Kentucky Basketball: Duke Blog Mistakes Calipari's Confidence For Paranoia

Even the officials think Duke is untouchable. - Sara D. Davis

It's understandable why Duke fans would be confused about John Calipari's comments. After all, they are fans of a team that the NCAA has apparently deemed untouchable.

The Duke Basketball Report goes off the rails on John Calipari:

The truth is that while Kentucky has prospered, they won the national championship under Calipari for three distinct reasons: 1) an extraordinary talent in Anthony Davis; 2) an extraordinary freshman leader in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist); and 3) critical injuries to UNC’s Kendall Marshall and John Henson.

We’re reasonably confident that a healthy UNC team would’ve beaten that Kentucky team. We’ll never know obviously, but that was a really good, experienced group.

The idea that there is sort of a conspiracy against Kentucky and Calipari is just…crazy.

Of course, Calipari wasn't suggesting that at all. The author simply took that quote out of it's proper context to raise a strawman. Does it escape anyone's attention that he fails to link the source of his quotation? Perhaps Duke fans feel no need to trouble themselves to credit their source.

I find it amusingly ironic that DBR was actually touting their arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels as superior in 2012. UNC couldn't beat UK at Rupp Arena that year (even though it took a last-second block by Davis to preserve the win), and I don't think anyone would argue North Carolina's ceiling at the end of the year was higher than Kentucky's.

Calipari is considering the NBA age limit as part and parcel of the entire "one and done" culture, and he has raised the issue of player stipends, insurance, and other things that would make staying a better decision than it is right now. Even if the NBA did change the rule, to Cal's thinking, the other problems with the NCAA might lead to players leaving school early for some other professional league. Consider this:

Earlier this year, Calipari implored the NCAA to up its incentives and assurances to athletes after freshman center Nerlens Noel suffered a season-ending torn left ACL that is expected to keep him out even through the start of next season. Noel has declared for next month’s NBA Draft and is expected to still be a lottery pick.

Calipari is anything but paranoid. Would a paranoid man call out the NCAA and dare them to do something about it? I'm thinking no. Calipari is confident and frankly, fearless rather than paranoid, and it shows. He is right that the NCAA has hurt him for no good reason, but to be fair, others have been similarly victimized by rules that make the innocent pay the price for the guilty. But Duke wouldn't know anything about that given their unique untouchable status that was only recently reaffirmed by the NCAA.

In two similar situations at Duke, Lance Thomas and Cory Magette, the Blue Devils and Krzyzewski have skated away scot-free. No wonder they don't fear the NCAA, and their fans mistake Calipari's comments for paranoia. Even when Duke are obviously in the NCAA trick bag (or at least, any other team under similar circumstances would be), the NCAA has done it's best "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" act.

Under those circumstances, I might quote a coach out of context and mock him as well. After all, when you're untouchable by the regulators, you can mock everyone else's woes with impunity, whether or not it makes any sense.

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