John Calipari’s talents are wasted as a basketball coach. Oh sure, the guy’s at the top of his profession as a recruiter, motivator, developer of talent and as a winner. He’s shown as much at UMass, Memphis and now at Kentucky.
But to really harness his talents, Calipari should be a negotiator where people need who can smooth things over in tense situations. Send the guy to Egypt. Send him to North Korea. He’ll ensure the two sides talk. (I kid. Mostly.)
I mean, anyone who can patch things up with John Chaney can probably do just about anything. This wasn’t that long ago.
Here’s Chaney today . “I admire him and he knows that.”
The quote’s from a lengthy profile in Sports Illustrated by S.L. Price, who examined Calipari at every stop of his life, from his childhood, to his time as an assistant, then his rise to Massachusetts, Memphis and his current job at Kentucky.
Price did his homework, too. He spent 5-6 weeks conducting 60-70 interviews in three different cities. The result should be familiar to hoopheads, with the exception of a few parts.
The Chaney item struck me, but mostly because the video is forever stuck in my head. Perhaps most notable to the folks in Lexington are comments regarding something Louisville coach Rick Pitino, which John Clay recaps here. (The gist? Pitino may have lied.)
It’s a solid story, but probably fails in one regard in today’s sports world – it doesn’t take a stand on Calipari and lets the reader make up their own mind. Talk about a throwback.
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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.
The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.
It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.