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Remaining player decisions a reckoning for Calipari’s system

It’s been nine years since John Calipari took the job at Kentucky, and for the first time, fans have a legitimate reason to question his system. Oddly enough, the concerns don’t center around one-and-dones, but rather the players who aren’t successful enough to get drafted after one year and feel the need to leave Lexington anyways. For a fanbase that bought in to Calipari’s methods even though it meant saying goodbye to its biggest and brightest stars so soon, having to watch guys leave that should stay is a very tough pill to swallow.

This reckoning lies in the balance of four players’ decisions: Quade Green, PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel, and Jarred Vanderbilt. Let’s start with Quade, who is reportedly considering transferring after losing his starting spot to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander this past season. Yesterday, Calipari met with Quade to encourage him to stay at Kentucky and assure him he’s not being pushed out, but you can see how Quade might think that. Not only did Quade get moved to the two guard midseason — not his natural spot — Calipari suddenly started going after a bunch of five-star guards who could reclassify to join an already guard-heavy roster this fall. It’s only natural that Quade would be concerned; in fact, a good segment of the fanbase has been blasting Cal for pushing him out. Fortunately, as Calipari told Quade yesterday, that doesn’t seem to be the case, but for a coach who is incredibly loyal to his players (remember how loyal he was to the Harrison Twins during the platoon year?), it required some damage control.

The decision that faces Quade is a big one: stay at Kentucky, fight for playing time, and likely end up playing the two guard if Ashton Haggans and/or Tyrese Maxey reclassifies, or transfer, sit out a year, and get a fresh start somewhere else. To a lesser extent, Sacha Killeya-Jones faced the same dilemma and decided to cut bait. Kentucky needs a veteran guard next year (we saw how much it hurt not to have one this year); Quade can fill that void, but could very well decide not to, making this a crucial crossroads for the program.

Similarly, there are rumblings that PJ Washington is leaning towards staying in the draft in lieu of a sophomore year, which would be a mistake. Right now, Washington is a second round pick — maybe first round with a monster performance at the combine — but with another year at Kentucky, he could be a first round pick, especially in what will be a weak draft. Washington and his family know that, but the dream of the NBA is hard to pass up, especially when three of your teammates are on their way. If PJ really is leaning towards staying in the draft, it only furthers my concerns that guys who don’t get drafted after one year feel like failures, which sometimes leads to poor decisions. If PJ comes back, he would be an integral piece to what could be a national championship contending roster. No one else brings to the table what he does in terms of bullying his way to the basket, and his competitive nature and toughness could be the backbone the team needs to make a run. Hopefully, Washington will take the advice he gets at the combine to heart. Knowing him and his family, I believe he will.

Wenyen Gabriel also declared for the draft, and the fact that he hasn’t signed with an agent yet was the best news we could get yesterday. Unlike PJ, Wenyen wouldn’t be drafted this year, but is prepared to explore a pro career in the G-League or overseas regardless. Like PJ, Kentucky would be much better if Wenyen was on the roster. Not only do you have a rare contributing junior, you have an experienced energy guy to come off the bench and pick up the freshmen when they inevitably revert. The question for Wenyen is, how much better could he get with one more year at Kentucky? Calipari obviously feels he can help Wenyen’s game more, but is it worth risking injury and being able to immediately help your family? Basically, can Calipari get Wenyen drafted if he stays one more year?

The mystery piece in all of this is Jarred Vanderbilt, who will likely have surgery for the foot/ankle issue that held him out at the end of the season. Because of that, Vanderbilt wouldn’t be able to participate in the combine, making his chances of getting drafted even slimmer. Because of that, he will likely be back, but we haven’t heard anything from Vanderbilt or Kentucky about it, not even whispers. Maybe he and his family don’t even feel the need to confirm he’s coming back, but given the unsettled landscape, it’s natural to worry.

In Jarred’s case, we’ll know by Sunday night, the deadline for players to declare for the draft. Assuming he doesn’t, PJ and Wenyen will have until May 30 to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to school, meaning we’ve got another month of speculating and worrying ahead. Quade’s decision could come much sooner, but if Ashton Hagans truly won’t know whether he can reclassify or not until July or August, we may not know until the Bahamas trip who will be on this team and who won’t.

John Calipari’s one-and-done system has produced some of the best basketball in Kentucky’s long and storied history; however, if the kids who should stay don’t, it shows its first signs of failure.


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.

