SEC warm-up: Trouble in Pigville, and did Calipari get jobbed?

Freshman Marshawn Powell just took ownership of the Razorbacks.

Freshman Marshawn Powell just took ownership of Razorbacks.

Heading up to Nashville this morning for the start of the SEC tournament Thursday and I’m going to try to post at least one more blog from workouts later today. But first, here are two items I thought might be of interest to you:

♦ Arkansas, Georgia’s first-round opponent, is having some issues.

Arkansas lost its last five games of the regular season and six out of seven after starting 6-3 in the SEC.

Now you have to wonder how much that’s affecting the Razorbacks internally. Forward Marshawn Powell was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team Tuesday, after averaging 15.1 points and 6.7 rebounds during the season. Later in the day at a press conference, he responded to a question about whether he would be one of the team’s leaders next season by saying, “I believe I’m there now. I believe this is my team.”

This generally would be no big deal. The problem was that the more Powell said, the more he sort of threw his teammates under the bus, even while stating he really wasn’t throwing his teammates under the bus.

Judge for yourself: “I’m not taking nothing from [forward] Mike [Washington] or Stef [Welsh]. I know those are the seniors. I’m taking it and just putting it on my back. This is what this team needs is a leader. We haven’t had that all year. So it’s my turn to try, I guess.”

Just wondering how “Mike or Stef” feel about this.

♦ Did John Calipari get jobbed for SEC Coach of the Year?

John Calipari is not the most likeable guy. But you already knew that.

John Calipari is not the most likeable guy. But you already knew that.

I understand why there might have been some local support for Georgia coach Mark Fox as the SEC’s Coach of the Year, but it’s difficult to find fault with the honor going to Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings. The bigger question is, do other SEC coaches have it in for Calipari?

The award is voted on by coaches. Gary Parrish of CBS Sports, probably reflecting the feelings of many, wrote on Twitter, “Vandy’s success wasn’t the main reason Stallings won SEC COY. The main reason is that other SEC coaches don’t like [Bruce] Pearl or Calipari.”

Calipari obviously has more talent to work with than any coach in the conference, including the best player in the country, guard John Wall. But he did go 29-2. The thinking is, what does a guy have to do to be named coach of the year?

Wall told the Lexington Herald-Leader: “I feel coach Cal should have gotten it. It was his first year coaching us. With six freshmen [actually five, plus first-year sophomore Darnell Dodson], he had to start from scratch with the whole team.”

Teammate DeMarcus Cousins said only: “That’s crazy, but no comment.”

Funny post-script:  Neither Wall nor Cousins even knew who Stallings was. From the Herald-Leader:

“Who is that?” Wall asked Cousins.

Recalling Wall’s question, Cousins said, “I was, like, ‘I don’t know. Who is that?’

“I thought that was the coach from Georgia or something.”

In your opinion, who should’ve been named SEC coach of the year?

Previous posts

Bruce Pearl heaps praise on Mark Fox

How big a threat is Georgia in this tournament?

Who’s more likely to win a conference tournament game, Tech or Georgia?

Flashback: Georgia upsets Tennessee

Flashback: Mark Fox’s early reality check as coach

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and on Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

105 comments Add your comment

NoGaGator

March 10th, 2010
10:04 am

I think World Wide Wes should be SEC Coach of the Year.

Eddie Money

March 10th, 2010
10:06 am

Dennis Felton or Ron Jirsa

Georgia Basketball Blog

March 10th, 2010
10:14 am

AceDawg

March 10th, 2010
10:16 am

Calipari deserves to be disliked because he treats college sports like professional sports, as evidenced by his Jim Harrick-like violations left in the wake of each school he coaches at. Why is he not reprimanded the way a Harrick was? Other than that, yes, he is a very very good coach.

Mark Fox definitely seems like a strong coach and could get consideration as early as next year, but you can’t get coach of the year when your win/loss record is what UGA’s is.

BuckheadBill

March 10th, 2010
10:18 am

Maybe the coaches know what a slimy, crook Calipari is. The “press” ignores his past history. Kentucky may be his first job that he doesn’t get them on probation. What happened when John Wall took money. NCAA really did let that slide.

