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Can John Calipari reach his lofty goals?


John Calipari has high expectations for his future as the University of Kentucky’s head basketball coach. Today he released his third “Vision of the Program” piece with some very lofty goals for himself and the program.

Will he reach any of those goals?

Let’s talk about it.


“One of the first things we want to do is make Rupp Arena the preeminent home-court advantage in basketball.”

With its current setup, Rupp will never become the preeminent home-court advantage. Places like Cameron Indoor and Allen Fieldhouse, where the students surround the court, will always provide a crazier atmosphere. That’s just how it is: the energy is with the youth, not the older crowd.

Rupp can improve, though — and should. The new center-hung scoreboard, video screens and sound system will help, and a lot more can be done with very little cost. Scrapping “Mony, Mony” should be the first priority.

“My hope is that the kids who come back to school after leaving early for the NBA will ultimately produce a higher graduation rate than the national average of a player who stayed in school for four years.”

It’s hard to imagine many of the NBA guys coming back to school. There will be some, but with the money these guys are making in the league, there isn’t a long line to re-enroll at UK.

“Our next challenge is to chase UCLA’s 11 titles.”

Kentucky needs four titles to pass UCLA’s record, assuming UCLA doesn’t add another, and it shouldn’t. UK’s only won eight titles in the last 70 years, so to win four more in a short span is a lot to ask. But if anyone can do it, it’s Cal. He guided the Cats to four Final Fours in five years. He’ll be in the hunt every year. If he sticks around for another decade, it’s reasonable to think he’ll add a couple titles to the list.

But four? Let’s do it.

“I want to one day go to the NBA All-Star game and have half the players in the game be from Kentucky.”

Half of the players in the game would be 12 players, which is almost impossible anytime soon. DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns will be in the game every year, but outside of that bunch, only a couple of former Wildcats will even be in consideration. Six is doable, but to produce 12 in one year? VERY unlikely. Maybe a decade from now if future talent emerges, but not in the coming years.


Which do you think he has the best shot to accomplish?

survey service

Good luck, Coach.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

21 Comments for Can John Calipari reach his lofty goals?

  1. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    11:43 am May 16, 2016 Permalink

    PLEASE move the student section behind the benches. I’m tired of watching Gertrude do needle point during the games….

  2. RealCatsFan
    11:57 am May 16, 2016 Permalink

    X100 on scrapping “Mony Mony”. Now that “Dancing Guy” can’t ride the rail anymore, no need for it anyway.

  3. FBI Informant
    12:05 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    Cal has been to 3 FFs in the last 5 years, not 4 in the last 5. He’s also bowed out of a NIT in the 1st Rd, lost 11 games the next season before a miracle run to finish the year, fell short of even playing for a title with the greatest collection of NBA talent on a college team in possibly the history of the game, and took a Preseason Top 3 team AND early season #1 team to a first weekend loss to a rival.

    If anyone believes that this is the resume that leads to the proclamation of 4 titles in the next 10 years then basically you’re mentally challenged.

    • Booby Petrino
      12:50 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      No one said 4 in the last 5, they said 4 in 5 years…you’re the one who inserted the word “last”.
      He didn’t bow out of the NIT, the team bowed out of the rest of the season once Noel got hurt.
      “Miracle run” or not, the team got to the FF so your attempt to lessen the achievement is null.
      Fell short of playing for a title with the greatest collection blah blah blah…but also won a title with a lesser collection of NBA talent.
      Preseason and early season are no indication you will win a championship. How many preseason #1s actually go on and win the whole thing? It happens occasionally but not often.
      Not saying we’re gonna win 4 in 10 years, but he has proven we will be in the hunt, which is more than most programs can say.

    • jman3715
      1:17 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah!! Let’s bring in that other coach that is so much better! You know…the one that is available that has done so much better…ummm…what his name again??

    • RealCatsFan
      1:20 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      Say whatever you want about Cal, but even with all the talent he has had, it has been an impressive run. Who has done better? Seriously – who? Coach K? Since Cal has been at UK, yes, K has won one additional title, but he has only been to two FF’s, and he has embarrassing losses to #15 seed Lehigh and #14 seed Mercer. And I don’t think they had lost an entire starting five to the NBA the previous year (and lost their best player to injury) like UK did in 2013. And you can’t tell me that Duke doesn’t also get the same level of talent – in fact, K usually convinces his blue chip players to stay to help the program – sometimes against their better judgement.

      Do you have anyone else you want to compare? Williams? – HA! Self? – HA HA. Pitino? LMAO!

      Face the facts – Cal is the absolute best fit for this program. Yes, life will go on after he leaves (we ARE UK, after all), but those will be some BIG shoes to fill. Sure, I really wanted out boys to go 40-0 in 2015, and I’m still not over that one. But we need to appreciate what we have while we have it.

    • Willis Wolf Tattoo
      3:05 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      I’m not going to critique Cal on last year. We didn’t even have a fighting chance with the production from our bigs. When you have 14 points in the post and Jamal going 1-9 from 3 it is hard to beat any team let along the B1G champion.

  4. cav3
    12:40 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    FBI – he didn’t say 4 in the last 5. He said 4 in a 5 year stretch (2011-2015). And why so negative? Even with all your complaints, it’s the best run in UK history. Enjoy it.

