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Calipari raves about new team: “You have no idea how excited I am”

John Calipari made a special guest appearance on Wednesday’s Kentucky Sports Radio radio show to talk about the new McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative he helped launch, a really great program that will provide more opportunities for minorities within college athletics.

But you can’t book John Calipari on a sports radio show and not talk about his current Kentucky basketball team, and it sounds like he is very excited about this new group’s potential.

“We have to play this season,” Calipari told KSR, “because I do have a good team. Whew, we gotta play.”

Cal admitted he is eager to get to the practice facility, but right now he is at his family’s vacation home far away from Lexington because the rules won’t even allow him to drive by and wave at his players on campus. Monday, July 20 is the date the coaching staff will join the players, although it will be in a limited capacity.

Calipari said, “You guys have no idea how excited I am to get in the gym with my guys. Even though you’re going to be working with one or two and it’s not all five, it doesn’t matter. I just want to get in the gym. We got nine new players, the kids are excited, they want to be coached, they want to be around us. My concern is them being safe.”

Assuming a safe path is cleared and we have college basketball, can this 2020-21 team be one of his elite Kentucky teams? Matt Jones asked him just that.

“Look, to come here you know you have to have a certain level of talent,” Calipari said. “But the second thing you have to have is, you really have to be into your team and sharing and your whole thing in your mindset is, how good can I be, how good a teammate can I be? And so sometimes we will lose kids that are being told other things: that to be here, that’s what it is.

This group is all bought into that, both feet. Their parents trust us with their child, and we’re really good. We got some really good players. So I’m sitting here saying, [having a special group] has happened three or four times, but let me tell you what those teams have done. The teams you’re talking about became unbelievable teams. Teams. That’s, like I said, where the work comes in. But I’m just not ready to start that kind of work and the reason is, let’s get all this other stuff under control.”

Listen to Cal talk about his Kentucky team below, including comments about Olivier Sarr:


Listen to the entire interview with Cal below:


Article written by Drew Franklin

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

15 Comments for Calipari raves about new team: “You have no idea how excited I am”

  1. Bigblueswami
    1:56 pm July 15, 2020 Permalink

    I’ll get excited when/if we actually get to the first tip…… but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Trinity45
    2:23 pm July 15, 2020 Permalink

    Cal says this stuff every year, I have decided to wait until I actually see them in action before getting to worked up.

    • catdaddyd
      10:26 pm July 16, 2020 Permalink

      Don’t forget I’ve got the youngest team in the country. Is always said evert year as well.

  3. michaelb
    2:51 pm July 15, 2020 Permalink

    What was the big surprise to be unleashed by cal they were talkin about 2 days ago? Was it a msg saying wear a mask or something else ?

  4. kjd
    3:11 pm July 15, 2020 Permalink

    Every year it’s the same thing, just different words.

  5. UKFanSC
    3:52 pm July 15, 2020 Permalink

    I just hope we play……SEC football is all but scrapped.

  6. BobbyBlue
    3:59 pm July 15, 2020 Permalink

    There might not even be a 10% chance for a season this year.

  7. UKfanman01
    9:43 pm July 15, 2020 Permalink

    This is arguably one of his best pre season teams yet. This team has a ton of ceiling

    • kjd
      7:14 am July 16, 2020 Permalink

      One of the best on paper high school groups. No guarantee of greatness.

    • luvmycats15
      10:59 am July 16, 2020 Permalink

      Thank you fanman. SO many negative people on here. This team is going to be great & it will be beyond disappointing if the season is cancelled.

  8. CahillsCrossingNT
    4:29 am July 16, 2020 Permalink

    I hear this stuff every year. Will they avoid an Evansville-type loss? That’s the worst loss in Kentucky history. Yes, even worse than Gardner Webb.

    • UKFanSC
      8:19 am July 16, 2020 Permalink

      Why in gods name would you race to those two disasters ? C’mon man……hope springs eternal in the summer !!

    7:15 am July 16, 2020 Permalink

    I’ll get excited when they actually throw the ball up. Until then I have all but tuned out. Sick and tiered of all the drama. You can tell it’s an election year.

  10. kykid16
    8:57 am July 16, 2020 Permalink

    Cal may be only one that sees these guys play at UK! Might be conference only games after New Year if we are lucky!

  11. bbn606
    8:57 am July 16, 2020 Permalink

    Isn’t that what he says every year?