BuckheadBill

March 10th, 2010
10:21 am

Love the comments for the 2 “student-athletes, Cousins and Wall.

gator83

March 10th, 2010
10:25 am

The award is all based personality and expectaions. While nobody would campaign for Billy Donovan this year, this two-time national champion who took over a downtrodden gator program has NEVER been the SEC coach of the year. ETry to xplain that in rational terms. That said, I’m pretty sure Calipari would rather have a ring than a personal award.

Gen Neyland

March 10th, 2010
10:26 am

Stallings is the right choice. What SEC coach wants to risk looking back in 5 years and having to admit they voted Calipari SEC COTY..? Sure, both coaches brought their respective teams up from the SEC lower end of the 2008-2009 season. Stallings probably did his honestly, Calipari, well, we’ll find out soon enough…

World Wide Wes

March 10th, 2010
10:26 am

It should have been Pearl or Fox as COY. Calipari could only share the award with his personal street agent, me. He, and I, are untouchable.

RomeDawg

March 10th, 2010
10:31 am

Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of CMF but, the only way that he gets Coach of the Year is if the Dawgs were on the “bubble” or better. Heck maybe if they had actually won road games.

Steve Spurrier

March 10th, 2010
10:33 am

Calipari is despised for skirting the rules; Pearl because he is just a jerk. Only Vols like him.

Coach Johnsons Paul

March 10th, 2010
10:37 am

Adolph Rupp????

Michael

March 10th, 2010
10:38 am

It should have been Calipari, even if he is an ass.

Town Character Art Leo

March 10th, 2010
10:43 am

If he decided to, Super Genius Paul Johnson could be SEC basketball coach of the year.

DawginLex

March 10th, 2010
10:46 am

Ya’ll are dead wrong on Calipari. The vacated final four at Memphis will soon be overturned. Sandy Bell-UK Compliance will make sure he doesn’t get into trouble.

COY should have gone to Pearl after the Tyler Smith deal. Nobody thought they had a prayer after that happened.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

March 10th, 2010
10:47 am

Calipari should have won , if Fox has a winning record overall and in the sec next year he should be considered , but what will the expectations be for coach Fox next year will people really believe that UGA should be in the hunt for the Conf. title next year ? or will they be happy with a winning record? I will be happy with a winning record and a few road wins , but I tend to be more realistic than some fans.

Dorothy Kreutzer

March 10th, 2010
10:54 am

Only Calipari knows what kind of a job he did and if he is satisfied so am I. May he continue to do well. Go Cats!!!!

gkmlaw

March 10th, 2010
10:59 am

Paul Hewitt should have won! He does a great job of making teams look way better than they actually are. This year he made the Dawgs look invincible!

Edugator

March 10th, 2010
11:00 am

Cali is a cheat and it won’t be long before UK is on the hot seat for rules violations. As for COY, If Billy D. couldn’t win it in ‘06 with the job he did then it is a popularity award and I wouldn’t want it but Cali is a cheat.

Kats

March 10th, 2010
11:00 am

Wow its amazing to me how people are just able to slander someone with no evidence. You are all idiots if you think your coach isn’t doing alittle cheating. Coach K, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, and I think even Bill Self all have sanctions against them. Oh yeah, Coach Cal has nothing on his record. I understand the hate for KY but hate KY as a program quit bashing people personally. It just makes you look pathetic.

flagboy?

March 10th, 2010
11:01 am

Dorothy Kreutzer

March 10th, 2010
10:54 am
Only Calipari knows what kind of a job he did and if he is satisfied so am I. May he continue to do well. Go Cats!!!!
__________________________________

Not true. The folks at Memphis know what kind of job he did as well. . . and they’ll be paying for it eventually.

Edugator

March 10th, 2010
11:02 am

Kats, check U.Conn. and Memphis. A cat doesn’t change it’s stripes.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

March 10th, 2010
11:10 am

Are any of these coaches a$$ painters? A$$ painting coaches are the lowest of the low. I would not be the mascot for an a$$ painting team unless the benefits were there and then I’d still have an attitude.

