Tuesday, March 10, 2015

John Calipari Named Sporting News Coach of the Year

Sporting News has named Kentucky's John Calipari national coach of the year.

Here's an excerpt:

When forwards Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress chose to return to Kentucky for their junior seasons, when the Harrison twins decided to play for the Wildcats as sophomores, all because they felt they were not developed enough to succeed in the NBA, Calipari’s roster suddenly was overcrowded with talented players. There was no way everyone could start, could play 30 minutes, could attempt double-figure shots. Calipari had to come up with a way for this to work for everyone, including Kentucky fans.

The result: perfection.

And if no one could beat his team, no one was going to beat Calipari for the Sporting News Coach of the Year award.

Kentucky played 31 regular-season games and won every one. The Wildcats are on course to set a Division I record for field goal percentage defense. No defense has allowed fewer points per possession during the 14-year period in which statistician Ken Pomeroy has been keeping track. The team’s offense ranks No. 8 among Division I teams. They are only the fourth team since the NCAA Tournament bracket expanded to finish the regular season unbeaten.

“These kids had to allow this to happen,” Calipari told Sporting News. “They had to trust that we had their backs. That’s how this has worked.

“Part of that trust is the history. The last five years, how it has worked for everybody. You’ve got to explain it to them, what’s in it for them. If you don’t, they’re going to have to look out for themselves. They trusted me, trusted our staff.”

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