81 Comments for Remaining player decisions a reckoning for Calipari’s system

  1. Jay17282
    3:18 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Kids that come to UK 100% believe they have what it takes to be a 1 and done that’s why they never stick around

  2. JTHinton
    3:23 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    They’ve got dozens of voices all telling them several things, and aside from family, it’s hard to know who to trust.

    • BBNDan7
      3:37 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Hell, some of them shouldn’t even trust family.

  3. Randall lee
    3:25 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Finally a post that I totally agree with.

    • BBNDan7
      3:28 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Because it’s got negative context you bum

    • ClutchCargo
      11:14 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Not sure why randall lee would agree with. It wasn’t that terrible a post.

  4. Blublood41
    3:39 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Cracks are starting to show. Cal has to figure out a way to keep kids in school longer. Has to try to at least take a kid from kentucky talented enough to stick. Without Miller, 2012 championship probably doesn’t happen. The invaluable experience Hawkins gave this team was evident this past year. And I think it needs to be Kentucky players because they won’t bounce at the first sign of trouble.

    • knowitall
      3:44 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      I am amazed every time i read the comments section. I am a huge UK fam always will be, but who are we (fans) to tell people that they should stay? These players don’t owe the fans or the University not one damn thing. Whether it be the NBA or a transfer they should feel free to do what they like. I don’t hear anyone getting mad about a math major transferring to another school because they might offer better courses. So because they play basketball they should stay?

    • wyatts1
      10:48 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Know it all you can’t honestly believe that load of BS that your spewing do you? Your comparing NCAA men’s college basketball players to math majors??? Lmbao, or the fact your saying these kids doesn’t owe the university or it’s fans a damn thing even though we’re the stepping stone that their trying to use to get where they wanna be. Just stupid man, of course they owe our school and to an extent our fans a certain amount of gratitude, cause without THIS school they wouldn’t be getting the reconition they want/need to make that jump. Also understand that UK’s history, and UK’s fanbase are intertwined together probably more so then almost any other schools around, our fans is one of the things that makes UK such a special place to play. So yes a certain degree of respect and gratitude is owed to the school and it’s fans that cheer and pay to see their asses play.

  5. Randall lee
    3:41 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Why don’t you bitch at Tyler you crybaby Dan.

    • BBNDan7
      3:43 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Because there’s nothing wrong with her articles?

    • babbus
      4:11 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Keep putting him in his place! Haha

    • ukkatzfan
      4:11 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      RL, Sounds like you got yourself a stalker. He hates your comment about agreeing with article but he likes article. Seems a weirdo to me.

    • BBNDan7
      4:25 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      I hate all of his comments

  6. catsfan27
    3:42 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Nicely written article. Think it echoes the sentiments of a lot of BBN. You have witnessed Cal already change his philosophy on the recruiting trail a bit because of this situation. Fortunately, I think Cal is brilliant enough to figure it out regardless of what happens, but realizes his career will be shortened by all of the roster turnover. In the words of Aaron Rodgers….RELAX…Kentucky basketball will be fine.

  7. RC
    3:43 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    The NBA system is flawed in many ways and complicates this issue. I fully understand why kids rush to enter the league- because within 3-5 years you can potentially sign for $100+ million. John Wall has already earned $83+ million and recently signed for a $200+ million extension. With endorsements Wall is easily going to earn more than $400 million playing basketball. But he was the #1 overall pick- that’s not the norm, right?

    Devin Booker was a surprise 1nD player who’s become an offensive machine for the Suns. He’s already earned $6.6 million as a late Lottery Pick and will make $3.3 million next year. The Suns are already talking about an early extension that will kick in after the 2019 season at 5 yrs for $157 million. Booker is young enough (and good enough) to easily sign another huge contract after that so he’s probably going to wind up in the $300-350 million range for a #13 pick. Not too shabby.

    However, not everyone is John Wall or even Devin Booker, although sadly, most every elite HS player thinks they are. They almost all believe NBA riches are theirs in the near future and they are incentivized to get into The Association as quickly as possible.

    Problem is, if you are selected late in the 1st round your rookie contract is only for approx. $4-5 million guaranteed. Great money, true, but not “retirement” money. So you have to earn a 2nd and 3rd contract to make huge money as a late 1st rounder.

