By LARRY VAUGHT
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.”