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Coaching Team USA could give Calipari an early jump on coaching next year’s incoming players

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky will lose seniors Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder off this year’s team. Most expect De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo and Isaiah Briscoe to head to the NBA. Even if no one transfers, that means at most UK would return Wenyen Gabriel, Isaac Humphries, Tai Wynyard and Sacha Killeya-Jones as scholarship players next season.

That’s why I think it’s a genius move by Kentucky coach John Calipari if he does coach Team USA ad the Under-19 World Championships in Egypt this summer as ESPN has reported.

The immediate reaction by many was that this could be a potential recruiting advantage for UK like it was when Calipari coached the Dominican national team that had a high school player named Karl-Anthony Towns on the roster.

The Under 19 team is normally made up of players ranging from rising college sophomores through rising seniors in high school. But while there might be a rising high school senior make the team that Calipari has big interest in, I think the edge for Calipari and UK could be that most of his 2017 signing class could be on the team.

Having Team USA with Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Quade Green, Jared Vanderbilt and Nick Richards on the roster this summer would not be a stretch and that would mean Calipari would get about an extra month to coach and work with players he has to count on next year in a big, big way.

 

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