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Evan Daniels gives his take on Cal and Kentucky recruiting

Evan Daniels of 247 Sports answered the question many Kentucky fans are wondering… “What is wrong with Cal?”

Here is what Daniels had to say in his #AskEvan mailbag:

I think some of this is overreaction. Here’s why: The expectations for this year’s Kentucky team were high. They were to be a title contender and a dominant one at that. While Kentucky sits at 7-2, they certainly haven’t been dominant. But it’s early. To throw fuel on the fire, the team Kentucky fans hate the most (outside of Louisville) right now is Duke. Duke blasted Kentucky the first game of the season and is the current media darling, and rightfully so. Then throw in the fact that Kentucky lost out on James Wiseman and the natives are restless.

Mind you Kentucky still has two top 10 recruits – Kahlil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey – committed, plus another potential good college player in Dontaie Allen in their 2019 class. I’ve seen claims that Kentucky isn’t recruiting well enough. I’m not entertaining that.

This is not the same Calipari we are used to. That is clear. So, do you agree with Daniels? Are fans and the media overreacting? Considering the three recruits Kentucky has right now and the ones Kentucky can potentially still land, Kentucky can still end up with a very good recruiting class.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

Read Daniel’s entire answer response here.


Article written by Kindsey Bernhard

Lover of dogs, sports and beer. @kindseybernhard

50 Comments for Evan Daniels gives his take on Cal and Kentucky recruiting

  1. b-dub
    11:14 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Of course the BBN is overreacting! Being led by Matt in the panic, it seems like we have forgotten the track record that Cal and Co. have here. Fans need to chill out and certainly need to lay off the kids and the families of the coaches. This is a fun game in which to watch and participate as spectators, but we have no rights to harass. If it is that bad for you and your self esteem, please find something else to do with your life!

    • Cokely53
      11:21 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

      I’m gonna have to disagree with you a little. I don’t think Matt Jones is leading a panic. We are recruiting well enough just not what it was. But that’s nothing against Cal. These players are more than good enough. They just aren’t staying long enough to improve as a team. Cal can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly these players are better. We’re like a mid level pro team which is the worst spot you can be in. You’re good enough to make the playoffs and win a game or 2 but we’re not good enough to win it all but we’re not bad enough to get a good pick. But in our case instead of draft picks it’s returning players. Our players still leave when they probably shouldn’t. It’s a very tough cycle to break.

    • michaelb
      2:49 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Nailed it coakly

    • KatFan48
      11:26 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

      WELL SAID – In the 1990’s Tennessee had a football coach who won a national championship at a SEC school that was not Alabama or Florida. They had a tough short stint and their rabid few took to the message boards and Fulmer was OUT. Take a quick look at their record and coaching changes since then and remember how relevant they today. Look at their string of coaching changes and the chaos it has brought. It would be educational to go read their message boards today and compare them to some of the lunacy taking place here. If you don’t think it comparable just read the next post.

    • 4everUKblue
      11:27 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Yep J-Dub you’re right, Matt is leading the panic.

    • henderblue
      12:21 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      KatFan48. Very good points. That is a comparison that needs to brought forward and you did it well. Drive one of the two greatest coaches in UK history out, and we may very well be looking at a considerable downswing in the program. One that would take quite some time to recover from, and you can see first hand what it did to the Tennessee football program. All brought on by the “rabid few”.

    • BluejayK
      12:40 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      The difference between football and basketball is that in basketball you can turn a program around with one or two players. John Wall and Boogie are evidence of that. Rebuilding a football program is a totally different monster. That being said, no one can do it better than Cal in my opinion.

    • michaelb
      2:50 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Nailed it bdub. It’s very irresponsible – he’s shooting the school in the back and doesn’t care or realize it

    • BigolBlue
      8:37 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Hes missed on all the good ones lately

  2. StuckinLville
    11:18 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Cal just can’t get the elite players anymore and elite players are what makes his teams great. So while I think people are being ridiculous about this season, I don’t think they are when it comes to recruiting. Especially when elite talent isnt even taking official visits or making their top three. Cal has to change something.

    • Cokely53
      11:30 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

      There’s usually only about 3 or 4 elite kids a class. We get just under that and many teams that are winning get way below that. It isn’t the talent. It’s having it for more than a season when they aren’t ready as freshman. I’ll bet you our next coach won’t even recruit as well as cal when “Cal isn’t getting elite recruits anymore”

    • Smyrna_Cat
      11:35 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

      We have two top 10 players committed. Don’t they count?

    • CatManDo
      1:07 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Often the top 3 or 4 elite players aren’t wired to sacrifice shots and minutes. Cal is always up front about this to prospects. Not that many AD’s and KAT’s out there.

  3. 4everUKblue
    11:28 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    We need Orlando Antigua back ASAP!

