Entering his sixth season as the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats, college basketball head coach, John Calipari has taken the team to three Final Fours, one national championship, and one runner-up finish in his first five seasons. The primary question most Cats fans are asking; however, is if the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball season be Cal’s last in Kentucky? He did turn down a tad bit more money to go take over the Cleveland Cavaliers to come back for the players this year, but there are some factors to consider!
Why Did Coach Cal Come Back for the 2014-15 Men’s Basketball Season?
Well first, Cal recently benefited from a 7 year, $52 million USD extension. Although he would have made more by taking the Cavs gig, on a per-game basis he would actually get paid more at Kentucky. Now, the next significant factor to consider is that there were a number of players on the NCAA Runner-Up team from this past season who made the decision to bypass entering the 2014 NBA Draft, and came back for this season. That’s right. Even though Julius Randle and James Young both wen
t in the first round from last year’s team, the Harrison twins, Willie Caulie-Stein, Alex Poythress, and Dakari Johnson all made the decision to come back. Add the top-rated recruits that Cal has added to the mix, and the Wildcats are not only a preseason #1 again this year, but with the experience base to merit the ranking this time! Last year’s Cats drove everyone in Wildcat country crazy by not really jelling until the end of the season. This year’s group, should be significantly more consistent throughout the year. This will give Cal a legitimate shot at winning his second national title and Wildcat fans an overall 9th NCAA title.
What are the Indicators Cal Won’t Stay after this Season?
Well, on June 27th, Coach Cal announced that his son would be heading to boarding school in Mass. Starting with the upcoming school year (Brad Calipari had been attending Lexington Christian Academy, and will now be attending the Macduffie School in Granby, MA). Next, add in the day in/day out stress of the Kentucky job, combine it with winning it all again, and it could just be the perfect storm for Cal to move on to the “next thing,” whether that be in upper management, doing more for his charity work, or something else all together! Regardless, the Wildcats will definitely be exciting to watch during the upcoming season, and I can’t wait for March Madness to be here again!
2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Schedule
Every four years, the NCAA allows teams to go on a preseason, overseas trip for the development of their players and to improve the NCAA and school’s brand. It has been four years since Kentucky has gone on a preseason trip, and they will be traveling to Nassaua this year to play against the Puerto Rico Reserve, Champagne Chalons-Reims (France), and Dominican Republic National team (two games each) in early to mid-August. Coach Cal and the Wildcats will also benefit from having 10 practice days before the trip to help get a jump on building their team chemistry in an organized fashion for the upcoming season. All of this before the 2014 NFL regular season kicks off too!!! Here is the schedule sans-SEC regular season matchups which will be released at a later date.
|August 10||2014||5:00 PM||vs. Puerto Rico Reserve||Imperial Arena||Nassau||BAH||TBD|
|August 11||2014||1:00 PM||vs. Champagne Chalons-Reims||Imperial Arena||Nassau||BAH||TBD|
|August 12||2014||1:00 PM||vs. Puerto Rico Reserve||Imperial Arena||Nassau||BAH||TBD|
|August 14||2014||5:00 PM||vs. Dominican Republic||Imperial Arena||Nassau||BAH||TBD|
|August 15||2014||1:00 PM||vs. Champagne Chalons-Reims||Imperial Arena||Nassau||BAH||TBD|
|August 16||2014||12:00 PM||vs. Dominican Republic||Imperial Arena||Nassau||BAH||TBD|
|November 2||2014||TBD||Pikeville||Rupp Arena||Lexington||KY||FSN/UK IMG|
|November 7||2014||TBD||Georgetown (KY)||Rupp Arena||Lexington||KY||FSN/UK IMG|
|Non-conference regular season|
|November 14||2014||TBD||Grand Canyon||Rupp Arena||Lexington||KY||FSN/UK IMG|
|November 18||2014||TBD||vs. Kansas||Bankers Life Fieldhouse||Indianapolis||IN||ESPN|
|November 30||2014||TBD||Providence||Rupp Arena||Lexington||KY||TBD|
|(Big 12/SEC Challenge)|
|December 5||2014||TBD||Texas||Rupp Arena||Lexington||KY||ESPN|
|December 7||2014||TBD||Eastern Kentucky||Rupp Arena||Lexington||KY|
|(CBS Sports Classic)|
|December 20||2014||3:30 PM||vs. UCLA||United Center||Chicago||IL||CBS|
|(Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout)|
|December 27||2014||TBD||at Louisville||KFC Yum! Center||Louisville||KY||ESPN2|
|TBD||TBD||North Carolina||Rupp Arena||Lexington||KY||TBD|
|SEC regular season|
|March 11–15||2015||Bridgestone Arena||Nashville||TN||SECN/ESPN|