Kats

March 10th, 2010
11:10 am

I am guessing you mean U Mass? My point is Cal was not found of any wrong doing, but I am sure you didn’t research any of that. Yes the violations were on his watch, but he wasn’t sanctioned for anything. Alot of other coaches have. Oh yeah, and other players have been found ineligible and the NCAA hasn’t taken away their wins. Thats all I was saying. Again quit bashing people personally. Its classless.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

March 10th, 2010
11:16 am

You all know what I’ve been through . . . and despite all I was there for a win against Tech and a bowl win. That makes me a pretty effective mascot from where I sit (on a painted a$$). Here’s the question . . . how many of you will support me for the full-time mascot? Unpainted.

joe

March 10th, 2010
11:19 am

For coach Cal, anytime there is smoke, there’s fire. He as guilty as can be for “skirting the recruiting rules” without getting caught. But if you look at his history, its pretty clear…and what goes around comes around, so he’ll get caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar in time. I can live with Stallings winning it this year as they had a good year and a good team. Pearl also deserves praise getting his team to where they are after the off the court issues in early January. Gonna be an interesting SEC tournament.

zeke

March 10th, 2010
11:26 am

Calipari should be banned from ncaa sports! He is a cheater! He has done it at every school he has coached, and, Ky will be no different! Every school where he has coached has had violations, investigations, penalties! HE IS SCUM! Coaches like him, Huggins and others need to be permanantly banned from college sports!

Blue

March 10th, 2010
11:32 am

IMO , Call would be about the 4h choice . I actually think Pearl should have won . Anyone can win with all the Mickey D’s Cal had . Pearl played 3 walkons and beat Kansas , plus finished 23-7 and also beat UK . When the incident with Smith , Tatum, Goins and Williams occured most teams would have folded . Somehow Pearl not only kept the team together , but went on to have a grat year . This does not even take into consideration losing Negedu (health) and Tabb before the season .

Paul The Vol

March 10th, 2010
11:33 am

Stallings, Cal, Pearl and Fox all had strong cases for being COY. I have no argument with any of them receiving the award. The SEC East was a really tough division this year and it looks like it will be even tougher next year.

allen981

March 10th, 2010
11:35 am

If you’re the coach, and your program commits violations, you should be held responsibile. The coach is the CEO of the program and the buck stops with him. Sanctions or not against him personally, Calipari is responsibile.

Kentucky hired a cheater with an abysmal record of compliance; I’d be embarassed to be a Wildcat, no matter how many games they win. 29-2 or even a national championship isn’t worth sacrificing your values.

Give me Coack K and Duke, Boeheim and Syracuse, or anyone who runs an above board, consistent program.

Adolph Rupp takes another spin in his grave with each win with Calipari as the coach.

devildawg

March 10th, 2010
12:09 pm

Adolph Rupp, really? You bring up one of the most callous and racist men to ever coach, and compare him to a slime-ball cheater? Rupp and Bear Bryant are sitting right next to each other for ever and ever, in hell.

Basmati

March 10th, 2010
12:14 pm

You gotta face it, top college recruits go to schools that show them the money or honey, either by funneling money through high level athletic fans and big time donors, giving bucks to player’s families, buying into fake companies player’s parents set up, etc. It happens in all the big schools, in all the sports, Georgia, Tenn,KY, Fla, all of them. College sports is big business, student athletes don’t exist at this level, they are there to go pro and get the big bucks, and colleges athletic programs are in place to get donor buck. The NCAA is like officiating a pro wrestling match, its all fake and wired.

NoGaGator

March 10th, 2010
12:16 pm

Hillbilly

March 10th, 2010
12:18 pm

Just wondering how “Mike or Stef” feel about this.

Jeff, I’m an Arkansas resident and a Hog fan, and Marshawn Powell is absolutely right. Mike and Stef can feel whatever the hell they want,…they missed their chances to lead this team. Courtney Forston, too.

Stefan Welsh cares about Stefan Welsh. Courtney Fortson cares about Courtney Fortson. Mike Washington doesn’t seem to care about anything. He was a beast last season and barely shows up in the box scores for his senior year. None of these guys are leaders and the team has gone to the dump, so I applaud Marshawn for stepping up. Maybe John Pelfrey can take some notes.

Bamafan

March 10th, 2010
12:20 pm

Calipari is the best coach in the SEC hands down!! Stallings is a very good coach and Bruce Pearl is
my favorite coach because he is a used car salesman who knows how to coach and get the crowd pumped up!!

DawginLex

March 10th, 2010
12:22 pm

Which coach’s ex-wife opened up a beauty parlor in Knoxville and named it “Alimony’s”???

