Not all summers are created equal and the summer of 2009 was one for the ages. UK got a start on the break a bit early thanks to a trip to the NIT with Billy Clyde but once Cal was named coach business picked up instantly. It was a whirlwind of breaking news almost daily and the high point had to be the commitment of John Wall. Wall sealed the deal on arguably the best class this school has ever seen and helped make them one of the most beloved teams ever.
It all happened during the wee hours of May 19th, exactly five years ago. After weeks of wondering Big Blue Nation was awoken with the best news of all. The best player in the country was coming to Lexington.Kentucky was back.
Our own Matt Jones had this to say celebrating the commitment:
I like to play devil’s advocate and attempt to look at things rationally and against the normal view held by others. Not this time. We are about to head on a historic run in which Kentucky WILL dominate basketball once again. Read that last sentence…process it and get it down into your pores. The era of Kentucky going to the NIT and making our head hurt is over….the Cats are back and for the next ten years, we will be Top 5 every year for the decade. Period.
John Wall’s commitment certainly means that we will be a national championship contender next year. With the talent UK has coming back and the new players, only Kansas and Michigan State are really in the Cats’ ballpark. But the Wall commitment and the events of the last eight weeks have importance beyond next year. Calipari has shown that he will get the best of the best and will be the FORCE in college basketball for the next decade. Gone are the days of below average recruits, reaches for kids still going through puberty or late Spring signing periods with seasons hanging on the balance. Beginning are stacked classes of kids who have five star talent and a desire to come and play for the best. Simply put Kentucky will be Kentucky and everyone else just has to accept that fact
Matt’s words have proven to be true with Cal leading the team to 3 final fours, a national championship, and countless unbelievable moments. John Wall was the player that got the success train rolling and things could have been very different had he picked Duke five years ago.
Do you remember where you were when John Wall picked the Cats?