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Quotes from Calipari’s stops on SportsCenter and First Take

Need to catch up on the first half of Calipari’s ESPN “Car Wash” tour?

Don’t worry, we got you. Here are some of things Cal said on SportsCenter and First Take earlier today.

Oh, and if you didn’t already know, he likes his team.

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On ESPN’s All-Access Kentucky…

“I decide that I’m going to let ESPN in… it’s not Hard Knocks, I needed to be knocked in the head! I don’t know what I was thinking. And the reason is, I did it for our players. I want them to show that they’re college students. They’re there to get an education but they may leave early because they’re the 1 or 2 PICK IN THE DRAFT! But that’s not why they’re solely there, they understand about being educated, they understand all those things. But it may not be portrayed that way because I’m not holding the camera. So you stand there and hold your face like ‘How are they going to portray this?’ Hopefully it’s in a way that you see what our kids are about.”

On how the show will help recruiting…

“We didn’t need anymore publicity. We didn’t need anymore notoriety. We don’t need any of that. They’re not helping us recruit. What are we going to be? No. 1 and 1a?”

On the one-and-done system…

“If it were your sons, and they had the chance to be the No. 1, 2 or 5 pick in the draft, how would you feel if I coerced them into staying? Playing them less minutes, telling them they need more work and this and that. In reality, if you want to do what is right for you and your family, you put your name in the draft. If you want to do what’s right for me and my family, why don’t you stay all four years.”

On how much longer he’ll coach at Kentucky…

“I’m not a lifer, I won’t be a lifer. It’s not what I am, I’ll move on at some point. But what I’m telling you is, it’s gone away from the business of basketball, to the business of helping families.”

“At Kentucky, it’s not a 20 year run.  If you’re there 10 years, it’s a long run and a fun run, now let someone else do it. It’s just how it is. Or, you could cheat the position and lay back and coach a little bit, recruit a little bit, and collect checks. But I don’t have that in me.”

“Before I retire, I’d like to have a team that goes 40-0, because they say it can’t be done.”

On his expectations to start the season…

“I think we’ll be a high turnover team; we’ll be a bad shot selection team; I think we’ll be a team that breaks down defensively, later in the clock, we’ll give up possessions. I think the pace of our game will be too fast, but by February and March, turnovers will be down, we’ll have a great pace to our game, we’ll have better shot selection, and then I got a talented team.”

“Early on, we’re talented, we’re just not a very good basketball team.”

On this year’s leader…

“We don’t know yet and I got mad about that at practice yesterday. No leadership, no one’s talking. I need Ryan Harrow to do it, I need Kyle Wiltjer — those are two returning players.”

On how he recruits so many talented players…

“Shared sacrifice is a big part. If you want to take 30 shots a game, you don’t come to Kentucky. If you think it’s going to be about you and only you, you don’t come to Kentucky.”

“We don’t sell the NBA. What we talk about is how hard it will be. You all see the end result, but do you understand what you have to do to get there?”

“We don’t have a magic wand. Other programs can do what we do, there’s no question about that. We just happen to have, the last three years, 15 draft picks.”

On how he recruits…

“I’ll never mention another school, I don’t talk about other programs. I’d rather not know who is recruiting you, so I can just talk about what we are and how hard it is and how different it is. It’s not for everybody. If you want this kind of challenge, you come, if you don’t, you don’t come here.”

“I can’t hide you. If you’re not a good player, it’s a hard place to go.”

“You have to want it, you have to like the challenge. Every game we play is someone’s Super Bowl.”


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

17 Comments for Quotes from Calipari’s stops on SportsCenter and First Take



  1. J
    1:41 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I immediately get depressed thinking about Cal not being a lifer.



  2. Will S
    1:43 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, shocked that he’ll be done at UK in a few years. I definitely didn’t see that coming. Once you’ve got a position at UK, Duke, UNC, or KU — why leave? There’s nowhere to go but down (or NBA). Also, I find it interesting that he’s laying such low expectations on this years team, especially early on. When you snag 3 of the top 10 recruits to add with 2 returning players, and are ranked #3 in most preseason polls, i dont envision a team that is “a high turnover team; a bad shot selection team; a team that breaks down defensively.” Very, very interesting tidbits from Coach Cal. As always, amusing and charismatic. I really like this guy.



