Kentucky Basketball Starting Five Since John Calipari

Jamie Shaw09/18/23
Article written by:On3 imageJamie Shaw

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Kentucky head coach John Calipari (Photo by Mont Dawson | Kentucky Sports Radio)

Kentucky is a blue blood. With eight NCAA Championships and 2,377 total wins, I don’t think anyone will question that. John Calipari became Kentucky’s head coach in the 2009-10 season. Since taking over the Wildcat program, Calipari has won 387 games and made 11 of 13 NCAA Tournament appearances. Kentucky has won 32 NCAA Tournament games and produced 47 NBA Draft Picks since 2010.

With all the talent Kentucky has produced over the last 14 seasons, let’s discuss the starting five for Kentucky Basketball since John Calipari took over as head coach.

Read Kentucky Basketball Starting Five Since 2000, pre-Calipari

The Starting Five

G – John Wall (‘09-’10)

John Wall committed to Kentucky as a top-five recruit. Wall’s only season in Lexington was also John Calipari’s first year with the Wildcats. Wall led them to a 35-3 record and a No. 2 finish in the final AP Poll. Wall finished top five in the SEC in points, assists, and steals per game while earning SEC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors. The SEC Tournament MVP also was named first-team Consensus All-American. Wall went No. 1 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft.

G – Jamal Murray (‘15-’16)

Jamal Murray enrolled at Kentucky a year early after reclassifying. In his single season in Lexington, Murray earned first-team ALL-SEC honors as well as SEC All-Freshman and first-team All-SEC Tournament. Murray’s 20.0 points per game finished third in the conference, and his 113 made threes were eighth in Division 1 that season. His Kentucky team won 27 games, finishing first in the SEC and tenth in the final AP Poll. 

C – Demarcus Cousins (‘09-’10)

Demarcus Cousins came in with John Wall and teamed up to earn 35 wins and a trip to the East Regional Finals. Cousins led the SEC in total rebounds while finishing top five in the conference in blocks and field goal percentage. His performance earned him first-team All-SEC and second-team Consensus All-American honors. 

F – Malik Monk (‘16-’17)

In his one year at Kentucky, Malik Monk led the league with 754 total points, which was also seventh nationally. His 39.7 percent also led the SEC in three-point shooting. Monk’s on-court performance won him the SEC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors, as well as second-team Consensus All-American. Monk’s team won 32 games that season. They were the SEC regular season champions and finished No. 5 in the final AP Poll. 

F – Anthony Davis (‘11-’12)

Anthony Davis came to Kentucky as the top prospect. In his lone year in Lexington, Kentucky finished 38-2 overall and won the national championship. Davis also racked up the hardware that season as well. Along with SEC Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year honors, he was also named National AP Player of the Year, USBWA Player of the Year, Naismith Player of the Year, and the Rupp Trophy winner. Davis was also the NABC Defensive Player of the Year. He went No. 1 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Sixth Man

C – Oscar Tshiebwe (‘21-’23)

The sixth man for this time frame of Kentucky basketball was a difficult decision with so many players who have accomplished so much. At the end of the day, Oscar Tshiebwe swept the National Player of the Year honors, winning AP Player of the Year, NABC Player of the Year, Naismith Player of the Year, USBWA Player of the Year, and the Wooden Award. He led Division 1 basketball is rebounding twice, and his 14.4 career rebounds per game is tops for the conference. Tshiebwe’s body of work is tough to ignore.

The Bench

G Eric Bledsoe (‘09-’10), G Brandon Knight (‘10-’11), G Tyler Ulis (‘14-’16), G DeAaron Fox (‘16-’17), G Shai Gilgeous Alexander (‘17-’18), G Immanuel Quickley (‘18-’20), G Tyrese Maxey (‘19-’20), G Aaron Harrison (‘13-’15), F Michael Kidd Gilchrist (‘11-’12), G Tyler Herro (‘’18-’19), G TyTy Washington (‘21-’22), G Cason Wallace (‘22-’23), C Willie Cauley Stein (‘12-’15), C Nerlens Noel (‘12-’13), C Karl Anthony Towns (‘14-’15), Nick Richards (‘17-’20), F Terrence Jones (‘10-’12), F Kevin Knox (‘17-’18), F Keldon Johnson (‘18-’19), F Julius Randle (‘13-’14), F Bam Adebayo (‘16-’17), F PJ Washington (‘17-’19)