Wild ‘Cal

1 04 2009
John Calipari hopes to bring Kentucky back to prominence. (Douglas Jones/US Presswire)

John Calipari hopes to bring Kentucky back to prominence. (Douglas Jones/US Presswire)

By: Brendan Tyman

John Calipari was introduced earlier this morning as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.

He takes over a prestigious instiution that has fallen on hard times recently. Under Billy Gillispie, the ‘Cats failed to make it past the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and did not qualify for the Tournament this season. Though Calipari is used to turning around programs when he inherited downtrodden Massachusetts in 1988 and Memphis in 2000.

He told the Wildcat fans he is “excited and humbled” to come to such a “storied program.”

Calipari took UMass to the Final Four in ’96 before falling to ironically, Kentucky, and he led the Tigers to the National Championship game in 2008 before bowing to Kansas in overtime. His career coaching record is 445-140 in 17 years as a head coach. In the NBA, he roamed the sidelines for the New Jersey Nets in 3 seasons from 1996-’99. He finished 72-112 and made just one playoff appearance in ’97-’98 . This turned out to be the only deficiency in his coaching duties.

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Powe, Celtics Rebound From Short Losing Streak

14 03 2009
Boston's Stephon Marbury (left) and Leon Powe (right) trap Memphis' O.J. Mayo along the baseline during the fourth quarter (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia).

Celtics’ Stephon Marbury (left) and Leon Powe (right) trap Memphis’ guard O.J. Mayo along the baseline during the fourth quarter (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia).

By: Brendan Tyman

After enduring a tough week with Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis going down with injuries in successive games, the Celts received the perfect medicine with the return of Rondo. They also were fortunate to have the Memphis Grizzlies on their schedule.

The Grizzlies’ average age in their starting lineup is 21.6 years, which is younger than John Calipari’s starting lineup for the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA Championship a year ago.

Leon Powe gave another strong effort as he started for the second time due to a thin frontcourt. He scored a career-high 30 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots. Ray Allen added 22 in leading Boston to a 102-92 victory at TD Banknorth Garden.

After a tough first quarter in which Rondo looked rusty coming off the ankle injury, the C’s bench came up big with Stephon Marbury playing his best game in the short time he has played for the Celtics. Marbury finished with 9 points and 5 assists.

Memphis’ Rudy Gay recorded 26 points. Rookie O.J. Mayo tallied 21 and Marc Gasol finished with a double-double (11 points and 15 boards).

With only a month left in the season, the Celtics hope to return some key men soon with Kevin Garnet hoping to come back next week.