For a fourth straight season, the Kentucky Wildcats are going home empty-handed without an NCAA Tournament win or anything to show for their season. This time around, folks around the Bluegrass are talking about getting rid of John Calipari and completely revamping the program from the ground up.
In retrospect, folks around the state of Kentucky and beyond have every reason to doubt the job that John Calipari has done while at Kentucky, especially over the last five seasons. Since 2017, John Calipari has produced a zero across the board when it comes to successful seasons. There have been no SEC Championships in both the regular season and Tournament play. There have been zero NCAA Tournament wins, and Kentucky just suffered the worst loss in program history on Thursday night as the Wildcats had their seasons by the Peacocks of St. Peter’s.
It begs the question, what’s next for Kentucky Basketball? Do the Wildcats stay the course with John Calipari and trust the process, or does Kentucky part ways with Coach Cal and completely revamp the entire system?
On one hand, you have the security the knowing that you have a College Basketball Hall Of Fame College Basketball Coach at the helm of your program. But, since 2017, that same Coach hasn’t done anything to withhold the Kentucky standard of excellence that made this program into what it is today. Keeping John Calipari would all but double down on the lifetime contract that Kentucky rewarded Coach Cal with last season and would send a strong statement to the rest of the College Basketball world that Cal is their guy come hell or high water.
With that being said, Kentucky is a program that is unlike any other, and the job security of the Coach is solely based on the amount of Championships that person brings home to Lexington. Since 2012, Kentucky has had zero National Championships, and since 2017, they have zero SEC Championships. The frustration is there.
There is no other basketball program in the country like Kentucky, and the concerns surrounding the program are legitimate and within reason to ponder. No matter the direction that the current administration decides to go, Kentucky will always be Kentucky. There’s no shame in making a change or even keeping Coach Cal, but everybody can agree that the program is in no way appropriate based on the standards of Kentucky basketball.
If Kentucky decides to keep Coach Cal, then, by all means, he’s a hell of a coach with a proven track record, but the stipulation has to be he has to adapt his coaching style to those that would keep up with the times to continue to improve the Kentucky brand.
If the decision is made by both parties to respectfully part ways, then that’s fine too; there’s no shame in that. If that does indeed happen, then if I’m Kentucky, I go after a younger Coach with a proven track record of winning Championships.
There are no right or wrong answers to this situation in Lexington. Both arguments are valid with a lot of merits; it comes down to what the Kentucky Basketball faithful want for their program. If you want more of the same, then keep John Calipari. If you want a revamp to the program, respectfully part ways and find the guy that will do such.