I think Coach Cal has underachieved at Kentucky. Let’s take emotion out of this and take an analytical look at Coach Cal’s run at Kentucky.
John Calipari’s success in seven seasons at Kentucky has been simply put, amazing.
Overall Record: 217-47 (.821)
SEC Record: 95-25 (.795)
– At least a share of 4 SEC Regular Season Titles
– 4 SEC Tournament Titles
– 6 NCAA Tournaments
– 5 Elite 8’s
– 4 Final 4’s
– 25 NBA players
– 1 National Championship
The number that sticks out, to me, is the last one on the list. John Calipari has just 1 National Championship in 7 seasons at the University of Kentucky. As host of Prime Time Sports on 1510 WLAC in Nashville when John Calipari was hired at Kentucky, I said repeatedly that he would dominate college basketball. I said he would win on an elite level. Seven seasons in, was I correct? I don’t think that I was.
Now, admittedly, it insane to expect more than one National Title in seven seasons but that is where we are with Coach Cal at Kentucky and that is a testament to how good Coach Cal is at filling out a college basketball roster. I understand that expectation level is crazy. However, I also understand that Coach Calipari has recruited at an unprecedented level. Kentucky has finished number one in the nation in recruiting every year but one since Coach Cal has been in Lexington. In 2014, he finished 2nd behind Duke. He’s the best recruiting head coach ever, in any sport. John Calipari has placed 25 players in the NBA in his 1st 6 seasons at Kentucky. 25. That’s more than 4 per season. That is absolutely ridiculous. With the level of players he has every year, you would anticipate more than one National Title in seven seasons, right? I would.
So what does the Big Blue Nation think about the “Cal Way?” And, by that, I mean an extreme one-and-done system. An NBA roster every year. Kentucky’s men’s basketball fan base is the most passionate fan base at any school in any sport. In fact, I think many Kentucky fans define self worth by the success of their basketball program. That’s why this question is fascinating to me. Kentucky fans, I’d love to know where you are with this. Of course, National Championships are difficult to win. With all of the regular season, conference tournament and NCAA tournament success (4 Final Fours in 7 seasons is amazing), are you frustrated that there aren’t more National Titles?