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Kelly Oubre’s Father Says His Comments Were Not Meant Against Kentucky/Calipari


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You may have read earlier today here on KSR, some comments from 2014 recruit Kelly Oubre’s father about his son’s recruiting process. If you missed the earlier post, he said:

“That’s one of the reasons behind choosing Kansas. Coach Self doesn’t kick you out if you are not ready. I don’t care too much for it (one-and-done) because if you look at it over the last couple drafts, the success of the guys one-and-done is few and far between. Every once in a while you find guys who can make it through. I’m more concerned about his education after maybe a two-year stint or three-year stint. How close is he to that degree and having a greater business mind going into the next level, whatever that is?” added Oubre Sr. “I think the first year in college as well as the pros, maybe two, is a learning curve. That learning curve can be cut considerably if he stayed and developed in college.”

Many people (myself included) read those comments as a subtle jab at John Calipari and the Kentucky program, specifically the notion of “kicking out” a player that is not a one and done player. But rather than just let those statements hang out there, I called Kelly Oubre Sr. tonight to ask him to clarify his thoughts. He said that he meant no shots at Kentucky or Calipari, who he says he respects a great deal, and instead was talking about something else:

“It was not a statement at all in reference to Kentucky. Eight schools were in the running for my son. The media turned into the big two. But some of the other schools were talking about one and done but Calipari was not one of them. Me and Calipari share the same view on the one and done situation. We both don’t think it is a good idea.”

Oubre Sr. noted that Calipari and Bill Self were two of three coaches (along with Billy Donovan) who he felt were not only honest with his son but were the type of men that he wanted coaching him and mentoring him at the next level.

“I wanted a coach who was the head of his ship and ran his own program. Those three, were the ones that I saw do that. And they didn’t spend their time talking about “one and done” but talked about their programs”

Oubre Sr. noted that some of the other eight programs that recruited his son focused on letting him “showcase his skills” and be a star in one year. And that turned, Oubre Sr off, but Self and Calipari had a different approach:

“What pushes the kid out is the money. Other schools talk about why my son shouldn’t go to Kentucky or to another school and focused on the other places, but the two schools in question right now (UK and KU) don’t talk about the other guy. They weren’t little guys getting in a big dog fight, they were big guys comfortable in their own skin. And that is what I wanted to see.”

Finally, Oubre Sr. said, his son felt at home after his Kansas visit and decided to end the process before visiting Kentucky or Florida. When I asked him after all of this discussion about “one and done”, what would happen if his son had the opportunity to go to the pros after one year, he said:

“The lure at the next level is the money. If you are know you are going to be a lottery pick, then at that time we sit down and re-evaluate that thinking. But as of now, I am not a big proponent of it, because I believe the first year is a learning curve.”

All in all, I found Oubre Sr. to be a very thoughtful man who was genuinely upset that his comments may have come out the wrong way. He ended the conversation by saying,

“Make sure and tell the Big Blue Nation that we wish them the best of luck. I love John Calipari and really respect him and those fans are amazing.”

Article written by Matt Jones

48 responses to “Kelly Oubre’s Father Says His Comments Were Not Meant Against Kentucky/Calipari”

  1. poppycat

    Don’t believe him, do you?

  2. UK Fan #5

    Then why don’t you let your kid take all his visits and make his own decision???

  3. Krispy Kreme

    Sounds as genuine as Bill Self’s hair.

  4. UK Fan #5

    Family is killing UK this year, Mudiay goes to SMU because of his brother, and Oubre because of his dad. Awesome.

  5. $1.75 Tacos?

    It is still funny that the son did not even want to go to Big Blue Madness after he had already made plans to go.

  6. Jack birdwhistell

    Good follow-up, Matt Jones!

    p.s. 1) When can KSR replace The Huddle? and 2) Is this the season for The Book?

  7. Steve

    I hope it isn’t a cover up cause it sure seemed malicious. Maybe his words were just turned around on him, maybe he’s just a prick. Who knows, but it’s strange that most everyone thought of it as a jab just for it not to be…

  8. jumpman78

    What else was he supposed to say? Like he would say anything negative about Cal to Jones. The man said it and he meant it. Hopefully UK gets it’s chance to face him in the future.

  9. Shawon

    Welcome back, Matt.

    So do we now go after Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World?

  10. Hal

    his words were construed b/c ironically, the school ppl would assume he was talking about if not UK was the school he picked. who else would he be talking bout? ucla? unc?

  11. 94Feet

    Mr. Oubre’s clarity is appreciated. Don’t find it hard to believe that Kelly just plane liked Kansas. I do find it odd that after cutting to KU and UK in vague terms over the past week that the trip to Lexington was just canceled ? Good Luck Kelly ! Should’ve been a Cat !

  12. Spenser

    As others have said already, great follow-up Matt. I, like others on this board, still do not understand why he didn’t at least visit Kentucky. Hopefully this means we are getting Johnson.

  13. BravoBigBlue

    The man sounds like a caring father. Which is more than most of these kids have going for them. I take him at his word.

  14. brain

    It’s cool.