    Unfortunately, most late 1st round picks are by good playoff teams. Below is the 2018 Draft Order post-lottery. Only a couple of dog teams in that range. So if the Warriors pick you at #28 you’re not going to play much in your rookie year, and maybe not much for 2+ years. So you better have a really elite NBA skill set and hope a team gives you enough playing time to get noticed and cement your reputation as a legit NBA player.

    If PJ Washington or Hami Diallo expect to have an NBA career they have a long and hard road ahead of themselves. James Young went to the Celtics at #17 and couldn’t stick. Terrence Jones went #18 to Houston and is already out of the league. Both were considered to have NBA skill sets but neither could find a home long term. It’s a tough league to survive in.

    Look at this list below and tell me where PJ or Hami can find time in the next couple of seasons. Because that’s what they’ll need to do to be successful long-term. Hami isn’t coming back. PJ has time to make the right call. I hope he does.

    15. Wizards
    16. Suns (via Heat)
    17. Bucks
    18. Spurs
    19. Hawks (via Wolves)
    20. Wolves (via Thunder)
    21. Jazz
    22. Bulls (via Pelicans)
    23. Pacers
    24. Blazers
    25. Lakers (via Cavs)
    26. 76ers
    27. Celtics
    28. Warriors
    29. Nets (via Raptors)
    30. Hawks (via Rockets)

    • a21CATSfan
      6:17 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      PJ and Hami are not going 15-30. You might want to look at who’s picking 31-45. And that means there is no guaranteed money, unless your name is Tyler Ulis.

    • symphonist41169
      8:45 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      I could easily retire on $4 – $5 million, I’ll take my check now.

    • RC
      8:59 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      $4-5 million cash, tax free- absolutely.

      But that’s not how the NBA world works. You’d lose half to taxes ($2-2.5 million) and 10-20% to agents/reps/planners ($400k) minimum.

      Cars/housing/living expenses for an NBA rookie easily run $10k per month (120k per year).

      So, that would potentially net you $1.2 – 1.5 million over 3 years.

      Can a 22 year old retire on $1 million cash and live comfortably for the rest of their lives?

  8. Realme
    3:48 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    I hope we’re going to look back and think that Cal’s sudden recruit-all-the guards approach was a genius idea, because we became the Warriors of college bball. And we still could get 4 experienced guys back. No one knows what they will decide, or what criteria matters most to Jarred, PJ, Quade and Wenyen in their decisions. It’s all speculation. SO much speculation.
    This is not the first year that guys who should stay have gone (if they do), far from it. But it’s time for Cal to start to do a better job of setting a tone that says it’s good to be here 2, 3, or 4 years if your freshmen year isn’t incredible. The transfers are a lot harder for me to take than the guys that go to play professional ball, even G league and overseas.

    • IAmTheDanger
      4:15 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      I just cut and pasted this snippet from rivals in regard to all the guards being recruited by Cal. This is a quote from yet another guard from PA in the 2020 class. Cal met with him recently….

      Morton told Cats Illustrated that Calipari has not gone into great detail as to why he’s interested in Morton.

      “But he just said the game is moving towards longer guards who can guard (and) play more than one position,” Morton said.

  9. jahanc2uky
    3:53 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    How can people be mad at Cal through this? The PLAYERS should be excited about Cals recruiting method. If you go against the best everyday in practice, guess what you will become. Willis, Hawkins & Polythesis should be more outspoken about how Cal’s recruiting force them to get better. These players are individuals and should be taken as individual cases. This is not a system issue, this is individual player issues. Weijer, Briscoe, Mathews, Lee, etc. will not be considered for the D League or NBA, because they left Cal’s system.

  10. bluecat15
    4:10 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Last 10. Duke x2 North Carolina x2 Villanova x2 U conn x2 KY 1 UL stripped KY has more players in league than all the rest. Can’t win it all with just freshmen.

  11. Robkycats54
    4:11 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve heard cal pushes kids out the door because he thinks incoming talent is & that’s wrong….. Don’t get me wrong I love Cal coaching most of the time, recruiting & even how he schedule but it’s time to tell these guys the truth…. Hami could have been a mid first round guy next, Pj could be middle to end first round guy next year, Vando has a chance to be in the lottery, Wenyen late first round early second next year & Quade could be big man on campus this upcoming Season, Like I said I love but he has to understand all of his final 4 teams, has had upperclassmen with tons of experience bring Quade, PJ, Vando, WG back please will be ranked #1 if so

    • Robkycats54
      4:11 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Is *better

    • ukcamel
      6:36 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      What specific players do you think were actually pushed out? Many of the guys who left early and shouldn’t have were actually missing pieces of the next year’s team. Humphries, Lee, Dakari, and Orton could’ve been big contributors if they hadn’t left.

