According to ESPN analyst and co host of Pardon the Interruption, Michael Wilbon, this will be John Calipari’s last season at Kentucky. Wilbon says that the pressure of winning at Kentucky has finally gotten to Coach Cal. He cites Cal’s recent actions as proof. For instance , he thinks it was bizarre for Calipari to not do his media obligation after the South Carolina loss.
I hope MIchael Wilbon doesn’t know what he is talking about!
The Kentucky Wildcats came into the season as the favorite to win the National Championship. Fast forward to March and now the Wildcats will struggle to get a seed higher than 7 or 8 in the NCAA tournament. On paper, the Wildcats should be dominating their opponents. However, that is not the case. So, the question is why?
I don’t claim to have all the answers to Kentucky’s recent woes, but I do have one. Free throws. Kentucky has struggled from the line this season. Their season average is a dismal 69 % from the charity stripe. For UK, the free throw line can hardly be called charity.
Here is the real eye opener on the impact of Kentucky’s poor shooting. Of their 8 losses, Kentucky shot poorer than 70 % in 7 of those games. So, is it as simple as shooting free throws better?
The Big Blue Nation loves the Kentucky Wildcats. They demand excellence and nothing less than competing for a national championship will be tolerated. Coach Calipari gave the Wildcats that championship two years ago. However, the last two season have not been as pleasing to the Big Blue Nation. Now, some believe, that the fans are becoming increasingly impatient with Calipari and the Wildcats. One of those people is Ty Johnson of Realsportsandstuff.com.
So, do you still think Cal’s system is the best? Now, I have to acknowledge that championship we won in 2012. HOWEVER, I also have to note that we had two elite freshman in Davis and MKG, 2 sophomores (Jones and Lamb) who struggled as freshman and even halfway into that sophomore season, a freshman who struggled almost all year (Teague) and a senior (Darius Miller) who had been through so much at UK that I would argue he is the most experienced player to ever put on the Kentucky uniform. It certainly wasn’t a team that included 7 freshman in a rotation. Big, BIG, difference.
Do I want Calipari to be fired or leave Kentucky? Of course not. I still remember watching VMI and Gardner Webb walk into Rupp Arena and embarrass us. I understand and am grateful for Calipari’s resurgence of Kentucky Basketball. The same coach, however, who stood in front of 22,000 people at Midnight Madness and said “We are college basketball” needs to try 2 new things; 1st, stop selling us, as fans, cars. It isn’t working. Missing 10 free throws means YOU, the coach, needs to care about free throws. If a player is gassed, YOU, the coach, need to take him out instead of blaming it on him afterwards. Even more so if you want to repeatedly remind us these guys are 18 or 19 year old kids. That’s on you, coach. Second, would it hurt to change the recruiting philosophy? It hasn’t worked for 2 years, and the continuing turnover of players coming through Lexington is wearing thin on an already impatient fanbase, especially as each loss piles up. You never know, Cal, you might enjoy coaching a 4-star prospect as he drops 29 on a team 3 years from now. Crazy, right?
Read the full article at http://therealsportsandstuff.com/2014/02/28/why-i-stopped-drinking-the-calipari-kool-aid/