    As for the NBA all-star thing, let’s assume he meant half the guys in the game at one time, meaning on the floor at one time. That only takes 5 out of 10, which is remote, but still possible, and much easier than 12 out of 24.

    And while I don’t think 4 titles in 10 years is likely, it’s not impossible, and I at least like hearing that it’s a goal.

  5. Thundercats
    12:46 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    Most definitely NOT is making Rupp the preeminent home court advantage. Too many blue hairs that do not stand up and cheer. They sit the entire time. I don’t think majority of teams fear playing at rupp.

    • the ghost of Bill Hicks
      12:49 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      Correct. The All Star thing is most likely to happen.

    • Catphn3
      1:19 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      Cal is more likely to get 24/24 all-star selections than getting the arena changed. The AD makes too much money from those seats to start giving them up for $5 each. Luxury boxes will just be an additional source of revenue, not a replacement for the seats they “give up” to students around the court. I tried to fight this battle while I was at UK and it’s pointless to even try to fight this issue.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:24 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      I thought the whole reason we have stayed in the SEC all these years is for the incredible money that pours in – in spite of the SEC being perhaps the worst fit possible for a basketball school. So let’s use some of that money to offset the donations we might temporarily lose when feathers get ruffled by rearranging the seating to make Rupp better. I say temporarily because when things get rolling new revenue streams will come on board from donors who have been waiting their turn at the action.

  6. jman3715
    1:14 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    Only way they get close to that kind of in-game atmosphere is to build an on-campus arena. It’s time. Do it!

  7. @GoCayts
    1:34 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    1 isn’t going to happen without a lot of help and a lot of buy in from a lot people who will never agree on a solution … would honestly take probably a new site and a lesser capacity
    2 have no idea what the numbers on this is or how they are calculating it … what’s the national average?
    3 I think it’s possible if he’s willing to stay for 15 to 20 or more years … could really depend on this year where we have a group of guys who are not freshman that know the system along with one of his best incoming classes
    4 doubt this will ever happen with all the young guys in the nba that aren’t from uk, they aren’t going anywhere any time soon … would help if our guys would be drafted by eastern conference teams … after this next wave of guys retire who are in their 30s (LeBron, Wade, Carmelo, Pau) there will be some extra spots available … there were only 10 western guys with more votes than Enes last year

  8. FBI Informant
    1:43 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    Best run in UK history? Not hardly. 93-98 was better than 12-16. Unless you believe that one title is better than two. Rupp won three titles in four years. How is Cals 1 in 7 better than that?

    Yes, Coach K has been better at Duke the last 7 years than Cal has been at UK. Two titles is better than One. So has UConn. Two titles is better than One. SO, until he catches up to Duke & UConn for titles during his tenure don’t you think it’s absolutely preposterous to start talking about winning 4 of the next 10? He hasn’t won one in the last four years and his first three years were vastly better than his last four years are worse than his first three (Elite 8, FF, Championship vs NIT, FF, FF, 1st Weekend Knockout). That’s a slide gentlemen. Make excuses if you’d like but it’s fact. I’m not saying he’s losing his touch by any means, but he’s not as good and that’s the bottom line, so as I said, it’s preposterous to claim 4 of the next 10 when coming off of a 1st weekend exit and having no returning quality, which means zero upperclass leadership.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:58 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      Can’t wait to hear your take on UK Football and UK Hoops, Mr SunnySide Up…

    • RealCatsFan
      2:01 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      BTW, UConn’s run was under two different coaches, as was UK’s from 93-98. So not quite apples to apples. I am somewhat in agreement that it’s hard to say Cal’s run was the greatest in UK history, but it is certainly in the conversation. College BB was totally different during Rupp’s run – hell, it was also totally different during Pitino’s…

    • Bobbum Man
      3:30 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

      Obvious troll is obvious

  9. Jiminy Crickets
    3:33 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    I love Cal, and honestly think he’s the best fit for this program, but also think he’s starting to sound crazy. These are not new ideas, he’s said them a thousand times. When he was hired he pointed at the banners and said “let’s chase them (UCLA)”. There’s no way Rupp changes radically, no way 12 out of 24 all-stars, and no way he wins 4 more titles in his CAREER, not to mention in the next 10 years. He’s coached 30 years and has one so far. And there’s no way these OAD done guys come back in great numbers to graduate. How many have come back so far?

    I love him as our coach, but he’s not selling this to anyone, and lastly was this the #Kaboom? If so I’m sadly disappointed. Talk about negative recruiting, just show this crap to any recruit and say “this dude is delusional”.

  10. bgcatfan1
    4:07 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    If nba goes to 2 years in college, 4 more titles is very possible. Lot of reasons to do that.

  11. FBI Informant
    4:09 pm May 16, 2016 Permalink

    I’m with you Jiminy. It’s like the diary of a madman. And for what purpose? Eventually kids and parents don’t like being around a madman. So he has lofty goals. We get it. But don’t ALL of the Elite coaches at Elite programs? It’s ALL of their goals to win the championship next year. But they don’t write manifestos proclaiming it.

    For crying out loud, he can’t even get #2 during his 25 year career, why is he already talking about #6? Just get #2. Then talk about #3.