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John Calipari Does Not Approve of Dale Brown’s Blue Suit

Kentucky beat Dillard (which is now doubling as a basketball team in addition to a department store) in its final exhibition game Friday night (yawn) 122-54. In case you haven’t been following it, the Wildcats may use a similar lineup to what Villanova had a few years ago, four mid-sized athletic guys on the court at the same time. Whatever they did on Friday worked and they were up so big against Dillard they were just having fun. One thing that wasn’t funny was John Calipari’s reaction to the suit worn by his adversary, Dale Brown.

Brown, the former Kentucky player, wore a blue suit with a white undershirt as a tribute to his alma mater. He now is inducted into the ugly suit club for that wardrobe choice, joining Rick Pitino and Pacman Jones. Here’s how he looked in the gumball suit:

After the one-sided ass whopping game, Calipari shared his unflattering thoughts about the suit: “There are three suits that I’ve seen that I say — I don’t know if I want to say gag me. But there’s a white suit I saw. There was a gold suit that I saw — I don’t know if it was yellow or gold — where the pants were too long. The guy at West Virginia wore it. Then that suit right there. Those three right there.”

Brown gets an A for effort, but an F for fashion choice. That badboy was ugly!

Pics courtesy of Loraemily75 and pennington_jl

Calipari’s Boys Not Very Bright

John Calipari managed to resurrect some of the winning ways Kentucky has come to be known for when he came to the Wildcats from Memphis.  One thing he doesn’t seem to have done is stimulate his players to perform as well in the classroom as they did on the court.  According to KentuckySports.com — via Sports By Brooks live — his players posted a GPA of 2.025, the lowest of the 20 University of Kentucky athletic teams.  It is also the lowest for the Kentucky men’s team since 2002 and worst of the nine SEC schools that were willing to provide their team GPAs to the public.

When taking into account the Derrick Rose SAT cheating incident at Memphis, Calipari doesn’t exactly have a clean track record regarding academic issues and his players.  While it should be noted that freshman-phenom John Wall had all As and Bs during the fall semester — as Calipari pointed out in December — the fact that Kentucky had so many one-and-done freshmen almost certainly contributed to the low team GPA.  Four of the five Wildcats who entered the NBA draft were freshmen and two players posted GPAs below the minimum requirement for eligibility, which is 1.8.  However, that minimum requirement only comes into play at the start of an athlete’s second year, so it’s safe to assume if those two were eligible to play, they were first year players.

Considering the four freshmen who declared were probably more concerned with their NBA futures than their midterms, they were probably about as bored in the classroom as Calipari is with the press conference in the picture above.  Am I saying this is all a huge deal for the Wildcats men’s basketball program?  Hardly, as I’m sure classroom performance is an issue with plenty of major athletic programs.  However, given some of the issues Calipari has had with these things in the past, it isn’t exactly the best reflection on him as a coach.

Sources:
SbB Live
Calipari’s squad posts worst grades of UK teams [KentuckySports.com]

John Calipari’s Playing Head Games

Kentucky coach John Calipari has made some strange comments to the media recently and I’m trying to figure what it’s all about. Right before the SEC tournament, he said his team probably needed to win two games in the SEC tourney to be a number one seed in the Big Dance. Kentucky would have been 29-3 even with a first-round loss in the SEC tourney and a lock for a one seed along with Kansas and Syracuse. Calipari was downplaying his team’s accomplishments and level of national respect, perhaps to keep his players motivated. Fast forward to Saturday night after Kentucky got done hammering Wake Forest by 30 points. The Wildcats were already a number one seed and picked to reach the championship game by most analysts. They were the second most popular pick to win the title behind Kansas. As soon as Kansas was upset by Northern Iowa, Kentucky became even more of a favorite than they already were. Not in Calipari’s eyes. Check out what he said:

“I don’t know if we’re the overwhelming favorite. Everyone was picking us to lose today, be in a tough game. They were also saying we’d be the first number one [seed] out. So how do they change those talking heads overnight? With one game? Come on. We’re still a bunch of freshmen and sophomores in our second NCAA tournament game, they’ve never played in any other games. All we’re going to worry about is us.”