  3. DerbyDemon
    1:46 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I honestly believe Cal wants to break the NCAA basketball title hold of UCLA. Once he’s done that, then he’ll leave. Of course, that may or may not happen. But watching that man for the past three years and knowing what he’s done for this basketball program, I’m not betting against him.



  4. Rockfield, KY
    1:48 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I think its better to temper early season expectation and get fans ready for reality. We will take some lumps this year before we find our groove. We aren’t a 38-2 team this year. But we are damn good.

    It’s way better than telling everyone that will listen that its the most talented yeam you’ve ever coached and player X is the greatest shooter you’ve ever seen and player Y is the best at his position in America. (cough…Pitino…cough)



  5. John
    1:48 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    #2 he didn’t say go anywhere else, retirement. Look how busy he is.

    Also they are young and don’t return any starters and only one person played any minutes last year. So yes, they will turnover. Cal never talks up his teams until the end of the year. I’m sure he knows they will give teams a good game later on in the year, but he isn’t putting high expectations on them early that will possibly let us down early.



  6. UKBlue1!
    1:50 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Coach keep selling. I hope he decides to stay until he retires from coaching.



  7. ltylerj
    1:57 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Needs more “Pooping Ice Cream” references. Disappointed Cal…disappointed.



  8. SexnNursinHomes
    1:57 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hate to say this. But we need to force Cal to stay as our coach. Renew his contract and put an addendum that forces him to stay in Lexington. Even if it means chemical or physical restraints. I’m serious as scrotal cancer.



  9. emlang08
    1:58 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Realistically, Cal ALWAYS undersells his early teams, prevents any Fan/player disappointment and only breeds the possibility of overachieving.

    HE mentioned when he took the job, that the extra work and effort that is required at KY would limit a superhuman to about 10 years, that seems fair (should atleast get 5 rings out of ten) That puts him at 60 yrs old (good retiring age, his kids will be graduating college and he will have 50+ Million in the bank.

    Going to another school??? I don’t see it, NBA?? he excels at recruiting, that can not exist in the NBA minus the “big threes”

    Our best bet at KY is in recruiting, he loves the 2013 class (and it will bring him lots of wins) He loves these kids, he loves 2015 Karl Towns. The more these recruiting classes/kids are to his liking, the more compelled he will be to stay at UK and “help the families”! I can almost see an Orlando Ortigua Take over in 7 years and Cal as an on staff “consultant for recruiting”



  10. barn
    2:02 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    3–i’ve heard him mention catching ucla several times. as long as he stays energized as he is now, i think he’ll go for it, especially if we win another title in the next couple of years. when he talks about it, he sounds like it is one of his goals. and the 40-0 season? if anybody could do it he could.



  11. barn
    2:03 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    8–i like the way you think



  12. CliffFrankLou
    2:04 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Just enjoy it while it lasts. Only part of all of this over which you have any control. Just enjoy.



  13. Radio Ron
    2:06 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I was here when U.K. forced Adolph Rupp to retire. I’ll still be here when they FORCE John Calipari to remain for his life-time. He is truly irreplaceable !



  14. CliffFrankLou
    2:07 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    This is a job that extracts so much of the head coach. Look at his photos from his first news conference and now. He has aged considerably. No one can sustain this job for a long interval of time. The cost is too great to the individual.



  15. SexnNursinHomes
    2:21 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    11- Yeah, not sure there is another personality to do what Cal does. Not sure even one emerges in 5 yrs.



  16. BAdams
    2:26 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with Cal. And I think its ridiculous we are ranked #3 with only one experienced player returning. IMO the expectations are set to high right now because we dont have players like Miller, Jones and Lamb back. I think it will be ugly early on, we will take some loses. I can see us losing to Duke, which I would hate, but it can happen. I know Cal is going to do everything to get these guys ready, but this may be somewhat of a repeat of the 2010-2011 season. Do I expect us to lose 9 games like they did? No, but we will lose 5 or 6 games. However, once again defense will probably help us to win games so we will see. Cal’s teams are typically good defensive teams…only time will tell. Ready to get this season started!!



  17. what if?
    5:19 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    What if Orlando were to take the reigns when he is gone?…I think he would be the closest thing to Cal.