John Calipari continues to rage against the NCAA machine

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Feb 27, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari coaches his team against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Mississippi State 85-55. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

If anyone has a beef against the NCAA, it’s John Calipari. Especially after the Duke Blue Devils have seemingly skated away from NCAA violations twice (Corey Maggette, Lance Thomas) when his programs have been saddled with punishments in Memphis and UMass. Through it all, Calipari has become a lightning rod for the haters and the uninformed while he is castigated as all that is wrong with college hoops. With his history, it’s no surprise that Calipari plays the rebel with the cause role and takes jabs at the NCAA whenever he can.

This is not new for Cal. He broached the subject of four super conferences seceding from the NCAA a couple of years ago and he continued his rant yesterday on the radio:


“Can we continue to separate, can we continue to do this with these rules the way they are? I’m the one guy out there saying, ‘We’ve gotta change this somehow. We’ve gotta encourage these kids to stay two years.’ But the NCAA’s gotta do some stuff. And if they don’t do it, we need to separate from them. I’m not afraid to say it. Look, they’ve embarrassed me. I’ve done nothing, so they’re not going to come and show retribution to me and do stuff. I don’t really care. But something’s gotta change with this one-and-done rule. I seem to be the only coach saying anything. You know why? No one wants to see these kids two years here (at Kentucky). They don’t want to see them for two years, so now we’re all good with one year. It’s wrong for high school kids, it’s wrong for college kids, it’s wrong for the NBA, so why won’t we come together and do something about it?”


Granted, Cal is kind of barking up the wrong tree here as the one and done rule is pretty much the NBA’s domain, but the NCAA still needs reform. It’s an inefficient and bloated corporation that has outlived it’s effectiveness. Get ‘em Cal.


Now that Andrew Wiggins has landed in Kansas, it’s safe to come out with the Vegas odds for the 2013-2014 season.  It’s not too early, right?  UK has been established as the way too early favorite with  5-1 odds, slightly ahead of Kansas’s 11-2 odds.  Other notables?  Louisville 17-2.  Duke 14-1.  North Carolina 16-1.  Florida  18-1.  Indiana 33-1.

If you are the gambling type, you may as well jump on these odds now.  They are not going to get better for Kentucky.  Of these, I would be inclined to jump on Florida’s odds as that seems pretty good.  But this is my opinion.


Dakari Johnson is one of the talented newcomers expected to lead Kentucky to the 2014 National title, but one of his former Monteverde teammates also have Kentucky on their mind. D’Angelo Russell is one of the top guards in 2014 and is planning a visit to KEntucky soon. Russell also talks to Adam Zagoria about his visit and his old teammate


“I have a visit set up with Kentucky when I get back home and I’m trying to get up to Michigan State, Ohio State again, North Carolina,” Russell told at the Nike EYBL stop here last weekend. “Those are the schools that I can think of that I have visits set up for.”

He does not hold a Kentucky offer as of yet.

Asked if he had a date set for the Kentucky visit, the Louisville native said, “No, sir. They said whenever I come home, just set it up.”

Russell’s former Montverde teammate, center Dakari Johnson, is part of the heralded six-man McDonald’s All-American class coming into Kentucky.

“Dakari makes it easy for you,” Russell said. “He’s got good hands. You get into the lane, dish it off, he’s finishing or he’s catching. He’s just always on the play, he talks, he’s a motor guy that can just bring so much energy and he’s a key player to any team that he’s on.”


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