John Calipari

Kentucky vs. Kentucky?

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Criticize John Calipari all you want, but there aren’t many coaches in the college game that open themselves up to their fan base quite like Cal. Whether it’s through his Twitter account — over 1.2 million followers and 7,000+ tweets — his website (, or the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience — a three day camp that is sure to satisfy all the needs for even the biggest fans — John  Calipari opens himself up to Big Blue Nation exceedingly well.

On the fantasy experience website, there are five images that stream across the homepage advertising what the camp offers: 1) Live the life of a UK basketball star for a weekend. 2) Attend the annual VIP party at Coach Cal’s home. 3) Receive an elite swag bag of Nike branded UK apparel and gear. 4) Play against and interact with former UK stars. 5) Compete for the championship at Lexington Center’s Rupp Arena.

The 2013 version of the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience may feature another segment that is sure to captivate the attention of not just Big Blue Nation, but all college basketball fans, as well.

According to a report from Kentucky Sports Radio, there is speculation that the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats will play against the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats during the fantasy experience this September:

KSR has learned that UK is working to get the two teams to settle the debate on the court, in Rupp Arena. DeMarcus’ 2010 team will likely play Kidd-Gilchrist’s 2012 team as the alumni game during the fantasy camp this fall.Time to settle it once and for all.

This is a “fantasy experience,” after all, so why shouldn’t a game like this be played?

Oftentimes, fans engage in arguments that are impossible to settle: Would the 1927 New York Yankees have defeated the 1998 New York Yankees? Would the Golden Bear have beaten Tiger when both were in their prime?  How would John Wooden’s best UCLA teams have matched up against the top teams the college game has to offer today?

Well now, assuming the game is played, we may uncover which Kentucky team was better: the 2010 team featuring DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, and Eric Bledsoe, or the 2012 team with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marquis Teague?

The only question is: Which team does Darius Miller play on?

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

POSTERIZED: Monmouth bench mob goes insane after huge dunk

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Monmouth has arguably been the most entertaining team in college basketball through the season’s first three weeks.

Let’s start with the obvious: They’re a mid-major outfit with a 5-foot-8 point guard that headlines a talented back court, one good enough to have notched upsets at UCLA and, this week, over No. 17 Notre Dame and USC at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando.

It’s pretty incredible, to be honest. They’ve managed to amass one of college basketball’s best resume despite being a MAAC program with a grand total of four NCAA appearances in their luxurious history.

But what makes this team so much fun isn’t just that they can’t seem to stop beating high-major competition, it’s that, in the process, their bench mob has become one of college basketball’s best.

Want some proof? Watch what happens after this Deon Jones poster dunk:

And here’s the wild part: that wasn’t even close to the best thing the bench did this week.

This was:


But there’s so much more.

Like, for example, the three arrows:

The touchdown pass:

The bench poster:

The heart attack:

They … caught a fish?

And, finally, the ‘OH SHHHHHHHHHHHH’:

Wichita State’s 0-3 week makes chances for at-large bid small

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

We’ve reached the nightmare scenario for Wichita State.

Having entered the season as the overwhelming favorite in the Missouri Valley, a top 15 team and a legitimate threat to reach a Final Four, after two weeks, the Shockers are in serious danger of missing out on the NCAA tournament altogether.

That’s not hyperbole, either.

Wichita State fell to 2-4 on the year after getting mollywhopped by Iowa in the 7th-place game of the Advocare Invitational. They ended up in the 7th-place game because they lost to USC and Alabama in the opening two rounds. The Hawkeyes look like the might be able to eke out an at-large berth if things fall the right way for them, but USC and Alabama are projected to finish at or near the bottom of their respective conferences. Even Iowa would do well to finish in the top half of the Big Ten.

Individually, none of those three losses are particularly terrible, and that’s before you factor in that all-american point guard Fred VanVleet sat out the trip to Orlando with a bad hamstring. They were also without back up point guard Landry Shamet in the tournament and it’s unknown when they’ll actually get Anton Grady back to full stretch. That matters to the NCAA tournament selection committee. They’ll factor it in when they determine where the Shockers will be seeded, or if they will even get an invite.

But throw in the loss at Tulsa from the first week of the season, and the Shockers are now 2-4 on the season.

And unlike the rest of the preseason top 25 — unlike the rest of the nation’s high-major programs — Wichita State won’t have a chance to load up on quality wins during league play. The Valley is better than we probably realized (more on that in a second), but it’s not like there are going to be a myriad of top 50 wins for the taking.

Look at Georgetown, for example. They Hoyas went 1-3 in the first week of the season, a stretch that included a home loss to Radford. But they also play in a conference where they’ll get home-and-homes against the likes of Villanova, Butler and Xavier.

The Shockers need to do their damage during the non-conference. They need to get the bulk of their resume put together before Valley play starts. Assuming they do win the rest of their non-league games, we’re not exactly looking at a daunting profile, either. The Shockers still have to visit Saint Louis and Seton Hall and host UNLV, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico State. UNLV and Utah should look like quality wins on Selection Sunday, but the rest of them?

Wichita State is putting themselves in a position where they may end up needing to win the Missouri Valley tournament just to get into the Big Dance, and the problem is that the Valley looks like it is really going to be tough this season. Northern Iowa notched a win over North Carolina already this year. Illinois State gave Maryland a fight and entered the season as a favorite to upset the Shockers. Evansville has two of the league’s five best players in D.J. Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius.

They’re not waltzing through that conference by any stretch of the imagination.

That’s not exactly what VanVleet and Ron Baker had in mind when they decided to return to Wichita for one final season.