After coming off of a national championship, you have every other school in the nation envious of your position. Kentucky is the king of college basketball once again, and there are no signs of them slowing down. With this year’s ‘Cats already ranked in the preseason Top-3, and a dynamite 2013 class on the way, can you blame anyone? Not only does head coach John Calipari have all that going for him, he also has other “unfair” advantages. A strong Nike connection, Jay-Z, Drake, and now ESPN. With ESPN’s All-Access featuring the ‘Cats on a three-part series broadcasting into the national spotlight, Calipari can use that as yet another recruiting tool. Does he really need it? No.
Florida Gator head coach Billy Donovan has come out to the public and stated he doesn’t think it’s right for Calipari and Kentucky to use the program as a recruiting tool. Just because ESPN wanted to showcase the defending champions, doesn’t mean that it’s not “right”. Does it help? Of course it does. When you can tell a recruit that ESPN officials will join him and his family during his college announcement, who pick another school? That’s exactly what happened in the case of James Young. What was to happen if Young picked Michigan State? I don’t think the ESPN personnel would have showed up. The first couple of episodes have featured the newest ‘Cats as unsigned high school players, and then becoming Wildcats. The Harrison Twins and James Young were all front and center for the cameras.
Did John Calipari petition ESPN to help him recruit? I don’t think he really needs the help. However, Calipari is a smart enough man to use every advantage that he has to get the things that he wants. If Billy Donovan can sit back and say that he wouldn’t do the same, then I’ll shave a UF in the back of my head. Is it unfair? It probably feels that way to everyone else trying to compete with Kentucky.
Even former Florida star Joakim Noah has taken to twitter to say he is tired of seeing all of this “Kentucky stuff”. He says it makes him sick. Here’s some advice for Billy Donovan, Joakim Noah, and the rest of the nation that feels this is “not right”. I’ll make the first part easy, go recruit two #1 recruiting classes in a row. You don’t have to do as many as Calipari, just two. Then, go to at least two Final Four’s with 80% of your roster being freshman. You got all that? Now, the final step is among us. Are you ready? You must recruit the player that will win every National Player of the Year award under the sun, mix in the best young talent, calm ego’s, and win the national championship. That’s how you get on ESPN, and that’s how you get a show featuring your team. Good luck with all that, by the way.
Filed Under: Basketball
About the Author: Writer for StraitCats.com, lifelong UK fan, college sports enthusiast. Twitter: BrianLewis_SP