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John Calipari has Evolved from Coach to CEO and Kentucky is Apple
The title is a statement made by Andy Glockner in his article about how John Calipari and Kentucky has taken over the landscape of recruiting in college basketball.
Glockner goes as far as calling Kentucky an “unassailable monster” and Cal, Inc.
Here is an excerpt from an excellent look at how John Calipari has made college basketball his playground.
The marriage of Calipari with the storied history, resources and relentless passion of Kentucky, though, has created an unassailable monster. Calipari, always masterful at the off-court game within the game, now has the game’s most massive stage onto which he can invite guests. Like Jay-Z. Like Drake. Like the ubiquitous Worldwide Wes. Calipari has created the clearest, most enticing pitch possible to elite high schoolers. Come to Kentucky, play in huge games, hobnob with your favorite rap stars, and then be in a position to get guaranteed millions, compounded by access to all of the myriad connections that cycle through the Kentucky family. Calipari has evolved from coach to CEO and Kentucky is Apple. Cal Inc. may not always produce the best product, but it’s the best-branded product, and that means people will buy and buy and buy.
Getting the Harrisons is a big deal. They are excellent players likely headed to the NBA lottery sooner rather than later. The bigger picture, though, is what truly matters here. Calipari just busted Maryland for a pair of megarecruits whose father has local roots and who have longstanding ties to Under Armour, which is attempting to turn Maryland into Oregon East. Cal nailed down two of the No. 1 positional recruits in the class of 2013,all of whom have been considering the Wildcats, as well as two of the second-best players by position. And the kid who is considered the third-best power forward, only because two other Kentucky targets are ranked ahead of him. Julius Randle, the top-ranked small forward, all but batted his eyelashess at Cal this past summer, hoping to secure a golden ticket to Lexington. Now that the Harrisons will be there, the enticement is all that much greater, although the number of scholarships available is dwindling. Supply, meet demand.
I can see how other college coaches would think it isn’t fair that John Calipari and Kentucky get the pick of litter of the top recruits in the country, but when you are down on the mountain looking up at the top, the mountain looks tougher and tougher to climb.
Especially when they are looking up at the King of the Mountain.