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Thursday Quickies: Chasing Adolph Rupp Edition

ESPN poses the question: Can John Calipari surpass Adolph Rupp?

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John Calipari Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Can John Calipari surpass Adolph Rupp?

That is the question recently posed in an ESPN article looking at college basketball programs who have “faced the challenge of moving on from a single historically revered coach, evaluating the successes and failures they have experienced along the way.”

The article, which can be read in full above, examines each coaching hire that Kentucky has made since Rupp and ranks Cal as the closest to Rupp in terms of success, of course adding in the important historic context of the game then and now.

Jeff Borzello, Myron Medcalf, and Joe Lunardi then have a roundtable discussing Rupp, his legacy, Calipari, and what Cal may have to do to “surpass” Rupp.

Lunardi’s answer on the question of “What would John Calipari need to do to approach Adolph Rupp at Kentucky?” stuck out to me.

“It’s not apples to apples. Kentucky for most of Rupp’s time was among the few state schools to really care about basketball. The competition was nowhere near where it is today, with the sport heavily concentrated among urban, and in many cases, private schools. Given that, Calipari won’t surpass Rupp in NCAA championships. He may already have exceeded the Baron, however, in terms of impact on the game. He is the perfect man to thrive in and survive the Kentucky crucible. And “Calipari Court” at Rupp Arena sounds like the perfect ending.”

Medcalf also made a good point in talking about the generational differences.

“The boosters who crash Calipari’s postgame press conferences are in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. I think those folks appreciate Calipari for making Kentucky a national player within the one-and-done era. But Rupp is their hero.

Still, I think folks 40 and under will talk about Calipari the way their parents talk about Rupp.”

It’s an interesting topic for discussion. To me, winning a second title is of the utmost importance for Cal in terms of his place all-time. Very few coaches get that elusive second title, and while Cal has been on the cusp of bringing home another title to Lexington and the second of his career, he hasn’t been able to finish the job yet.

Getting that second title certainly, in my opinion, places Cal among the top coaches in history. If he doesn’t, that 2015 Wisconsin loss will sting even more than it already does.

Tweets of the Day

The disrespect should just be expected by now.


Kyle Tucker on what he is hearing after summer workouts - The Athletic [Subscription]

Immanuel Quickley could be drastically improved.

Who will be the next Kentucky Basketball commitment? - Courier Journal

With the roll Cal and staff are on, another commitment might not be far away.

Sawyer Smith felt like Kentucky was the right place to be - Cats Pause

Smith will hold a lot of value for this team.

The 50 best UK Football wins: 30-21 - Herald Leader

Some classic victories included here.

Bryce Oliver impressed Eddie Gran with his athleticism on the basketball court - Herald Leader

Oliver has made a splash this offseason.

Early lines released for UK-Florida, UK-Louisville - KSR

Kentucky’s only a 9-point favorite against the Cards.

High school coach goes in-depth on Cam’Ron Fletcher - Cats Pause

Kentucky really loves Fletcher’s potential on the defensive end.

What to like about UK’s 2020 football schedule - KSR

Halloween bye week!

Projecting the Team USA World Cup roster - SI

Fox and Bam are both contending to make the team.

Best NBA Big 3s - Bleacher Report

Give me LeBron, AD, and DeMarcus all day.

Biggest fantasy sleepers at every position - Bleacher Report

Take a look if you haven’t had your draft yet.

WATCH: 7-foot high schooler crosses up Steph Curry - Yahoo

Cal needs to be calling this kid.

Antonio Brown suffers frostbite from cryptotherapy - ESPN

Where does this rank on all-time weird sports injuries?

Have you ever heard of pizza acrobatics? - ESPN

Sign me up.