Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: John Calipari Turns Down the Maui Invitational

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Mar 15, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari watches his team play against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament at Bridgestone Arena. The Commodores beat the Wildcats 64-48. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that will no doubt rile the Calipari haters (cue Jeff Goodman), John Calipari has turned down a chance to play in the prestigious Maui Invitational in 2014.

While I agree with Coach Cal on 90% of what he does, I must say that I am disappointed in this move. The Maui Invitational is the premier tournament in the early season and it gives a team a chance to look at how they stack up against top tier talent early in the season. Does the winner of the Maui Invitational dictate a title run? Of course not. But it’s fun all the same.

Cal said that he doesn’t like the long trip in November and would prefer his players to be able to choose to go and spend Thanksgiving with their families. He also does not care for the three games in the three days format.

Be rest assured that Kentucky will have plenty of non-conference action that we can enjoy in 2014.

July 18, 2012; Hoover, AL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Larry Warford talks with reporters at the 2012 SEC media days event at the Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

It was a little surprising that Larry Warford slipped to the third round of the NFL draft this week, but he is already being looked at as a steal by the Lions:

Warford is a big offensive lineman. Mike Mayock, of the NFL Network praised Warford prior to the draft saying, “This is one of my favorite football players in the draft. You want to talk about a big, square, stout son of a gun. This is him. Every tape I put on, he was dominant.”

At Kentucky, Warford played 47 games. Warford started the last 37 games at right guard for the Wildcats. The SEC has been considered the best conference in NCAA Football for some time, meaning Warford faced the best defensive ends in the nation week in and out during the season. In the 2013 Senior Bowl, Warford also showed his skills blocking some of the best defensive players in the nation. At Kentucky, Warford also saw his stock rise by allowing zero sacks in his senior season.

Check out the rest of the article here.

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