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Calipari, like UK fans, wishes he could have won more titles at Kentucky

John Calipari with SEC Network/ESPN analyst Laura Rutledge. (Jeff Houchin Photo)


If there is a knock nationally on Kentucky coach John Calipari it would be that he should have won more than one national title in his nine season at UK based on the talent he’s had play for him.

He’s stockpiled first-round NBA draft picks and players like John Wall, Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony-Towns and more were the best of the best.

He won a title in 2012 with Davis but Wall’s team got beat in the 2010 Elite Eight. Brandon Knight helped UK get to the 2011 Final Four. Kentucky got there again in 2014 with Julius Randle and the Harrison twins. In 2015 UK was 38-0 when it lost in the Final Four to Wisconsin.

“We could have won nine (championships). I wish we did,” Calipari said. “It’s different when you have teams for three years than when you have them for one. It’s a different animal.

“But, we easily could have won the years we were in the finals. The 2015 team could have won. We could have had four or five. But we don’t. We could have. But we don’t.”

Calipari says none of the misses keep him awake at night thinking about what might have been. He admits he wishes UK could have gone 40-0 in 2015 — something no team has ever done.

“When we won the national title, my wife, when I grabbed her and said, ‘That’s over now. We don’t have to deal with this anymore. They can’t say it. They can say what they want, it’s done,'” Calipari said.

“The next thing is, ‘You haven’t won enough. You should have won more. You’ve had all these kids and why haven’t you won more?’ You’re right and I should be (former UCLA coach) John Wooden. I should have won nine, 10, 11.

“But people’s opinions, that’s fine. I accept it and know. Maybe someone here could have. Maybe the next guy will. Have at it. Good luck.”

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