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If Brad Calipari wants chance to play, he should transfer

Brad Calipari
(Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)


Considering that what Brad Calipari wore during games while he was sitting on the Kentucky bench last year became a controversy at times last season, surely coach John Calipari really was not surprised when his son putting his name into the NCAA transfer portal became a national story thursday.

“We talked about the transfer portal and putting his name out there. He didn’t think – nor did I – that putting his name out there would go crazy. We honestly didn’t think anyone would notice. But at the end of the day, I want my son to be happy,” John Calipari posted on Twitter.

“It’s hard to get minutes at Kentucky — EVEN IF YOU’RE MY SON. Brad is going to take his time with his decision and weigh all options. No matter what he does, he has my full support.”

As he should have.

Brad Calipari transferred from Lexington Christian Academy to MacDuffe School in Massachusetts for his final high school season after suffering a knee injury. He averaged 15.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game at MacDuffe and shot 47 percent from 3-point range.

He was at Kentucky three years, including last season when he redshirted. He played in 15 games his freshman season and 12 as a sophomore. He averaged just 2.7 minutes per game.

“If he decides to leave, I know our fans will continue to root for him. And if he decides to come back, I’ll soak in every moment to coach my son. I love all my players – I just love Brad a little more,” John Calipari tweeted.

The coach posted that he has talked with his on about “exploring his options” for next season.

If he stays at Kentucky, he’s not likely to play any more with the talent the Cats have on the roster. If he wants to play and believes he can play, he needs to transfer to a smaller school with less talent. However, he’s also said he wants to become a coach and there’s no better place to be to prepare for that than Kentucky.

One also has to wonder how this might impact Ellen Calipari, Brad’s mother and John’s wife. She’s become much more visible to BBN since her son’s arrival at Kentucky and seldom has missed a game with her son on the team. John Calipari has joked numerous times that she was always on him to give Brad more playing time.

Like any other athlete who puts his name into the transfer portal, there’s no timetable for Brad Calipari to make a decision about his future but my guess is that if he’s leaving, it won’t take long for him to decide where he’ll be playing the next two years.


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  1. Brad is a great kid and has some skill, but he is not an SEC caliber guard, even as a backup. I hope he finds a school where he gets more PT. I give Cal credit for not making the same mistake that Tubby made. Saul was a great kid, but he was not an SEC starting point guard. He could have been a capable backup at shooting guard, but Tubby made him a starter. That not only meant games lost that we should have won, but it also hurt our recruiting. Nobody wanted to play with a mediocre point guard, much less sit the bench while he played. I wish Brad the best wherever he goes.

    1. I wish Brad Calipari well, but hope he stays. His choice.

      As for your comment negative to Saul Smith. he in fact was IMO a very good SEC point guard. He lettered 4 years, and started at point his last two. Yeah Tubby was his Dad, so what? Saul had a hand in winning 3 SEC titles, and 3 tournament titles. He played in 143 games , starting in 70. Saul I believe ranks 10th all time in UK basketball history with 363 assists. and led UK in assists in the 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons. He also led in steals with 51 one season. He also captained the SEC all star team that went 4-1 against the Japanese Olympic team. He was a very good player, with great hustle, desire and great defense, despite what some fans say about Tubby, he made his mark on UK basketball where it counts, in the record book.

  2. Keep It In State…
    I would absolutely love to see Brad transfer to a school in Kentucky.

  3. I was born and raised in a small community within 20 mi. of the Bucknell campus. It is a great little school in a very nice, small community. Brad will make the best decision for him and will have full family support as well. It is not always easy as a father and coach and with son involved, but the family seemed to handle the situation very well.

    1. I think Bucknell would be a great spot for Brad and he knows the assistant coach well. Be like trading Brad for Nate Sestina

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