The waiting is over, and it is official. Marquis Teague is going to attend the University of Kentucky to be featured in John Calipari’s dribble-drive offense; he will not be a member of cardinal nation, which begs the question, why did Teague choose UK?
The answer to the question is actually quite simple, dollars, and before UK fans begin mass e-mailing me about how Calipari isn’t paying his players, that is not what I am referencing. I am referencing the dollar bills available by being a one and done player who is drafted in the lottery.
Louisville fans will bemoan the presence of World Wid Wes (if you don’t know who he is, just click the link and read on), but at this point, Calipari doesn’t need any help. He only has to point to exhibit A, B, and C. He has managed to sign the top rated point guard five years in a row (Rose, Evans, Wall, Knight, and Teague), and the first three players were all lottery picks.
So, back to the question posed in the title of this article, do championships matter in recruiting? The answer is that they haven’t mattered in a long time. When players were lining up to play for Rick Pitino at UK, it was because he was sending players to the association in droves. Now, that person is John Calipari who in one year will send almost the same number of players as Rick Pitino has in 10 years at Louisville.
You might say, “Well, at some point doesn’t not winning championships matter?” To the fanbase, yes, it will matter. But, in regard to recruiting, it doesn’t make much difference. As long as Calipari keeps sending players to the NBA in one year, he will keep getting the players, regardless of the number of elite eights and sweet sixteens that he racks up.