Kentucky is the #1 ranked team in the land at the start of the 2013-2014 college basketball season. Like most years, they have the top-rated freshman class, and are expected to compete for a national title. Last year, they had similar expectations after winning the title in 2012, but the team fell well short, losing to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT. Regardless of last season’s failure, most analysts believe them to have the most talented team entering this season. They remain one of the premier basketball programs in the country because of head coach John Calipari’s strategy to field a roster with several one-and-done players. This typically plays out well over the course of the entire season, but Calipari believes it puts them behind the eight ball when the season begins. He is even going as far as to whine about having to play a veteran-laden team like Michigan State to start the season.
“The issue becomes playing teams (like Michigan State) this early is not fair for my team,” Calipari said Thursday. “It may be fair for everybody else. But it’s no fair for my team.”
“Woe is me. My team is so young we shouldn’t have to play good teams until they’re ready.” Get over yourself, Calipari. Look at your opponent on Tuesday. Tom Izzo regularly challenges his teams, year in year out, to start the season. Why? Because it builds character. The challenge makes them better. It’s about the kids, the players. Instead, Calipari demonstrates his selfish tendencies. He only cares about wins and losses. He singlehandedly personifies the me-first culture AAU basketball. It doesn’t matter the outcome of Tuesday’s game, because Calipari already lost. That sound you hear, is the point flying over his head.