Many people have said over the years that John Calipari is perfect for the job of Kentucky basketball coach. He certainly has had a near perfect tenure as the coach with levels of success rarely seen at this school or any school. There have been missed opportunities for titles for sure but every Hall of Fame coach has those. You don’t think Pitino wants that 1997 title back? Rupp doesn’t want the 1966 title? But Cal’s personality has stoked this fanbase to levels of passion maybe never seen. People travels hundreds of miles for a simple autograph. People actually listen to his post-game comments and mid-week news conferences. Early on I think some fans were unsure of the kind of program Cal was building based around mostly one and done players and big soundbites. But I think it’s safe to say Cal’s approval rating is about as close to 100% as a coach can get.
At the same time when you have developed the personality that Calipari has, you miss sometimes. Certainly his SEC Tournament rant last week was a miss and surprising Cal wouldn’t recognize how negative UK fans would take any suggestion the SEC Tournament should be changed. We own that tournament. He’s missed about the NBA Draft and a couple other things here are there. But when you talk as much and as prominently as Calipari that is just an accepted consequence. But as a fan does it make you cringe a little? I think when you win at the level that Kentucky is winning right now that fans accept however the coach wants to act. Big personality, small personality, Gillispie personality. Win big and we’ll accept it. But I wonder:
ASSUMING UK IS WINNING AT THE LEVELS THEY ARE NOW, WHAT KIND OF COACH WOULD YOU MOST WANT:
-Big Personality, Talks A Lot (Calipari)
-Small Personality, Talks A Little (Tubby)
-Jerk Personality (Gillispie) *please don’t pick this
The good thing with Calipari is there never really is an off-season anymore. The time between April to September was dead during the Tubby days. He didn’t say much or do much. Recruiting remained important but can you imagine Tubby fueling a feud with Coach K during the off-season? Calipari seems to feed off that kind of interaction. He never relaxes. He’s never satisfied and he’s always trying to stir the pot. So the question is do you want that? Assuming we are winning at a high level, would you rather have the high profile or low profile coach?