Commentary

Calipari keeps winning

Updated: March 3, 2009, 2:10 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

What about the job John Calipari continues to do at Memphis? He has built an elite program, one of the creme de la creme in America.

Calipari just wins and wins and wins. In his ninth season in Memphis, he has won at least 20 games every year. Think about what he has achieved at Memphis. Over the past three years, the school put up a 104-10 record! The Tigers are well on their way to a fourth straight 30+ win season.

It doesn't stop. He loses players like Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey, and then simply reloads.

Calipari motivates and inspires his players. He gets his people to respond in a positive way, buying into his offensive and defensive philosophies.

He is a flat out winner.

I can hear the critics taking their shots. They ask about Conference USA's so-called lack of strength. They question the competition. Well my friends, look at some of the non-league opponents that Calipari has scheduled and he has always been able to compete with the best. Two Elite Eights and a Final Four in the past three seasons tells the story.

Memphis has dominated its conference, but the Tigers still get everyone's best shot. I don't care where you play, to run off a league winning streak like that is incredible. Calipari and his kids know how to respond to challenges. This team is capable of making another run to the Final Four.

Give the coach some credit for making a major adjustment during this season. Diaper dandy moved Tyreke Evans to the point guard slot and Memphis has not lost since. Evans and Willie Warren are neck-and-neck to earn Diaper Dandy of the Year honors.

Calipari won at Massachusetts, continues to shine at Memphis, and would win anywhere he graced the sidelines. He is a brilliant recruiter, he knows how to communicate and he knows how to handle a game.

Memphis hit a grand slam when they locked up Calipari to a long-term deal. The record speaks for itself.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.