By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari says when former players return to the UK campus this summer, they will have a message for next season’s team.
“They’ll probably get on these guys that they don’t want to go through what last year meant to them. You have to understand, in the NBA or workplaces, everyone knows they went to Kentucky or played at Kentucky. Everyone knows. Everyone in the building is hoping Kentucky loses so they can go up to that guy and say, ‘How are your boys doing? What do you think is going to happen?’” said Calipari. “Those guys want none of that so they’re going to come back and probably challenge these guys: you have an obligation, the history and tradition of this place, understand what it means. That’ll be great for our guys coming back.
“When we do the fantasy experience we’re going to probably have a bunch of those guys back and do something that we’ll announce later. The camps are as crazy as ever, doing satellite camps around the state. I think the overnight camp I just about sold out, the father/son is crazy, the Pro Camps…that’s where we bring those guys. The fantasy experience we’ll do something. We’ll have some fun things, not ready to announce them yet, but there are some things we’re going to do with former players that I think our fans will go nuts over. That stuff is in September.
“I think it’s great for them to come back. More or less it’s, ‘Do you understand what it means to be here and what you’re going to have to do?’ When Anthony (Davis) and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) can take the fifth and fourth most shots does it really matter how many times you shoot the ball? They’re the No. 1 and 2 picks in the draft. Do you want to get 20 shots in a game or are you worried more about your growth as a player to put you in a position to do special things? Those are great lessons when those guys come back.”