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John Calipari has termed Kentucky’s achievements on the court and in the classroom as UK’s “success rate.” Essentially, the way Coach Cal explains it, if a student-athlete plays basketball at Kentucky, he is heading to the pros, getting his diploma or doing both.
The evidence in support of the success rate continues to mount following the NCAA’s release of its annual Academic Progress Rate report on Tuesday.
Calipari’s teams once again met and exceeded the standards of the APR, which measures academic eligibility and retention of student-athletes. UK posted a four-year composite score of 963, well above the NCAA minimum needed to maintain postseason eligibility.
“I’m extremely proud of what our players continue to do academically,” Coach Cal said. “Today’s APR scores are another example of the hard work they put in to succeed both on the court and in the classroom. We’re expecting our APR to jump even higher next year with the academic success and graduations we had this year. The success rate continues to grow stronger.”
According to the NCAA, “to compete in the 2013-14 postseason, teams must achieve a 900 multi-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years. The same standard was in place for the 2012-13 academic year. This standard will increase to a multi-year 930, which predicts to a Graduation Success Rate of approximately 50 percent, or a 940 two-year average APR for the 2014-15 postseason.”
UK’s most recent four-year score ranks in the 60-70th percentile among all Division I basketball scores. The NCAA’s average APR for all men’s basketball scores was 952.
The score is a four-year composite, covering the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. Coach Cal’s first three teams were included in this year’s report, but the 2012-13 team will not be included until next year’s report.
Cal’s individual APR rates over last five years
*Note: 2012-13 scores will be released next year
Without the 2008-09 year (one-year composite score of 922), during which Calipari was not at UK, Kentucky’s four-year composite score would have been even higher. Since Coach Cal arrived at Kentucky, his teams have posted one-year APR scores of 979 in 2009-10, 979 in 2010-11 and 977 for the 2011-12 national championship season. In 2008-09, Calipari’s final year at Memphis, his team posted a one-year score of 980. The year before that, Coach Cal’s Tigers scored a perfect one-year mark of 1,000.
The latest APR scores come nearly a month after the 2012-13 team posted a 3.4 grade-point average for the 2013 spring semester, the highest average of all men’s sports teams at UK and the best mark of the Calipari era. Starting with the 2013 spring semester and going backwards, Coach Cal’s teams have posted GPAs of 3.4, 3.06, 3.12, 2.71 and 3.14 over the last five spring and fall semesters.
Three players – Twany Beckham, Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson – graduated in early May, and all 10 players who have been eligible to graduate by the end of their senior years under Calipari have received their diploma. Those numbers don’t include former players Wayne Turner and Marquis Estill, who have returned to school in recent years to finish their degrees.
“I’m proud of the hard work our guys have put in both on and off the court,” Calipari said when UK’s GPA was released in May. “When you come to Kentucky, you are either going pro or getting a degree — or both. We call it the success rate, and right now we’re batting 100 percent. When you run a players-first program, it’s not just about loving to play basketball; it’s about teaching our kids the love of learning.”
With a composite score of 963, UK will not be subject to penalties, such as scholarship reductions or postseason restrictions. The men’s basketball team has never incurred a penalty during the nine-year history of the APR.
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