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?
Good luck, Coach.