Quantcast 2010 NBA Draft: Kentucky & the NBA Draft


Please, someone teach John Calipari about the history of Kentucky Basketball


The University of Kentucky has a long and proud basketball history. Seven national championships, thirteen Final Fours, over two thousand wins, fifty-two All-Americans and a list of legendary coaches and players like Adolph Rupp, Dan Issel, Pat Riley, Jamal Mashburn and Rick Pitino. But forget all the great memories and moments of Kentucky basketball over the last one hundred years because the greatest moment in Kentucky basketball history happened last night. What could surpass all the excellence of Kentucky basketball and take the top spot of the basketball program? It was having five players drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft. Ah, of course!!


This statement seems absurd to most anyone who knows anything about college basketball, but not to Kentucky head coach John Calipari. When interviewed at the 2010 NBA Draft Thursday night, Coach Calipari stated that having five Kentucky players drafted in the first round was the greatest moment in Kentucky basketball. Excuse me? Yes, it is a great accomplishment. Kentucky point guard John Wall was the first overall pick and was followed in the first round by teammates DeMarcus Cousins (5th), Patrick Patterson (14th), Eric Bledsoe (18th) and Daniel Orton (29th). The Kentucky basketball program should be proud, but John Calipari is living in a fantasy world if he believes that this moment ranks as the greatest in Kentucky basketball history. Here is a little history lesson in Kentucky basketball for you Coach Cal.


The University of Kentucky is the all time winningest program in college basketball history with 2,023 wins and a .760 winning percentage. The school has won 7 National Championships, appeared in 13 Final Fours, and produced 52 All-Americans. Besides the statistics, Kentucky basketball has legendary players, coaches and teams. Rupp’s Runts, The Unforgettables, Goose Givens, Sky Walker, Big Blue Nation. All of these are a part of the history of Kentucky basketball. And having players drafted into the NBA is nothing new for Kentucky. The school has had 92 players drafted into the NBA including the 1996 Kentucky team that won the National Championship and had nine (NINE!!!) players who went on to play in the NBA.





John Calipari believes that last night was a great moment for his program at Kentucky, but in reality it was one of its most embarrassing moments. Why? Because with that much talent, with five players with enough skill and ability to be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft, how did Kentucky not win the championship? How did they not at the very least make it to the Final Four? There have been very few previous times when a school has had at least four players drafted, but when it has occurred, each of those teams made it to at least the Final Four and most won the championship. In 2007, the University of Florida won the NCAA championship and had five players drafted including three in the first round. In 1991, UNLV made it to the Final Four. It had four players drafted including overall number one pick Larry Johnson. In 1999, Duke had four players drafted in the first round off a team that lost in the national championship game. In 2005, North Carolina had four players drafted in the first half of the first round from their national championship team. And finally, in 1996, Kentucky had four players drafted from their team that had won the championship.


Each of those teams had talent and it showed not only by having players drafted, but because the players helped those teams to championship levels. John Calipari’s Kentucky team this year had loads of talent, but they did not produce as they should have and some of the blame has to be placed upon Coach Calipari. So yes, he should be proud of his players being drafted and beginning their professional careers, but it should also drive him to do a better job knowing that he had a roster full of future NBA talent and couldn’t win a championship. It’s hard to imagine him having another team with five first round draft choices on it, but let’s hope if he does he will be able to produce better than this year. And hopefully, the next time Coach Calipari talks about great moments in Kentucky basketball, he will have read up on it a little more so he will actually know what he is talking about.


By: David Hyland
ProBasketball-fans.com Staff Writer

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