Patterson: UCLA's Expectations Stuck In The '60s and '70s

UCLA is reportedly trying to snag John Calipari, but there's no incentive for him to leave Kentucky, Chip Patterson says

The DA Show
March 21, 2019 - 10:35 am

With rumblings that John Caliapri could leave Lexington for Westwood, the Kentucky coach took to Twitter on Wednesday to affirm his commitment to the Wildcats. Calipari said that his “plan” and “desire” is to retire at Kentucky.

Is UCLA a better job than Kentucky?

“No, not in 2019,” college basketball writer Chip Patterson said on The DA Show. “Not at all. I think a lot of that is because of what John Calipari has done at Kentucky. I would compare (it) to Nick Saban at Alabama. Part of the calculus in leaving is, I had such a role in building this up into what it is and so much of my own sweat equity went into this level of success and this machine that has been built and allowed for so many pros to walk through these doors. It becomes something that almost sort of self-stocks year after year after year. Why would you go to UCLA, where the expectations are still set back in the 1960s and 1970s when the results haven’t been there in the last couple decades?”

UCLA has won one national title since 1975. Kentucky has won four, most recently in 2012, and has reached the Final Four four times since 2011.

“If I’m John Calipari at this point of my career, no way – after turning down NBA offers, after turning down other inquiries from across the land – I don’t think there’s any part of him that would want to walk out on what he has spent (years building),” Patterson said. “Think about it. He’s been there about 10 years. He spent a long time trying to build this thing up. I don’t see – especially as he’s looking at a team that, for my money, can win a national championship – I just don’t think this would be the time to walk out.”

Calipari, 60, arrived at Kentucky in 2009 and immediately implemented his one-and-done approach, which other programs – including Duke – have copied in recent years.

Kind of ironic that the former UMass and Memphis coach has had such an impact on blue-blood schools, no?

“I like John Calipari,” Patterson said. “I’ve come full circle on John Calipari. I think he’s had a lot of growth during his time at Kentucky and as he’s sort of settled into that blue-blood role. Yes, he started trying to kick things down and break them, but now I think he knows he speaks with a voice of authority. I think the Kentucky basketball program has, in general, done more good than harm. If it’s made Duke and other programs decide that they want to change their ways, then that only speaks to the influence that he has. And by the way, that’s not influence that John Calipari would have at UCLA because the Pac-12 doesn’t have any influence over the college basketball landscape right now.”