I honestly don’t know what planet he’s inhabiting. Everywhere I’ve looked people have been in agreement — it was Kansas and Kentucky and everyone else at least a step below. I don’t know of anyone picking Kentucky to be eliminated in the second round; most people had them in the championship game from what I could tell. I don’t know if there are some talking heads disparaging Kentucky to whom Calipari has something to prove or if the guy is just being really crafty and playing mind games. Most likely, he’s trying to keep himself and his players from believing their press clippings and hype so that they maintain their edge. The guy has me scratching my head right now, but if this is part of his strategy to keep his players hungry and operating in an underdog role, then more power to him. In the meantime, I’m trying to figure it all out.

Sounds Like John Calipari Helped Derrick Rose Cheat on the SAT

Hmm, so Memphis offers John Calipari more money than Kentucky in the immediate future but Cal jumps to Lexington, saying that coaching at Kentucky was his dream job? I guess it’s entirely possible, but now something tells me he was ready to jump ship so quickly because he knew the NCAA was getting ready to crack down on Memphis for major violations. Yeah, I’d say knowing a guy cheated on the SAT is a pretty big deal. The Memphis Commercial Appeal says the Memphis program is being accused by the NCAA of major violations:

The allegations include “knowing fraudulence or misconduct” on an SAT exam by a player on the 2007-08 team.

The NCAA alleged the prospective player became eligible after an “unknown individual” completed his SAT. The player, said the NCAA, “subsequently competed for the men’s basketball team through the 2007-08 season, which included his participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”

The only player who fits the description in the report (a guy who only played on the team during the ’07-’08 season) is Derrick Rose who’s currently with the Bulls. The punishment as of now is that the team could forfeit its 38-win season and Final Four appearance of two seasons ago. I’m pretty sure the punishment will be much harsher — almost program killing — if the allegations are proven to be true. And they better darn well follow Calipari to Kentucky — he can’t just escape the problems and violations he committed by running away from them. They should follow him the way Kelvin Sampson’s problems followed him to Indiana.

Maybe this will temper all that excitement created when John Wall said he’d go to Kentucky. And maybe now this also explains why the school fired Billy Gillispie — they knew Calipari wanted to get out of Memphis and that they’d be able to sign him. Ahah! Everything’s starting to come together!

John Calipari Hiring Tony Delk, Scott Padgett to Coach at Kentucky

And that’s why Kentucky brought John Calipari in to coach them. That, and because he’s taken UMass and Memphis to the Final Four. While Billy Gillispie would have been fine job-wise if he had won a few more games and probably would have had great success at UK, I never saw him hiring the former stars of the program. That’s something Calipari’s already doing:

Saying he wanted to help them launch coaching careers, new UK coach John Calipari on Thursday said he would hire former Wildcat players Tony Delk and Scott Padgett.

“I’ve done this many times. What happens is with guys like that, they’re in positions of assistant strength coach or assistant equipment manager,” Calipari said.

“This is not a money thing,” Calipari said. “If you want to get started in this profession, I will help you.”

The new coach also said he will have 4-5 guys around every year who want to get into the coaching profession.

I’m not exactly sure how they can afford to just hire anyone and dole out all kinds of funds but this is a great way of stepping up fan relations. This guy is really smooth. I said you better have a great replacement in mind if you’re going to fire someone who’s good and Kentucky had that. Imagine how much easier it will be to recruit when all the Kentucky legends are on your side making phone calls. Coaches should take notes from Calipari on how to work alumni-relations. Are you listening, Sean Miller?

Chinese Gaining on U.S. in Basketball

And by gaining on the U.S., I mean their national team beat a Conference-USA team once in three tries. In case you missed it, Memphis coach John Calipari set up an exchange program where he had a Chinese coach following Memphis the past year. In return, Cal headed up a team of C-USA representatives that traveled to China for an exhibition tour. Calipari thinks all the traveling finally caught up to his team and led to the loss, and I’ll buy it. For Cal however, it’s not so much about the result as it is about the future possibilities from this program:

“We see what in all likelihood is coming. Basketball is just like everything else in China. It gets started and then it just rolls downhill,” Calipari said. “We are putting our program in a position to capitalize on that.”

“The risk in this is we never get a player. We end up with great relationships, some great new friends and experiences,” Calipari said. “If we do get a Chinese player, our team and university will be huge. We become an international school.”

Yeah, the one problem is that if they’re immensely talented like Yao or Yi (!!!!!), they go straight to the pros, no college rule needed. Still, this sounds like Calipari’s onto a good idea. Seems like he’s a little ahead of the curve here with this project. And I for one, can’t wait to see the first successful Chinese college player.