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Calipari has options for adding shooter

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was two years ago that almost out of nowhere that John Calipari added Jamal Murray and Isaac Humphries to his roster.

It is not quite the same this time, but Calipari again seems set to work his magic and find a needed shooter for next year’s team because he has Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.

During the NCAA Tournament Calipari went on a rant about how schools should not take graduate transfers from mid-major programs. But not long after Pittsburgh graduate transfer Cameron Johnson got his release, he got a scholarship offer from Kentucky.

Johnson averages 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last year while also shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.

So how would Calipari spin taking only his second graduate transfer at UK after blasting others who had done the same thing just a few weeks ago? Easy. Pitt is not a mid-major. That will be the spin. Plus, remember that Johnson has a new coach, former Vanderbilt head man Kevin Stallings, and Calipari can spin that makes it okay for him to leave.

But if UK doesn’t get Johnson, it’s also strongly in the mix for high school seniors Mark Smith and Jerari Baker. Smith is Mr. Basketball in Illinois while Baker is a former Cal signee who got his release after a coaching change.

Sources indicate that Smith “loved” a visit from Calipari and some close to him think he could commit to UK soon. He will be playing in the Derby Classic in Louisville April 15.

 

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