Posted: 11:55 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013
By Hank Rippetoe
While browsing Garnet and Black Attack, South Carolina's equivalent of A Sea of Blue, I ran across this article which discussed an article from Gatorsports.com. I think it is a must-read because it covers a part of college athletics that is there, but isn't in our consciousness.
It is clear that Calipari made every attempt to de-recruit last season's team. They simply chose not to listen and the results are seared in every UK fans' mind: a lousy season by UK's standards and a first round NIT loss to Robert Morris.
Players' expectations don't always go hand in hand with the coach's expectations. We've seen that this past season. It seems that the players heard what was said, but they didn't listen and didn't take what they were told to heart. The end result not only showed up on the floor, but also in the minds of fans, who were pretty vocal in their lack of satisfaction.
The fact that Ryan Harrow transferred out and Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress decided to stay for another year are indicators of how players can react to de-recruiting efforts. Different players react differently to the same situation. Archie Goodwin chose another way than the three aforementioned players. I am not including Nerlins Noel in this group because he obviously listened to what Calipari was saying from the beginning. When he went down at Florida, the team fell apart. Nerlins earned his position in the upcoming NBA Draft partly because he listened and heard what his coach was saying. His performance on the floor proves it.
With another #1 recruiting class coming in to play at Rupp Arena, you have to wonder if they are going to be different than the last class. You know Calipari is going to make extra effort at de-recruiting and this year, they better listen because of numbers. This year, Calipari can sit those who do not listen on the bench. That is something he really couldn't afford to do last season. I think most fans understand this in the back of their minds.
We will also see the results of de-recruitment with the football team under Mark Stoops in a few months. There are high expectations coming along with the arrival of the 2013 recruits. I think we all hope they come in with an attitude that they have something to prove. The same goes for the returning players. We all hope that every position on the team will be earned this year through effort and not through any preconceived favoritism. Kentucky cannot afford player expectations without an accompanying effort.
That's my opinion. What's yours?