Who has been married only once and is still married to the same woman for 30 years and has 3 beautiful children?

jumbeauxtiger

March 10th, 2010
12:29 pm

Calipari was hired to win games and at 29-2 that’s exactly what he’s done. He did it with 5 freshman so he’s COY in my book.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

devildawg

March 10th, 2010
12:57 pm

Basmati, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that your assertion that all schools cheat in all sports is a bit of a reach. Does it happen? Yes, Absolutely. Does it happen at a majority of schools? No, I don’t think so. All of the things you mentioned have happened, but most of them happen in basketball, which is by far the slimiest of the college sports because of AAU, and the fact that players can be one-and-done. USC is feeling the results of doing it in football, bama your next, but other than that, most sports are pretty clean. Unless you can provide some evidence to the contrary.

Ferndolin

March 10th, 2010
12:59 pm

BehindEnemyLines

March 10th, 2010
1:08 pm

I can live with Stallings just fine but (even as both a GT and UT fan) Fox certainly deserved serious consideration. With Cali’s roster I believe I could have gone at least 27-4 and while Pearl pulls out some great coaching at times there are also too many nights when his team doesn’t show up for me to advocate him as the top coach in the SEC.

Morons

March 10th, 2010
1:23 pm

Mark Fox’s team came in last in the division. His team was one of two SEC teams to lose to LSU. Immediately disqualified. Bruce Pearl’s team lost to Vandy twice and finished below them. It’s nobody’s fault but Bruce’s that he recruits criminals. Completely undeserving. Calipari has three first rounders in his starting lineup. Bobby Cremins could coach that team to a Final Four. Stallings has done a tremendous job at Vandy this season and should not be undercut by ridiculous articles like this one. His team, (of mostly sophomores), exceeded preseason expectations, secured a high seed for the NCAA’s, and was a game away from sharing the SEC crown with UK. Congrats to a most deserving winner.

justathought

March 10th, 2010
1:25 pm

I think Pearl deserves a lot of kudos for this year. Suspended 3 players and kicked his best player off and while all 4 were out beat the #1 team in the country. You may not like him, but he has done a great job of getting EVERYTHING possible out of this team this season.

BTW

March 10th, 2010
1:26 pm

I love that UK’s players didn’t know who Stallings was. Just goes to show you that they are the idiots that they appear to be…wonder how many classes they’re attending at UK, (hint: they probably don’t know who George Washington is either…)

Monticello Dawg

March 10th, 2010
1:28 pm

My opinions
Calipari is a good coach, and maybe the best recruiter in the college game.
Pearl is an excellent motivator, and did an outstanding job this season coping with all the distractions.
Stallings consistently does a good job
Fox will get a COY award down the line when he gets better talent and wins more.

WWW

March 10th, 2010
1:28 pm

If Donovan has yet to win SEC Coach of the Year despite his success then my man Cal certainly doesn’t deserve to.

Jeff

March 10th, 2010
1:29 pm

UK was expected to win the SEC, and they did, so why should he be COY? My first vote would’ve been Stallings, with Pearl a close second (beating #1 Kansas after those 4 players were suspended…amazing). If UGA would’ve won just a couple of more games (that last lost to LSU was not good), Fox would’ve been in the mix.

DawginLex

March 10th, 2010
1:29 pm

BTW,

I’ve got a kid at UK and John Wall has a 3.8 GPA with a full load of classes. Patrick Patterson is graduating in 3 years.

Don’t type something that you don’t have a freaking clue about

F-105 Thunderchief

March 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

Bring me back a breast quarter (medium) and fries from Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. It’s out Dickerson Pike. Better double that order. Thanks.

CONGRATS2KEV

March 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

Mark Fox’s team came in last. His team was also one of two to lose to LSU. Immediately disqualified for any award. Bruce Pearl’s team lost to Vandy twice and finished below them in the SEC. It’s nobody’s fault but Bruce’s that he recruits criminals. He shouldn’t be rewarded for that. Calipari’s team has three 1st round draft picks – Bobby Cremins could coach that team to the Final Four. What Stallings did at Vandy this season was more than deserving for COY honors, and shouldn’t be undercut by articles like Schultz’s. His team exceeded expectations, secured a high seed for the NCAA’s, and came within a game of the SEC crown. Congrats to a most deserving winner.

Mark-cats fan

March 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

Stallings earned it. Fox at GA made a good run. The SC coach is to be respected. Calipari will have his turn.