It sounds funny for a basketball program that has become synonymous with the one-and-done freshman.
Yet history would suggest that the key to a successful Kentucky basketball season in 2010-11 is avoiding the sophomore jinx.
Not the UK players.
The head coach.
With one notable exception, in the post-Rupp era of UK basketball the second season of coaching tenures have not tended to go well.
Joe B. Hall
Given the daunting task of replacing Adolph Rupp, Hall's first team (1972-73) closed by winning 10 games in a row before falling to Bob Knight and Indiana one victory short of the Final Four.
From that team, UK lost big man and leading scorer Jim Andrews to graduation and had no player of comparable size and skill to replace him. The result was a second-year disaster (13-13).
Right up until its end, Sutton's first UK season (1985-86) was enchanted. A smallish team built around star Kenny Walker won 32 of its first 35 games before falling to LSU in the Elite Eight.
Before games were even played the next season, UK lost its best returning inside player, Winston Bennett, to a season-ending knee injury. Without him, Kentucky never developed a consistent low-post scorer and was dependent on the perimeter shooting of guards Ed Davender and Rex Chapman.
The result was a strange — and mediocre (18-11) — season. UK beat Louisville in Freedom Hall by 34 points, only to later lose at home to LSU by 35. The Cats went one-and-out in both the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
The exception to the rule. Pitino came to UK after an NCAA scandal under Sutton had decimated the Kentucky program. The new coach's first team (1989-90) had only eight players. For the following season, Pitino added prized recruit Jamal Mashburn to the mix. That helped Ricky P. dodge the "second-year blues" by leading the Cats to a 22-6 record.
Smith didn't inherit star-level talent from Pitino for 1997-98, but did get a roster filled with veteran players used to NCAA Tournament success. A balanced team led by Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner, Nazr Mohammed and Scott Padgett rolled to an unlikely NCAA title.
The next season, however, Smith couldn't replace the lost scoring of Sheppard and the Cats slipped back to 28-9 and a loss in the Midwest Region finals.
After a horrid start (ladies and gentlemen, Gardner-Webb) to his first season as UK coach, Billy G.'s crew played well down the stretch in 2007-08, going 12-4 in the SEC to sneak into the NCAA tourney.
Without injured big man Patrick Patterson, the Cats lost in the first round to Marquette, but most were encouraged by how the Cats played down the stretch.
Season two was an unmitigated disaster for Gillispie. After starting 5-0 in the SEC, Kentucky was upset in a road game at Mississippi and the season took a complete U-turn.
Kentucky went 3-7 in the league the rest of the way. Rumors of player dissension over Gillispie's penchant for Bob Knight-style motivational mind games were rampant.
After the season (22-14) ended with a loss to Notre Dame in the NIT, Kentucky fired Billy G.
Cal's first year (35-3) guiding the Wildcats included an infusion of elite freshmen talent. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe led the Cats to the NCAA round of eight, but UK turned in a clunker of a performance against West Virginia and lost one game from the Final Four.
After a mass exodus by the freshman to the NBA, Calipari has replaced them with another heralded class.
"What last year's team had is so many guys, you could learn (from poor play) and still win," Calipari said. "We learned from a lot of close wins. This team, I don't know."
If the NCAA rules that Enes Kanter is eligible, UK has the potential to go as far — or farther — in the NCAA tourney as last season's team did. Without Kanter, Kentucky seems apt to slip back.
"This team, I don't know," Calipari said. "We'll see early."
See whether UK is strong enough to allow Cal to avoid the bane of (most) modern Kentucky basketball coaches:
The sophomore jinx.