Of all the things John Calipari said at today’s press conference, nothing surprised more than:
“You’re not in high school Dorothy.”
He was not comparing the Cats’ Nikes to ruby slippers. Calipari was discussing how his players progress throughout their time at Kentucky.
“Every one of my teams, none of them reached their full potential, but what you’re doing as a coach, you’re striving for it. If they’re striving to be better, then at the end of the day, when the season ended, you got them as far as you could get them at that point. If I had ’em longer — how about if I had them two years? How about if I had them three years? You don’t, so this is what it is. You’re trying to just keep them on that path of growing, and this team is. ”
His goal is to make sure his players are growing, so that when it’s their turn to go to the next level, they aren’t as confused as Dorothy in Oz.
“You’re not in high school Dorothy. If you think you’re going to that man’s league — No, Boys, Allowed — you better understand that what you did in AAU out in Vegas ain’t working in that league.”
The good news: he believes his players are taking that next step.
“Every one of them has gotten better. Every one of them has improved. Now are we ready to just swarm, and scramble, and play with great energy, and pass the ball, and fly up and down the court?” Calipari answered his rhetorical question: “This team’s starting to get there. Are they where they need to be? I would probably say I would never be satisfied.”