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UK Fans of the Day Want List of Pitino/Calipari’s Ten Best


Andy Katz got some conversation going today by ranking the ten best players Rick Pitino coached in college. It is an interesting discussion, brought on by Pitino’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Andy listed them this way:

1. Tony Delk
2. Jamal Mashburn
3. Antoine Walker
4. Reece Gaines
5. Ron Mercer
6. Billy Donovan
7. Peyton Siva
8. Derek Anderson
9. Francisco Garcia
10. Walter McCarty

Not a terrible list, but also not one that I can totally subscribe to…especially at the top. So I revised it for my own purposes. MATT’s LIST:

1. Mashburn
2. Delk
3. Walker
4. Garcia
5. Mercer
6. Gaines
7. Anderson
8. McCarty
9. Donovan
10. T-Will

You will never convince me that Mashburn is not the best player of the modern era of Kentucky basketball. In his prime, he was completely dominant and considering his three year career, I put him on the Mount Rushmore of UK hoops. Delk should be #2 as he probably has the best 4 year career of any UK player of my lifetime. I put Garcia #4 because of the Louisville guys of the past 15 years, he was the one that always scared me the most when playing well. I have Donovan much lower (great story, only good player) and I replace Siva with Terrence Williams, who I believe was a better player. Honorable mention would go to Wayne Turner and Siva, who both just miss the list.

Now on the other side, I created a list of Calipari’s best players. We will add that he has to have recruited the player (thus meaning that he doesn’t get Patrick Patterson, who otherwise probably makes the list). Here would be my Calipari list:

1. Derrick Rose
2. Anthony Davis
3. Marcus Camby
4. John Wall
5. Demarcus Cousins
6. Brandon Knight
7. MKG
8. Tyreke Evans
9. Chris Douglas-Roberts
10. Nerlens Noel

My list is tough at the top as Rose and Davis probably had two of the best three college seasons of the last decade. I put Rose slightly ahead (and we are only looking at college here, not the pros), because I think his near perfect season on a much less talented team is worthy of praise. Davis had more honors than any player in college basketball ever for one year and is a stud. Camby was a college beast and Wall/Cousins are easy. Some object to Brandon Knight at #6 but I think for his college year, he was amazing. He lived in Wall’s shadow but still took a team to a Final Four and actually had better stats than Wall. MKG is MKG, Tyreke lived in Rose’s shadow and people forget how good Douglas-Roberts was at time. Noel is #10 and could have been higher without the energy. Honorable mention goes to Bledsoe whose production increased in the NBA and would be a top 7 on the list had he just not been on a team so loaded.

That’s my list…what is yours:

Article written by Matt Jones

42 Comments for UK Fans of the Day Want List of Pitino/Calipari’s Ten Best

  1. 30 minutes I'll never get back
    4:10 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Did Shannon the Dude edit the commercials out of the podcast today? Yesterday was brutal.

  2. Dr. Wildcat
    4:14 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Knight did not have better stats than Wall. He scored more points (mainly because he had to carry a larger load on the team), but he did not have better STATS (see the plural?)

    16.6 pts, 6.5 assists, 4.3 reb, 1.8 stl, 0.5 blk, 4.0 to

    17.3 pts., 4.2 assists, 4.0 reb, 0.7 stl, 0.2 blk, 3.2 to

    I’d rank them:
    1. Anthony Davis
    2. Derrick Rose
    3. John Wall
    4. Marcus Camby
    5. Demarcus Cousins
    6. MKG
    7. Knight
    8. Nerlens Noel
    9. Terrence Jones
    10. Tyreke Evans

  3. cracka
    4:14 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    pitino list:


    cal list:


  4. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    4:15 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    I can not believe you left out Brian Long

  5. CatsFan12
    4:15 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Easy. 3-2-1

  6. Randy
    4:18 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Id have T.Jones over Noel. 2 years of scoring, rebounding, decent shot blocking and making 2 Final Fours > not even playing an entire season of just being a great defensive player.

  7. Mountain Folk
    4:19 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Haha Matt Jones’ eastern Kentuckian is coming out. He tried to sound out injury and it came out as energy. Happens to the best of us.

  8. Uglymuffin
    4:19 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Honestly, if we are going by college only then Anthony Davis HAS to be Calipari’s best and I’d put Camby second. Rose is incredible but he sucked for stretches during the first half of his only season. I think that Memphis team was more talented then your giving them credit for, CDR was unguardable in most games. As far as “best three college seasons of the last decade” goes, Davis, Beasley, Durant, and Oden, easily had better years than Rose. Again, Rose us amazing, but your giving him too much credit.

  9. Ckelly
    4:19 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Pitino didn’t recruit Gaines…

  10. James Kyle Mann
    4:24 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Rose wasn’t nearly as dominant at Davis, and like someone else said — he really wasn’t that great during stretches at Memphis. Davis had one of the best seasons of any collegian, ever. Like, any school. Swept nearly every award.

  11. Off Track
    4:24 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks Ckelly but the article is about top ten players Pitino coached, not recruited. Good job, good effort.

  12. Dandy Don
    4:29 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    How about this top ten list. Top 10 UK players you would like to drink beers with. I’m not talking about drink a beer with over a friendly conversation, I’m talking getting drunk. Getting sing karaoke at Chinoe Pub drunk.

