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John Calipari has had a player play for every NBA team but he really likes this new team

Former UK coach Joe Hall liked what he saw from John Calipari’s new team. (UK Basketball Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Whether you think John Calipari puts too much of an emphasis on getting players to the NBA or not, it is still pretty fascinating to think that he has now had a player play for all 30 NBA teams during his 10 years at UK.

Calipari insisted he didn’t even know that when a media member told him that recently.

“I just know a lot of players get drafted. I said to somebody, ‘How does anybody beat us on kids?’ I have no idea. What are they saying or doing? I don’t know, but we do get beat more that we get kids,” Calipari said.

Getting beat for players frustrates UK fans as much or more as it does Calipari

“I mean, we like to say that it’s not for everybody,” Calipari said. “This is about coming to practice knowing that NBA scouts are in that gym at that practice because they want to see the competitiveness right there in our own team.

“It’s a different deal when you go, and I want to be the only guy and want to shoot all the balls and want to be the center of attention. It’s just different here.”

Calipari seems convinced already that next season might be different with the way he’s feeling about his team. He tweeted that he loved freshman Kahlil Whitney’s “competitiveness and his confidence. He’s wanted the challenge of this place for a long time.”

But that wasn’t all he shared on social media about his team.

“This is truly a positionless team with length. We’re only just beginning this journey and I’m liking what I’m seeing,” Calipari tweeted. “This is what I enjoy most — having a great workout with a group of players who wanted this culture, wanted to be challenged, wanted to be made uncomfortable. They all have big dreams and aspirations and wanted to be in an environment with other good players.”

Calipari even threw in some thoughts from former coach Joe B. Hall after Hall attended a recent practice.

“My mentor and friend, Coach Hall, likes our new team,” Calipari posted on Twitter. “He loves that we made a bunch of jump shots. He said this could be our best shooting team. Said we made our first nine shots when we scrimmaged.”

 

1 comment

  1. Coach, you do have a good team. Let them play as a team versus featuring 2 stars. Nick Richards could be a difference maker for you. Remember how he played in the Bahamas last year? I am hoping that you not coaching those games was just a coincidence, but his play went to nothing quick when the season started…and, uh, you started coaching. You were a hell of a coach at UMass and Memphis…go back to being that guy. I don’t expect you to win every game, but I do expect you to put a competitive team on the floor every game…no more azzwhoopings like Duke gave us last year please. Don’t worry, the Rah Rahs are ok with you losing games, even ones you should win. They are so afraid of getting another Billy Clyde that you could lose 15 games and they would still praise you. I don’t expect you to win a national title every year either, but if we are indeed the gold standard in college basketball, we should be winning at least 3 every 15 years like other schools have done over that time. I would hope you would place more value on winning SEC championships and SEC tourney titles…they both reflect on our program. If you start winning national titles 5 years out of 10, it won’t matter about our SEC record, but you won’t be here that long. OAD will be done in 2022, but your team this year is made up of multi year players. Get them to buy into that, the NBA will be there 2 or 3 years later. You don’t have superior talent with this team as far as the elite teams go. They are good, but not one of them is good enough to be the man….they will need to play as a team. Have them ready to play against Michigan State. That game is not so important to win as it is to be able to respectfully compete. I know you think teams can peak to early and that’s bull. Have them ready to compete with that first tipoff. Winning breeds the desire to win more…get them started early. I have stated here that you will not win another Final Four trip, much less a national title. Go back to the guy you were at UMass and Memphis and prove me wrong. I will be the happiest guy in BBN….with the exception of Pup and Cat 79…they will be crowing the loudest and I hope they can instead of just being Rah Rahs like they are now. I really think you are about ready to call it a career in college basketball. Win it all this year and go out on top. The Billy Donovan sweepstakes has already started and Duke and North Carolina already have their eyes on him. He will come here if you move on to the advisory role that you want with an NBA team. Win it all this year and then do your part to get Donovan to come here. That is my prayer to the basketball gods for this year. Oh, Rah, Rah, Rah Pup and Cat 79.

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