- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- African leader cancels trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Sarah Palin’s online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- SWAT spends seven hours in standoff with empty home
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Iran’s Rouhani: Israel, Islamic State are ‘tumors derived from the same origin’
‘You want to skip steps but you can’t.’
Question of the Day
Welcome back to BracketRacket, the one-stop shopping place for all your offbeat NCAA tournament needs. In today’s edition, coach Cal keeps going back to the future, Florida beats Dayton (again!) in some kind of parallel universe, UConn wins but loses face, and tourists enjoy a rare moment of consensus in New York. Without further ado:
WE DON’T REBUILD AT KENTUCKY, WE … ACTUALLY, WE DO REBUILD. EVERY YEAR.
If “The John Calipari Finishing School for NBA Prospects - Sponsored by the University of Kentucky(TM)” sent out a newsletter to high-school recruits, the latest might read something like this.
“This year’s class is having a slam-bang time at the NCAA tournament. We’re going to the Final Four - again! - and preparations are already underway for a reunion at this summer’s NBA draft. But enough about this year’s team, since many of them won’t be around by the time you arrive in the fall. Can’t wait to see you in Lexington!”
Say what you want about coach Cal, but the man has nerves of steel. Around this time last year, the Wildcats’ season ended with a loss to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT and worse, the cupboard was practically bare. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky’s best player went down during the season with a devastating knee injury, and was already rehabbing to go pro.
So Calipari simply did what he’s always done: start over.
He recruited circles around every other coach in the game, bringing in six McDonald’s All-Americans and trying to coach ‘em up fast enough to deliver a happy meal by tournament time. There were chills and spills along the way, but after Kentucky held on to beat Michigan in the Midwest regional final Sunday, Calipari took a brief, but well-deserved bow.
“The whole thing about building a team, especially young guys, is it’s a process and you cannot skip steps. You want to skip steps,” he said emphatically, “but you can’t.”
You can building a program, though.
Take nothing away from Calipari’s in-season work, but it pales in comparison to his abilities as a talent scout. In his four previous seasons at Kentucky, he’s already put 17 players in the NBA, with another handful set to join them this June. He’s the only coach to send three No. 1 overall picks to the pros, the only coach to have five players taken in the first round in the same year (2010), and the only one to squeeze six in since the league cut the draft to two rounds.
And he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Plenty of Kentucky fans took a break Saturday between the Wildcats’ wins in the tournament to take in the Indiana High School Class 4A boys basketball state championship game. The kid to watch turned out to be Indianapolis Arsenal Tech’s 6-foot-10 Trey Lyles, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lock up a state title.
Lyles is already committed to Kentucky, which if nothing else means coach Cal saved himself some postage.
ART IMITATING LIFE, OR MAYBE JUST THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- NAPOLITANO: Is the president incompetent or lawless?
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world