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John Calipari knows players have to be interchangeable

John Calipari. (Vicky Graff Photo)


John Calipari believes he has one of his most versatile recruiting classes during his 10 years at Kentucky and that’s be design since the Kentucky coach says the game is built more now on having versatile players.

“How many post-up basketball players do they have in the NBA right now? Those guys don’t want to be in there either. How many true, true point guards are in those positions, or are they scoring, playmaking guards? There are no set-up point guards, they just don’t have it anymore,” Calipari said.

“I watch Eric Bledsoe, who is one of my favorites just because he absolutely was a competitive spirit, fighter, calm kind of guy who occasionally got a little bit crazy. You see him now with the ball in his hands. It’s like Jamal Murray, ball in his hands. They can do that because they learned to play basketball here. They can play off the ball if you need them to score. They can play on the ball. That’s interchangeable.”

Calipari says players have to be able to play multiple positions on both ends of the court and noted how Tyler Herro, who is having a great NBA Summer League, went from a jump shooter to a much more versatile player.

“You’ve got to be able to get to the rim. You’ve got to be able to bounce it and make plays at the basket, because if that’s all you do is stretch the court and shoot jumpers, they will take that away. If you can’t shoot, they’re not playing you. So now, it’s five versus four. Now, they will play everybody. Can you put it on the floor?” Calipari said.

“That’s why it’s interchangeable. Even when you’re the four man, you’ve got to be able to put the ball on the floor. You’ve got to be able to get the ball and get by people, get to the rim to draw players for (3-pointers). The NBA right now is going to drive it, pass it, pass it, drive it, pass it, shoot it. It’s random, that’s how they’re playing. A lot of the game has become random.”


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  1. Cal started out recruiting OAD point guards, wings with length, then non positional players and now talent that fits a “random type” pro style… you got to admit that Cal is a marketing phraseologist genius…he’s always one up on the recruiting catch phrases. Dickie V has nothing on Cal- Ha!

  2. That’s all fine and good, but he was brought here to win national titles…to catch and pass UCLA in titles won. He has done neither and will not ever do so. I really fear North Carolina and/or Duke catching and passing us. Rah Rah Rah!

    1. Pardon me I left out Florda and N. Carolona. on the list of teams that won mutipal titles in the same decade

  3. I’m with you Catman, however, I’m still not ready to say he won’t add another title.

  4. I wish I was wrong, but I’ve seen too much disappointment in the face of being a favorite to think otherwise.

  5. Only 5 schools have won multiple titles in the same decade since the UCLA dynasty days . Indiana in the 80’s, Duke has done it twice in the 90’s and the decade of 2001 and 2010, Kentucky did it 1996-98, UConn did it 2011-14 and then Villanova did it 2016-18. That’s a low percentage of winning in multiple times if you ask me.

  6. All of you Rah Rahs keep making excuses for losing. We are supposed to be the gold standard of college basketball, but now we aren’t even a number 1 seed on Joe Lunardi’s brackets. In real terms, that means nothing now but it shows that we have lost respect as a blueblood program. If Calipari is the God you Rah Rahs make him out to be, we should have won at least 2 national titles just to keep pace with those other programs you mentioned. We haven’t and we won’t as long as he is here. History will prove me right.

  7. Catmandoo life is like a box of chocolate you alway don’t get what you want. Like myself and others has preach it takes shear luck to win it all and besides no program is going to dominate the sport like UCLA did back. 60 and 70″s . There just too much talent in the landscape of college basketball world.

    1. Just let old Catmandoo talk, it don’t really matter what he says. He will hang himself when Cal wins No. 9.

  8. I will Pup, the thing is he keeps saying the same old song when he post .

  9. Yes I do and Calipari has yet to prove me wrong. I am not ready to give up on our program like you Rah Rahs have. You don’t fix a problem by pretending its not there. We won’t get number 9 until Donovan arrives here.

    1. Catman:

      You’re constantly making predictions so, here’s one for you and it’s a nightmare in my opinion…
      Billy Donovan will be the next coach at Duke.

      * Dear God, I hope I’m wrong.

  10. Memphis seems to be recovering quite nicely from Cal abandonment with the addition of the Penny and a couple of key UK recruits and now they are able to add the Drake to the stable as well. IMHO Cal will continue to perform at fairly high levels in recruiting and coaching but #9 will elude him until he can get back on track with quality bigs.

  11. Donavan has turn the job down once, what makes you think he’s going back college ball Catmandoo. Might as well get use to Cal weather you like it or not.

  12. 79, things are different now at OKC and UK. Donovan will come back to the college game, he will grow weary of the rebuild at OKC, but Hornet makes a valid point…Duke will be looking for a new coach as well in 2 or 3 more years, so will North Carolina. If Duke gets Donovan, they will be the national title king in 20 years, the same goes for UNC. If he comes to UK, we will be that king. We need to accept the fact that Calipari only wants to be here 2 or 3 more years and lay the groundwork for our next coach. Calipari is history to the college game after the 2022 draft.

    1. I doubt it.

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