As important as the previous topics are to Calipari's recruiting prowess, none is more crucial than this point: the Kentucky Wildcats and John Calipari are a perfect marriage.
When the program and coach joined forces in the spring of 2009, little did fans realize how well the two worked with each other. It has resulted in a firestorm of incredible wins, amazing records and unbelievable recruiting success.
For Kentucky, the school was reeling from the negativity surrounding Billy Gillispie's tenure. The team also struggled during the end of Tubby Smith's coaching tenure and had lost its place among college basketball's elite. Programs such as Duke and North Carolina were surging forward and catching up to the Wildcats.
They needed a coach who would bring instant credibility, a load of excitement, the ability to win big and to recruit the very best in college basketball. On top of that, they needed a coach who would embrace the"salesman" role that this sort of job needs—a guy who would sell UK during every waking moment and place the program back into the national spotlight.
Once the school inserted John Calipari into the picture, all of those things began to happen. However, they occurred faster and at a higher level than ever imagined. He has now delivered a national title and two Final Fours to Big Blue Nation, is riding the nation's longest undefeated home streak and is producing NBA players at a record pace.
Meanwhile, Kentucky is now the country's most talked about team and is even being featured in ESPN's All Access Kentucky weekly series. The Wildcats have returned to the top of the mountain and appear to be in great position to hold their place there as long as Calipari stays.
Speaking of John, he could not have chosen a better program to lead. He has a huge ego that needs plenty of attention and success to keep in check. Coaching the Kentucky program does just that for him.
Calipari came to Kentucky with everything left to prove to the college basketball world. He had been successful at Memphis and UMass, but he was stripped of two Final Four appearances and had yet to coach at a true blue-blood program.
Then the Kentucky Wildcats came calling. The sport's all-time winningest school also possesses the most rabid and passionate fanbase around. If he wanted attention, he got it in spades in Lexington. He is also on a platform that will enable him to reach his wildest dreams in the coaching profession.
As great as he had been in recruiting, now he is able to haul in three players in the top ten of a recruiting class. He is able to produce five NBA first-round picks. He has the facilities and budget to go see who he wants, when he wants to.
Most importantly of all, Calipari wanted to prove beyond anything else that a team of freshmen could win a national championship. He was able to pull it off last year, in essence validating his entire coaching philosophy for the first time.
His legacy as a head coach is now transforming into something historic and perhaps legendary. All of this is available because of the benefits gained by coaching at Kentucky. No other school could offer John what Kentucky can.
In the end, a program with a perfect marriage between coach and school is free to recruit and win at a higher level than others. This is the key reason why recruits just can't seem to say "no" to John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats.