By LARRY VAUGHT
When Kentucky players leave for the NBA, often coach John Calipari is criticized nationally for his “one-and-done” methods. Never mind that Calipari did not make the rule or that other players at other schools do the same thing.
But seldom if ever do those on a national level who criticize Calipari stop to listen to what those leaving say about the UK coach. Or what the parents of players say.
I still remember last year when Trey Lyles left after one season. His father, Tom, talked about the emphasis Calipari put on education from the time he started recruiting Trey Lyles and that was why his son never considered not finishing the spring semester with the best grades possible.
Friday it was Roger Murray talking about what UK did for his son, Jamal Murray, in one year. Jamal Murray is expected to be a top five pick in the NBA draft.
So what did one year at UK do for Jamal Murray?
“Experience of just being at college. Being amongst his peers, having that time to grow as a young man and make his own decisions. Coach Cal is like a second father for all the kids, and he challenges the kids to get through that,” Roger Murray said.
“You can’t take this back, a school like this. It’s for life. He plans to come back to pursue an education and all that. It’s like a second home for him, as he said. This experience is exactly what he needed. He went the exact way. He won a championship, that was the reason why – he’s very competitive, he put his heart and soul into games.
“When he loses, he’s devastated for moment, but he bounces back very quick. He knows what it is. But it’s been a life experience for him and a great experience for him. If we had to do it all over again, we’d do the same exact thing. So it’s been good for him.”