 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Go Cats!!!

  17. bluetexan
    10:00 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink


  18. 4-8-15-16-23-42
    10:01 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Talent wins, and the more talent on the roster, the better. I understand having upperclassman that can bring experience into a tournament situation, but I can’t believe people complaining about getting one and dones. If Cal can get a good mix of stud freshman and a few upperclassman, UK will win multiple titles, it just takes a little time. The guy has been here less than 2 years, geez!! Why do you think he was so excited about getting a kid like Witjner (sp?)? Cal knows he will be here a few years and is a huge talent. Just give him a little time to build his own roster, he knows what he’s doing!

  19. PerryStevensonIsntWalkingThruThatDoor
    10:05 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    I bet Wilbur Jude can smell farts on an internet.

  20. GoCats2
    10:05 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Somebody please tell me that #12 and #15 is not for real. Can we delete these comments?

  21. nybrasky
    10:08 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Well done, rook. Now go change Beisner’s kid’s diaper.

  22. oh napier jr.
    10:09 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    gocats2 i don’t think its real nice for you to say stuff just beacause you don’t agree with somebodys opinion or maybe you don’t like their religion because i read on here some people are like that but i will talk to anybody on here aobut the cats or about belfry football or about our good lord or about whatever you want i just anybody to sit here and say stuff about me why don’t you do yourself a favbor and delete your own comment.
    god bless
    go cats and go belfry

  23. Rondos dribbling hand
    10:10 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    18) good comment. People need to chill on the recruiting four year players. I think Cal knows what he’s doing a lot more than those people. Great read Mr. Thomas.

  24. ukfan247
    10:10 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Man its a different feeling in lexington now that the cats are winning and competeing. Great post

  25. JMass
    10:12 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Many college basketball analysts question the fact that coaches recruit “one and dones”. If you were a college basketball coach…at the University of Kentucky, and can get the most talented prospects in the country…would you turn them down to get lower prospects who would stay for 4 years? Coaches are hired (especially here at UK) to win championships. I would like to see more players stay their entire college careers, but unfortunately now, it does not happened like it did 10-15 years ago. We, here at the University of Kentucky are scrutinized more than most programs because we are among the first programs to go through this situation. In years to come, more and more schools will be faced with the same issue.

  26. Jkwoftw
    10:14 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    I really don’t like the tone of this article. It’s nice information.. very cool what’s going on with Cal and the recruits. But you make it sound like Kentucky never got elite kids before Cal came here. Yeah, we didn’t get too many right at the end of Tubby’s reign, but pretty much every other time in the history of the program we’ve done just fine with getting 4 and 5 stars. Has it ever been at this level? No, but no program has ever been at this level, and that’s because this unique set of circumstances is the result of a combination of things.. namely Cal+UK. Show some respect for your own program, CT.

  27. T.J.
    10:14 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    8- You are either the dumbest person to comment ever, or a clever poster that is subtly making fun of the traditional rednecks that get on here. Honestly, i hope your the dumb redneck. Cause its so much more fun to make fun of you. Either way, thats hilarious.

  28. oh napier jr.
    10:15 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    an no #19 that is just stupid just cause a feller can make foul shots better than john wall don’t mean he has super power and can smell farts on a internet.
    go blue go belfry

  29. Big Blue Mike
    10:16 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Well this is going to pee a bunch of people off but here goes. We are a minor league NBA team. Even Cal said it was the greatest day in UK history after what happened at the NBA draft. I mean really what has Cal ever won? I heard he took a couple of teams to the Final Four but there is no record of it. Yeah he won a bunch of games but that was in the CUSA. Don’t get me wrong, he’s the best recruiter there ever was, and we’re always going to be really really good but I don’t think we are going to be great with all the one and dones.

  30. Jkwoftw
    10:19 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Just to add a little more, we’ve had more All Americans (college level) than any other program in CBB history. Some of that may be from coaching up, but we don’t get to that point with a dearth of talent. An offer from Kentucky was only a “common thing”, as you say, for a few down years. Cal himself said that a decade ago, people left the gym when UK rolled in. I really really dislike the tone of this article.

  31. kyeric
    10:22 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Honestly the best post I have read in a while. Top it off with some of the funniest comments from oh napier jr. and it’s a perfect day! go cats go krogerin

  32. oh napier jr.
    10:23 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    well we’ve got a sayin about talent up here if your coon dog is lickin his own you no whats that is talent but defense win championships.

  33. Donnie
    10:24 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    We r back on sportscenter again, every kid wants to play for us again, we r winning again, thank you coach it’s fun to watch again

  34. JMass
    10:24 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    #29…I understand your point, but I do not think that we will have the “one and dones” to the magnitude we saw last season. We will consistently see a few of those, but last year was an “exception to the rule”. We will have those that come and go, but we will start to see, as seasons pass, that there will be more players who stay 2 to 3, or maybe even 4 years. I believe that we are in the beginning of great things to come for the Big Blue Nation!

  35. Tyler Durden
    10:26 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    After I read this post, I thought, “who wrote this?” And I looked up and saw it was the newb.

    Well, well, well. I pulled this clip just for you, Chris.