      Ryan Harrow was “pushed out” in that he wasn’t any good and there was no way he’d be a starting PG. Archie might’ve felt pushed out by the Harrisons, but he was also a first rounder, and let’s be honest, he would’ve probably started over Aaron, or at least gotten basically starters minutes. Hard to say what happened with Charles Matthews. He basically never played. Wiltjer, if he was pushed out, took it really well. Seems more like a mutual recognition he was better suited in a different system.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      8:41 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      There were guys who left because they didn’t think they could get on the floor because of recruits coming in, but Cal never pushed any of them out. The only ones who have ever claimed that Cal pushed them out were the elite guys who just lacked the confidence in their ability to succeed in the NBA, so Cal gave them an extra nudge.

  12. secrick
    4:28 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Thanks to Cal at least KSR is not talking about making cookies or candy bars.

  13. Jiminy Crickets
    4:39 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    This article is true, but also short sighted. The transfer/quit trend at UK started a few years ago. In 2013 harrow and wiltjer transferred because they knew they would not play much the next year, with loaded 2014 class at every position. We caught Luck that even surprised Cal when the Harrison’s decided to come back. Derick Willis contemplated QUITTING basketball because he sat with no minutes and thought he’d never get a chance. Marcus Lee struggled in 16 and knee Bam was coming in 17. Humpries couldn’t sniff the floor, but exploded when he got to play, and took that momentum in international ball. SKJ watched Richards play in front of him, and knew with EJ he would never play again. Charles Matthews barely got minutes and saw the incoming class and moved on.
    The point is even guys that are not expecting to be OAD here, get here with the idea they would get a chance to play and develop. Calipari is well known to have a 7-9 man rotation, so a team with 10 McD AAs will have 1-2 guys simply not play. That’s what’s happening with Quade now, he lost his job, he’s to short to play SG in pros and PG is stacked.
    Calipari has 1-2 guys every year that he is relentless on. Guess which 2 the team felt got all of Cals anger last season? Quade and SKJ. Willis was that guy for all 4 years and is why he almost quit, Kyle wiltjer and harrow were practically blamed for the team struggles in 14. Humphries was vocal he was pulled for much smaller mistakes. How many player have had Social media revoked because of this exact thing.
    This is why guys don’t stay. Recruiting over them is only a small part.

    • 1473
      5:34 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      I think that you nailed it. That”s exactly the way that I see it as well.

    • ukcamel
      6:43 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Quade did lose his job, but he didn’t really lose his minutes. As far as him playing out of position, there is something to that. But who else was going to play SG? Brad?

  14. Jesus H. Chrysler
    4:39 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    What about Brad?

  15. Jiminy Crickets
    4:48 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    That was the transfer issue. As far as guys that shouldn’t go that do, it started with liggins, then Goodwin, the AA Harrison, and D Johnson, the Briscoe, now PJ and Gabriel.
    The point is in 9 years we’ve had 9 players transfer, and 7/8 leave that shouldn’t. Us old guys have been saying this was the problem with Cals system 7 years ago. Glad you youngins are finally starting to see it

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      1:00 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      What you old guys don’t get is the world is passing you by. It’s not the same world it was in the 50s or 80s or whenever your prime was. Transfer rates are up across the NCAA. There are about double the number of transfers this year as 6 years ago. It’s the same in college football. This isn’t just a UK basketball issue. These kids are told that because they were stars in high school or AAU that they should expect to be treated like stars and go to the NBA as soon as possible by people who are only thinking of the cash they can skim. I think someone else said on here there are already 50 kids with agents who’ve put their name in the draft for 60 spots, which is before you count all the kids without agents and players from overseas. Some of them aren’t getting in.
      And the kids transferring because they were recruited over thing is ridiculous. How good are they if they’re afraid of some freshman coming in? If they’re competitors, they should relish the chance to practice against such good competitors and earn their spot.

    • runningunnin.454
      5:41 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      LOL, my prime was in the ’20’s and ’30’s. I outran Jesse Owens in the 100m, struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back, and stopped Red Grange on 4th and goal from the two.

