Changing Of The Guard in Kentucky?

Chris BallContributor IMay 8, 2009

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 04:  Rick Pitino the Head Coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the Big East Conference game against the Seton Hall Pirates at Freedom Hall on March 4, 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville won 95-78.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Eight months ago, there were big expectations and huge question marks in the Bluegrass state. Rick Pitino was leading a strong team with big expectations, while Billy Gillispie had a team that seemed to be going nowhere.

The season brought a Big East Regular Season and Tournament Championship, and a disappointing Elite Eight team for Louisville. Kentucky was on the bubble for a good portion of the season, and ended up in the NIT. 

Both teams were looking for answers during the off-season. Earl Clark was destined to go pro, while Terrence Williams, the team leader, was graduating. The entire Big Blue Nation was calling for Gillispie's head. 

Soon after Kentucky ended there strong appearance in the NIT, Big Blue fans got their answer. Kentucky started searching for a new head coach. John Calipari comes riding in on his white horse to save Kentucky basketball. 

His presence is quickly noticed with some big time recruits following him from Memphis to Rupp Arena. Kentucky also appears to be a finalist for prized recruit John Wall. Then out of the blue, Eric Bledsoe signs with UK joining DeMarcus Cousins as two big-time High School players move to UK. 

Patrick Patterson announces that he is coming back for another season at Kentucky.  Now John Calipari will try to work his magic to have the MVP of the season come back for his senior season. If this happens, Kentucky should be a top ten, if not top five team next season.

Ninety miles away, Pitino has been rumored to the Sacremento Kings head coach opening, is in the middle of an FBI investigation with personal rumors running wild. One of Louisville's top 2010 recruit, Jeremy Tyler, is foregoing his senior year of High School to play pro ball in Europe. 

Louisville has a strong team next year, but will unlikely be able to repeat their Big East run from this year. 

The once promising Louisville program is the team that is going to be searching for answers this summer while Kentucky is going to enter the fall with high expectations. It should be an interesting time in the bluegrass state this fall.