  36. Donnie
    10:29 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    We can win with freshman, winning the toury takes a little luck too. Do you really think duke could have beat us in a best of seven series last year. The correct answer is no

  37. HilljackLinebeard
    10:33 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    The whole time I read this I’m hearing The Battle Hymn of the Republic and ” was it over when the Germans bombed Pearle Harbor? Hell no!”.

    Well done sir

  38. BPsycho
    10:33 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Very Good post Chris! You are doing well.

    I wish there were a button one could press to lock in the current writing staff of this site.

    I would be pressing the **** out of it…..

  39. bankerbh
    10:35 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    #37….Who was the last team to win the championship with freshman? Nobody. Fab 5 got smoked by 40 to Puke when they were fresh…then lost to Carolina as sophomores. Need a better combination with more upperclassmen w only 1 or 2 NBA bound freshman.

  40. tomas
    10:52 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    this post just made me smile. kudos to you you witty mother******. GO CATS!

  41. jwild
    10:55 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    Well done Chris! Great job posting. Hope to see more.

    That BTI dude should be forced to read your posts.

  42. Rondos dribbling hand
    11:03 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    40) “Need a better combination with more upperclassmen w only 1 or 2 NBA bound freshman.” You just described North Carolina’s team this year.

  43. Davefromthegap
    11:16 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    #33 Why don’t you bring some of these things up at your next KKK Meeting. And don’t throw the City vs. Country crap around either. I’m from Eastern Ky and watch lots of Highschool Basketball including Belfry, and there ain’t a Kid that I’ve seen that should even be on the practice squad. Homegrown talent is only good if they have enough TALENT. The reason our status is returning to Elite, is because we are once again getting Elite Talent. And by the way, last year was a fluke, and that type of mass exidous will never happen again. We will always have some one and dones because that’s what happens when you recruit the best. But give Cal 3 years and watch the banners start going up.

  44. Loyal_UK_Fan
    11:19 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    That’s how you write a recruiting piece. Great work!

  45. Big Blue 66
    11:20 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    everyone, the times have changed, and while i think its probably best to have a mixture, some upper classman with your uber talented one and dones, the one and dones now are different. These kids are playing 100-120 games a year with HS, AAU and big time tourneys. 15 years ago the kids were playing 30, so its just a different overall level of maturity and experience with the top recruits now. Also, people want to say, well you had 4 first round draft picks in freshmen last year, how did that work out? Well, like someone said, the tourney being single elimination is just hard to win, period, the matchups are huge. I mean Dean Freakin Smith won 2 NC, one with Jordan and Perkins and it still took a stupid turnover, the other if Webber doesnt call the time out, who knows, so Dean freakin Smith 800 wins and all that talent in 30 years at UNC and hes lucky both times he won it.

  46. Cat Lady
    11:48 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    What a great post! I was beaming ear to ear and ready to sing, “On, On UK!” after reading it. Thrilled to see the top prospects in the country so excited to receive an offer from UK. Cal has made us relevant again. #8 is right around the corner.

  47. me
    11:55 pm January 26, 2011 Permalink

    40-Syracuse won it with mostly Freshmen

  48. mike
    12:02 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    I agree 29.

  49. steve
    1:03 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Well written. Been a part of BBN for 48 years and this was as good a way to put into words what THE OFFER means to players but also BBN. Thank you for this entry.

  50. soggyUKgrad
    2:13 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    #18…great comment!! absolutely agree with you. people need to show a little patience…and, are those the numbers from LOST?

  51. Catblue in LR
    2:19 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    DARN THE TIMING! I went to see his game last Fri. (and posted a fairly comprehensive report on Cats’ Pause) when he dropped 35 of his team’s 74 on a top conference rival (LR Mills). Roy Williams was there at the game I saw because the Tar Heels were off on the weekend. I should have anticipated with an off week Cal would come to see Archie Tuesday. DOH! Missed my chance. Archie is silky smooth and glides along the court. He’s relentless and creative in getting to the hole, and that’s probably why he likes Kentucky so much. He can see he’ll be perfect in the DDM, and he will.

  52. catintn
    7:14 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Absolutely GREAT ARTICLE Chris– GREAT!!!!!!!!!! It is definitely awesome to see the re-birth of former days and its been a long time coming, too long really.

  53. UKhoopshysteria
    7:20 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Hey #40 while I agree with the basis of your argument….Syracuse did it with McNamara and Melo.

  54. bluesince66
    8:01 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Good Lord people. Those of you wanting less talent, which is what a four year player is just need to look back at Tubby’s last few years. He went with the I want players here four years, so you end up with Bobby Perrys’ and Sheray Thomass’ starting for the cats. Man do I long for those days. Not.

  55. billy
    8:37 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    I must say that I have mixed thoughts about one and dones. I do beleive that teams with all seniors if they are good players are more likely to win championships than teams with all freshmen and sophomores. Last year proved this truth. But I feel like Patterson and Miller should have taken over the game and did not.
    Miller is supposed to be the leader of the freshmen this year but still has up and downs. I believe that the problem with Miller is that he just isn’t that type of player. Calipari is trying to make a leader out of Jones but he is still a freshman and has up and downs also. Plenty of talent tough.
    Having said all this I still like the fact that Calipari can recruit the elite players because they do win a lot of games. Kentucky does not lose to mid major teams at home anymore. So hopefully some year there will be a good freshmen and sophomore class to win a national championship. NEXT YEAR REALLY LOOKS PROMISING! GO CATS!!!

