Kentucky Coach John Calipari dives into his offseason


Kentucky Coach John Calipari has stayed plenty busy this week, despite his team’s absence from the NCAA Tournament. (Associated Press)

It’s been a busy week for Kentucky Coach John Calipari, but not for the reasons you might have expected before the season began.

While coaches across the country are leading their teams into the NCAA tournament, Calipari, whose Wildcats won the title last season, has begun his offseason. Robert Morris delivered the final blow on Tuesday, ousting Kentucky from the NIT with a 59-57 victory that sparked a wild court-storming in the Colonials’ cozy home gym in suburban Pittsburgh.

Even with the unexpected early ending to the season, Calipari doesn’t seem to have slowed down. On Wednesday, he landed a commitment from the nation’s top power forward prospect, Julius Randle of Prestonwood Christian in Plano (Tex.), for next season, adding to a recruiting class that’s now being debated among the greatest in history.

On Wednesday, Calipari tweeted that he was back out on the road recruiting, and today, he apparently stopped by Carnegie Deli in New York where he seems to have run into former world No. 1 competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi. Then he took the time to secure photographic evidence, so he could blast it out to his 1.2 million Twitter followers.

Meantime, Michigan State is the first team on to the NCAA tournament’s second round after closing out a 65-54 win over Valparaiso. No word on Crusader Coach Bryce Drew’s plans for the next few days now that his season is done. Here’s hoping it involves a meeting with six-time Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest champion Joey Chestnut.

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Cindy Boren · March 21, 2013