Kentucky head coach John Calipari has just been announced as a finalist for the Hall of Fame. It’s a well-deserved honor that is actually past due.
Calipari is one of the greatest coaches currently in the game with a record of 577-125 when you take out the vacated victories. If you want to count those add 42 more wins to the record. More importantly, Calipari has transcended the game.
While being someone who has embraced the ridiculous one-and-done rule, he’s used it to his advantage. When people say he shouldn’t be recruiting these type of freshmen there’s a simple response. Why wouldn’t you recruit the best players in the country?
That’s exactly what Calipari has done with the likes of Marcus Camby, Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Julius Randle. Just take a look at that list again from his time at UMass, Memphis and Kentucky. That’s not even mentioning a majority of players who are still in the NBA.
Whether you think he’s sleazy or the best coach in the world, there’s one thing you can’t argue. He knows how to get his team to play an innovative style of offense. Using the dribble-drive motion offense, he became known as the best point guard coach in the country. This was a type of offense not used across the country and became tougher to stop with the more athletic players Calipari recruited.
His success at Kentucky is something that very few have seen before. In his first five years he took Kentucky to the Final Four three times, winning the national title in 2012 with arguably the best team in school history. He’s currently sitting at 24-0 on the season with again a team that could contend as the best not only in school history but of all-time. If he wins a title with this team it’s hard to see him not automatically be elected to the Hall.
Again, this is an honor that is well overdue and well deserved. Whether you’re a Kentucky fan or not, sit back and watch one of the best coaches of all time work his magic.