  15. WKU

    First of all, I hate to be this person, but 94Feet plain*

    Second, I have a feeling that Mr. Oubre was encouraged by someone at Kansas to “clarify” his comments. One thing college coaches hate, bad publicity. I think he absolutely meant it towards UK and I think Bill Self is a negative recruiter.

  16. Bradley

    Thanks for the clarification Oubre Sr. We’ll see you and your son in the Sweet 16. You’re more than welcome to continue to follow us in the Elite 8 and beyond.

  17. Scooter

    Sounds like Oubre’s dad doesnt have much confidence in his son being a star player.

  18. UK_Greg

    So we are winning #9 this year BOOM!

  19. what

    Uh HE was the one who said that Kentucky and Kansas were the obvious leaders weeks ago. He turned it into the Big 2. His shots were plainly directed at UK and its blatantly obvious that this was negative recruiting that put this idea in his head. Of course he is going to say that he did not mean UK now, but its blatantly obvious he did.

  20. aengr

    a very odd situation……..Mr. O is counting on wiggins to be a one and done so little O can see the floor in 14-15…….but Mr. O dosent like the one and done thing ???? little O visits KU and signs up without visiting either UK or Fla who are both coached by great men who have the players best intrest at heart (according to Mr. O??????? what does (or what did) Mr. O do for a living? can we expect to see a career change in the next few months?

  21. Canadian Mountme

    Best of luck to the kid! Sounds like he loved KU and made his decision…I for one appreciate the fathers comments and think he have good clarity to the issue. Best of luck Kelly and Mr. Oubre

  22. Dee

    Great follow up, Matt….(great piece to get back in the groove)…God Bless.

  23. 94Feet

    15. WKU. You are correct. Hav no idea how plane was typed ? But I do have to agree with you. I’d hair to be that persen. Pleese.

  24. Catfan63

    As a Father myself, I want nothing but the best for my boys as well. We can’t win them all. Hell, after the the last 5yrs of Tubby and then the Billy era. I’m just happy to be here!!

  25. jpg

    Great follow-up, Matt! I believe that is legit. Not a big fan of Self, and feel like he is a negative recruiter ( UK is the main topic of 1-and-done!), yet I feel we should let this one go. Hopefully we can snag Johnson.

    Go Cats!

  26. Neil

    It’s the boys dad, of course he has major input, he should, HE IS THE DAD!
    Come on BBN we can’t play them all?
    Focus on 2013 and worry about 2014 in May.

  27. Dick Pitino

    Cal does talk about the NBA alot. And if UK players come back for a 2nd, or 3rd year some people do look at them as failures. So if the dad does not want his son to play for Cal, it happens sometimes. I do not think the dad said anything that bad, if that his how he felt about his sons future, it is their right.

  28. TheSmallestViolin

    Great follow up Matt. Way to show what a sensitive bunch BBN really is, bunch of candy@sses.

  29. goUKats

    Anyone who believes Oubre Sr. wasn’t talking about Cal,believes the Pope is not Catholic and Rush Limbaugh is a liberal Democrat.

  30. ShortPants

    Anyone who cares what Oubre Sr. may or may not have meant needs to grow a pair.

  31. CatBlueAndThru

    I guess I wouldn’t be too worried about this had Cal not lost Wiggins to Kansas also. But now it seems like we’re pinning our hopes on this season being our only shot to win another NC over the next few years. Keep the faith. Go Cats!

  32. Mr. Self Destruct

    That’s weak, Oubre. You said it, don’t back down from it. Only the most gullible would buy this explanation. And as others have mentioned, he must not have much confidence in his kid. But, hey, we probably don’t want a loud mouth like this around the program. Larry Orton was enough, for me. There are plenty of great kids out there. And I like how Cal is starting to blend in some kids like Hawkins, Willis, and Ulis with the all-stars. Oubre, again, you fell for Self’s smoke screen. Have fun in Kansas. It will be interesting to see how this season plays out with Wiggins and his progression. This could make or break Self with elite talent the next few seasons. I think Wiggins is weak in the head and struggles in the biggest games. Kid is soft. I don’t think he could handle Kentucky, and it sounds like Oubre couldn’t, either. Self really isn’t a great coach. Guy wins games, and gets players, but I don’t think he is very good. JMO. Oh, and he really is a dirty recruiter. Know that, for a fact.

  33. Mr.Vacate

    The only fact here is that you are a functional retard.

  34. CatBlueAndThru

    Still optimistic. I actually respect Self more than most of our recruiting competition. Can’t win them all. But had we lost Oubre to SMU (again) then I’d be worried. As a 39-year cat fan my biggest concern is this season not being a repeat of last year. This is the most hyped team EVER in college basketball, and it’s too good not to WIN a NC in 6 months. Anything less would be an embarrassment. Crush ‘em Cal!

  35. whattttt

    I feel like Cal does push them out sometimes .Like he is already going on about have 7 picks next year let’s play the first game before we put these kids in the league

  36. Brent Nichols

    35. I disagree. Cal has been doing this a long time and can judge from watching in high school how far some kids are a head of the rest. Just because he suggests that 7 kids will go pro after this year does not mean he is pushing them out. You don’t think these kids know and hear the projected mock draft numbers and hear $ signs? Come on, espn already have this years mock draft. If a kid wanted to go and Cal really wanted another year do u really think the kid would listen if he was a guaranteed lottery pick?

