The many faces of John Calipari during this "hangover" of a Kentucky Wildcat Basketball season

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February 12, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts against the Florida Gators during the first half at the Stephen C. O

Face it. We need a good laugh this morning, so I’m not even going to hate on the article. USA Today has compiled their 15 favorite Calipari expressions of the season into an article or as we here at Fansided call it, fun with US Presswire Images. Have to admit, it made me smile at 6:00 AM so hopefully it gets your day off to a good start. I have to say that #12 is my favorite.


And now we come to the haters.  If there is anything that Pitino BFF Pat Forde likes more than tearing into a free bag of Lays in the pressromm, it is kicking John Calipari when he is down.  So of course, in a story called “Coaching:  who’s doing it right, who’s doing it wrong, and who’s gone a bit crazy this season”, John Calipari is mentioned.  Of course he is.


John Calipari (3) psychobabbling about love, then tossing his players under the bus, then extricating them from beneath the bus. When: Feb. 8-17. Where: Just about every time he opened his mouth. What happened: Here was Calipari on Feb. 8, before Kentucky played Auburn, getting existential: “I’m not watching game tape with them. None. The staff is doing that. I don’t want them to see me in a basketball sense right now. I’m just teaching life skills. That’s all. … What does it mean to love? Tell me what it means to love.” Here is Calipari in a postgame press conference Feb. 16, after Nerlens Noel went down for the year with a blown knee and Kentucky was destroyed by Tennessee 88-58 five days later, no longer spreading the love: “We’ve got a couple of guys that are basically not real coachable. You tell them over and over and over what you want them to do, what we have to do, and they do their own thing.” Calipari on Monday, continuing a two-day backpedal from the “uncoachable” line: “I’ve got a good group of kids. They’re very young. We’re treading new water. It wasn’t like a postgame tirade. That’s not what this was. This was during the game that we’re talking about guys got to listen better.” If the Cats lose to a lousy Vanderbilt team Wednesday in Rupp Arena, this will definitely be love on the rocks.

Feb 9, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari gives instructions to his team during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Auburn 72-62. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone thinks that John Calipari simply looks at the top 15 players on Rivals when he starts recruiting, but Calipari has the knack of finding the hidden gem as well. Ben Roberts tells us that about a year ago, a 6’7 guard from Pittsburgh named Ryan Skovranko caught the eye of Calipari and now other schools are starting to take notice:


“He’s very intrigued by his length and athleticism,” Bariski told the Herald-Leader. “He’s 6-7. He runs very well. He jumps absolutely out of the gym. He has, to them, the athleticism and length that they like. He’s a big guard.”

Skovranko sounds like the prototypical Calipari guard, but he’s not the typical Calipari recruit.

He doesn’t have four or five stars next to his name. and ESPN don’t even have a profile page set up for him.

His college offers consist of mostly smaller schools like Duquesne, Elon and Robert Morris — though Virginia Tech recently extended an offer.

Other bigger programs are starting to converge on Lincoln Park.

Bariski said Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Iowa, West Virginia and DePaul have all shown interest.

And now Calipari has come a-calling.

“Did we ever think that a school like Kentucky would look at (him)? You hope that happens, but you have to be realistic,” Bariski said. “Ryan can play at a high level, but he’s not a kid that’s going to be a McDonald’s All-American and come in and start for you right away at that level.”


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