Understand, we don’t recruit a young player saying that there is no question he’s a one-and-one player. We don’t know! Are you telling me that we knew Eric Bledsoe had a chance out of high school to go in the first round after one year? If they tell you that, they’re lying. Those same people also said our three freshman starters from last season would leave after one year. Two came back because they wanted to win a national championship and the other one that left had a 4.0 grade-point average and 60 credit hours.
I tell every player that we recruit that I don’t have a magic wand. At the end of the year, we’ll see where everything is, we’ll give you the information, and you and your family make a choice to stay or come back. I would love to coach all of these guys for four years and have them earn a college degree in four years, but if they have an opportunity to reach their dreams, I will not be the person to hold them back, nor will I let anybody at this university or in my program do it.
~ John Calipari
I don’t see Cal pushing players out the door. I see him evaluating their development and their potential earnings and advising them according to the possibilities inherent therein.
Would Knight have gone higher in the draft after one year. Would Cuz have gone higher with one more year. Doubtful.
Knight maintained a high GPA throughout High School. If memory serves, his mother was a teacher. I doubt he’d have gotten away with slouching off on his studies with such being the case.
The One and Done System is self perpetuating. In order to get the most talent players, Cal or any coach must exhibit the ability to get these kids to the next level in the most expeditious manner. Holding them back or being unable to develop their games would be disadvantageous to Kentucky and Calipari.
Cal misspoke only slightly when he made the statement that the Wall/Cuz/Bledsoe/Orton/PPat Draft Night was the greatest night in Kentucky History. That night will and has lead to an ongoing influx of talent to Kentucky Basketball that should result in a National Title. At least one National Title.
Cal does not have to pay players to come to UK. The most talented, the more diligent and the more intelligent players will come to UK because they know that it is *THE* path to the next level and that hard work will pay off with a greater pay day than any booster could possibly offer them for a one or two year stay at some other school.
With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Muhammad and Noel here next year.
The kids that want to play with the best and win are the kids that are going to come to Kentucky. We’ve seen that in this last class. These kids came together because they want to win.
Some of these kids will actually stay so as to increase their long term potential. That is what the intelligent kids will take into consideration. The selfish, impatient kids should go elsewhere and probably will be encouraged to do so. Such has been the pattern that I’ve noticed since Calipari has joined the Kentucky family.
Calipari wants to win. As Wooden and other Coaching Greats have made quite plain in book after book, talent wins. Well prepared talent wins more. Experience is good if a coach can get it, but, talent bests experience. This team is proving that right now.
Cal’s challenge is to ensure that these kids are prepared for the games and prepared for their futures. If he does that, UK will win and the kids will win which will bring in more and more talent which will bring more and more wins.
GO BIG BLUE!!!