The Kentucky Wildcats will take on the DePaul Blue Demons in the coming years whether John Calipari likes it or not.
During his introductory press conference with the program, former UK deputy director of athletics and new DePaul AD DeWayne Peevy said his first order of business on the job is to schedule a home-and-home with Kentucky.
When asked about the possibility of the Wildcats heading up to Chicago to take on the Blue Demons in the near future, Peevy said Calipari better have his phone handy, because the conversations are coming.
“That’s going to be the first thing I’m going after,” said Peevy. “Cal, if you’re listening, get the phone ready. You’re going to have to come to Wintrust.”
Dating back to 1943, Kentucky has taken on DePaul a total of 21 times, with the most recent coming in 2006. The Wildcats have taken home 18 victories in the matchup compared to three for the Blue Demons.
After 12 years in Lexington and 11 years alongside Calipari, Peevy wants to continue that tight relationship with the UK head coach and the program as a whole.
“He’s a confidant,” Peevy said of Calipari. “He’s a true friend. He’s an uncle to my kids. I’m sure I’ll still be on the phone with him all the time.”
Outside of UK basketball, the new DePaul AD also touched on the Kentucky football program and how the fanbase rallied behind Mark Stoops, changing the culture in a matter of years. At DePaul, Peevy hopes the same happens with its basketball program.
“I compare DePaul men’s basketball to Kentucky football. We have an unbelievable passionate fan base,” Peevy said. “They haven’t been able to get over the hump for a long time, but we broke that barrier. We went past that. Having a culture of Mark Stoops and a different outlook on things. But that’s not something you have to change coaches to do.”
As Peevy takes the next step in his professional career, it’s apparent he has big dreams and wants DePaul fans to trust the process.
“DePaul was the job. … I’m asking today, have faith in us,” he said. “You’ve waited this long. It’s time to totally put your chips in the middle of the table. Go all in with us. … I’m coming here to win a national championship.”
John Calipari and Mitch Barnhart, who were both on the Zoom introductory press conference, released a goodbye message to Peevy on Monday evening.
“We’re sad to see him go, but we’re all ecstatic for him and his family,” said Calipari. “He deserves this opportunity.”
“They are getting an amazing, amazing leader, someone who will do remarkable things,” said Barnhart.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 25, 2020
Let’s get that home-and-home scheduled.