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By LARRY VAUGHT
Earlier today a NBA scout questioned how prepared Kentucky players were for the NBA draft and indicated that the best part about John Calipari’s system “is that can hide so many flaws at first glance.”
The scout noted that iIn reality, the Kentucky system is smoke and mirrors,” despite the success Calipari has had putting players into the draft and then having those players succeed. Anthony Davis will be the No. 1 pick — Calipari’s second in three years — in a few weeks and four other Cats could go in the first round as well.
That’s why I sought the opinion of another NBA scout — who also did not want to be identified because his team has several Cats on its draft board — about the job Calipari does preparing players for the NBA.
“First, all the good college coaches hide flaws and use a player’s strengths. Guys in the NBA do the same thing. That’s coaching,” the scout said. “Second, no college player is ever fully prepared for the NBA. Doesn’t matter if it is Kentucky or anywhere else.
“But what Calipari does is teach his players how to handle playing in the NBA. Look at Eric Bledsoe. No one expected him to flourish the way he has so quickly. Or look at the success even a guy like Josh Harrellson had. Who could have expected that? Personally, I think what he did developing Patrick Patterson’s game was very, very good. He made him a more versatile player.
“Heck, look at how he let Davis expand his game late in the season. But he was a center for Kentucky and Cal had to keep him in the paint on offense. Cal puts his players in the best positions to help his team win, but to say he doesn’t get them more prepared for the NBA is a little bit ridiculous. You don’t have the first-round picks he’s had, or the success his players have had in the league, without teaching those guys how to play at the highest level. This doesn’t mean Kentucky guys are sure to be a success in the league, but I know our team certainly likes the chances of a player Calipari had turning out well.”