  56. billy
    8:39 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    I still remember the class with Issel and they never won a championship in four years. Actually three because freshmen couldn’t play varsity ball at the ttime.

  57. LawYA
    8:45 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Wait, did Chris really write this? I’m suspicious because he didn’t mention this person didn’t mention they were in law school.

  58. Winston Bennett
    8:54 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Too funny….Cal selling or improving the UK brand. Cal sells nothing but himself. That’s his strategy. UK has nothing to do with it.

  59. 3 fan
    8:59 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    To those crying about the lack of seniors, do you have ANY FREAKIN CLUE how bad we were going to be last year?? Cause if the ole drunk had stayed we would have had Orton, Liggins and Harrelson. No PPat, no Miller, no Wall, no Cousins, no Bledsoe. 35-3 could have been one of the greatest 10 month runs in college bball history.

    Also to those crying about one and dones, you really want to go back to the Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas and Woo days? Cause if you are, then you are a complete and utter idiot.

  60. Al's IndiCats
    9:00 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    51, I couldn’t agree with you more on this. I also have been bleeding blue for the better part of 50 years and I remember the WAY to lean of times when we couldn’t even get an elite star on campus, but less getting him to sign a LOI.
    I’m sure we’ll always get the one and dones with Cal at the reins, and he said it straight up we ARE going to get those. I’d much rather sit back and smile to see all these young guys lining up to come to Rupp as to pace the floor just hopeing that we “MIGHT” get a 4 or 5* with several role players at best. If you remember Sutton had great recruitings for a few years but couldn’t get them to play together as a team. Cal not only brings in the talent but he also is a great coach for getting the talent to mesh as a team. WE ARE FEARED AGAIN. When a team comes to Rupp they absolutly know they have to bring their “A” game, if not……well it’s going to really be a long ride home. Number 8 is going to be just around the corner, and besides going to the next level, every young man wants that NC on their resume’. As the song goes Don’t worry….Be Happy!

  61. Dirt
    9:33 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    It’s a little too early in the season to say we’ll never be a great team with one-and-done players. A single season done and look at the progress Cal made with last years’ players, guys like Bledsoe and Orton that a lot of people thought would stick around another year (albeit too soon for Orton, his decision, but picked first round nonetheless). Cal is learning too and adapting to the short amount of time he has with these young men and could be ready for tourney time sooner each season. Jones and Knight are making good strides despite some obvious intimidation for the cats on the road and I expect at least one sleeper hit come March. Could Miller be the next Patterson? Could Lamb be the next Bledsoe? Centaurgas/Orton? I’d like to see BTI run some comparison stats, you might be surprised.

  62. Whatever
    10:45 am January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Napier, I’m from se ky as well so do me a favor and shut the he’ll up! Who gives a damn about 37 str8 free throws!! I can make make free throws also but that doesn’tean I can play at uk! There is no one around this area worth wasting cals time!! People like u make the rest of us from se ky look bad! So please just keep your stupid ass opinions to your racist self!! Go cats!! I do feel though cal has to mix in a few 3-4 yr players with the ond and dones. You can’t have the # 1 class in the country every year and win championships!!

  63. Traveling Fan
    12:04 pm January 27, 2011 Permalink

    *****TICKETS***** I have UK tickets for the game in Gainesville, 6 of them in a row.I paid $27.50 each for them. I will sell for $20 each!!!I live in Atlanta, if interested call or text me @ 770-856-3769 or @ [email protected] Big Blue!

  64. pcefrog5
    2:58 pm January 27, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s breakdown Cal’s recruiting classes thus far and just see exactly
    how many were tagged as sure fire one and done players coming into
    1st Class
    Wall- No Brainer One and Done
    Cousins- potential 1 and Done (many analysts stated he needed at least
    2 years due to work ethic and attitude)
    Bledsoe- 2+ year player (especially playing an off position his 1st year)
    Orton- 2+ year player ( I know he didn’t recruit him but kept him as a
    part of the class during the “cleansing” of the program)
    Hood- 3-4 year player (same as Orton)
    2nd Class:
    Kanter- No Brainer One and Done
    Jones- potential 1 and Done
    Knight- potential 1 and Done
    Lamb- 2+ year player
    Poole- 3-4 year player
    Vargas- remainder of eligibility player
    3rd Class:
    Gilchrist- 1 and done
    Teague- 1 and done
    Davis- 1 and done
    Wiljter- 2+ year player
    Lacey??- 2-4 year player (depends on who comes back from 2nd class and his
    minutes if here comes here)

    So from this breakdown, I see 2-3 one and done type players and 2-3 multi-year
    players in each class. I don’t understand when people say he only gets the one
    and done players.

  65. ruppbasketball
    6:33 pm January 27, 2011 Permalink

    nice piece