For a second year in a row, a former one and done point guard has won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. And it is by no coincidence that these guys both played for the same coach in college. The man with the best hair college basketball, Mr. John Calipari. And many think that he may have produced a 3rd Rookie of the Year in a row for next year with the emergence of star John Wall..
Is this great coaching by Cal? Or is it phenomenal talent? I would say it is a mix of both, with a heavier focus on the phenomenal talent. So Calipari may be under a ton of scrutiny by most NCAA fans. Both of his former programs before Kentucky have been under big time NCAA investigations and have had Final Fours revoked. The man with the slick hair has managed to keep his nose clean though. Now do I think he cheated somehow and knew what was going on? You better believe it. But he has not been punished or found guilty by the NCAA personally yet. We live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty. I mean take for example the Ray Lewis murder case..
There has never been another coach in NCAA history to have consecutive one and done point guards take home NBA Rookie of the Year honors at the next level. And really there is a great likelihood that it could be 3 in a row with all the hype surrounding John “Jive Buggin” Wall. Want to know what is scary?
Brandon Knight, the top point guard in the 2010 class and the top rated high school senior in various recruiting polls is heading to Kentucky. What if this guy lives up to the hype of his predecessors? I am talking about the phenoms like Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, and John Wall. Want to know something that is even more scary?
Last week, Marquis Teague, rated the number 1 point guard in the 2011 class by various recruiting websites has already orally committed to UK. This would be an improbable string of hypothetically the top point guards in 5 consecutive classes playing for Calipari. That would be an amazing feat. What if all 5 of them were one and dones who went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year (extremely unlikely but still possible)?
The best part about all of this. Calipari could go 0 for 5 during these years in actually bringing home a National Title. And that is what most coaches are in the business for. Coaches at major programs are there to win titles. I mean it is great to bring in these amazing recruiting classes. But if you keep bringing in one and dones, you have no experienced vets. Plus the majority of these guys will never get to play with the following year’s blue chip recruits. Coach Cal did an amazing job this past year in bringing in a top-notch recruiting class (whether it was done ethically or not). Not to mention he already had a fantastic experienced post player in Patrick Patterson ready to roll.
This coming year, and probably in subsequent years, he will not have the luxury of having an experienced leader who is an All American caliber player. The way I look at it. If Calipari could not win a title with this year’s amazingly talented group, the odds are stacked very high against him to bring home a title in the upcoming years. And I will admit, this would make me happy if Cal never won a title.
I personally think he is involved in many unethical recruiting tactics. But this is just an opinion. Whether he gets caught or not is another story. As I said before, in our society, you are innocent until proven guilty. I will say this though. Say UK does make a Final Four here in the next couple of years or even brings home a National Title. Big Blue Nation will go wild and savor it. The party in Lexington will last a month and it will be an extended Mardi Gras like celebration in Kentucky.
Too bad it will likely be taken away within the next 5 to 10 years due to NCAA recruiting violations..
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.