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Coach Cal talks with a ref during the win over Georgia. (Victoria Graff photo)

Coach Cal talks with a ref during the win over Georgia. (Victoria Graff photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was interesting Monday to hear Kentucky coach John Calipari explain how certain recruits sometimes eliminate themselves from being high priority targets for Kentucky.

“Normally they’ll let you know. They’ll say I am not interested,” Calipari said when asked how he determines if a player can handle the spotlight and pressure at Kentucky. “I’ve had kids that I’ve really wanted and kids that I wasn’t sure of but that kid convinced me that he could do this and the other kid was shaky even though I thought he was right. But the kids know. In most cases, they don’t want to put themselves in positions of being exposed and they won’t come.

“Every once in a while I will see a kid that is selfish, not a good teammate that you have to be here. My question to all these recruits is do you want to win a national title. Yes. Can you do it by yourself? No. You have to be on a team with eight or nine other players like you. Which means you can’t take every shot and you are not scoring 30 points a game. It’s not going to be all about you. Is that right. This  is not for everybody, it’s the toughest place to play basketball; we are everybody’s Super Bowl. All that stuff. ”

Calipari also emphasized that he pays little attention to criticism, or praise, of his coaching.

“What happens when we are all done with this is that history will tell you what kind of job you have done. What kind of men you have molded, how they have turned out, what you have done in the community and the campuses where you work, in the community you work,” he said. “It all comes out. If I am worried about what everyone is saying, I am cluttered.

“I have a sign on my wall upstairs that says ‘coach your team’, and that’s my job. Coach the individual players, and help them get better. At the end of the day, I want this to be about those players. If they keep saying, ‘Well, he has better players than everybody’, and I get the connotation ‘he can’t coach,’ then that’s OK. Then I have done my job because they are saying my players are better. That gives me satisfaction.

“This is about these young people. You are never going to hear me say that ‘this guy can’t do this and this guy can’t do that.’ I’ll challenge them physically to mentally be tougher in all of those things, but I have always said that I’ve got good players, and our job is to get them to play harder, get them to play together, get them to talk to one another. Mental and physical toughness is the key to all of that.”

6 Responses to Calipari: Recruits know if Kentucky is right spot for them or not

  • coldspringmike says:

    Larry, I have just one word for the above article–WOW. Coach does or says something every day which just makes you love him more.

  • TheProfessor says:

    What a way to make it so desirable to be part of the UK basketball scene. How could any kid who believes he is a top flight player NOT want to be a part of this when Calipari challenges his “man-hood” in this manner. If you believe you are up to the challenge, come on down and prove it, and if you don’t believe you are, it will be best for you to avoid exposing yourself in such a public way, so stay away.

  • UKFMLY says:

    ” Tell it like it is” No promises no misunderstandings. Cal said last night we have 6 guys that have taken 100 or more shots. That seems unheard of. Talk about sharing the ball. Any of the starting 7(The Magnificent 7) could put up 20 points a game at most schools.

    Cal really has it all. I also think the ” this guy can’t do this or this guy can’t do that ” is a dig at rp. He is always in the paper saying what his guys can’t do after a loss without owning up to the fact that he recruited the kids.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. GO BLUE OR STAY HOME

  • Mike Hildebran says:

    Being a basketball player at UK is unlike playing anywhere else. The spotlight never dims. It’s a tremendous opportunity and if you try hard and stay out of trouble the doors will open forever after graduation. Having said that, it’s a bright spotlight and lots of people are uncomfortable in the glare.

  • Don V says:

    Think about it: Anthony Davis the projected #1 draft choice took two shots last night. Could you name any other coach who could keep a kid happy taking two shots?

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