By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s basketball facility — the Joe Craft Center — is now 10 years old. It’s still regarded as one of the best facilities in the nation, but Thursday coach John Calipari said it was time for some renovations.
“Let’s go through and make it more modern. There are some other ideas that I have. Again, you want to stay the gold standard,” Calipari said. “You want to tie all of what we’re doing together on the campus and other things.
“I’ve talked to (associate athletics directior) DeWayne (Peevy) about some of that stuff. Obviously I’m so happy for baseball. I’m so happy for football. Anybody that’s worked with me (knows that) when they make a commitment to soccer, women’s soccer, what they’ve done for track, when you do those kinds of investments, in my mind, which works differently, you’re doing it for the kids, and I’m good.
“You’re doing it for the kids. You’re doing it for those players. You’re doing it for both men and women. I am ecstatic. Alright, now it’s our turn.”
Most would see few flaws, if any, in the Craft Center. Calipari said the building was state of the art 10 years ago but now could use some changes.
“We need to go back and say, ‘How do we update this?’ This is a well-built building,” Calipari said.
Then swaggy Calipari popped up, a sure sign that practice is going well with this talented team.
“I wanted to make sure the media were taken care of. I was thinking out back by the garbage dump in the corner. We’re going to have a special room for you guys. As far away as you can get,” Calipari said.
He was joking — I think.
Calipari praised athletics director Mitch Barnhart for what he’s doing “for the kids” at Kentucky.
“I think the best thing that Mitch (Barnhart) has done here is investing in the kids. It’s the best thing he’s done. He’s done it not only on how we support them, but the facilities that they need to compete at the highest level,” Calipari said.
“You give them what they need to compete, and you bring in good kids and get them coached up.”