    • Commissionersteele
      9:45 am April 20, 2018 Permalink


  16. TB112162
    5:11 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    What gets me is people saying a coach is recruiting over someone you recruit players every year every class the same people that complain about that sure is hell weren’t complaining in 2014-2015

  17. TB112162
    5:20 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    RC I agree but let’s be honest Hami and PJ are not going to be picked in the first round PJ needs to come back

  18. Luether
    5:26 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Very good post, Mrs TT…

  19. The Professor
    5:39 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    The problem is not only Ky’s. There are only 60 draft spots and over 50 guys have retained an agent. Another 70-80 have entered without an agent. This does not include SRs or international players so there will be a number of committed guys not drafted. Personally, I don’t see anybody off this year’s teams making an NBA roster because of the holes in their game but I can’t blame someone for going, who is a lottery pick, as the chance to make a few million in a couple of years is an incredible chance. If they are telling you anything past 20 or so you should go back to school.

  20. Lip Man 1
    5:53 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    I didn’t realize Vanderbilt is having surgery, I must have missed that one.

  21. Mc12
    6:25 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Decent points. I don’t think this is anything new, but it is a little magnified this year. I was curious as to whether we’ll see some 4 guard lineups? I was somewhat surprised by the amount of typos in this based on her previous work. I’m guessing there was a lot to write and a deadline to hit submit lol

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      6:50 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Really? I’ve reread this like four or five times and haven’t found anything glaring. Genuinely curious now. #OCDTendencies

    • Kentucky Gentleman
      6:59 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      I was thinking the same thing- it seems like there are guys about every year who leave for the NBA who should bring staying in school or who transfer because of playing time concerns. Coming to mind are Teague, Lamb, Wiltjer, Matthews, Humphries, and Dakari. I am sure you could come up with more kids that go to the NBA not because they are ready for it but because they see their friends going after a year and want to do the same thing.

    • Mc12
      7:40 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Ha. Some could me me, but there were a few spots that read funny: and for first time vs. and for the first time, even though vs. even thought, if Wenyen was on the roster vs. if Wenyen was the roster. The last one was the back-to-back sentences starting with because of that.. seemed a little redundant. I was just surprised to see any, and I hate to be that “guy”. There are probably issues with this reply too:) especially using my phone. Sorry.

    • Mc12
      7:40 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      See… be me lol

  22. Cmart0907
    6:46 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Couldn’t had said it any better. Calipari won’t change a thing. Why would he recruit Quade to turn around and recruit 3 more point guards? To me that’s a slap in the face if i am Quade. Cal recruits right over top of you. These kids feel like they need to be successful in their first year because they know another talented class is coming right in. And they will lose their minutes , starting spot if they’re not producing on the court. If i am Quade I’m leaving. Calipari disrespected him. I’ll transfer right to Villanova. SKJ was 10x better than Nick Richards. But Calipari stubborn ways never played SKJ. He wasn’t a 5 star recruit for no reason. SKJ got recruited right over. Sad case. But Calipari won’t change his way. DJ Jefferies already said he will be a one and done. I just don’t understand why we can’t keep kids.

  23. 2thepoint
    7:16 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    The reason guys don’t play under Cal is lack of defense. So, how many of those guys were defensive minded other than Liggins who needed the money. I loved SKJ, but he got beat on defense all the time. Wiltjer couldn’t guard anything. Some are too shirt for their position. Cal has to recruit more players than he needs and we all know that.

    • Fitz
      7:44 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Cal is moving in the right direction with emphasis on guard play and shooting, especially three point shooting. Transitioning into that mode requires more talented guards which may be perceived by ones already in the program as being recruited over. Cal needs to convince Green he will be a part of his new system which will include playing three or four guards ifor quality minutes. We know Cal can recruit but can he retain?

  24. makeitstop
    9:23 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Cal knows what he needs and he can’t control bad decisions or injuries, both of which left us short this year. It will take care of itself: if a kid sees more talent coming in and doesn’t want to compete he can leave, or not sign. But u have to recruit them right up to May 30 to not be dependent on someone elses’ decisions he can’t control.

  25. marion county
    9:56 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    It’s time we just accept the fact that 95 percent of the players are at UK not for Kentucky. I hate that but we are a means to the end. It’s not about the NBA it’s about being paid in the G League or wherever.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:24 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

      Except that not true at all, but okay.