  4. Smyrna_Cat
    11:31 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    I think this site grossly overacts in terms of recruiting because it gets clicks … and it fires up the fans and leads to even greater unease. We have 2 top 10 recruits and it is it not even January. We have never gotten every top 10 recruit and we need to remember that.

    • michaelb
      2:52 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Yep Smyrna and it’s disgusting. I wish someone would call in and tell matt how bad of a stance he’s taking

  5. EdC
    11:32 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Meanwhile Jay Wright has 2 titles since Cal’s only title and Villanova doesn’t exactly top the recruiting lists.

    • StillBP
      11:42 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

      They also have two since Duke’s last one. As many have said, talent doesn’t guarantee a championship.

    • 4everUKblue
      12:01 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Didn’t guarantee K, he had the best players top to bottom the last two years and how did that work out?! Billy Donovan won back to back because his players stayed and that’s all he has just like Jay Wright.

  6. mrpokerchips
    11:34 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    A lot of the kids we miss in end up being trouble or not so good. We’re doing fine. We can’t win everything all the time.

  7. Led Weappelin
    11:44 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    The definition of a Kentucky Basketball fan is a person who overeacts just like Alabama Football fans. Also they both feel entitled. I’ve never quite understood why.

  8. Stitch from Paris
    11:47 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    The sky certainly is not falling. The over the top success of the last 10 years has spoiled many of us in the BBN. Of the 351 Division 1 basketball programs, we are consistently in the top 2 in recruiting. Would it be nice for some of our players to play 3-4 years? Sure it would, and perhaps the recruiting coaches should tweak their pitches a bit so that can happen more often. The school who shall not be named will finish our the career of Coach Kzerezerinserinskichefopoosho. If we could pick any coach, who would we want? Cal tops my list. Our win percentage is elite, no trouble with the NCAA, and usually a really fun team to watch. How soon we forget that, with the exception of 2013 when Nerlins went down, Kentucky always peaks at tourney time.

  9. VirginiaCat
    11:56 am December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Cal will still get very good talent, but no longer the best of the best. That is unlikely to change, so Cal will have to change his formula if he is to have a shot at another title. He will need to retain players beyond one year for starters. That is crystal clear and not worthy of debate. If he can’t bring himself to do that, we will get more of what we have seen the last few years. He should also hire an offensive coordinator who has a talent for developing players and can help Cal coach from the bench. Cal would still be the face of the program – something that he is really good at. The question is whether Cal can do some honest self analysis and shore up areas where he is weak. I question whether his ego would permit that, but the alternative is dragging the program down until he finds a convenient exit door.

    • syrin23
      1:58 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Why not? We can get the best players still. If you look at most of these top players, they are opting to stay at a local school where they will have NO chance at winning. Ask Trey Young, Ben Simmons. This year when Duke opened the check book was the exception.

      What needs to change is Cal’s offense. The dribble drive is garbage. The college game and NGA is all about spacing and three point shooting. We routinely have guys WIDE open for a three turn it down because they have been told to pass it, drive the ball, wait, whatever. In the NBA, if you turn down a wide open look, they bench you.

  10. Bluebloodtoo
    12:00 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Let’s see, a historic season in football that didn’t seem to whet the appetite of the BBN. A rough start to the basketball season after a misleading bahama trip. Losing bad to duke, losing again to an unranked team, and losing a high profile recruit to Memphis. Yeah, BBN is notoriously hard to satisfy, but that doesn’t mean their expectations are justified. It also doesn’t mean that Matt is driving panic. Lots of fans aren’t keen on Cal’ s general philosophy, so it doesn’t take much to get that section of fans to be vocal. By March this team will be performing well, like always.

  11. BluKudzu
    12:07 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    We have only lost one game because Cal said so.

    • bigbluebanana
      7:18 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      God, you people have really ran off with that out of context quote haven’t you?

    12:07 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    The way I see it, recruiting success should always be judged on games won, NOT on projections.

    If Duke goes on and wins the NC this year, then yes…Cal got beat, and needs to step up his game. But if Duke falters, and UK ends up having a deeper run in the tourney than them, then it’s all a wash, and we wait and see how next year turns out. As long as Duke, KU and UNC don’t win NCs with players Cal recruited heavily, then all it really means is some other school got bit by the “1-and-Done” bug.

    • syrin23
      1:59 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Duke will not win the title. No chance. They cannot beat six quality teams in a row with their streaky shooting and limited depth.

  13. Cmart0907
    12:12 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t think the recruiting is the problem. Cal coaching style is the problem. He won’t adapt to these kids style of play. Every kid plays the game different. He won’t change his system and these 5 star kids is failing and looking like bust. When you have Charles Matthews averaging 18/5/5 at Michigan. When you have Wenyen on an nba contract who wasn’t good enough for Calipari system. I’m not saying they system and his coaching style is wrong. But he is failing to adapt. Calipari needs to quit being stubborn and change.