    1. Jorts
    2. Jeff Brassow
    3. Antonie Walker
    4. Mark Krebs
    5. Pat Riley
    6. Richie Farmer
    7. Anthony Epps
    8. Kenny Walker
    9. Patrick Sparks
    10.Jamal Magloire

  13. Yo! Noid
    4:35 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Middle. All day every day…and twice on Sundays…and also all the other days. Of the week.

  14. I Say
    4:37 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    You could throw in Dajuan Wagner somewhere on Cal’s list

  15. ChiefWiggum
    4:38 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Off Track– CKelly is just using the stipulation for Gaines as they used for Patterson.

  16. Scott Baio
    4:40 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    12. – Going by your criteria Prickett should be hands down #1 on that list! Ask anyone who saw him in action at football tailgates or back in the day at Gambino’s.

  17. Wildcatfan247
    4:43 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    I always wanted to band a girl in a wonder woman outfit, I do even more now.

  18. Wildcatfan247
    4:44 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Bang a girl not band, don’t want to band any girls.

  19. hersheyisabear
    4:46 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    MKG above Knight all day. I agree with the rest of the list.

  20. twentyfourever
    4:51 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    I have to agree that Mashburn was by far the best player pitino ever or ever will coach. That dude had all the tools. If only he had an extra foul per game,….oh the possibilites. He is solid number two behind Davis as the best I remember at UK in my 50 yrs.

  21. Ben
    4:53 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Yea Wagner should be in there around the 8-10 area

  22. Tom Blevins
    4:56 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Prediction: At the end of this upcoming season, Julius Randle will be on the Cal’s top 10 list. Maybe Andrew Harrison, also.

  23. Vince
    4:58 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Dajuan wagner has to be on Cal’s list. No way you can leave him off

  24. SeaCat
    5:09 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Julius Randle will be number one on next years list!!

  25. FurdTurgason
    5:22 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    If you asked Pitino, I bet seven of the 10 would be U of L players, and one of the other three would be Billy Donovan.

  26. cotton nash
    5:23 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Anthony Davis #1, Nerlans Noel #2,..and then the others.

  27. unprofessional
    5:34 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    posting pictures of random borderline slutty girls and calling them “fans” is getting really old. nothing to do with anything at all. jones needs to grow up

  28. jdog
    5:46 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Where is Pelphrey on Pitino’s list?

  29. RexRox
    5:48 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    First off, Both Andy and Matt need to move Derek Anderson WAY up. Siva and T-Will don’t make my list for Pitino. In fac, I take Russ Smith over Siva all day. Also, people still tend to downplay Brandon Knight but if he doesn’t step it up in March, no way the Cats go to the Final Four.

  30. ukfan
    5:52 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    1. Davis
    2. Wall
    3. Rose
    4. Camby
    5. MKG
    6. Knight
    7. Patterson
    8. Cousins
    9. Nerlens
    10. Evans

  31. bluristhurr
    6:12 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Davis over Rose all day any day. Look who Rose has had in the NBA on his teams, IMO Rose biggest overrate PG there is. I’d take Irving or Wall over him on the same team

  32. Wild Turkey 101
    6:35 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Tyreke Evans will fall out of the top 10. And be out of the NBA soon.

  33. A man who has eyes
    6:40 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Never mind this damn list. That girl is the middle is freaking HOT.

  34. rainman
    7:16 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Randle will be at the top of that list VERY soon!

  35. BUCats
    7:54 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    #27 – if you don’t like it go read your UK news at Tom’s site

  36. Fred
    9:01 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink


  37. JoeMoney333
    7:11 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    I hope this Robin isn’t gay…

  38. Megan
    9:29 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    JoeMoney, I hope she is!

  39. KevinM
    10:32 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    No way does anyone surpass Delk. He was clutch way too many times and clutch in the title game.

    Mashburn is 2nd simply because of how far he took us.

    How can you even seperate Mercer and Anderson? They should be tied for 3rd.

    Robin, Batgirl and WW in that order.

  40. CatsFanFrankfort
    3:31 pm September 5, 2013 Permalink

    My list is similar, but there are some variations. First, I think the top 4 could be interchangeable, but they are definitely the top 4. The next three also could be in different order, but I’ll provide my reasoning.

    1. Davis (obviously the best college year of anyone ever)
    2. Rose
    3. Wall
    4. Camby
    5. Knight (higher than Cousins & MKG because of Tourney run)
    6. Cousins (higher than MKG despite missing FF because of consistent production, ie. like a million double-doubles)
    7. MKG
    8. Lamb (highest career 3-pt % in UK history & 2 Final Fours – cant believe no one else has listed him!)
    9. T. Jones (2 Final Fours, and a somewhat underrated player in the championship run because of his inconsistency and fellow teammates. But he turned it on down the stretch)
    10. Bledsoe (it was just awesome to watch Wall and Bledsoe throw each other ‘oops a few times every game!)

    Just missed the cut: Nerlens, Evans

    My other list:

    Wonder Woman

  41. Kyle Grubbs
    4:51 pm September 5, 2013 Permalink

    I think you took some advice from my twitter comments, Matt. lol but good revisions! agreed

  42. Tonacious70
    7:12 pm September 6, 2013 Permalink

    Matt–could you please make it your next big goal to get either a UK station in Louisville or both a drive time morning and afternoon show. With Diener going to 680 there are now TWO UL shows in the morning and then there is vanetti in the afternoon. We have zero UK representation when I have my radio on. Get it done! BBN in Louisville needs it / deserves it. Don’t let turtleneck Tom win!