  26. jp7
    11:47 pm April 19, 2018 Permalink

    Quade lost his starting spot because he hurt his back, not because he was pushed to the rear and as very often happens, while he was out another player established himself in that spot because he played better. But Quade got 30 minutes a game at both point and shooting guard. He doesn’t have any reason to complain. He’s a tough Philly kid who is a competitor. It would be unusual to see a kid like Quade to back away from competition to go to LaSalle of all places where he could be a star on a team going nowhere. As far as the others are concerned, egos very often get in the way of common sense. PJ Washington is not an NBA player, at least not yet. He’s 6’7″ with no jump shot for crying out loud. How is he going to score against 6’10” guys who are bigger, stronger and tougher than he is and know how to play the NBA game? It would be a tremendous surprise to see him go in the first round and would only say the draft is as weak as they come. We are going to see Diallo, SGA and likely Kevin Knox in the G League at least at some point in the season and if Washington goes, he will be there. You think Washington is better than Dakari Johnson, who spent all of his career until this year in the G league and when he made it to the NBA sat the bench most of the time? These guys either have someone in their ear all the time or they are just not being honest with themselves. Ask Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones, Dakari, and Aaron Harrison how much fun it is to play in the G League and make $35,000/year, hoping for a chance to be called up. And then ask them if they think they might have improved their chances if they had stayed more than one or two years. Then there is Gabriel, who is a great kid but if he thinks NBA people are going to tell him he should stay in the draft, he’s dreaming. He likely could go overseas and play, but the money and the years don’t match up with staying in school, improving yourself and making a serious run at the NBA. We can’t make their decisions for them, but there is enough precedent out there for them to look at that ought to tell them what will serve them best. There are too many like them in college basketball who believed their handlers and their press clippings and gave away their college eligibility, only to see their dreams turn to dust.

    • runningunnin.454
      5:55 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Good analysis; I said much the same things weeks ago; but, now the attrition is really surprising me. P.J. should come back, and develop a jump shot, Wenyen should get his degree. Quade has a year’s experience on the incoming guards, and shouldn’t even think about transferring, and I think SKJ left too soon…he was getting minutes at the end of the year, and would play next year on a guard dominant team.

    • RC
      9:34 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Great points. They all rush to leave because the money is too good for the guys who make it big and every year there are legit surprises that turn into future stars. Devin Booker is one. Donovon Mitchell is another (Utah). Kemba Walker (Hornets). Kyle Kuzma (Lakers).

      Every elite HS player fully expects to be the next Booker, Mitchell or Kuzma. They don’t see their flaws or limitations, on their dreams. I guarantee you everyone on our roster (except maybe Brad) fully expects to play in the NBA and make millions. Same at Dook, Kansas, UNC, etc. Every. Player.

  27. Bluebloodtoo
    12:02 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    I think everyone should expect to stay at least 2 years. Some won’t need to, but if that’s the expectation then it becomes less of a failure thing. Being able to play without all that weight on their shoulders would be really good for most of them. I’d be willing to bet that Cal would agree. But how do you convince teenagers that this is the best deal they could get? Don’t you think another college coach might have a different story to sell them?

  28. blueballs80
    12:38 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    So suddenly we are blaming Cal for recruiting harder? If he didn’t, we Wildcat fans would be bitching and complaining. Damned if you and damned if you don’t. With all this uncertainty, he will do what needs to be done. Sit back and enjoy the show in the meantime!

  29. Rabbi Li
    4:43 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    Liberals get so caught up in their ‘who’s the victim this time’ zombie drone walk that they make rediculous assertions such as this:

    “Calipari suddenly started going after a bunch of five-star guards who could reclassify to join an already guard-heavy roster this fall.”

    Think about that for a second.

    John Calipari… SUDDENLY… going after a bunch of five-star guards.

    This is how lost these people get if you let them keep going without some sense of a map to remind them of ‘where they are’ and ‘what they are talking about’ this time.

    Get a grip Tyler. The media is generating the narrative (you guys) that Cal’s going after kids that will reclassify.

    This is all off season journalist page click smoke and it hurts our program.

    • runningunnin.454
      6:03 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Nonsense; I’m not very liberal; but, she said what I’ve been thinking for a couple of weeks; it is a strange recruiting strategy.

    • Rabbi Li
      7:00 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      You can debate if Cal’s ‘recruit the best players every year and get most of them’ strategy is the best (in comparison to others).

      Every coach would recruit the best and take them (if they could).

      But selling the idea that Cal “suddenly” did it… is rancid hyperbole. As are you for thinking that “victim creating” isn’t modern liberalism.

