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Cal says he thinks six or seven players will go pro after this year

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Calipari spoke at the Louisville Alumni Luncheon this afternoon, and pretty much repeated everything he said on the radio show Friday morning, but there were a few new soundbites to go over.

There’s been a lot of talk about how many players could go in next year’s draft. Cal’s guess? He said he believes six or seven players will go pro after this season.

He then gave his thoughts on some of the players, which, again, was mostly stuff we heard on Friday, but here’s the rundown:

Julius Randle: Cal said that if he only cared about winning, he would put Julius Randle underneath the basket and that he’s putting him back out on the floor to prepare him for the next level.

Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson: Cal’s no longer afraid to put Hood and Polson in a game, and joked that at times last season, he would be forced to put them in and just closed his eyes in fear when he did. Us too.

Marcus Lee and Derek Willis: Yet again, Cal singled these two out as the “surprise” players on the squad, comparing Lee to Dennis Rodman and Derek Willis to Bobby Jones (who used to play for the 76ers, Google tells me.)

Willie Cauley-Stein: Willie will start practicing again on Sunday after injuring his hand.

Alex Poythress: Has returned to practice after hurting his hamstring. Cal said Alex is going against Julius Randle and James Young in practice and “it’s competitive.”

The team as a whole: “They don’t play hard enough yet, but they’re good.”

Cal opened up a little more about his goal for an undefeated season, saying that it’s something he wants to accomplish before he retires: “Before I retire, I’d like to coach an undefeated team because they say it can’t be done.” He mentioned his three teams that came close (2008 Memphis, 2010 Kentucky, 2012 Kentucky), and said that the goal of going undefeated can keep players in the moment because players realize that each game is just as important as the next. Something tells me that’s going on a sign in the Joe Craft Center sometime soon.

It wouldn’t be a Cal speech without a little trash talking. When talking about being everyone’s “Super Bowl,” Cal said that his players don’t know what day they’re playing Florida, North Carolina, or even Louisville, but that the players on every team they face know when they’re playing Kentucky:

“If I ask my team when we play Florida, they’re not going to know. North Carolina? I’m telling you–and I’m going to do it today because I’ve thought about it–they don’t know. You think they know when we’re playing Louisville. They don’t know. They know ‘Is there a meal tonight?’. They don’t know.

Now, I ask you this. Does everybody on our schedule know when they’re playing Kentucky? All they know, and that’s in their locker, on the ceiling of their bedroom. You gotta deal with that, and it’s part of being at Kentucky. Not only do they want to beat Kentucky, they want to beat you as an individual player. You know why? They wanted that scholarship you got and they want to prove they’re better than you, not just their team is better than Kentucky. So that’s the challenge that we have. But would you want it any other way? I don’t. Bring it, let’s go.”

Well, alright. Let’s go.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

49 responses to “Cal says he thinks six or seven players will go pro after this year”

  1. TimeFor9

    Oh how I’ve missed Swaggy Cal. Welcome back buddy!

  2. B-Lord

    There isn’t a coach in the game today that I’d rather have on our sideline. Not K, not Pitino, not Izzo. No one. There just couldn’t be a better fit. There really couldn’t.

  3. Tom Crean

    Not even me B-Lord? I pitched a tent for Hoosier Hysteria and almost got arrested.

  4. Mack

    Truth, I worked with a man in Texas during the early thru the mid 90’s that had his degree from UF and the only thing he knew about college basketball were the 2 dates they played the CATS.

  5. Jeff

    Bobby Jones played for North Carolina in the early 70’s and then for the Kentucky Colonels before the ABA/NBA merger.

  6. rockatao

    Can anyone help me out with navigation on this site?

    1. Other people seem to see comment numbers; I don’t get numbers on posted comments.

    2. If I go to the comments section, then I cannot navigate to the next story without basically signing in again.

    3. No sound with any of the videos.

    Don’t have any of these problems on any other website except KSR.

  7. JoeMoney333

    6. Rockatao: I have none of those problems… Google Chrome Bro…

  8. Actually

    Bobby Jones won the masters in the 40’s or 50’s and is generally considered to be the best amateur golfer to ever play the game. Didn’t need to google that. Maybe Willis will be a 2 sport athlete.

  9. TimeFor9

    rockatao – the numbers for comments only show up on phones. I don’t have the other two problems. I use Firefox.

  10. Austin

    Definitely love the swagtastic Cal versus the Cal who has high blood pressure every game. The whole “Bring It” at the end of his statement says it all.

    He is going to give it everything he has got because he has never seen a team put together like this one. Yeah we had Wall and Cousins and Bledsoe in 2010, Yeah we had Davis, Jones and MKG in 2012, but this team my friends is even more special than I think any of us are truly fathoming yet. The truth is that we basically have not 1, but 2 future NBA players at every single position on the floor other than PG (who by the way we snagged the #1 recruit at that position in the nation so we should be just fine).

