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Calipari named best recruiter by his peers


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.

All resources being equal, who is the best recruiter in the sport?

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.

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.

23 Comments for Calipari named best recruiter by his peers

  1. Bobbum man
    4:09 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    How can u say anyone can recruit at kentucky after tubby and billy g, the name doesn’t do the recruiting, and yea realize tubby had a couple good ones but also had several not so great years

  2. RICK
    4:16 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    That one coaches comments had to be Rick.

  3. Kevin C.
    4:23 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    @ 2…. LOL…there’s no way in hell Rick would be that complimentary of Cal, even with anonymity on his side. Being a generally classy, honest statement, I’d guess maybe Thad Matta.

  4. ofcourse
    4:25 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink


  5. Tyler
    4:29 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone with half a brain should already know this, but almost 50% of the people surveyed…wow.

  6. Wow
    4:29 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    Kinda surprised the percentage isnt higher. I mean 3 out of his last 5 classes have been heralded as the possible greatest recruiting class of all time as they entered college.

  7. Brittlesticks McIndrey
    4:35 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    George Mason? Dafuq?

  8. Perfect Storm of college basketball recruiting
    4:41 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    A mixture of history, tradition and John Calipari.

  9. BBN
    4:43 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    We are the fuel of the perfect storm.

  10. J in Orlando
    4:50 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    Rick’s ego is so fragile he actually wants to be considered a bad recruiter so he can claim its all about his coaching. he has no more of an impact on a game than any other coach, he just likes to focus on himself (only when they win of course). He still recruits all the top players, though.

  11. Good times
    4:58 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    #7, I’m guessing Paul Hewitt is getting credit from his time at Georgia Tech where he recruited the likes of Chris Bosh and Derrick Favors.

  12. PhilUK18
    5:24 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    How is it possible to give any other answer than Calipari to that question? 51 percent of respondents are either haters, voted for themselves, or are morons.

  13. Jrue Franklin
    5:33 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    A picture is worth a thousand words. I would buy Splenda and Pepper from that guy anytime!

  14. Han
    5:46 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    Look, he’s the obvious answer, but I don’t think your math skills are so good. Nearly unanimous at 49%? Really?

  15. BlueBoy
    6:21 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    Totally agree with #8 because Coach Cal wasn’t able to get as many class A recruit while at Memphis as he does at KY, so it’s a combination of history, tradition and John Calipari as #8 wrote!

  16. Good times
    9:17 pm August 14, 2013 Permalink

    #15 Agree it’s not all about Cal, but lets not delusional that the majority of these kids care about tradition and history. Those other intangibles that Kentucky brings are a national stage to play on, amazing resources and the financial commitment to the program (practice facilities, personal accommodations, coaches, recruiting budget, etc.) and a chance at winning a lot of games.

  17. Kevin C.
    12:19 am August 15, 2013 Permalink

    @ 14…. Yes, you idiot, it’s nearly unanimous. 51% is majority, and in a poll like this, a near-majority vote for 1 candidate…when there are dozens of possible candidates…is, in fact, “nearly unanimous”. This is the point in your life when that 8th grade education bites you in the ass.

  18. InCalWeTrust
    10:42 am August 15, 2013 Permalink

    I think it’s Cal first overall, but the rest of the answers are interesting. I think Scott Drew should be higher up on the list with what he’s done at Baylor.

  19. InCalWeTrust
    10:52 am August 15, 2013 Permalink

    Kevin (17) – who pissed in your corn flakes this morning? I personally (even with my higher education) think that nearly unanimous is a little strong in this case. I would think at least a simple majority would be needed before I would use the term “nearly unanimous”

  20. Tampa Satchel
    12:16 pm August 15, 2013 Permalink

    Kevin- While your attempt at a point is understood, your vitriol is misplaced. Unanimous, by definition, is 100%. So while “nearly” is nebulous, you would have a hard time convincing anyone that nearly is less than about 85%. So given your comment about 8th grade education, I’d say that emotional development says more about one than educational achievement and from reading your comment, it looks like yours was interrupted in 8th grade as well. Feel free to debate, but hopefully with less anger.

  21. Kevinneedsahug
    3:43 pm August 15, 2013 Permalink

    Tampa Satchel – If Kevin struggled with unanimous, did you really think nebulous would come easier?

  22. LexJim
    4:33 pm August 15, 2013 Permalink

    #21. Ouch!

  23. Tampa Satchel
    9:15 pm August 15, 2013 Permalink

    If he has to get out a dictionary, it’ll be good for him.