What else did John Calipari say during his appearance on KSR this morning? He talked a lot about the process of helping his players decide whether or not to go pro, and said after a two hour nap in his favorite chair when the team got back from Dallas, he was back in the office, calling GMs to gather information to aide the players in their decisions.
“That day, I probably called ten GMs and what I was getting was ‘give me the information. Tell me where you think, what’s their range? Tell me, if this young man comes back, can I help him improve himself in the draft?’ Because if the guy says to me know, I’m telling the kid he’s gotta go. I can’t help you anymore. That’s where you are, you’ve gotta improve yourself in those workouts.”
Cal mentioned one player in particular who wasn’t thinking at all about the NBA, and then Cal found out some are considering him a first round pick:
“There was one player on the bus to the airport that next morning that said to me–I went to all of them and ‘do you want me to explore your NBA options?’ One of the kids told me no. As I was doing all of the other research, they were throwing his name in, and a couple of them told me he could be a first round pick. So, I had to call him back in and say, ‘I know what you said to me, but you and your mom need to sit down and talk about this because here’s some of the information I’m getting.'”
Gotta be Marcus Lee, right?
Cal said that while he hopes all of the players come back, for certain ones, “if you’re in the first round, you’ve gotta go do this, if you’re in the lottery, you’ve gotta go do this.” In fact, if a player wants to come back, he has them sit down and explain why, like Patrick Patterson did back in 2009. If those reasons are “logical and well thought out,” Cal’s fine with it. On the other side, if a player wants to go pro even if he’s projected to go in the second round, he’ll ask them to explain it as well. “There are other guys, and I’m like ‘you’re going to be in the second round, why would you do this?’ ‘I’m built for it.'” (Dakari?) Even then, Cal says it’s the player’s decision, and he won’t try to convince them otherwise, and will do whatever he can to help him become a first rounder.
When pressed, Cal didn’t say how many players he thinks would go pro because he has no idea, only that he doesn’t think “all eight will leave”:
“You obviously know that there’s a couple, they’re gonna go, and then there’s 3 or 4 that are like ‘what will you guys do?’ At this point? I don’t know. I don’t think all eight will leave. How about that? We finally will have some guys come back. Wooo! I don’t think eight will go, but five, six, four, I don’t know.”
Listen to Cal’s entire interview below: