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Celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of John Calipari’s Introductory Press Conference

John Calipari has completed one decade as the Kentucky men’s head basketball coach.

The day after his tenth season ended marks the tenth anniversary of his introduction to the Big Blue Nation. The University of Kentucky celebrated by completing a contract that will keep him in Lexington for the rest of his life.  Over the last ten years, Coach Cal has exceeded his peers in almost every single statistic.

  • 7 Elite Eights
  • 4 Final Fours
  • 1 National Championship
  • 35 NBA Draft selections
  • $1.5 billion in NBA contracts
  • 305 wins, second only to Adolph Rupp
  • 31-8 in the NCAA Tournament, the most tournament wins in UK history

Calipari has five 30-win seasons in ten years. No team has won as many games, been to as many Elite Eights or Final Fours since he took the job for the 2009-10 season. If you are a visual learner, this clearly illustrates Calipari’s success:

@hoopvision68

 

@ESPNStatsInfo

You could be swept up in nostalgia by picking any number of great UK basketball moments over the last ten years to relive. Instead, let’s go back to where it all started at the Joe Craft Center. Matt Jones’ haircut was a bit different in 2009.

KSR operations were a bit smaller ten years ago. If you visit the site’s posts from April 1, 2009, you’ll find Thomas Beisner’s celebration of “The Door,” Chris Tomlin’s proclamation for the new king of the Big Blue Nation, the news of KC Ross-Miller’s de-commitment and the “ubiquitous sense of glee” Matt Jones experienced at Calipari’s introductory press conference.

Below you’ll find Matt’s report from the day that changed Kentucky basketball forever.


Ushering in the Calipari Era

Two years ago I walked into the Craft center on a day not dissimilar today to see the unveiling of a new basketball coach. That day, like today, there was a sense of excitement in the room and the place was filled with all of the local media, some national folks, nearly every member of the Board of Trustees and most of the top boosters in the program. Both times a new coach was announced and a sense of optimism was in the air. However there was something unique to this situation today that made it even more special. Whereas last time many wondered who the coach they were meeting truly was, this time there was a ubiquitous sense of glee from the get-go. When word of a “signed contract” hit, the room erupted in applause with the sense that a new era in Kentucky basketball was beginning….but not one with question marks, but rather one with almost a certain inevitability of success. It was a great day.

Some notes from the affair….

— There were a a number of former players who made an appearance at the announcement. Scott Padgett, Kenny WAlker, Richie Farmer, Jay Shidler and Bobby Perry were all on hand and were universal in their praise of the new hire.

— Lots of praise for Mike Pratt who played the role of “caretaker of UK basketball” on the search committee. He deserves a great deal of praise.

— It was very interesting to me to hear Mitch Barnhart and John Calipari focus on the experience of the player in their handling of the program. While no references were made to the past regime, it is almost certainly hte case that this was intentional.

— Calipari also played up the recruitment of former playes back to the family, words that were music to the collective ears of the crowd. When you drop the names Dan Issel, Tayshaun Prince and Kyle Macy, you signal that you want to become part of the tradition and embrace it past and present. That is what UK hasnt had and needs.

— Not many players were in attendance due to class and the only current guys were Jared Carter Matt Schnerbenske and Landon Slone. Last time the full team was present and I would have liked to see that tonight.

Some news from the post-press conference:

(1): We now know for certain that Josh Pastner will be one of Cal’s assistants. Pastner played for the Arizona team that beat UK in the title game and is widely considered one of the best recruiters in the land. He will make an immediate impact.

(2): Scholarship issues are still a question….and we will see how they play out in coming days. As I wrote earlier, the only players that I hear are completely safe are Patterson, Meeks, Miller, Harris and Stevenson. Everything else is up in the air….including for the walk-ons.

(3): KC Ross-Miller reopened his recruitment after a conversation with the new Coach. I expect to hear this story repeated over the next few days, potentially with the Kentucky kids, the 8th grader and maybe even, GJ Vilarino.

