We all like “what ifs” right? We ask ourselves a lot, “what if?”. Well I have decided to turn the two-word question that can cause hours of conversation into a blog series. Every Friday I will address a Kentucky sports moment, commitment, season, event, etc. and ask “what it?”. I will address certain points and explain why I think it could have happened. Hope you all enjoy.
When the Harrison twins committed to Kentucky and added to the already loaded 2013 recruiting class for UK, we thought 40-0 was going to happen. As we all know, that didn’t happen but Kentucky still made it all the way to the national title game against Connecticut and, well you know.
That summer, Julius Randle and James Young left for the NBA, and after that every player that played for UK the previous year had announced they were returning. There were three other announcements to be made though, yes three. The Harrison twins and John Calipari. That summer, after LeBron James announced he would return to Cleveland and play for the Cavaliers, John Calipari was a candidate for the job. He was offered a 10-year deal, worth $80 million dollars. He was also offered a position as the team president. His decision rested upon whether the Harrison twins returned to UK or left for the NBA. The twins announced on April 25th that they would put their dreams on hold and return for their sophomore season and Cal decided he would also stay and coach Kentucky. With all that, What if the Harrison twins don’t come back to Kentucky?
Undefeated season doesn’t happen
The Harrison twins were a big part of Kentucky winning 38 straight games to begin the 2014-15 season and they aren’t given enough credit. Two sophomore guards, with Final Four experience, at the helm for that insanely talented team made it what it was.
With no Andrew and Aaron Harrison, that undefeated streak doesn’t come close to lasting 38 games. It’s sad to think about, but it’s true. And, Kentucky probably doesn’t beat Notre Dame. Remember that long three Aaron hit? Kentucky doesn’t win that game.
John Calipari leaves for the NBA
As I said above, when LeBron James announced he would return to the Cavaliers in the summer of 2014, Cal was a big candidate for that job. And, the twins’ decision really determined whether he left or not.
Andrew and Aaron Harrison to the NBA, means John Calipari to the NBA. Even more of a reason Kentucky doesn’t come close to an undefeated season.
Who does UK hire? I don’t even want to think about that.
Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis start
Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis were the “reinforcements” for the Harrison twins in 2014-15. If the twins go to the NBA, Ulis and Booker are the starting guards for that team. This means Booker is definitely gone and possibly Ulis too.
No sophomore Tyler Ulis? Yeah, I don’t want to think about that.
John Calipari doesn’t last long in Cleveland
In Calipari’s 184 games with the Nets, they went 72-112 (39%) and made the playoffs once, where they got swept. Not great.
If Cal goes to the Cavaliers, odds are it doesn’t go well and he’s out of Cleveland quick. David Blatt went 83-40 (67.5%) in 123 games with the Cavaliers and made The Finals in his first year and he was still fired.
If Cal is fired, does he retire? find another job? Who knows.
This one is pretty short, but these four things would’ve been huge occurrences.
Check out the other parts to the “what if?” series:
Hope you all enjoyed.