Frankly, I am puzzled as to a number of posts on messageboards that seem to suggest that Calipari only wins because of his recruiting talent......that he won at U Mass and Memphis because he seldom played anyone......that he isn't a good bench coach......and on and on......
First, name me any great coach who didn't win big with great talent.....we saw what happened to Bob Knight when he went to Texas Tech.....he didn't win big because his talent was so so. Look at the incredible talent John Wooden had at UCLA.....Dean Smith at NC......coach K at Duke.....and even our great Adolph Rupp. Great coaches recruit top talent.....mold them as a team.....and win big. Bottom line.....great coaches bring in top recruits......in fact, excellent recruiting is the most important part of any basketball or football coaches success.
However, great coaches also understand how to build team chemistry.....teach their players to master the offense and defense......and very importantly....motivate the team to play unselfishly and play hard.
John Calipari's college record is outstanding in everyway.
At U Mass he took over a floundering team and made it into a highly successful team.....achieving 5 straight conference titles.....5 straight NCAA appearances with one Elite Eight and a Final Four.
Cal's record at U Mass was 189-71
At Memphis, Cal had 6 NCAA appearances....one Sweet 16....2 Elite 8's....and a Final Four runner-up. By the way, that year Memphis defeated the following very good teams: Oklahoma, U Conn, USC, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Arizona, Gonzaga, Miss. St. Michigan St., Texas, UCLA before losing in OT to Kansas in the NCAA championship game. Obviously, Cal had to compete in his conference, but the suggestion by some that Cal couldn't defeat colleges from major conferences is ridiculous. At Memphis, Cal achieved an outstanding record of 252-69.
We all know what Cal achieved last season at UK. He brought in a fantastic recruiting class and won the SEC, the SEC tourney, and went to the Elite 8 with mostly freshmen.....finishing the season 35-3. A great year!
Coach Cal has a terrific 77% winning percentage in his 18 year career. Below are the awards and achievement he has won during his career.
My point is that coach Cal is not only a great recruiter, but he is a solid bench coach. Like all great coaches, there are times when a different strategy might have been better.....but no coach achieves the tremendous success that Cal has achieved without building good team chemistry.....effectively installing his offense and defense......motivating his team......and yes.....being a good bench coach.
I realize there are those on messageboards who disagree and I respect their views.....but, I disagree because Cal's tremendous record of success proves that he is far more than just a great recruiter.
The awards below during Cal's career show the respect he is held as terrific basketball coach. IMO, Cal ranks in the top ten as a college basketball coach!
2010 Adolph Rupp National Coach of the Year
2010 Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist
2010 SEC Coach of the Year (AP)
2010 Sporting News SEC Coach of the Year
2010 Yahoo! Sports SEC Coach of the Year
2010 USBWA District IV Coach of the Year
2009 Sports Illustrated National Coach of the Year
2009 Iba National Coach of the Year Finalist
2009 C-USA Coach of the Year
2008 Naismith National Coach of the Year
2008 C-USA Coach of the Year
2008 Phelan and Iba National Coach of the Year Finalist
2007 Phelan National Coach of the Year Finalist
2007 USBWA District 4 Coach of the Year
2007 Basketball Times South Region Coach of the Year
2006 C-USA Coach of the Year
2004 NABC District 7 Coach of the Year
1996 Naismith National Coach of the Year
1996 The Sporting News National Coach of the Year
1996 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year
1995 Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist
1994 Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist
1994 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year
1993 USBWA District I Coach of the Year
1993 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year
1992 Eastern Basketball Coach of the Year
Overall Record: 480-143 (.770)
March/April Record: 102-29 (.779)
NCAA Record: 28-12 (.700)
Conference Record: 222-68 (.766)
Conference Tourney Record: 37-9 (.804)
NCAA Division-I Active Winningest Coaches
By Percentage - Min. 10 yrs. at Division I level
Rank Coach Team Years Pct.
1 Mark Few Gonzaga 10 .799
2 Roy Williams UNC 21 .798
3 John Calipari Kentucky 17 .770
4 Bo Ryan Wisconsin 25 .764
5 Mike Krzyzewski Duke 34 .757
NCAA Division-I All-Time Winningest Coaches
By Percentage - Min. 10 yrs. at Division I level
Rank Coach Years Pct.
1 Clair Bee 21 .826
2 Adolph Rupp 41 .822
3 John Wooden 29 .804
4 Mark Few* 10 .799
5 Roy Williams* 21 .798
6 John Kresse 23 .797
7 Jerry Tarkanian 31 .784
8 Francis Schmidt 17 .782
9 Dean Smith 36 .776
10 John Calipari* 17 .770
* only active coaches in top 15 on all-time list
Wednesday, December 08, 2010