    I really don’t see how 90% of our games this season will be within 20 points, this year is going to be historic not only for Cal, not only for UK, but for college basketball as a whole. I really think we are going to go undefeated and do it in a fashion that has never been done before (SUCK IT BOBBY KNIGHT!!!) or period for that matter since IU way back when it was easier with less games. I can’t wait to stomp the likes of UNC, MSU, UL, FLA (twice) and TENN.

    I may not be the first to have said all of this, but you better believe I’m one of the people going out on a limb and predicting it. BBN will be celebrating #9 this year, and hanging it beside an undefeated banner will be all the more special.

  11. Lafam

    Cal is the best.

  12. Poppschmidty

    I bet you that they know when they play Robert Morris…

  13. Chad

    Even better was Cal’s comment AFTER saying “bring it, let’s go!”……he paused briefly, and then re-addressed the crowd, “that is, as long as I’ve got a good team!” (chuckle)

  14. KentuckyJoe

    Going undefeated is tough, one bad night, one lucky shot (Indiana in 2012), an injury, the flu, or a million other reason, but this team has the talent, if not the experience, to make a run at it. 2012 was really close and I look forward to making a run at it this year. I think the toughest test will be early against MSU, at very good well coached veteran team early in the season, before they young guys have any experience. If they make it pass that one, it will be fun indeed.

  15. 9IsOurs

    aw, its cute how scared lil poppschmidty is. I guess I shouldn’t blame you for talking trash while you can…bc on Dec 29 you won’t be able to run your little mouth anymore. All will be normal again, after the Cats show the birdies who is in charge when it comes to basketball. bless you, you poor thing.

  16. WKY DUDE

    When someone who writes about sports doesn’t know who Bobby Jones was…yep, I’m getting old. And “No! He’s not referring to the golfer.” SMH

  17. Giddy

    Didnt last year teach you all anything at all? You lost in the first round of the NIT!!!! And you had all that great talent!!! I’d love to know each and everyone of you predicting an undefeated season so I could take your $$. Pitino will once again show you how team play will always beat street talent

  18. Lol@lilbro

    Giddy – you mean the same Pitino that is 1-4 against Cal while he’s been at UK? LOL! We beat you all twice in one season, including bouncing you from the FF. You beat us 1 time in 5 tries and you all act like the only time that matters is the one time you won. Oh, I can’t wait until Dec. 28, it’s gonna be so fun smacking you all around.

  19. Jim 1

    40-0 Hey Cal! Hope you’re not retiring after this season.

  20. Silly

    “Pitino will once again show you how team play will always beat street talent” Always, Giddy? So are you saying our 2012 team didn’t have street talent? Man it must be tough being so unintelligent.

  21. CATS FAN

    Pelicans /Wizards exhibition tix

  22. Louisville1Cal4

    Love how UofL fans talk as if Cal is 1-4 against Pitino when it’s actually the other way around LOL
    It’ll be another 26 years before UofL wins one again. Book it.

  23. We Hang Banners

    “Street talent”……you mean the guys Louisville can never get?

  24. M

    Giddy. This is just something for you to think about.

    UK lost 6 players to the NBA draft, and returned Kyle Wiltjer, Ryan Harrow, Jon Hood, and Jarrod Polson, as well as a transfer that was supposed to be a specialist playing reserve minutes.
    UKs “great” recruiting class (in a down recruiting class) contained 4 players to replace 6 NBA caliber players. Based on ESPNs rankings we had the #1, #13, #15, and #40 player, and lost to the great and powerful awesome teamwork playing UL by only 3 points. When you lose the #1 player you’re left with the #13, #15, and #40 player which wouldn’t seem like such an incredible grand ole’ mighty class like you think it is. So without Noel we have the #13, #15, and #40 player added to Kyle Wiltjer, Ryan Harrow, Polson, and Julius Mays.
    Are you getting this yet? There was no depth, several unathletic players and no leadership. 4 talented recruits replacing 6 NBA players, best recruit gets injured, and without depth we all know what happened. So how did Cal correct the lack of leadership, depth, athletic ability, shooting? I think you know the answer and will find out in a couple of months.
    Sidenote: Pitino has taken UL to 2 NITs

  25. Katdaddy

    Plus it took 3stack 12 yrs to win a ship at ul, He wouldn’t have ever been at UK that long without hanging a banner. But ul is not UK either.

