John Calipari released the third and final installment of his “Vision of the Program” series Monday morning on CoachCal.com. In it, he looks ahead to what he expects out of Kentucky basketball in the coming years. Among those expectations: he wants a better atmosphere for fans in Rupp Arena; high graduation rate for players who left early for the NBA; more former Wildcats in the NBA All-Star game; and to surpass UCLA’s record for NCAA titles. He plans to accomplish all of that by staying at Kentucky for the remainder of his career:
Kentucky basketball is an everyday thing, but you can’t live or die on every win and loss because you’re going to die a lot if you do that. It’s about incremental improvement and growth on the court and in life that will allow us all to succeed and reach our dreams. With that mindset, how long can I coach here? My plan is to coach here for the rest of my career. I want this to be my final coaching position.
Here’s the part about chasing Wooden:
Our next challenge is to chase UCLA’s 11 titles. I hope you understand that it’s going to be very difficult. We’ve won eight titles since 1948, and now we’re going to try to win four more. This could take more than a decade, but so what? Let’s chase it. Can we do it? Sure, but it’s going to be really tough. The tournament isn’t a best-of-seven series and the best team doesn’t always win the title. The trick is to always be one of those teams at the end of the season that’s right there. That’s the first step.
And a final message to the fans (and recruits):
There will be some who will attack me, attack the program, attack the approach, and some will even say, “He only talks about the NBA.” But I can only tell our fans it’s similar to what Frank Sinatra once said: Our best response … is massive success.
Read more in Cal’s “The vision of the program: What we’re chasing”