Coach Cal talked to the media today at Louisville Christian Academy, the site of one of his satellite camps. Here are some random notes from that media session compiled by Eric Lindsey on the UK Athletics blog:
– Calipari said he doesn’t view Thursday’s stop in Louisville as a chance to plant “the Commonwealth’s team” in Louisville. No matter what Calipari does or says, he believes someone is going to make a big deal out of it or get offended. Bringing his camp into UK’s rival’s city is just another example. “When you throw a bone in a pack of dogs or a rock, the one you hit in the head starts yelping,” Calipari said. “I speak in general terms. I’m not worried. We are the Commonwealth’s team. That’s what we are. Whether it’s this city or another city, we try to move around. (We’re) not trying to make anyone feel bad, but we just take care of our own business and what we’ve got to do.”
– If you didn’t hear it earlier in the week, Calipari again brought up what he’s terming “The Kentucky Effect,” a noticeable value to playing at UK. Calipari said it adds 20 percent to what you really are. “Sometimes you’re taller, you’re faster, you’re quicker, you shoot better, but also, your draft position is better, your shoe contract is better, your marketing dollars are better. I don’t know, but it’s like a 20 percent hit you get being at Kentucky. Guys like DeAndre and Josh have benefitted by it. Now, they’ve played well and they deserve to be in that position, but I think the opportunities they’re going to get because they were at Kentucky will be more so than if they went somewhere else.”
– After talking about the Kentucky effect, a reporter told Calipari that it sounded like a recruiting pitch. Calipari smiled and said, “I’m never recruiting. I’m here running basketball camps.”
– In regards to Kentucky’s current roster and the possibility of future additions, Calipari said, “Right now, we’re sitting where we are.” Calipari acknowledged that he still has a couple of scholarships to use should he choose to, but he said he would probably use them for the walk-ons.
– Calipari will hold a mini-camp at the end of the recruiting season in New York for the Dominican Republic national team. Players trying out for the team will be on UK’s campus in early August and Calipari will work those guys out for 16 to 17 days.
– Dominican Republic native and UK senior-to-be Eloy Vargas figures to make the squad after Calipari’s comments Thursday. “It’s important because he’s going to be going against Charlie (Villanueava) and Al (Horford). Now, let’s see what you are, let’s see what you do. This year, for him, it’s a big year. He’s got to prove himself. I don’t play just to play people. … There’s no way he shouldn’t be a lot better. You look at a Josh Harrellson. Change your habits, change your skill set, change your body – change, change. If we see the same thing, you’re going to have the same results.”
And if you’re still itching for draft stuff, here’s a video from Cat Scratches in which Cal described himself as ‘excited, but nervous’.