On Monday night, the University of Kentucky will welcome the Drexel Dragons into Rupp Arena for a 7:00 PM ET tilt that — no disrespect to Drexel, here, we’re just playing the percentages — could give UK its 12th win of the season against no losses, and could further the record for best start at UK for a first-year coach. Previously held by (no surprises here) Adolph Rupp, who started the 1931 season with ten straight wins, John Calipari took that record for himself with the Wildcats’ win over Austin Peay on Saturday.
Just your typical Monday night, post-finals week, holiday season, non-conference game, eh?
Oh, yeah. There’s this other thing.
As you likely know by now, a win over the Dragons on Monday evening will mark win #2,000 for the Kentucky program. They’ll beat North Carolina to that finish line by eight wins, or about a month.
While acknowledging how impressive that number is and what it means to Kentucky fans, the players and coaches in Lexington are largely dismissing the occasion with a sort of wave of the hand, seeing it not so much as a finish line but a milepost on the way to another finish line located in Indianapolis in early April. That makes sense, when you figure that Calipari himself will only be responsible of 12 of those 2,000 wins, and that even the three current Kentucky seniors — Ramon Harris, Perry Stevenson, and Mark Krebs — can lay claim to only 74 of them, a mere 4%.
Any wearer of the Kentucky uniform, past or present, should certainly feel a part of this achievement. No doubt about that. Calipari said it best, though, in a recent AP story about reaching 2,000 wins when he simply said, “It’s important to the Commonwealth.”