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Sports Then and Now



State of NCAA Men’s College Basketball is Debatable for What is Best for Game 6

Posted on April 11, 2015 by Chris Kent

As the 21st century moves forward, college basketball is becoming more and more known for the early departures. The so called “one and done era” has been alive for more than a decade. Gone are the days when student-athletes made a splash as a freshman and then continued to do so over three or four years in college.

Look no further than Kentucky for proof of this. Since John Calipari was hired as the Wildcats’ head coach in 2009, Kentucky has been the prime source of the “one and done era.” Add in a few sophomores who decided a second attempt at a Final Four or a national championship was worth coming back for and the Wildcats have been a landslide leader in this trend of kids leaving school early for the riches of playing pro basketball.

A total of seven Kentucky players declared to enter the NBA Draft earlier this week.

A total of seven Kentucky players declared to enter the NBA Draft earlier this week at a press conference shown here.

Last year was no different. After falling two wins short of becoming the first undefeated national champion in 39 years – following their 71-64 loss to Wisconsin in the 2015 national semifinals – , Kentucky announced that seven players from last year’s team have declared for the NBA draft. Among the seven are four starters including the starting backcourt of sophomores Andrew and Aaron Harrison, freshman center Karl Anthony-Towns, and junior power forward Willie Cauley-Stein. The others are forward Trey Lyles and guard Devin Booker, both freshman, along with 7-foot sophomore center Dakari Johnson.

All seven have the ability to play at the next level as either starters or reserves. Some have the potential to start right away for anybody while the fortunes of others will be influenced by how the NBA Lottery turns out. Early mock drafts have Anthony-Towns competing with Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor – who has also declared for the draft – for the top overall pick. Anthony-Towns is  6-11 and weighs 250 while Okafor is 6-11 and 270. Both were among the nation’s dominant big men last season.

Should all seven of these players be drafted, it would set a new record for the most players selected from one school in a single draft. The Wildcat’s six selections in the 2012 draft – lead by top overall pick Anthony Davis – is the current record. Davis had lead Kentucky to the national title in 2012 in what was Calipari’s first championship. Read the rest of this entry →

Superstar College Coaches Have Their Own Rules 6

Posted on March 27, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Cornell v Kentucky

While John Calipari may be on the verge of his third Final Four, according to NCAA records, his teams have never been there.

As the amount of time superstar athletes spend in college has dwindled over the last couple decades, the NCAA and high profile member schools have recognized that it is coaches and not the players that will ensure long-term success and continued billion dollar television payouts.

What that has created is a culture where often the most powerful person on campus is not the President or even the Athletic Director, but instead the marquee football or basketball coach.

The salaries for top-level head coaches have grown to the point where many of them are paid more money than it takes to run some entire departments at the colleges they represent.

These mega-salaries have come with a price. The pressure on coaches to win now is so great that it appears the days of coaches staying 20 or 30 years at the same institution is going the way of the two-handed bounce pass.

While there still are a few coaches enjoying success that have been at the same school for more than two decades like  Joe Paterno and Frank Beamer in college football and Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski in basketball, they are becoming the exception, rather than the rule.

Instead, the hot coaches are those like Lane Kiffin, Nick Saban and John Calipari who are little more than mercenaries hopping from job to job and pillaging all the riches during their stop.

The tale of Calipari, who is poised to reach the final four with a young Kentucky team that features a number of freshmen seemingly destined to spend just one year in college basketball, is a perfect example of how while schools certainly want to run a clean program, the most important thing is winning on the court. Read the rest of this entry →

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