This morning, Coach Calipari took to the airwaves in the Beaver State to discuss Terrence Jones and a little bit about the rumors about him to the NBA. Some of the high notes:
On the Jones recruitment:
“Well we thought that he was coming with us and when he said ‘Washington’ we were like ‘what just happened?’ That was the first thing. Then he called about an hour later and said ‘Cal, I made a mistake. I don’t know what I was doing.’ That is when the thing went like ‘You what?’ So we talked to him and said that we are going to do whatever you want. I am holding your scholarship. At one point I said, ‘Look, if you want to go to Washington then go to Washington, and if you want to come with us, come with us. Just make a decision so that we can all move on.’ But I felt bad for him to be honest with you. Because he is 6’9’’ everybody thinks that this guy is a grown man. They have emotions and they still, the peer pressure wanting to please everybody. Terrence is a pleaser. He is not one to be confrontational. He is not one that… He is a pleaser. He wanted to please me, he wanted to please Lorenzo, wanted to please his teammates. That is what he is. But I will tell you what…I think that we have got a player that fits as well as anybody that I have ever recruited. Who, what I hope is the people of Portland, when they see him they will say that we knew that he was good but we didn’t know that he was this good. I would tell you that our plan right now is to come and play in the Rose Garden in November of next season. So the beginning of the season we will bring our team out to Portland to play for a game in the Rose Garden. We are playing in Hawaii so on the way to Hawaii we will stop in Portland and play and let all of their fans and his fans get a chance to see him in a setting with us…”
Cal’s feelings on people saying he shouldn’t have recruited a player who was committed somewhere else:
“Well I agree with that. I agree, but when the young man calls you and says that I made a mistake, ‘Coach, I want to reconsider this’ it changed everything. If he had committed to Washington and that was the end of it then we wouldn’t have done anything. But this was a unique situation now. I have never been in anything like this where within an hour… I didn’t see the press conference but I had people tell me that at the time they looked at it and said, ‘Wow’ and then after he went with his parents. But I didn’t see it all. I mean I didn’t watch it, but it was unique. I don’t mind that Washington fans are upset and upset with me. That is part of what we do here but the reality is that I think, Lorenzo knows and their staff knows this was not our doing. I mean it was this young man and at the end of the day it is about him. It is about him reaching his dreams. It is about him making a decision that was best for him not for fans and teammates. It is about what is best for Terrence Jones and being selfish in that. I think at the end of the day that is what he tried to do.”
Coach also reiterated his commitment to be at Kentucky next year and spoke on his relationship with LeBron James:
That stuff, what I said before, can’t stop all the speculation and rumors and innuendo. What I have said is that I am going to be coaching at Kentucky and I will be at Kentucky next year. I am not out looking for jobs. I have got in my opinion the best job in the country.
I mean I can’t stop the speculation. LeBron and I are friends. That is what we are, but I have other players in the league that I have coached, I mean eight or ten of them. So I don’t know all of a sudden this became LeBron and Cal, and how that started. But obviously I am not going to answer everything that is thrown, and all of the speculation. I just said that ‘Hey, I am going to be at Kentucky.
So there you have it – the inside story, straight from the Grand Poobah. And with the ten dollars you saved, you can afford to go buy yourself a hat. That haircut is awful.