Sunday, March 14, 2010

NCAA Tournament Will Define John Calipari's First Season at Kentucky

John Calipari knows he has a championship caliber team

John Calipari was hired at Kentucky last Spring to bring the Wildcats back to prominence. And prominence is measured with national championships in Lexington; they don’t have banners for any one of their 26 SEC titles.

Calipari came to the Bluegrass with a rebuilding job on his hands. The Wildcats failed to make the NCAAs for the first time in 18 years under the beleaguered Billy Gillispie. Coach Cal but has brought this program back to the national elite in just one season.

But now the pressure is really ratcheted up on the coach looking for his first national championship.

Freshman John Wall and Demarcus Cousins are very likely gone to the NBA after the season, as is Patrick Patterson. It would be very difficult to come close to the success of this season replacing those three.

I am not saying it is now or never for the Wildcats, but is very likely now or two plus years from now.

For a program who hasn’t won the title since 1998, will Kentucky fans be upset if Calipari is not able to hang the 8th banner in Rupp Arena? The road starts Thursday against East Tennessee State.

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