Kentucky and Indiana used to match up in an annual rivalry game in college basketball, but the series stopped after 2011 (they have met twice in the NCAA Tournament since). John Calipari says don’t count on it coming back any time soon.
SEC basketball coaches spoke with the media on Thursday for the SEC Basketball Teleconference. Calipari said on the call that he didn’t foresee the rivalry series with Indiana returning soon.
“Our schedule is so locked in, I’m not sure, here in the next four to five years, if even talking about it does anything,” Calipari said, via Kentucky Sports Radio. “We’re hoping to do something in London next year, we’ve got this challenge that we put together, the [Champions Classic] and then the [CBS Sports Classic]. We have a game that we have to play with Louisville. We have our big challenge with the Big 12. Our stuff is pretty well loaded so I don’t see it happening any time in the near future.”
Calipari preferred to do neutral site games rather than home games at Rupp Arena and Assembly Hall. He says he offered to play games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and was turned down. Why won’t he return to Bloomington? He seems to still hold something against Indiana fans after the way the 2011 game went down.
Kentucky still plays a very competitive schedule with games against North Carolina and Louisville non-conference, while Indiana has fallen off in level of play lately. They probably don’t see the need to add that game back.
Brad Calipari announced on Twitter Wednesday that he is down to two schools regarding his transfer decision.
Brad, who is the son of Kentucky coach John Calipari, indicated his interest in playing at another program by entering the transfer portal, we learned in May. On Wednesday, he announced he was choosing between Hampton and Detroit Mercy.
John Calipari on Thursday addressed the news of his son Brad entering the NCAA transfer portal.
News of Brad Calipari looking to transfer from Kentucky made headlines on Thursday. John, who has coached at Kentucky since 2009, says all the attention over Brad’s potential move caught him off-guard. He also explained that a potential transfer is not to bad blood between him and his son, but rather about the possibility of future playing time.
We talked about the transfer portal and putting his name out there. He didn’t think – nor did I – that putting his name out there would go crazy. We honestly didn’t think anyone would notice. But at the end of the day, I want my son to be happy.
Brad would have the chance to leave as a graduate transfer and play elsewhere. He appeared in 27 games over his first two seasons, playing 73 minutes. He has scored 11 points in his career, mostly as a 3-point shooter, and he redshirted last season.
Kentucky coach John Calipari is known for his ability to recruit and improve freshmen, so it’s perhaps a touch surprising that he wasn’t able to land Zion Williamson.
Williamson ultimately attended Duke and took college basketball by storm, which led Calipari to admit that he’d underestimated exactly what the young big man could do.
“We recruited Zion. I probably missed him a little bit,” Calipari told The Dan Patrick Show on Friday, via Jeff Borzello of ESPN. “I knew he was going to be good, I didn’t know he was going to be this good. I knew he could dominate, but not like he’s done.
“When we played against him, I walked off the court and said, ‘I missed on another one!’ I knew he’d be good … the kid’s off the chain.”
Kentucky was involved in Williamson’s recruitment, but not as aggressively as Duke. The Blue Devils’ success didn’t really sit well with Calipari at the time, though both ended up getting equally far in this year’s NCAA Tournament, with both schools falling in the Elite Eight.
“There are people that, I don’t know if it’s their opinion or their hope, but they get mad and it’s like, ‘Why are you mad? What’s this make you mad about?’” Calipari said on ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ regarding his deal. “Our fans are happy, our administration is happy, I’m happy. I guess that’s all it’s about.”
Some people are probably upset that a guy like Calipari can so easily threaten to leave in order to squeeze a larger contract out of his employer. At the same time, there is so much pressure on the coaches to produce, and they are so easily fired these days, that it’s hard to blame them for trying to get as much money as they can while their value is high.
John Calipari is the subject of NBA coaching rumors seemingly every offseason, and a report this week claimed he was being heavily recruited to leave the Wildcats to coach at UCLA. Those rumblings can all stop now.
On Monday, Calipari confirmed that he has agreed to a lifetime deal to remain at Kentucky. He said the new agreement has nothing to do with UCLA’s reported interest in hiring him.
On the @UK_HealthCare John Calipari Show, Coach Cal confirms he’s agreed to a lifetime contact at Kentucky.
“It has nothing to do with the other stuff…people call every year. They presented it to me and I appreciate it.”
Calipari has been at Kentucky since 2009 and taken the team to four Final Fours. He also led them to a national championship in 2012 and has won five SEC Championships. He’s one of the best recruiters in the country, so Kentucky probably told him to name his price.