John Calipari to Kentucky Done,
But is it a Package Deal?

Posted on 01. Apr, 2009 by Nolan Shulman in High School, NCAA

Andy Katz of ESPN has confirmed that John Calipari is heading to Lexington to become the next Head Coach of the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky wasted no time finding a replacement for Billy Gillispie, and quickly reached into it’s very deep pockets to lure his replacement. Everyone knows how I felt about Billy Gillispie. I thought he was treated unfairly and never given a chance to succeed. With that said, I think Kentucky hit an absolute grand slam with the hiring of John Calipari. The guy is a sensational recruiter, with a history of bringing in High School superstars. His former players include Lou Roe, Marcus Camby, Edgar Padilla, Carmelo Travieso, Dajuan Wagner, Shawne Williams, Joey Dorsey, CDR, Derrick Rose, and Tyreke Evans. Next year, had he stayed at Memphis, it would have been his best recruiting class ever. It was to include Xavier Henry, the #4 ranked player in the class of 2009, as well as DeMarcus Cousins who sits at #6. Both of these players have letters from the University of Memphis that states if John Calipari were to leave, they would be allowed out of their letters of intent. That is exactly what figures to happen, as the two superstar recruits met down in Miami for the McDonald’s All-American game.

Xavier Henry and DeMarcus Cousins

The question on everyone’s mind as the domino’s continue to drop, is whether these two blue chip recruits will be joining Coach Cal in Lexington? If they do, and somehow Coach Cal can manage to convince Kentucky’s leading scorers, Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson to stay, we could be looking at a one year resurrection of Kentucky basketball. Coach Cal will also be working on ensuring Daniel Orton (the #12 ranked player in 2009) makes good on the commitment he made to Kentucky. It might be a bit of a long shot, but Coach Calipari could assemble a team that has a returning first-team All-American, and 4 former McDonald’s high school All-Americans. That would be perhaps the most talented team in the country and potentially give the new coach his best chance ever at winning the National Championship. Were going to have to wait to see how it plays out over the next few weeks, but this scenario is not as far fetched as people might think.

Nolan Shulman

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