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Cal: Slow down on the “best ever” talk

Before it’s even completed, many are calling the 2013 Kentucky recruiting class “the best ever.”

Not so fast, says John Calipari.

Cal took to his website last night to downplay the expectations surrounding the incoming freshman class, which added five-star center Dakari Johnson over the weekend. As it stands, the Cats have commitments from the #1 point guard in the country, the #1 shooting guard in the country, the #2 small forward in the country, the #3 power forward in the country and the #1 center in the country. And, that’s all without the last pieces of the puzzle, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins (with Johnson’s commitment, Gordon seems to no longer be in play).

In true Cal fashion, he started by recapping every recruiting class he’s ever had, postseason accomplishments, and placement in the NBA draft, lest a fan (or recruit) forgets. Cal argued that the incoming players’ resumes mean nothing without hard work and “togetherness,” something he’s still working through with the current team. So, back off the “best ever” talk…for now:

With that being said, you can’t say that next year’s class is the best ever before they’ve even gotten here. We’re not even done yet. We may still sign another kid or two, but that’s not the point. Let them get here, let them figure out how hard they have to work and then let them figure out how together they’re going to have to be — how they’re truly going to have to be their brother’s keeper.

Like every team I’ve had, they are going to have to learn how to play more for their team than for themselves, yet they’re going to have to break comfort barriers that they’ve accepted their whole lives. Every game will be the other team’s Super Bowl.

Okay, fine. We’ll just call it “The Best Recruiting Class Ever (As Determined By Recruiting Rankings and Yes, Hype…Come On, Just Hang Another Banner, Especially If Wiggins Comes).”

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.

34 Comments for Cal: Slow down on the “best ever” talk



  1. bloobloodcat
    10:37 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t think we’ll get Randle or Wiggins now that we have a starting Five + Wiltjer and Harrow. I kinda wanted Dakari to pick someone else and leave that spot for Randle, but whatever. Same with Young and Wiggins



  2. Jones Returns
    10:38 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Only if Wiggins comes…



  3. Paul in Frankfort
    10:41 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    http://www.wral.com/report-son-of-us-sen-rand-paul-arrested/11947942/

    Rand Paul’s son arrested at Charlotte NC airport for disorderly conduct, underage drinking, intoxicated and disruptive… at 11am.



  4. I Say
    10:41 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    I dont care what people say, even if we do not get another commitment this is still the best recruiting class of all time.



  5. Jones Returns
    10:43 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    If we miss on Wiggins, Randle and Gordon that is a HUGE wiff… Those three guys are hands down better than any of the guys we’ve picked up thus far. If for some freak of nature reason those three guys were to all join forces at some other school besides Kentucky, even with this class that we currently have, we’d get mopped off the floor. If we’re talking about best class ever and ‘garunteed’ national championship then WE HAVE TO GET EITHER WIGGINS OR RANDLE… preferably both.



  6. Ukbball4eva
    10:46 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    #1 we take high level kids who wana come! So we hold off on recruiting young, and salary hard hoping 4 wiggins, and randle??? What if all 4 of them went elsewhere then? We would be screwed!!! Dakari, and young aren’t standing in the way of there playing time, and both of them are dragging there recruitment on. Love the way cal recruits. Of ur high level and wana b a cat he takes you…..u can’t honestly say wiggins wants 2 go 2 a predominantly football school with a stadium that holds 10k ppl, and rankle wants 2 go 2 Texas with 1 of the worst bball coaches in history!



  7. Ukbball4eva
    10:47 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Oops not *salary* but towns



  8. Clouseau
    10:48 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    We hear a lot of talk about Wiggins’ decision being largely based on his parents history and connections with FSU and clearly they want him to go there… and I know your ties to your alma mater are strong, but one thing no one has questioned is this: If they truly want whats best for their kid, why would they really want him to pick FSU over UK? I mean any thinking person can see that UK would be the better choice for him, both immediately and long-term. I’ll put it like this, if my son was choosing between my alma mater and another school that was clearly a better option to help him in his pro career, your heart and desire to see him have the best possible chance to succeed would have to win the day. I’m not being judgmental towards them in any way; just making the point that I don’t see how it’s not crystal clear that UK is the best route for him.

    I guess in the end if they think he’ll be the #1 pick regardless of his college choice, that’s all that matters. Which is sort of sad, for him.



  9. Ukbball4eva
    10:48 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    I mean dakari. Don’t txt at red lights kids.



  10. CatsFan
    10:54 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    I am becoming more and more accepting of the fact that we may not get Wiggins. I can’t help but be a pessimist about it…Cal can’t get every recruit can he? So far Shabazz is the only big one I can think of him not getting, so at some point he has to strike out again right? Then again, how many times has Cal amazed me already. Either way, I think that we will be getting Wiltjer, Poythress, and Harrow back next year, plus I think James Young will be a huge suprise, and add in the other stud freshmen and we are poised to take home another NC. I think we may already even have a playing time crunch next year, I consider us fully loaded. God I love Cal.



  11. Cats91
    10:54 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Who do y’all think is gonna stay from this year? Wiltjer, harrow, and cauley stein? Getting wcs back would be huge. Not sure he’ll stay tho..



  12. Cats91
    10:56 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t think poythress is coming back #10. Althought it would be nice if he grew a pair this season and then came back next year to improve more on his pair growing abilities



  13. CatsFan
    10:57 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    I love when “UK fans” question Cal’s recruiting. What does it take to make people happy?



