Tag Archives: Shabazz Muhammad

A Pursuit for Gr8tness: Kentucky Basketball in a new era

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. John Calipari (pictured above) has revived Kentucky basketball and mastered the science of the one-and-done.

By Matt Murray

In the evening hours of March 25, 2009, Lexington, Kentucky was solemn and quiet. All that could be heard was the sound of a buzzer going off on the few TVs that had been left on long enough to watch the Kentucky Wildcats fall by double digits to Notre Dame in the NIT. It was rock bottom; the end of a long slide from the top of the mountain of college basketball.  Kentucky had missed the tournament for the first time in 17 years, and their new coach, Billy Gillispie, had seemingly put the finishing touches on running the program out of the spotlight.

For years, Kentucky had thrived in an era of college basketball in which dynasties were the key to success; building and sustaining programs was forged on the foundation of long-term players. But with the introduction of the one-and-done rule, Kentucky was unable to find a way to survive in a new era of basketball. That all changed on April 1st, 2009.

In the span of a week, Kentucky ousted Gillipsie and brought in one-and-done expert John Calipari, who promised the power of his recruiting, mixed with the historical prestige of Kentucky, would be a potent mix that would allow him to create a modern-day dynasty in Lexington. He admitted it would be a different feel, one that would put players before the program, but that’s how a team must survive in this basketball landscape. The teams will serve as revolving doors to the NBA, but it’s the only way to ensure the best of the best want to attend your school. They have to spend one year out of high school before they head to the league, and Calipari has made it nearly impossible to explain why you’d want to spend that year anywhere else but Lexington. Continue reading

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Big Blue Nausea

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. John Calipari (pictured above) appears well on his way to capturing the first National Championship of his career.

By Josh Kramer

It’s a bird.  It’s a plane.  It’s Anthony Davis?  I will be the first to say that Kentucky is not my favorite team in the world.  To be entirely honest, they are probably my least favorite team in America.  Kentucky, also known as the “Big Blue Nation,” is arguably the most tradition filled program in college basketball and their fans make sure that you are fully aware of it.  They are the end-all be-all of sports in the Bluegrass State.   Either way, there is no denying just how well this team is playing right now.

This year’s Kentucky team has people across the nation saying, “John Wall and Demarcus Cousins who?”  Ever since John Calipari stepped foot in Lexington, the target has been on his back.  And along with his controversial past, he brought an absurd amount of blue chips to Kentucky.  I mean, there have been so many blue chip recruits on the Lexington campus during his three-year run, that he has made the “Fab-Five” sound more like the “Mediocre-Five” on multiple occasions.  People say he is a great recruiter, and unless the NCAA tells us differently, we will have to remain under the assumption that he is playing by the rules. Continue reading