With the recent hiring of Head Coach John Calipari, just how much will the "culture" of Kentucky change with the basketball program.
From the day that Coach Calipari set foot in the Commonwealth, it was apparent that there is no comparisons between him and Billy Gillispie. From the moment he spoke at the Kentucky New Conference, you got the since that he knew the right things to say, whether genuine or not, he knew what to say. Calipari has a sense of what it is like to be in the public eye and that has been very obvious since day one.
During his news conference, he mentioned the fact that he "can recruit the best of the best," and so far he has not disappointed as he has recently brought in big name recruit DeMarcus Cousins. The question he has to answer now though is, how many of the UK recruits can he keep, and how many of the current players on this Kentucky roster will stay.
Michael Porter has decided that he was going to graduate over the summer, so he will not be back next year. Jodie Meeks has entered his name into the 2009 NBA Draft but did not hire an agent, so he can pull out of the draft if he wants and come back to Kentucky. Patrick Patterson has said that he will be back for next season.
What about the role players on this Kentucky team? How many of those players will stay? Calipari was planning on meeting with players to discuss whether or not they could play in his "dribble-drive" offense, and as far as I know, those meeting are on-going.
And as for the UK recruits, how many of those players plan on still coming to UK? As of right now, we know that Daniel Orton will still becoming to the Commonwealth, as least, that is what his dad, Larry, has told us. Jon Hood looks like he will still be on his way at the moment but only time will tell.
That leads me to another topic. During the John Calipari Era, how many Kentucky high school players will we see on this Kentucky team while Calipari is in control. In the recruiting scene, high school basketball in Kentucky is not as strong as we have scene in the past and it remains to be seen how many of those players can actually play in this "dribble drive" offense.
And that leads me to a question that I have for all of you. Kentucky fans root for Kentucky born players like no one else in the country. It's those players that drive the passion of the fans who watch. When a Kentucky born player steps out on to the court, its like the team just won a national championship.
Kentucky is one of the best college basketball programs in the country, but has fallen off a little over the past couple of years.So the question to the fans is; Is it all about winning in Kentucky? If Calipari wins a national title without a Kentucky player on the roster, is it just as meaningful? Does it mean more when the home-grown boys bring back a title, or does it matter?
Calipari will bring in the "best of the best." We have already seen there is no doubt about that. Calipari can be the person to bring the program back to where it was years ago and restore the "culture" of Kentucky basketball, but in what direction would you like to see the program go?