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#pounditSunday, June 23, 2024

Kentucky AD voices opinion on John Calipari amid roster concerns

John Calipari at a press conference

Mar 28, 2019; Kansas City, MO, United States; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari speaks during a press conference for the midwest regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

There is a growing anxiety among Kentucky basketball fans. It’s early June and head coach John Calipari has just seven scholarship players, including five freshmen, on the current roster. Combine that with just a single NCAA Tournament win over the past three seasons and it’s easy to understand why the Big Blue Nation is getting antsy.

But UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart is not among those worrying.

On Thursday, Barnhart sat down with Darrell Bird of The Cats’ Pause and expressed confidence that Calipari will piece together a competitive roster in 2023-2024.

“We’ve had a lot of times when our roster has been fluid and he’s really good at figuring how to put together rosters,” Barnhart said of his coach. “We have five newcomers coming in, some folks coming back and then we’ll fill in around that. He is really good at that.

“People say, ‘Are you concerned?’ I get concerned about every sport every year. I absolutely see exactly what’s going on. We’re in conversation a lot and I know the pulse of what he has going on with his team. I feel confident. He’s a great basketball coach who will find a way to put a team on the court that competes at a really high level.”

Barnhart and Calipari aren’t exactly the best of friends so this sudden vote of confidence speaks volumes. It may also go a ways in helping to mend their fractured relationship.

The question is, will it be enough for Kentucky fans to take a deep breath and relax? And perhaps more importantly, will Barnhart’s confidence be rewarded?

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