- Tennessee Volunteers - January 24, 2017 - 9:00 PM EST - Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tenn. - ESPN
Big Blue Nation, as I’m sure you’ve seen and heard, this is an important time in the recruiting year when my staff and I fly around the country to watch some of the nation’s best players and begin to form our next great team.
People are talking about our staff getting after it on the recruiting trail these last couple of weeks, and we are, but the biggest challenge when you win is complacency. We are guarding against it.
At this point, I’m trying to work harder than I have in the past. I’m trying to spend more time on the recruiting trail and be more connected than I ever have. We are allowed to make more calls and send more texts than we have with the new recruiting rules, so we get to form better relationships with these kids. We are able to create a better trust with them, but it still takes time.
I look at this as though we are pushing a snowball down the hill. At some point there is going to be a hill and we’re going to have to go up, but the harder we push now and the faster we get this thing rolling now, the easier it will be to overcome that hill later.
I just want to make sure that neither my staff nor my team is complacent as we move forward. Wearing the Kentucky uniform and being the coach at Kentucky does not guarantee success. You have to work at it. Nothing is automatic. You’re not going to automatically recruit the best players and win games just because you’re at Kentucky.
We understand there is the Kentucky Effect, but that only comes into play when you’re driven to be the best and you work to be the best. For my staff and players, are you willing to put in the time and sacrifice certain things to achieve elite status?
I want us all to stay humble and hungry. I want us to stay humble in the fact that five different coaches have won national titles at Kentucky and none have won any at any other school. I’m humble that I have this opportunity, yet I’m hungry to continue to build this program into the gold standard where players across the country dream about playing for the University of Kentucky.
I’m not saying that I’m working harder than any other coach out there. I just want the Big Blue Nation to know that my staff and I are working as hard as we possibly can. The minute you become complacent or intoxicated with success, you are setting yourself up for failure.
You may be wondering why I did this post. I was sitting on an airplane thinking about why we’re doing what we’re doing as a staff and as a team. This is a message that I want my team, staff and the Big Blue Nation to take to heart because it’s what makes Kentucky a special place. It is not a hidden message.
I always love to keep you informed. I know you are starving for any recruiting information, and I want you to know we are not going to take any steps back coming off our championship season. We are going to continue to push the snowball down the hill.
Proud and ready to coach Friday