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Calipari on Zion Williamson: “I didn’t know he was going to be THIS good”

Kentucky may not be in the Final Four, but John Calipari is still in Minneapolis this weekend to make the media rounds. He started things off with an early morning appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. If you’ve listened to the two chat before, you know they love to jab at one another, and Patrick got in a barb right off the bat.

“He’s the Kentucky head coach John Calipari. Blown out by Duke in the first game of the season — I guess I should be saying good things about him since he’s in the studio with us. Six Final Fours, won the title in 2012. Please say hello to the Kentucky head coach.”

“So, you start off with that I got buried by Duke, is that right?” Cal quipped.

That’s not the only time Duke came up. Patrick asked Cal how much he believes Nike will offer Zion Williamson for a shoe deal.

“Do you remember when Nike did what they did with Tiger and everybody was up in arms and they couldn’t believe it?” Cal said. “They got a deal. They got a deal. I would say — and I’ll be honest with you, and we recruited Zion, I probably missed him a little bit. I knew he was going to be good; I didn’t know he was going to be this good. I knew he was going to dominate, but not like he’s done. When we played against him, I walked off the court and said, I missed on another one. I knew he’d be good. You know what I’m saying, I watched him and said he’s going to be alright, he’s going to be good. The kid’s off the chain.”

How did Cal find out Zion wasn’t coming to Kentucky? He claims he doesn’t remember (I don’t believe him).

“I can’t remember. Probably told us. We get told no many more times than we get told yes. Everybody talks about, they get everybody. That’s so untrue. Probably someone called us and we wished him luck. I can’t remember. I hear no so much.”

He also said he’s never cried over losing a recruit like Tom Izzo did when he missed on Chris Webber.

“He cried? What a baby. There’s a momma’s boy. He’s gonna cry? What are you talking about?”

Oh, Cal.


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.

16 Comments for Calipari on Zion Williamson: “I didn’t know he was going to be THIS good”

  1. rainman
    11:30 am April 5, 2019 Permalink

    BS! LOL If Cal didn’t know, he was about the only person who didn’t!I would rather know if Cal would have played Zion, at his present weight, or if he would have insisted he lose weight?

    • wyatts1
      11:50 am April 5, 2019 Permalink

      I hope coach was joking, or something, cause if your not realizing your recruiting the best college ball player since Anthony Davis then it’s no wonder he went else where. Would’ve loved to had him this year :/

    • Bobbum Man
      12:09 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      Zion wasn’t even ranked #1 in several of the recruiting sites… not like it was only Cal who had questions around him.

    • catsarerunnin
      12:21 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      Yes Cal should be able to accurately predict how good every player will be. He also should be able to know power ball numbers and the next winner of the Derby.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:10 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      Have you all never heard or participated in some guys sitting around, shooting the sh1t? 99.9% of it is not to be taken literally.

  2. VirginiaCat
    12:56 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

    I think it would be useful to talk to elite recruits who took a pass on Kentucky and have since moved on to the pros. Ask them why they went to another school and see if a pattern emerges that could help us with recruiting. Is it location, style of play, Cal, the fan base, our approach to recruiting, the visibility of the program, etc. I know that each recruitment is different, but we might find some nuggets of information that would be useful.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      1:16 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      I think we will soon discover that several didn’t come because someone else paid them.

    • KYCat4EVER
      1:24 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      Be very interesting information to know!

      GO BIG BLUE!

    • makeitstop
      2:27 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      How many of the top 25 players each year should each of the top 10 – 12 programs get? Half? So 10 teams or s should split 10-13 kids… or about one each. And how many of those should one school get? Say one or two? We get b/t 3-5 of the top 25 each and every year, and 3-5 “five star” guys every year. Herro and SGA were 4 star players. Next year so far we have 3 of the top 13 players per 24/7 Sports, and 1 four star guy. I think we get our fair share! The only other team that gets as many is Duke. Some years KU gets a haul, others it’s UNC or ‘Zona. Complaining about our recruiting is like complaining ur Ferrari gets bad mileage. Everyone else will trade, just say the word.

    • UKCatAttack
      7:24 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      Didn’t pay them enough or give their handler a job on the staff.

  3. BlueSteel
    12:57 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

    He was trying to give the kid a compliment!!! Geez!

    • makeitstop
      2:06 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly. He wasn’t saying “durrrr, I underestimated him…” he was saying “damn, this kid is the best in years.” Frankly a lot of people on here were saying he was too big, too small, just a dunker, wouldn’t play D, etc. I don’t think any of US thought he’d be the most dominant player in basketball in almost a decade and defend and move like he does at his size. I sure didn’t.

    • Ridge Runner
      2:15 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

      To be honest, I remember a few folks thinking he would be a human highlight reel in DUNKS but not a good overall basketball player.

  4. VirginiaCat
    2:27 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

    Zion and AD are once in a decade kind of players. Coach K has to be scratching his head how he could have been loaded with so much talent and not made the Final Four. Last year it was shot that laid on the rim but didn’t fall in. This year it was a one point loss. Had things gone a little differently, he could have gotten #6 and #7. Now he has to start from scratch at the age of 73. Takes the sting out of Kentucky’s disappointment.

  5. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    8:15 pm April 5, 2019 Permalink

    Zion was good but don’t forget how many no calls because of how in awe the refs were of his abilities, Duke’s check book, or the NCAA point blank telling them to let it go.

  6. GACAT
    10:31 am April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Cal, he admits he doesn’t know talent when he sees it!!
    And we gave this can’t bench coach guy a lifetime contract??? Give me Jay Wright please. Matt Jones said UT will not win National Championship in football in the next 40 years. Cal will never win another Championship. In 2012 he had so much talent even he could not blow it. Then there was 2015!!!