  37. BasketballFan

    “What pushes the kid out is the money. Other schools talk about why my son shouldn’t go to Kentucky or to another school and focused on the other places, but the two schools in question right now (UK and KU) don’t talk about the other guy. They weren’t little guys getting in a big dog fight, they were big guys comfortable in their own skin. And that is what I wanted to see.” I have had friends and relatives attend and be a part of the KU program. Coaching friends a part of the recruiting process for some kids. All of them have had nothing to say but great things about their program, recruiting, compliance, academics, etc…Thinking Self and Co. are dirty players in the recruiting process may be wishful thinking. We are considered a one and done mecca and have to understand that and what comes with it.

  38. gary

    Well, finally someone other than the media says it out loud. The fact is, at UK, your either good enough to start as a freshman or not. Your either good enough to go in the first round or your not. That being said, If your not.. it seems that you can finish out your career at UK on the bench with a few minutes of playing time in a few games or You can transfer out to another school in hopes of becoming good enough to contribute and possibly making it to the league. Either way, you cant fault anyone for making choices.

    Calipari and UK will be battling this stigma for years to come. I for one LOVE IT!

  39. Own It

    Of course he meant Coach Cal. We can handle it Mr. Oubre, why would you back down from the statement? Man up and keep it real. Best of luck to your son and no hard feelings. One player does not make a team, especially Kentucky. We will survive and move on now. Somewhere out there in basketball land there is an excellent player who would love to wear the blue and white. Coach Cal will sign him and meet you on the court.

  40. William Guy

    I believe that these players are using kys media engine to further them selfs and ultametley choose other schools. But in the end I dont think thant obre is the player that cal really wants I believe that player to be stanley johnson, and also hes banking on trey lyles and possibly pursading dante exum to sign on. Get those players and it doesnt matter who else you fail to sign in 2014s class. But the one and done rule has to go. Its killing college basketball. I think that maybe coach cal should start thinking about recruiting at least two blue chippers whom are good but not good enough to go pro in one yr. But will rather stay at least 4 yrs.

  41. THISISCOLLEGEBBALL

    I for one am getting sick of fans talking about the NBA, and what the players that played for their favorite college team have done in the NBA. It’s about what they did for the college team, if you are a Kentucky fan, you have to care more about what Noel does for you while wearing the Kentucky uniform, not what he does in pros. Are you a 76ers fan or Wildcats fan? Are you happy not making the NCAA tournament? Didn’t think so

  42. Tim Foster

    I look at it as it is what it is. I think the guy took a jab at UK a little but I also think in his recent talk with Matt he cleared it up some when he did have good things to say about Cal. I don’t think he would have made the statement’s in his conversation with Matt that he and Cal shared the same values unless Cal and he had, had that talk. We are Kentucky, the greatest program of all time and we will move on and will always be at the top of the tier. Looking forward to another great run at title number 9 this year and living behind enemy lines of the Hoosier State. I am thinking we land Lyle and Blackman fro the Hoosier State and win title number 9 I may have some friends here that may have to be committed to a crazy farm. It is exciting to be a Kentucky fan.

  43. Obummer

    Kyle Wiljter

  44. Cali Cat

    Matt–just want to repectfully give you some feedback on your site. I have been coming here since 2006 but there are too many writers writing secondary blog posts and it has been cumbersome to wade through. It seems like there are more writers now and they just post what is on their mind instead of picking their spots and thinking about whether it is something that we really want to read.

  45. Mr. Self Destruct

    Mr. Vacate, you dumbass, my name is in reference to a Nine Inch Nails song. Been using it on here for years. Just a coincidence your coach’s name is Self. Geez, you are an eftard. You are why condoms should be manditory. Now, if Kansas had any sites, you could back there, and stop trolling ours.

  46. Mr. Self Destruct

    Oh, and Self IS a dirty recruiter.

  47. Mr. Self Destruct

    And, if the NCAA weren’t so biased, Kansas would have been in deep shit, multiple times over the years. Arthur, McLemore…vacate that, dipshit.

  48. twocoach

    You guys that think Self is a “negative recruiter” are hilarious. What a bunch of pompous a$$hats. Your basic argument is that UK is so awesome that everyone should want to go there more than everywhere else so anyone who chooses elsewhere MUST have been brainwashed. Right? Clowns. If you ever wanted to understand why so many other programs find a large chunk of your fanbase to be arrogant twits, this is example #1 (actually example #2,987,564 but who’s counting).

    Believe it or not, there are more than one great programs in college basketball. Each offers their own unique experience. Oubre loved what he saw at Kansas and told his father that he did not want to continue the process and was ready to commit to Kansas. His father did not make his decision of rhim. Good grief.

    If he had went ahead and taken his visit to UK and then still chose Kansas you would say he is a primadoma that just wanted to be wined and dined on a free trip. There is no way that he could have done this that would make you happy except for to chose UK. Be HONEST.