You know, it is sometimes a given that the last 6 years of UK basketball have been the best 6 years any college basketball program has had. At least to us. Calipari’s 4 Final Fours in the last 5 years has only been accomplished by Wooden and Coach K. His 190 wins are the most for any coach in the country since 2009-10. He has a championship. He has 93 NBA draft picks at last count. He’s done it all after taking a program in shambles and continually has to restock his roster. And he’s made Kentucky the cool program to kids and the most hated program in the country to everybody else. But they don’t hate you unless you’re good. Ask Duke.
But I wonder if you would trade Coach Cal’s last 6 years with Coach K. A quick look at the resumes:
2010: 35-3 (Elite 8)
2011: 29-9 (Final Four)
2012: 38-2 (Champions)
2013: 21-12 (NIT)
2014: 29-11 (Runner-up)
2015: 38-1 (Final Four)
TOTAL: 190-38 (4 Final Fours, 1 Championship, 1 Missed Tournament)
*3 SEC Championships
*3 SEC Tournament Championships
2010: 35-5 (Champions)
2011: 32-5 (Sweet 16)
2012: 27-7 (1st Round)
2013: 30-6 (Elite 8)
2014: 26-9 (1st Round)
2015: 35-4 (Champions)
TOTAL: 185-36 (2 Final Fours, 2 Championships, 0 Missed Tournaments)
*1 ACC Championship
*2 ACC Tournament Championships
Now, let’s be clear: I am not asking if you would rather have Coach K as our coach and not Calipari. I am simply asking would you trade the results of the last 6 years with Duke. And the question is pretty simple: Would you trade less overall success for 1 additional title. Would you take 2 highly embarrassing losses for 2 titles. Would you trade 4 Final Fours and 1 title for 2 Final Fours and 2 titles? I think it’s a very difficult choice. I strongly doubt that Duke fans have enjoyed the last 6 years as much as we have. But they also have double the ultimate prize.
I tend to lean towards keeping Calipari’s 6 years for the simple fact how fun it has been (sans 2013). Yes, there have been some crippling losses but I would still take losses in the Final Four over losses in the 1st round. Duke has definitely taken better advantage of their opportunities than UK has, but there should be more to being a fan that TITLE OR BUST. And hey, we can all agree we would never take Tom Crean’s 6 years.