One of the new kids on the block in the SEC has plenty of nice things to say about Kentucky’s John Calipari.
After finishing his first season as LSU’s head basketball coach, Will Wade recruited the nation’s third-ranked class to Baton Rouge. Along with the highly-touted prospects, LSU returns Tremont Waters and a handful of other experienced veterans. Poised for a breakout year in the SEC, to become the best, Wade said the Tigers must first compete with the “gold standard” of the SEC, Kentucky.
“That’s what you’re aiming for, is to try to be on a level where you’re competing with them year in and year out,” Wade said on the latest edition of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.
After Wade looked back on his first season as head coach and previewed the Tigers’ 2018-19 season, LSU’s coach praised Calipari for being two steps ahead of the competition.
“He’s phenomenal. The number one thing that I would say about him that I really respect, that I love about him, is that he doesn’t accept what the norms are. He’s always thinking outside the box. He’s always looking ahead. It always seems like he’s two or three steps ahead of every other program if it’s in terms of branding, or marketing or how you treat you players. Whatever it may be, he’s always at the forefront of it.
“He’s never ever playing catch-up. That’s how his mind works and that’s how his mind thinks. Sometimes he throws something out there and you think, ‘Man, that’s an odd idea.’ Then you process it, think about it and you think, ‘That’s a really good idea. That’s going to work.'”
Wade didn’t just praise his innovative thought process, he commended him for being an excellent in-game head coach, a point Calipari’s critics are quick to condemn.
“I don’t think there’s many, if any, that do it any better than he does. He’s a phenomenal coach. He’s a phenomenal gameday coach. He’s a phenomenal defensive coach. He does a great job of putting those guys in position and giving them space.”
Listen to everything Wade had to say in Episode 53 of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.