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Is Kentucky Losing A Former 5-Star To A Transfer A Sign That Calipari Is Struggling?

So this is not that surprising, surprising breaking news. This is also the second time that this exact rumor has popped up. If you remember this summer, there was a rumor that Quade Green was going to transfer. He was linked to La Salle, since he was from Philly, seemed to underachieve as a freshman and could thrive under Ashley Howard at La Salle.

So with this news, along with the fact that Kentucky now has 2 losses on the season, I’ve seen a handful of takes. Most notably that Cal is losing it and his system isn’t working. There are two different thoughts here and I’m going to try and break this up and also talk about it without people screaming of course I’d say that since I’m a Kentucky grad.

First, is Cal losing it? It’s not so much that he lost it, just that Duke started beating him at his game. Calipari thrived in always getting the top-end talent in recruiting. That’s how he ended up with Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Towns, Randle, etc. However, since that 2014 class led by Towns he’s missed on the top guy more than he has. The class of 2016 was great with three top-10 guys.

But, last year was the first year where we saw him take a real good recruiting class but not have that top talent. Kevin Knox was the highest-rated recruit coming in and it took him some time to adjust to the game. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was obviously undervalued and he even took some time to adjust and become a great player. That’s what we’re seeing with Calipari classes now. Part of the class of 2017 though was Quade Green.

Green came in as a higher-rated recruit than Gilgeous-Alexander and had the starting spot. However, SGA took it from him and even pushed Green to off the ball more. It made sense as Green was a good shooter, but you could tell he wasn’t living up to the billing of a 5-star McDonald’s All-American.

Now, as for Calipari’s system. This is where I’ll challenge you a bit. It’s incredibly hard to win a title. I know people keep screaming about his 1 title. In a one-game situation like the NCAA Tournament is, we see weird things happen all the time. It’s the absolute worst way to determine the best team and best way to determine a champion. They are really two plays away from making 2 Final Fours in the last 2 years and likely this isn’t even a discussion. Luke Maye hit a buzzer-beater in the Elite Eight and last year PJ Washington missed 10 free throws against Kansas State in a close loss. Those go different ways, the Calipari system being broken isn’t a thing. That’s why I hate completely judging things on the NCAA Tournament.

Now if you want to say his recruiting system was broken, then, sure that’s a different argument that I’d listen to. He’s still trying to get one-and-done guys and bring in the All-Americans, but they are more fringe lottery picks that need to break out. They also need time to develop. We’re seeing him go and attempt to mix in more multiple-year players, but it’s going to be different with Cal. More importantly they need to adjust their offensive scheme and modernize it. I discussed that recently so I won’t go too much into it.

Now, as for the Green transfer. I think it happens barring a last second change of heart. He is made to play at somewhere like an A-10 school where he can really thrive. He’s a good shooter and UK will absolutely miss that. However, it’s best for UK to play without him. Green hasn’t been good with decision making this year. He’s also a liability defensively. You have to let Ashton Hagans be the guy at the point guard spot, especially defensively. Then you have Immanuel Quickley, who came into school as a decent shooter. That’s your backcourt. Roll with it.

Or maybe call Villanova and ask for a straight up trade of Jahvon Quinerly for Quade Green.