After yesterday’s appearance on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, it’s even more evident that John Calipari is perfect for the Kentucky program. It is a match made in heaven and it shows every time he’s in the public eye. Combine Calipari’s coaching skills and recruiting ability with Kentucky’s brand and you get the sort of a machined effect that is taking place in Lexington. It goes like this: Cal gets talented recruits that want to get as ready for NBA as possible, they compete until late March, sometimes early April, and then go make millions in the NBA. It’s that simple. I find it hard to believe that all recruits are not clamoring to be a part of it (ahem, Shabazz!). ESPN published an article that could very well just be a list full of Wildcats in a couple of years. It’s titled One-and-Dones that became stars. Not surprisingly, four out of ten players listed have one common denominator, John Calipari. Out of the four, two are the Wildcats you see at the top of this post. Here’s what ESPN had to say about them:
DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky: The enigmatic post player averaged 18.1 points and 11 rebounds in his second season with the Sacramento Kings in 2011-12. Cousins teamed with John Wall to lead Kentucky to the Elite Eight in 2010.
John Wall, Kentucky: The No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft has averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 assists in his first two professional seasons. Wall is one of the fastest players in the league with the ball in his hands, although he needs to improve his accuracy (41.6 percent) from the field.
The two other Calipari disciples listed are Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose, both of whom have had stellar NBA careers thus far. If you fast forward a couple years there’s no telling how many of Calipari’s former players will be on this list. Somebody said something to me recently about “the glory days.” I don’t like to speak prematurely but, It’s definitely a great time to be a Kentucky Wildcat.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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