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Monday, March 7, 2011

UK's John Calipari thinks Tony Barbee deserves consideration for SEC Coach of the Year

For the second straight week, Kentucky's John Calipari stumped for Auburn's Tony Barbee, his former protege, to be SEC Coach of the Year.

Calipari was asked on today's SEC's teleconference about the job Barbee has done in his first year with the young, short-handed Tigers, who struggled but managed to get out of last place in the SEC West, finishing the the regular season 11-19 overall and 4-12 in the conference.

"How about this one? They won as many road games in the league as we have," Calipari said. "I think he should have been considered for Coach of the Year, but we all base it on number of wins.

"You want to talk to any coach about what he's done with that team, to keep them into every game they've played, they've had a chance. To be down 20 and to come back and win games or have a chance to win, that's what coaching is. I just think he's done wonders."

Calipari has a reason for talking up Barbee. He coached Barbee when he was a player at UMass from 1989-93. Barbee was also an assistant on Calipari's staff as a GA at UMass (1995-96) and as an assistant at Memphis (2000-06).

Calipari acknowledged the likely candidates for the honor are Florida's Billy Donovan, Alabama's Anthony Grant and Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings, but -- predictably -- had a strong opinion about his former assistant getting some consideration.

"You've got some haters out there that have got their personal problems that will make jokes about it, but then again they don't know what coaching is," Calipari said. "I think he should be considered."

Auburn enters the SEC tournament as the fifth seed out of the West. It will play Georgia, the East's No. 4 seed, at 1 p.m. ET Thursday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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Anonymous said...

John Calipari is an idiot.

John said...

Who cares what John Calipari thinks. Why is this even posted on your blog. waste of time

Matt said...

John, it's probably because this is an Auburn blog and one of the most notable college coaches is talking about Auburn's basketball coach. Just a thought.

Andy Bitter said...

Some folks might think it's interesting. Some might not. You're clearly in the latter group.

Anonymous said...

Ya, I think its a good read and you might not like the guy but he can coach and in the end will put more kids in the NBA then Dean Smith.

Jonesy said...

This is absolutely Auburn-relevant. Barbee has done a fantastic job. This team shouldn't have won more than 10 games, and probably not more than a game or 2 in conference.

brian said...

i miss football!

Anonymous said...

I agree with John and to Matt are we talking about the same John Calipari that takes over programs ruins them by committing numberous recruting violations and then leaves for another scholl. Yeah great coach. im sorry how many NCAA championships has he won.

Justin said...

Do you guys talking negative about Calipari know where he got such a bad rap?

A few articles from Pete Thamel, Thayer Evans, and Pat Forde.

Until I know the full details of what all happened at Memphis, I'm going to withhold my judgement. If they're so blind and ignorant to leave out the name "Kenny Rogers" in most of their more recent works, there's no telling how guilty Calipari is of something or not.

MikeP said...

Barbee has done a great job this year and he's clearly an outstanding coach.

One thing is very clear: About two more solid SEC quality players and he's going to beat people like a drum.