Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
The Lexington Herald-Leader has begun a series looking at the first ten years of John Calipari’s tenure at Kentucky. The first installment of the series is called “Kentucky isn’t for everyone,” and to date two more installments have been written, “Ranking the 10 most thrilling wins” and “Ranking the 10 most agonizing defeats.”
It’s fitting that we look back on Calipari’s tenure after ten seasons, as they have been filled with amazing highs and a few lows. I’m not going to rank them, but I’m going to drop a few memories from Calipari’s tenure that rush to the fore whenever I think about it.
The white door
When Kentucky was searching for a coach, and Calipari was learned to be one of the candidates, the reaction was… interesting. A good number of the Big Blue Nation was unhappy, considering Calipari’s reputation at the time of being a coach who looked askance at NCAA rules.
But many looked at the agony of the Billy Gillispie Experiment and the late Tubby Smith production, and decided that they had just about enough of being a punching bag. They wanted a winner, and if his reputation was a little tarnished, well, he could rehabilitate it here at Kentucky as long as he did what we hadn’t been doing – win.
The white door was a symbol of Calipari’s wooing by the University, and it stands the test of time as a meme today whenever someone at UK is waiting for the other shoe to drop.Here is an open thread about the white door from way back in time. Check out the comments, I think you’ll really enjoy them.
Also, here is the piece I wrote in the immediate aftermath of Calipari’s hiring. How many of these observations turned out right, and how many… didn’t stand the test of time?
The Derek Rose Scandal
Not much to say on this except it was … scandalous. But we made it through. Here’s a sample from way back when.
The 2010 Loss to West Virginia
That 2010 season was an amazing comeback from an NIT embarrassment in Gillispie’s last season, but losing to West Virgina was a major disappointment.
It’s funny, but the biggest reason for that loss, perimeter shooting, has continually been a source of contention at UK ever since.
The 2011 North Carolina Victory and Indiana Loss
Anthony Davis blocking that shot at the buzzer is something I’ll never forget about Kentucky basketball. It was one of the biggest highs I’ve ever experienced from a basketball game.
Then a week later, we lose at IU on a buzzer-beater by Christian Watford. It was the only blemish in Kentucky’s otherwise flawless regular season, and it came along with an IU fan overreaction that has poisoned the relationship between the two schools to this day.
The 2012 Return to Glory
I was there, in New Orleans. I’ll never forget it.
The 2013 Regression to the NIT
I’m trying to forget it to this day.
The 2014 NCAA Tournament
The toughest road a UK team has ever faced with any kind of success. I’ll never forget Aaron Harrison’s huge performance in that tournament as long as I live.
Two Losses in the
NCAA Final to UConn Late In The NCAA Tournament
How does that happen, exactly? And to two different coaches. And take a look at UConn now.
Okay, I’ll give them the first one with Calhoun, but…
The 2017 Loss to North Carolina
Ouch. That one really hurt, and it was the second year in a row we got taken out by a major rival.
That’s enough, there are so many I could go on forever. Feel free to add your own.
Tweet of the Morning
Yeah, you knew this was gonna come up.
- National analyst predicts LSU for UK recruit N’Faly Dante.
- North Carolina offers UK target Paolo Banchero. Man, I’d really like to have a guy named Paolo on the roster…
- The Leach Report: Tuesday Wildcat Links
- John Clay: Links - SEC Football Media Days and Joe B. Hall visit to UK practice.
- SEC Media Days: Recap of Day 1 in Hoover.
- Everything you need to know, but might have missed, about SEC Media Days day 1.
- Talented QBs hope to give SEC hierarchy a jolt.
- North Carolina State could face severe penalties in NCAA investigation.
- ACC Power Rankings and “burning questions.” Louisville’s making an awfully early move up that ladder…
Other sports news
- Americans support NASA, but not another return to the moon. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt?
- Scientists capture first ever image of quantum entanglement. Spooky.
- Taking charge: Researchers team up to make better batteries. Faster, please.
- Some of you, maybe most, don’t remember this, but I do.