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The Way Kentucky is Building Teams Now is Absurd

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  • The Way Kentucky is Building Teams Now is Absurd

    First a disclaimer: I don't mind the one-and-done thing, never have. It's given Kentucky more than it's taken away. I've always said that.

    But think about the way we're having to patch teams together now. Everything hinges on these very late decisions, so we're already playing with fire. We're having to bank on multiple grad transfers, reclassifies, and having to hope marginal players don't leave the program. If things fall a certain way and all that stuff goes against us...well, I'm not sure how we'd field a team.

    This isn't a good way to do things. It leaves way too much to luck and Calipari has to change this or what is inevitably going to happen is we're going to have a team that wins 10 or 12 games. There is way too much left to blind luck when you have this much turnover and these many decisions having to be made in the spring.

  • #2
    I agree, but it's funny how many successful coaches build their team with 5th year seniors, transfers, and grad transfers. Texas Tech had a bunch of vagabond players this year. Eric Musselman at Nevada did the same thing.

    What'd strange though is that if we were to land Kerry Blackshear, we might have a top 3 team next year. But it's also quite possible we could be an 8-8 team in the SEC.

    When he was a kid Lord, he never imagined all the ways that the city could bring a country boy down.

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    • #3
      I have been saying this for a while. I do not like the way things are trending. I know I am the doom and gloom on this but sooner rather than later we are going to be in trouble with our roster. We are losing out on more and more top players and having to go to the upcoming class and try to lure them to KENTUCKY. Happened last year and again this year. We have to have solid back ups (needs to be some state Kids that want to play at KENTUCKY) and not look for greener pastures elsewhere. Allen might be one of those kids, but more are needed. Hope we end up with Blackshear and the new kid from CALI but would not be surprised if Blackshear follows Buzz to A&M and UCLA lures the kid from CALI.
      Proverbs 25:24

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
        I agree, but it's funny how many successful coaches build their team with 5th year seniors, transfers, and grad transfers. Texas Tech had a bunch of vagabond players this year. Eric Musselman at Nevada did the same thing.
        Gonzaga has built their program with transfers for a long time.

        That's fine if that's who you are. This just seems haphazard and random.

        What'd strange though is that if we were to land Kerry Blackshear, we might have a top 3 team next year. But it's also quite possible we could be an 8-8 team in the SEC.
        Yeah, this is what I'm saying. There's way too much margin for error in this way. The staff can't be happy with the way they have to madly scramble around in the spring to make sure we have enough players.

        It's sort of a perversion of the way Cal was doing things in the first three or four years here.

        Doesn't mean we can't have a good to great team next year. There's just way too much risk in it.

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        • #5
          It would be one thing if we were just missing out on the Zions of the class, but we're losing guys to the NBA that other programs would convince them to return for a 2nd year. I firmly believe Keldon and Tyler would be back at Duke or UNC next year.

          I know we're supposed to care about the kids and blah blah blah, but I don't follow the NBA beyond a casual watcher. I wish them the best and support the right to go, but it bugs me when Cal calls NBA draft day 'graduation day.' To me, it fundamentally signals that he's selling them on leaving after a year and if you don't, you are delayed. I wonder if he even pushed back at all on Keldon returning for a sophomore season.

          When he was a kid Lord, he never imagined all the ways that the city could bring a country boy down.

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          • #6
            I totally agree. He has made it work (kind of) as of late but it's going to cost us at some point. It's inevitable that a recruit will say no to UK, someone will leave unexpectedly and someone will pull a Skal and be a total bust. When that happens it's going to be UGLY


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            • #7
              My biggest question is "why do the top kids not want to play for Calipari anymore?" The fact that players like Gabriel, Vanderbilt, Richards, EJ and others have either left early or tested NBA waters is mind boggling, just because you play at Kentucky does not make you a NBA player, sorry not sorry.
              I can spell, blame it on my not so smart smart phone, makes up it's own words as it goes.....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by J.Jennings View Post
                My biggest question is "why do the top kids not want to play for Calipari anymore?"
                A lot of reasons probably, but I'd say the main one is that the recruiting world has flattened out.

