John Calipari was a guest on an ESPN “Southern Style” podcast with Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg today and he talked a little bit about everything.
I just listened to the entire thing and compiled some notes of Cal’s comments for you:
— Calipari knew Jamal Murray would eventually enter the conversation for the No. 1 pick. He said Murray is the “safe bet” over Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram because he can “flat shoot the ball” and that’s the direction the league is heading. He thinks we may be looking back at this draft one day wondering what teams passed on Murray and who went ahead of him.
— “If you’re going to take the No. 1 pick, take it from our program.”
— It took three months to figure out how to play Skal Labissiere. Cal said he’ll be the first admit he used the wrong blueprint for Labissiere early on. “I screwed him up. It took me that long to figure him out.” Cal tried to use the same mold as Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, but that’s not what was best for Labissiere.
— He’ll need to teach this team to space the court and share the ball. Too many kids (not just his) think college basketball is an extension of high school, when it’s a completely different game. “What got them here to Kentucky, isn’t going to get them there to the NBA.” They’ll all need to have open minds.
— “Anthony Davis took the fourth most shots in 2011-12.” Drink.
— Revisiting the Murray conversation, Andy Katz asked why the Sixers should take Murray over Simmons or Ingram. Cal said, “Because that’s who they want more than those two, that’s all I can tell you.”
— He needs Isaiah Briscoe to lead on and off the court. He also needs him to find a dribbling and shooting routine and do it consistently.
Lots more on Murray, NBA draft rules and the SEC in the podcast. Listen below: