John Calipari and Kentucky rule the spring signing period. But is it ever going to translate into a Final Four or an NCAA tournament title?
Another stellar recruiting class is headed to Lexington – and that class still isn't complete – yet some think Kentucky's merely spinning its wheels by being a holding ground for one-and-done players who have their eyes on the NBA. Does that benefit teams like Michigan State and Duke that are merely adding talent and not re-loading entire rosters?
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|John Calipari has proven he can win no matter who's on the roster.
Can you win a title with new teams every season? Hold that thought.
Kentucky may have a sense of déjà vu next season – talented freshmen, high expectations – but what else is Calipari supposed to do? Pass on the best recruits out there because they might not stay in school? Nonsense.
Let's recap: The 'Cats, headed by freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and junior Patrick Patterson, finished 35-3 this season, swept the SEC regular-season and conference titles and reached the Elite Eight.
What aspect of that season didn't work? Didn't we all decide Kentucky was one of the nation's best teams?
The 'Cats were one win shy of the Final Four. Last I checked, Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova and Ohio State also fell short and none of those teams relied on freshmen to carry the load. Stuff happens in the tournament and the best teams sometimes falter, regardless of whether they're loaded with freshmen.
So we're writing off any future Calipari teams because his first year at Kentucky didn't result in a title or a Final Four? Crazy talk. Perhaps Kentucky won't win 35 games next season with Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter and Stacey Poole new to the roster, but that's a group still capable of reaching the Final Four.
Calipari entered the season with several goals and nearly met them all. Rule the SEC? Check. Advance in the tournament? Check. Re-establish Kentucky as one of the premier programs? Check.
Re-read that last one again. Kentucky's the place nearly everyone wants to play. And as long as that talent keeps flowing into Lexington, we'd be foolish to write off the Wildcats as contenders.
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