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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Cats Look to Prevent Pearl from Reaching FAMOUS 7-Win Club

© Justin Ford | USATSI

© Justin Ford | USATSI

Everyone knows about the famous 7-win club, right?  It’s the group of coaches that have found a way to beat Kentucky 7 times or more during their careers.  And Bruce Pearl is knocking on that door, with a 6-12 record all-time against the Cats.  There are 15 modern era coaches and another 7 from the pre-modern era who have already reached the feat:

Dale Brown (LSU): 18-33
Billy Donovan (Florida): 17-29
Ray Mears (Tennessee): 15-15
Bob Knight (Indiana): 15-18
Dean Smith (North Carolina): 13-3
Kevin Stallings (Vandy): 12-23
Don DeVoe (Tennessee): 11-14
Wimp Sanderson (Alabama): 11-18
CM Newton (Alabama, Vandy): 10-32
Roy Williams (Kansas, North Carolina): 9-10
Hugh Durham (Florida St, Georgia): 9-30
Norm Sloan (Florida): 8-19
Nolan Richardson (Arkansas): 7-12
Denny Crum (Louisville): 7-13
Sonny Smith (Auburn): 7-19

PRE-MODERN ERA
Roy Skinner (Vandy): 14-18
Wack Hyder (Georgia Tech): 9-16
John Bender (Tennessee): 7-1
George Keogan (Notre Dame): 7-2
Eddie Hickey (Creighton, St.Louis, Marquette): 7-8
Josh Cody (Mercer, Vandy, Clemson, Temple): 7-19
John Mauer (Florida, Tennessee): 7-22

There are a couple interesting things about the list above:

  1. Every single coach in the modern era has a losing record against the Cats, except for Dean Smith, who held an INCREDIBLE 13-3 record over UK during his tenure.
  2. Outside of Smith, the other 14 coaches in the modern era still had a combined record of 156-285 against UK, for a win percentage of 35.4%.  And these are, in theory, the best coaches that UK faced.
  3. Only Smith, Knight, and Williams accomplished this from an out of conference school, and all three are in the Hall of Fame.  The SEC coaches who accomplished this basically did so out of longevity more than superiority.

It’s a completely silly list, I grant you.  I think my point in bringing it up is to question whether you feel that Pearly has “earned” the status of a UK hated coach.  Has he won enough against us to make him relevant.  Most of the coaches on that list above were not loved by this fanbase for the sheer fact they beat us a few times.  Some also had personalities that rubbed us the wrong way but overall we just didn’t like to lose.

Is Pearl in that category yet?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

10 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Cats Look to Prevent Pearl from Reaching FAMOUS 7-Win Club



  1. dballrb
    10:33 am January 17, 2019 Permalink

    BP Cheated big time while at Tennessee and the recent Auburn issues.But its scrapping the bottom of the barrel for a story…So IMO,hes only won 2,3 times.Tubby’s the better coach though…..



    • BobKYCats
      11:07 am January 17, 2019 Permalink

      I’ve always liked Bruce Pearl, aside from the whole Aaron Craft BBQ thing. He’s one of those coaches that you can tell truly loves his profession and enjoys every single minute of it, and he’s a stellar coach. He’s done a great job everywhere he’s been. UW-Milwaukee, Tennessee, and now Auburn. He’s like a basketball version of Dabo Swinney-lite (He’s not full Dabo until he wins a championship).

      I don’t think I love him enough to ever have him be a Kentucky coach. I feel he’s a perfect fit for programs whose expectations aren’t as grandiose as ours. But I do love watching him coach, and I love playing against him.



  2. Ridge Runner
    12:00 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Oh Bruce.. I was surprised a little when he was in between coaching jobs work as an analyst when he actually showed Cal & the Cats some love during the times I watched. In fact, I remember him saying Big Blue Nation is beyond anything other fans of teams could dream of.



    • Ridge Runner
      12:04 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      By the way.. dude fits the mold of getting so worked up to have a friggin heart attack on the sidelines. Red face, sweat, etc.. Of course I don’t want that but it is my first impression to be honest…



  3. 57nukeduke
    12:20 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    I would have sworn coach k would be on the list, seems like he has been there forever, I would say the crushing loss this year had to get him real close to 7 wins



    • bluetide
      2:10 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      That one made it 6 for him. Unbelievably we’ve only played Coach K 8 times, and we are 2-6 against him. We played him 88 in the Tip-Off Classic, of course the two tourney games in 92 and 98, 2 times in the Jimmy V Classic and 3 times so far in the Champions Classic.



  4. DelrayCat
    12:30 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    When Cal leaves….Pearl would be in my top 3 easy. Sure, he has a checkered past…but no worse than Cal had when he came to UK. He’s a heck of a coach. Easily one of the best.



    • Skooms
      5:41 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

      False. Pearl was actually found guilty, fired, and hit with a no show clause for a few years. That doesn’t compare whatsoever with Cal’s past. Oh and Pearl flat out LIED to the NCAA during the investigation. Then admitted to it after the evidence had already proved it.



  5. Wildcat_blues1029
    1:02 pm January 17, 2019 Permalink

    Cals first 10 years here with the Cats is better then most coaches resumes who’ve been coaching for 20+ years. Question is who will want the Kentucky job when Cal leaves??



    • Luether
      12:29 am January 18, 2019 Permalink

      There will be a long, long line…