    • syrin23
      2:00 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      He has to dump the dribble drive, recruit more pure shooters, and adapt to the modern game.

    • Cmart0907
      2:30 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      To bad he won’t.

  14. ukfan4388
    12:35 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Here is a thought that I have not seen posted. We are complaining now because Cal is not getting all of the elite recruits that he goes after. It was not that long ago the hot topic was that Cal did not get any role players that would be here for 3 or 4 years. As long as we have the one-and-done rule, we can’t have it both ways.

    • 4everUKblue
      12:40 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Good point ukfan, some fans will never be happy. Wasn’t it as recent as last season some of our negative fans were complaining about that very thing? Now we have players who will be back next year and they’re still not happy.

    • syrin23
      2:02 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      That’ true, but these guys leave. If you are Qade, a highly recruited guard with height issues, and limited basketball knowledge, but a decent shooter, you know that EVERY year some taller more skilled player will get playing time over you. He still thinks of himself as an NBA player even though he has no chance. (Doron Lamb isn’t an NBA player). So they move on to a program that will play them as they develop.

    • bigbluebanana
      7:19 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Great point ukfan

  15. treeham3
    12:42 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Listen, when Cal first came in he scored big time with Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe and company. For all but one or two seasons Kentucky has been very successful with both recruiting and final records (not to mention sending kids to the NBA). I believe the difference now lies in the fact that other head coaches have finally been forced to acknowledge the changing landscape of college basketball and the methods needed to bring in high level recruits. Do you honestly think that it is easy for a coach to get a new group of guys every year? While other teams are just beginning to really “step into this mold” the challenge of maintaining it will begin to show. Should Calipari change his methods? Who’s to say that he hadn’t? None of you go with him during recruiting visits to here what is or isn’t said. We don’t attend every practice, meeting, or film session. Are universities pounding down your door to pay you the big bucks for your expertise? These are real people trying to do unreal things year after year and do a good job of it. As fans of the greatest program in NCAA history we should show the same class and winning attitude towards our players (kids) that we want them to exhibit on behalf of this University. Take a chill pill and stop expecting a March team in December.

  16. dcforuk
    1:31 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    4 FFs in first 6 years! That buys goodwill! 2 NCAA championship games in first six years. Three straight years NOT in FF. One elite 8 and one SS in those three years. Panic not reasonable. Those that panic are probably the millenial generation. Their parents have raised them that way!

    • syrin23
      2:03 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      35 NBA draft picks, three overall number one picks, and a dozen or more lottery picks. One title. What can’t you see? His only title came when he got the best college player in a decade.

    • bigbluebanana
      7:20 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Syrin rejoining the ranks of the chicken little people.

    • dcforuk
      8:43 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      When the FF drought reaches even 1/2 of the 1998-2011 drought come back to the table for discussion. We are three to four years away from 1/2 of that drought. Go trade for Phillip “cry me a” River(s) in your FFL……

    • syrin23
      12:58 am December 17, 2018 Permalink

      How so? name a single thing I said that isn’t true.

    • dcforuk
      8:13 pm December 18, 2018 Permalink

      How so what?

  17. dcforuk
    1:35 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    I want FFs. Do I care how that is accomplished beyond within the rules? Nope. Nor, should I. Performance is making the FF and he had 4 in first six years which is awesome. Nearly had one in 2017. We are fine.

  18. michaelb
    2:49 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    There’s nothing wrong . This issue is created by the talking heads that’s why I despise the media in som instances . Things are slow they tend to make mountains out of stuff. There’s no branding problem – the same situation spans across a number of schools . It’s on the player to be motivated to play to a level of being drafted . Instead if they pout and transfer the media makes it fall on the school/coach . Their not the ones failing . This topic is silly . I hate it that ksr agrees with Torres and plant that seed in the minds of everyone . It’s an irresponsible thing they’re doing just cause they need something to ‘talk’ about

  19. michaelb
    2:54 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Somebody please call in and tell the ksr how wrong they are. It’s an irritating & irresponsible route they’re taking on this because it creates subject material in their eyes. He’s doing the ky brand a disservice by saying they have a branding problem when they don’t . Every school who recruits one and dones has the same mom issue

  20. dcforuk
    10:17 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

    Reconcile these two quotes:

    1. Emotion is your enemy.
    2. I define passion as extreme emotion.

    Those two quotes apply to fandom as much as they do to players. Be passionate but don’t let emotion be your enemy. BTW – both coaches are HoF coaches….

    • dcforuk
      10:18 pm December 16, 2018 Permalink

      Sorry – those two quotes came from two different HoF coaches…