CBSSports’ “Candid Coaches” series continues, and today’s question may have the most obvious answer so far. Gary Parrish, Jeff Borzello and Matt Norlander asked coaches across the country who they thought the best recruiter was in the sport, if all resources were equal. Answers were anonymous, but it was nearly unanimous: John Calipari.
John Calipari (Kentucky): 49 percent
Bill Self (Kansas): 8 percent
Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): 6 percent
Billy Donovan (Florida): 5 percent
Buzz Williams (Marquette): 5 percent
Others receiving multiple votes: Scott Drew (Baylor), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State), Sean Miller (Arizona), Paul Hewitt (George Mason), Josh Pastner (Memphis)
The beauty of the anonymous survey is that it gets rid of all the BS and coachspeak, which means those asked were able to be brutally honest about how Cal’s dominating the scene. One coach’s comments:
“He’s just that good. It’s unfair and generally a waste of time to go up against him. People can speculate all they want about his practices or say that anyone can recruit to Kentucky. They are all signs of jealousy. You have to have skills as a recruiter, a marketer, and a leader to get that many elite-level kids to put aside their egos to play with other great players. It’s not easy when they all want playing time and the spotlight. He gets them to trust his process and to focus on winning. And he has to do it all over again, year after year. That’s not an easy task. He would be a great recruiter at any level of our business. As a matter of fact, he has been.”
In closing, Gary Parrish calls Calipari “the greatest recruiter in the history of college athletics,” and says he’s operating on an “unprecedented level” at Kentucky.
We know all of this, but it’s always nice to hear.