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Under Calipari, Kentucky basketball really does never stop.

Along with the #1 recruiting classes, first round draft picks, and banners that John Calipari has brought to Kentucky in his first 3 years, he has also given us year-round basketball fanatics a handful of unique events to enjoy throughout the off-season. Literally, Kentucky basketball never stops under John Calipari. In his first summer on the job, he went on a book tour from Pikeville to Paducah, the following summer he brought the team up to Canada and gave Big Blue Nation a couple of exhibitions to watch in August (while the legend of Dom Papa was born), and the summer after that we packed Rupp for an exhibition between Cal’s Dominican Republic National Team and the “UK Pros”.

This off-season has already kicked-off with a National Championship Trophy Tour across the state, but on Thursday, July 12th at 6:00 in Las Vegas, Cal is delivering another very unique event for UK basketball fans to enjoy over the summer: an exhibition between his Dominican Republic team and Coach K’s United States squad, which may feature Anthony Davis. Think about it: Coach Cal and possibly Eloy Vargas playing against the most talented players in the world (Lebron, Kobe, Wade, Rose, Griffin, Durant, and hopefully Davis). I don’t know about you, but I’m already drooling with excitement for this game. With Kidd-Gilchrist, Jones, Lamb, Teague, and Miller simultaneously playing in Vegas in the NBA Summer League, I’d hope that Big Blue Nation shows up in Vegas with force.

Team USA should pull out an easy win over Cal’s Dominicans, but you never know–our national team lost to Puerto Rico, Lithuania, and Argentina in 2004. Regardless, it will be fun to watch, and it means absolutely nothing if Team USA defeats Coach Cal’s team as expected, but could you imagine the ramifications for UK and Coach Cal if the Dominicans somehow are able to beat Coach K and the top current collection of talent in the world? If Cal can lead the Dominicans to qualify for the Olympics (in a separate tournament taking place prior to the exhibition with the U.S.), it will be the first time the country has ever qualified for the Olympics.

If Cal keeps this gig in the future, it would be great to see an exhibition against the U.S. team in Rupp. Whatever the Dominicans are able to accomplish this summer, I’m just glad to be able to watch basketball with a connection to Kentucky in the middle of the summer.

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

13 Comments for Under Calipari, Kentucky basketball really does never stop.

  1. SteveM
    12:04 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    What are the implications if Cal gets his ass kicked by team USA??

  2. KyJoe
    12:13 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

  3. OogieBoogieMan
    12:14 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    Personally I’d like to see Cal ease up a bit for the summer and get some rest, but apparently that’s just not how he rolls.

  4. WaitAMinute!
    12:16 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    Glad Cal is coaching the Dominicans-Good for him! But under no circumstances would I EVER in a MILLION years want team USA to lose a game. EVER. You’ve absolutely lost your mind. I don’t care if USA was Rick Pitino coaching a team filled with UL, UNC, IU, and Duke players (current OR former). And the Dominican team was ALL former Cats. I would NEVER want USA to lose. That’s a team I love ALMOST as much as the Cats.

    Get your head in the game man…

  5. lovemycats
    12:24 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    4) you are right on…..USA USA USA…..Hate Coach K….but go USA.

  6. Big Blue 66
    12:27 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    Cal just wants some international coaching experience so in a few years when the USA team is all Kentucky players, then he will know the rules.

  7. rockatao
    12:42 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t think Rose will be playing in Vegas

  8. ukfaninohio
    12:51 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    that would be something to see don’t know what i would root for…..ok i do and it’s not for coach k.

  9. OwensboroDavid
    12:58 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    Guys, there are still flights out of Owensboro direct to Las Vegas available during that time. I just checked allegiant air. If I can get my pennies and nickels together I may just have to check it out.

  10. GrumpyOldDude
    1:31 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    Still no discussions about a barnstorming tour like Jeff Sheppard’s company has arranged in past years? Anyone?

  11. Head Bussa
    2:44 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    Oh, how I miss Dom.

  12. BBN
    2:47 pm May 14, 2012 Permalink

    What ever happened to Edgar Sosa? Nasty injury to recover from

  13. G
    8:05 am May 15, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is punk