If Calipari had stayed at Memphis he could have won a national championship earlier!!!

John Calipari’s Kentucky program isn’t just No. 1 in the country. It’s the hottest program since UCLA used to win it all every year.
(Getty Images)

The conventional thinking is that John Calipari won a national title because he went to Kentucky.  However, when he left Memphis he had the best recruiting class in the history of mankind coming in to Memphis in 2009 ( Jerry Meyer called the Memphis Tiger 2009 class “arguably the best recruiting class ever”)and his Memphis team of 2009-10 was going to be more talented than any team in the country that year. Furthermore, Xaiver Henry had signed to play with Memphis and his stats were very impressive too. In fact, when Calipari took the Kentucky job, Henry got out of going to Memphis because of the Calipari exception clause (later such clauses were outlawed when the NCAA passed the  “John Calipari rule”) and had a great year at Kansas. Below are his stats:

Xavier Henry Stat Summary:

Season GP MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG RPG BPG SPG
2009-10 36 27.5 13.4 45.8 41.8 78.3 1.5 4.4 0.5 1.5

Calipari’s ability to recruit almost anybody he wanted  started when Derrick Rose was taken first in the NBA draft after spending one year under Calipari at Memphis.

John Calipari stuggled to recruit top players to Memphis the first 4 years he was there because the “one and done” rule had not been put into place yet and many of the talented recruits of his skipped college and went straight to the NBA. Then everything changed.

Memphis reaped the benefits of the talented recruits Calipari brought to Memphis. In 2008 Derrick Rose led Memphis to the NCAA finals and he was chosen first in the NBA draft. This is where his recruiting really took off. That is why I really do think that Calipari could have had a national title sooner if he stayed at Memphis. We will never know and I do think he will be very successful in the future at Kentucky. Maybe the SEC will win their first ever triple crown this year (national titles in football, basketball and baseball).

Kentucky will have many new faces next season but it’s success shouldn’t change.
(Getty Images)

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