                Used to be that you only had to recruit against a handful of programs for those players. Now they're going everywhere. The #2 player in this class is going to Georgia. The #5 player--and I think arguably the best player--is going to Washington to play in a league that has been a laughingstock for years. Last year because of Duke's class there was more chalk at the top, but the #7 player went to Vanderbilt. The #9 player to Western Kentucky. Year before that the #1 player went to Missouri.

                Everybody is open to one-and-dones these days; they used to be renegade types AD's and coaches were afraid of because they'd hurt your program. Now everybody is making runs at the same players. Makes recruiting that much harder.

                Only Duke has been pretty much unaffected by this.

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                • #9
                  I'm not crazy about it, but at least with grad transfers you know exactly what you are getting from these guys. That is not the case with freshmen, not even 5-star recruits. Pretty sure EJ Montgomery was our highest ranked recruit last year.

                  It is ironic considering how many times Cal said he'll always take talent over experience.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Catatonic View Post
                    It is ironic considering how many times Cal said he'll always take talent over experience.
                    Which again suggests that this isn't a planned change in methodology as much as an accident.

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                    • #11
                      While it does make team building a roller coaster, cal doesn't seem very concerned. Something always seems to break in our favor at the last minute, even when we're expecting a mediocre roster, which leads me to believe that Cal always has two or three backup plans, even when from the fans perspective it seems hopeless.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KCKUKFan View Post
                        While it does make team building a roller coaster, cal doesn't seem very concerned.
                        We only get to see Cal's reactions about things in scripted media hits and in a few characters on Twitter, so we'd honestly never know how Cal felt.

                        I doubt he's surprised, because obviously they know much more than we do about which players are liable to go pro. But he's also a guy who just a couple of years ago was speaking out against grad transfers; now he's relying on them. I can't believe he's okay with the way this has gone.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post

                          We only get to see Cal's reactions about things in scripted media hits and in a few characters on Twitter, so we'd honestly never know how Cal felt.

                          I doubt he's surprised, because obviously they know much more than we do about which players are liable to go pro. But he's also a guy who just a couple of years ago was speaking out against grad transfers; now he's relying on them. I can't believe he's okay with the way this has gone.
                          Well, to quote Pat Forde's ill-timed 2014 hit piece, he made his bed. So he can lie in it.

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                          • #14
                            My thinking is old school, if Cal works for Kentucky and Kentucky pays him then it should be Kentucky first and what's best for UofK and our fanbase but as we all know, that is not who Cal is, he's about his players 1st. Calipari pushes players and moves them on to the NBA asap but i have to respect that, he loves his players and takes pride in helping them change there lives. With the way the landscape has changed, there is no perfect formula for recruiting and no formula for assembling a Championship team year in and year out, it keeps evolving year to year..
                            I can spell, blame it on my not so smart smart phone, makes up it's own words as it goes.....

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J.Jennings View Post
                              My thinking is old school, if Cal works for Kentucky and Kentucky pays him then it should be Kentucky first and what's best for UofK and our fanbase but as we all know, that is not who Cal is, he's about his players 1st. Calipari pushes players and moves them on to the NBA asap but i have to respect that, he loves his players and takes pride in helping them change there lives. With the way the landscape has changed, there is no perfect formula for recruiting and no formula for assembling a Championship team year in and year out, it keeps evolving year to year..
                              If this works out the way it should, you get the best of both worlds. You get players going pro and you get Kentucky winning a lot of games.

                              That's the way it's pretty much worked out for most of Cal's tenure here, actually, so in that way we can't complain.

                              Only problem is (as we all know) it's only yielded one title. It has also stalled out a little after the 2015 superteam in terms of his ability to get guys in here who are top five draft picks.

                              But the worst thing about it recently has been the wild way the UK staff has had to patchwork these teams together. It's crazy to watch and it's mainly a byproduct of not being able to pick and choose who he wants on the recruiting trail like he was doing when he first got to Lexington. If you get who you're after in recruiting you don't have to end up desperately hoping grad transfers fall your way in April and May.

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                              The Way Kentucky is Building Teams Now is Absurd

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