Mar 16, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: One for One and All for None


When I was a child growing up, my parents taught me some life lessons and one of the ways they taught me was to let me experience life.  What a novel concept.  I experienced more failures than successes and as a result I learned many things.  Now my parents were never philosophical so they didn’t run any games on me but one thing I learned was how to manipulate like a champ in order to get what I wanted.  It was beautiful.  Now fast forward 30 years.

John Calipari is in the same boat as my parents.  As the Head Coach of “One and Done U,” he is adopting a new set of kids yearly and they have a life time of growth to do in about 9 months.  And in his first 3 seasons he has been able to teach and push the buttons necessary for success on the court and in life.  He’s let them experience failure after failure and success after success.  And in some form or fashion, among the new additions to the Wildcat family, they are mentored by “older” brothers so Cal has had help.

John Calipari is nothing if not a master motivator, psychologist, and manipulator and has had great success thus far.  But with every family there are some hard heads.  Think DeMarcus Cousins, Terrence Jones, DeAndre Liggins, etc.  More immediate examples are Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin, and Ryan Harrow.  Now I ask you, are they good kids?  I mean we’re not talking delinquent hard heads who kick ass and take names (that’d actually be better) but hard heads who want to do their own thing at the cost of others.  Again, every family has them, and Cal has had many, but to this point, he has found the button, lever, magic beans, what have you for his teams to come together on a deeply personal level and play for one another.

What was it the Three Musketeers used to say?  “All for one and one for all!”  That’s not the case this season.

This season’s players motto:  One for One and All for None

The home is broken.  We have too many hard heads doing their own thing for whatever reason.  And to be fair, if their individuality were helping them, I could at least understand it.  It doesn’t seem to be and it’s certainly not helping the team.

Calipari has gone philosophical on them, positive language ad naseum, and called a couple of them “uncoachable.”  You name the approach, he’s taken it.  No challenge he lays down seems worthy of acceptance.

We’ve been waxed by Florida and Tennessee in successive games.  When will it end?  Hopefully against Vanderbilt tomorrow.  But the real question is this:

How does John Calipari fix the broken home?

Working with the youth in our church, I’ve seen a lot of kids from broken homes and I know how tough it can be when the leave home.

One day, these Cats will leave home for the grueling schedule of the NBA or Euro League or nowhere at all.  The reality will be harsh.

So how does Cal fix the home?  Love and correct his kids?  I don’t know but he’ll figure it out or they’ll be embarrassed again and again.

On, On, U of K.

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