  14. CatsFan
    10:58 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think anyone is going to draft Poythress the way he is playing right now. WCS is GONE though, I’m telling you he will be a top 25 pick based on athletic potential alone.



  15. CatsFan
    11:00 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Wiltjer isn’t getting drafted, I doubt ever, jmo though. He would get embarrassed trying to defend in the nba. I think Harrow might be an unknown, it depends on how good he plays rest of the year. WCS is gone. Poythress back. Thats jmo though, and who knows because I didnt think Orton would get drafted either lol.



  16. Cardz
    11:03 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Randle > Johnson. Wiggins > Young. Gordon > Lee.



  17. seriously
    11:05 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    5 is an idiot….and yeah WCS is gone for sure, Cal will tell him to go bc this year will be the peak of his draft stock.



  18. MC
    11:07 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    I thought Young was the #2 SG not SF? Also, there is no way in the world Poythress comes back. Not a chance. Wiltjer will either be back or transfer, but I see him playing 15-20 minutes a game next season for UK. Harrow is the question mark to me. His stock is on the rise, but where would he peak in draft projections? He may roll the dice rather than coming off the bench next year since this draft class is weak.



  19. MC
    11:10 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    #16 Randle is the #1 PF. Wiggins the #1 SF and Gordon the #2 PF in most rankings. Thanks for enlightening us. The difference is Johnson is a center, and Young is a SG. Also, we have all 3 of these players, and may end up with either Randle, Wiggins, or Gordon. I see what you’re trying to do, but what’s your point?



  20. markky
    11:14 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Cal can say the political stuff to keep pressure at a minimum BUT this is the best RECRUITING class ever…It doesn’t matter what they do in college- they are the highest ranked group of prospects coming out of school-that’s all it means….



  21. emlang08
    11:14 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Shabazz was not a miss by Cal, he is about as narcissistic of a BBall player as I have seen, well maybe not more than Austin Rivers… But team ball is clearly not his intentions, and it appears he comes with Baggage (Hence Ben Howland getting him). He is a Talented baller that said!

    Surely some Money issues there!!! Caddy’s, watches, etc. Check out his instagram, every post is a pic of himself or his outfit…. Except the one of him and Metta World Peace…. Seriously what college player (legitimately) gets to Hang with the pros???



  22. lonnieb
    11:38 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Harrow will leave….especially if he keeps going at current pace. Weak draft this year, less minutes next year.

    Poythress is 100% gone….lottery pick no doubt(NBA drafts on potential)

    WCS is gone for same reasons as harrow….he should stay but has a chance to be a lottery pick b/c weak draft. Cant teach motor…..bigs usually dont have high motor like him and noel. Plus I think WCS is 2nd fastest on team behind Goodwin….which is nutz



  23. Han
    11:41 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    It’s Cal’s job to keep them grounded and get them to work hard.

    It’s our job to tell them the sky is the limit and we expect them to soar.

    It’s why Cal wanted to come here – our fanbase is rabid.



  24. ribin
    11:52 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Going to be a great class — however, focus is on how great the current CATS can become. I think they’ll surprise people in the end. Great group of young men.



  25. Bsb Coach
    11:54 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Not getting Gordon would hurt. He is the best talent besides Wiggins hands down. Yes that includes Randle. And Lee is probably the most underrated player in this class. My point? To have that unbelievable class, we need either Wiggins or Gordon. With all due respect to #16, I’d say it goes like this: Wiggins/Gordon > Randle > Lee > Young > Johnson



  26. Rockfield, KY
    11:59 am January 7, 2013 Permalink

    This looks like the best class ever on paper….
    http://kentucky.247sports.com/Season/2013-Basketball/Commits



  27. CalsPauseButton
    12:17 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Aren’t people saying, “…best recruiting class ever?” Of course they’ll have to prove themselves before we can say they are the “best ever!” I think there is a BIG difference. Cal’s isn’t reading the “recruiting” part of it.



  28. Oogie
    12:49 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Need a couple of starters off of this years team back next year to be considered a title favorite next year. Get that, plus any one of Wiggins/Randle/Gordon and UK has to be the clear favorite.

    History indicates that a team extremely reliant on freshmen is vulnerable in the NCAA tournament. Just ask Wall/Cousins/Bledsoe/Orton. Or Webber/Rose/Howard/King. Both of Cal’s FF teams at UK have had major contributions and leadership from returning players, in addition to terrific freshman classes.



  29. UKBlue1!
    12:49 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    Wiggins or Not. UK is going to be hard to beat in 2014. Go Cats!



  30. Garrett
    1:16 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    I really hate how next year is overshadowing right here/right now. Enjoy what we have now people … this run won’t last forever.



  31. MC
    1:21 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    #30. I agree. Hopefully once the season gets back in full swing with no more long breaks in between games, that’ll happen. Looking forward to watching this team progress and hoping they shut some of the critics and haters up. Either way, they’re definitely heading in the right direction with the new lineup.



  32. Coach
    3:19 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    #16
    Harrison > Siva. Johnson > Deuinge. My nutz > your mouth



  33. bung
    3:21 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    couch said “break”…



  34. uk, uk
    3:57 pm January 7, 2013 Permalink

    #1 & #16 that is dumbest thing ive heard. At least know your bball. Randle is a pf not a center. We need a big man down low. Randle doesnt wna play center. He wants to play his position. So why take randle over johnson. Hopefully we get randle if not we still no.1