    • Rabbi Li
      7:06 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      You’re picking and chosing favorites.

      Coaches recruit the ‘best players they can get each year.’ If a kid gets ‘recruited over’… which by the way wasn’t a thing until liberals coined the term… then the kid can:

      • Work Harder

      College Basketball is capitalism. The best get the scholarship, get to start, and get to play.

      If you want to fancy ‘kids who don’t succeed’, ‘the ones on the bench need our help’, or ‘the ones who don’t make it’ then start writing stories about the hundreds of thousands of kids who don’t make it to college each season.

      What a crock pot of socialism you find yourself brewing.

    • Headhurts
      7:24 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Let’s be real, ALL THESE PLAYERS COME TO KY TO GO PRO, SO U BETTER IMPROVE BEAT OUT THE THE NEW GUY OR SIT THE BENCH MORE, OR TRANSFER, Some guys stay some leave it’s their choice, or we can fire Cal and start getting 4 yr guys and go to the final 4 every 10-12 yrs

    • makeitstop
      8:06 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed – unsourced stories and speculation. Quade hasn’t said boo and neither has Vando yet one is disgruntled and thinking of transferring bc of competition and the other wants to go… says whom?? Not the kids and not their parents. And Rabbi is right – u think ur CEO isn’t recruiting over u? Get to work. Great life lesson. You earn minutes they aren’t gifted.

  30. Headhurts
    7:29 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    Agree, hey, bottom line, win all’s forgotten, lose, and your a bad coach, isn’t that how it works?

  31. Kindergarten Cop
    8:31 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    Vanderbilt already had the surgery.

  32. Kindergarten Cop
    8:35 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t understand why everyone is upset. Is Cal going to stop recruiting 5 star guards because it will upset Quade? I don’t think so…. and he shouldn’t. Kentucky has to get the best players period. I would love for Quade to stay but if Cal can bring in ten 5 star players I want them all. And you all do too. Because you would be complaining if we get beat out in the first round next year with Quade as our point.

  33. bluecrowe
    8:36 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    As has been said, I think some of these kids are getting bad advice if they think they should go to the NBA. PJ honestly is probably never an NBA player. He cannot shoot regardless of the broken pinky finger and is only 6’7. He does not understand this, but everyone in the NBA is at least as tough as him. He needs to be a 3 or 4 year player. Period. There is truly no discussion. Hami is not a basketball player. His best game was against a 13 seed. He cannot shoot, does not play consistent defense and does not understand what he is supposed to be doing on the court. This is not an insult. He is a Freshman! This is the way it is supposed to work. He is a 3 year player and still may never play in the NBA. Vanderbilt cannot shoot, but seems to have more of the actual basketball skills which Hami does not. Vanderbilt has the basketball IQ, but cannot put the ball in the basket. Even if your family needs money, in the long run it does not help them if you only sign one contract and are out of the league before the end of it.

  34. kyle heavy
    9:16 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    Very well done, Mrs. Tyler.

  35. specks
    9:44 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    For the people that keep mentioning “recruiting over”. How in the world does it make sense that a player thinks he is being recruited over, so decides to go pro? Please tell me what the thought process would be behind that? You do realize the pool of players trying to take your job in pro is much greater and much better overall right?? So you thinkn the player is thinking oh “I better go pro because this incoming freshman is going to steal my minutes because Cal wants him to succeed more then me!! I better go pro where I will be better off? Such a ridiculous thing to say about “over recruiting”.

  36. kentuck1
    10:02 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    More than any other player, Quade Green would add stability to another young team. It would be a huge loss if he leaves the team, in my opinion.

  37. kentuckyrld
    10:22 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    It has always been obvious that the writers and others who make up the personnel of KSR are among the dumbest people on the planet but this article takes things to a new level of moronic thought. I rarely read any of the garbage on this site but I can see now that I will be a much smarter person by never reading anything from this team of misfits.

    • njCat
      11:06 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

      Here’s a suggestion… don’t read it if you don’t like it. Only a moron would spend any time at all on a site they hate.

  38. Sentient Third Eye
    11:07 am April 20, 2018 Permalink

    If Green, Gabriel, Washington and Vanderbilt are all back next year and healthy, just mail us the trophy and save everyone else the bother.

    • Luether
      12:33 pm April 20, 2018 Permalink

      And IF the Queen had balls, she’d be the King…