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Joel Justus offers insights on UK’s recruiting philosophy

Joel Justus (Cole Lambert Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Ever wonder what kind of recruiting process Kentucky has in mind before John Calipari actually offers a player a scholarship.

Recently assistant coach Joel Justus explained some of that during a “Behind Kentucky Basketball” podcast with TJ Beisner to explain how Calipari’s assistants have to first figure out if a player has UK-like talent and then if he also has qualities that Calipari wants.

“Those guys have to want us as much as we want them. Cal says it and we laugh about it but it really is true: Kentucky isn’t for everyone,” Justus said.

Justus told Beisner that potential recruits have to have a “competitive spirit” and “want” to be coached in the way that Calipari does.

“That is not coming in and being told that I’m going to shoot every ball and that I’m going to be the man and that I’m going to be the leading scorer,” Justus said.

Instead, the assistant said Calipari’s message to recruits is simple — work daily to be the best you can be and learn how to be a professional.

“That’s a big selling point for us,” Justus said. “This is a program where guys are going to come and they want to learn how to be professional.”

Justus repeated what Calipari always says — and recruits verify — that no promises are made to get players to sign with Kentucky.

“This is what we are, this is who we are, this is what we’ve done, these are the types of guys that have come here, guys just like you,’” Justus said about UK’s selling point.

1 comment

  1. RJ Hampton’s decision to sign with the Breakers in the Australian pro league will be an interesting move to monitor. He is the first that Chose to do so versus Had to do so. If he ends up being a lottery pick the following year, look for more kids to do so.
    He and his family have an appreciation of education, but he can get that later. This kid has the guts to be honest enough to say…I am getting ready for the NBA and don’t need a year of college to do that. He will be playing against stronger, better competition, will be playing on a winning team who is willing to sign him for a year of development, and will ultimately be the highest point guard drafted in the NBA draft barring an injury.
    Its time for the NBA to open the door to high school kids and for colleges to end the hypocrisy of OAD and get back to the business of educating kids who also want to play basketball.

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