(4): At the McDonalds game, legendary recruiting follower Bob Gibbons reported that John Wall is leaning UK and will make a decision next week. Of all the guys left, the most immediate importance for next year’s success is Wall, due to his PG position. That is the story to follow going forward.

(5): There are some reports that Xavier Henry may make a decision on Thursday. If that is true, one would likely assume that Kansas would be the frontrunner since he has not visited UK…..but with this, you never really know.

We will have more all day, but I hope everyone enjoyed what a great day today actually was. There is an excitment around these parts the likes of which we havent seen in some time. I personally cant wait to follow it. Tomorrow, we will have more reactions and some insight into how Calipari was actually selected and what the conversations between the two sides actually were.

Should be exciting, stay tuned……….

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Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

19 Comments for Celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of John Calipari’s Introductory Press Conference



  1. Blue Bill
    7:09 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    And yet the hater trolls continue…… no. One. Better. Period.



  2. zoupman
    7:16 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Man is incredible. So thankful his our coach. What a super person and the success he has had here is mind boggling.



    • Luether
      8:09 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Many us define “success” as National Championships…



    • mikeintn
      8:41 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      No Luether there isn’t, it’s only a few of you, very few, always has been and always will. But keep fighting a battle you will never win.



    • CATandMONKEY
      11:15 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Then by your definition – Every year there are over 300 teams suffering abject failure.

      The ignorance attracted by this website is beyond comprehension



  3. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    7:17 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Seems like yesterday we went from having Perry Stevens to Demarcus Cousins as a starter in seconds. Went from seeing middle schoolers on the radar to top 10 McDonald’s All-Americans. We went from having unranked 4 year players, to 4 new 5* players, every year. The excitement we have is something that keeps UK basketball what it is to us. Something to be proud to talk about and make an obsession with!



    • DT in DC
      9:02 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      I was just reading some of the names in that post and man, what a blast from the past. I don’t even remember where some of those guys went now. LOL



  4. 8XChamps
    7:20 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    No one fits this program better than Cal. A class act coach that consistently gives us outstanding results. In Cal We Trust!



    • mashburnfan1
      10:22 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      And you won’t have to change your screen name for years.



  5. KYJelly
    7:33 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    That ESPN graphic of “a decade of excellence” should sum it up for anyone needing to shut up a hater



    • Blue Bill
      8:03 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Who do you want for a coach? Still haven’t heard you say. Please give a name so we can all laugh at you even more.



    • BLUE WHITE
      8:50 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Thank you. I’ve been asking also who the haters think would win a championship every year lol



    • mashburnfan1
      10:33 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Look up the last 10 champions, well there are only 9 as U6 does not count. UNC=2, dUKe=2, Nova=2, UConn=2, UK=1. If that is a decade of excellence what am I missing, do NCAA teams not play for titles any more. I am not a professor but am smart enough to know 2 is better than 1, and four teams have that better number. Not an opinion, not how I feel, FACTS. Also Tubby won 1 title in his 10 years but the big difference in Tubby and Cal….Tubby went to the real tourney all 10 years while Cal has 9 real tourney appearances and 1 Robert Morris. And the best coach in the game is Geno, hands down no need to argure. Been to the Final 4 every year since 2007 and won 6 titles in that span. Won 11 titles in last 22 years, that is real Gold Standard stuff. Best coach at UK in my 50 years of life is also easy, Pitino.



    • CATandMONKEY
      11:17 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Coaching girls basketball?

      Stop just fckng stop.

      Mash – You really need to consider rehab. That meth pipe is starting to burn not just your lips but any brain matter you once my have possessed



    • CATandMONKEY
      11:18 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      And Cal kicked the CRAP out of Pitino head to head almost EVERY game



  6. shelby
    7:41 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    This has been the funnest decade of UK basketball in my lifetime; i certainly hope it continues.



  7. Numberniner
    9:25 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    I think this summer, Cal will re-evaluate and we will be better than ever!!! More people coming back than u think!! Why do u think Cal’s not recruiting as hard this year? RT, PJ amd KJ gone, might have 1-2 x-fers as well.



  8. BigBlueSkyDog
    9:34 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Nice to relive that day so as to remember how far we’ve come since then.