Is John Calipari Still Upset Cade Cunningham Choose Oklahoma State Cowboys Over Kentucky Wildcats?

Published 06/01/2021, 5:45 PM EDT
Feb 3, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) in action during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


The last time the Kentucky Wildcats won a national title was back in 2012. Despite that, they are still able to recruit the best high school players every year. But they had a huge rejection last season when Cade Cunningham committed to Oklahoma State Cowboys instead.

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The 19-year-old had a fantastic season, winning the freshman of the year award among other accolades. Although he didn’t win any silverware, his amazing performances with such a team confirmed that he is the best prospect in the upcoming draft. The season ended a couple of months ago but it looks like Kentucky coach John Calipari is still upset over Cunningham rejecting the Wildcats.

In a recent interview, Calipari complimented Cunningham for what he did in college instead of going to the G-League. But it all felt like a back-handed compliment towards the end. He said, “Cade Cunningham could have done that, but he went to college. Forget about just Kentucky, think about college. He went to college, and he went to Oklahoma State.

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“Cade Cunningham, his brand, his ability to take advantage of that on the market is through the roof. And he was in Oklahoma. Oklahoma State, a great program, and they’re in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and that happened for him. You think about Kentucky and what that means if that guy comes here.”

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How close was Cade Cunningham to committing to the Kentucky Wildcats?

Entering college as the number one high school player, Cunningham had offers from all the top schools. Kentucky was one of them. He was close to making an early commitment following a campus visit but his family urged him to take his time.

Since then, the Wildcats did all they could to convince him. Coach Calipari had visits to his home publicly and he and his staff watched him live at multiple events. They showed how badly they wanted to bring him in.

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Feb 9, 2021; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari coaches from the sidelines during the second half of the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

But despite all of these efforts, Cunningham chose the Cowboys in the end. He was eager to play under his brother, who was an assistant coach at OSU at that time. Some would say that it was a good decision as he proved himself by taking a relatively unknown team like the Cowboys to the limelight.

Cunningham is now ready to dazzle in the NBA, and fans are eager to watch him continue his magical displays in the big league.

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WATCH STORY HERE – Five Greatest Michael Jordan Moments in NCAA Basketball

Feb 3, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) in action during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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