  26. bmt22033

    I wish I could sit down with the freshmen on this team for about 5 minutes and say, “Put aside all of your preconceived notions about how games are going to be. Think of the grittiest, most hard-fought game you’ve ever played in. Now tell yourself that was easy compared to what you’re about to experience. Take the season one game at a time and don’t underestimate anybody because everybody you play wants to make a name for themselves at your expense. This is going to be like fighting a war but instead of BDUs, you’ll be wearing a basketball jersey. Stay hungry. Stay humble. Stay focused. Ignore the hype and the criticism. You *can* be the greatest team that ever played the game. Leave your best effort on the court for every single moment of every single game and let history be the judge come April 7th.”

  27. Bunny

    Another good post, Mrs TT. I love reading this stuff and can’t wait for the season to start…

    40 – 0 would be a stretch for this team because of the inexperience and tough early schedule…

    9 would be fine, however…

    Go Cats!!

  28. CPWildcat

  29. Poncho

    As a diehard UK fan I would never consider getting on a U of L site (is there such a thing??) and talking trash. It’s one thing to leave comments debating issues about your own team. You got to be pretty screwed up to troll other teams sites leaving trash talk messages.

  30. bob

    #24 Pitino took UL to 2 NIT’s in 11 years Cal took Uk to one in 4 years…your point is?

  31. Dee W.

    Dear Mr. Giddy:

    Pitino is going to show UK “again”? He’s 1-4 against Calipari and 2-4 against Tubby Smith. Congrats on the winning record in the brief Gillispie era, though!

  32. Wildcatsteeler

    I never closed my eyes in fear when he put Hood or Polson in. In fact after Polson played so well the first game the starting point guard position was his as far as I was concerned. Instead of just giving it to soft Harrow he should have made him earn it. We certainly wouldn’t have done any worse with Polson at point. In fact I think we would have done infinitely better.

  33. Dan Warner

    This why I have lost interest in Cal style recruiting and coaching. I really enjoyed following the development and growth of a TEAM. This is lost with Cal ball. I hope he moves an.

  34. theSkinny81

    Be easy on Giddy, guys. She’s only been a UL fan since about March….

    I’m wondering if Louisville is getting a higher ranking than they deserve, kinda like us last year.

  35. Louisville1Cal4

    @ 30 The point is Pitino has taken UofL to the NIT more than Cal has taken UK to the NIT & Cal has had about the same amount of success at UK vs. Pitino at UofL in a much shorter time frame.

  36. bob

    Yes he has twice in 11 years and Cal once in 4 years. You don’t know that Cal will not go to another NIT in next 7 years.

  37. Cory

    Last time cal spoke with THIS much confidence, we won a national championship and had a near perfect season

  38. theSkinny81

    36 – Whatever makes you sleep better….

    I’ll take a Championship in 3 years versus 12.

  39. CJcat9fan

    Hey Coach Crean, what are you doing reading an article from a Kentucky website! I thought Hoosiers hated Kentucky.

  40. CJcat9fan

    Number 3

  41. CJcat9fan

    40-0 here we come. Keep coaching them kids, Cal. GO BIG BLUE!!!!!!!!!

  42. bob

    #38 and I’ll take UL’s total sports program over a 1 sport school….

  43. bob

    Oh My. My name is the same spelled backwards and forwards. And I think I may have ten toes! I am giddy with joy!

  44. bigcatstanding

    #10 You got that right, having Height length: and athleticism at every position, never showed up so much as it did against Kansas in the 2012 championship game, people saying it was a eight point win actually probably never watch the game, because it was a beat down. That all being said, I actually feel the same as you, been a Kentucky fan for more than 40 years, and have never in my life seen this much talent on one team, seemingly all on the same page wanting to win and play as a team. 40-0 Will be if we play as one !!! IN LINE FOR 9. GO BIG BLUE. BBN IN THE HOUSE

  45. bigcatstanding

    #42 your statement is a little off, especially when Kentucky owns Louisville in every sport imaginable in head to head contest. is it bothering you so bad that you have to have someone listen to you, thus the trolling. BBN OUT

  46. theSkinny81

    Oh, bob. Congrats on your 12 months of relevancy.

  47. barry

    Bob , I heard tommy turtle-neck and Charlie might be leavin…………………………Oh . an you think tinos’ getting re-incarnated . Don’t be scared jus talk that sheeeeeeeeeeut . Dosen’t ” L ” have a site ?

  48. bob

    # 47Our folks get promoted your folks get canned.
    #45 we dont base our success off UK. UK has NEVER achieved what UL has in 2013. UK is a 1 sport school.

  49. Rod

    39. All Hoosiers most definitely do NOT hate Kentucky, there is at least 1 rabid exception to that statement. I cheer for all local teams on any given night, except when they play UK. I have the General, Pitino and Cal on my wall, along with lots of UK stuff.