When you think one-and-dones, you think John Calipari, which is why I have to both laugh at and applaud this bold statement by Penny Hardaway, the new coach at Memphis. On Jon Rothstein’s College Hoops Today Podcast, Hardaway claimed that he and assistant coach Mike Miller are the best option to get top players get to the league because they played in it.
“Who better to get you to the next level if you’re a one-and-done kid than me and Mike Miller?” Hardaway said. “There’s no two coaches better in the country to be able to do that [than me and Miller].”
Shots fired! Hardaway claimed his statement wasn’t a slight to any certain coach, but directly referenced Kentucky a few minutes later, which is certainly not a coincidence since he and Calipari are currently going toe-to-toe for five-star big man James Wiseman.
“That’s my thing with the top guys: if Kentucky’s a one-and-done school, then we’re a one-and-done school with the help of you getting to the point to where you want to get to with your game because we understand the game and we played the game. That’s just our pitch.”
While it’s true Penny and Miller have experience playing in the league, Calipari has experience getting players to the league, a distinct difference. Cal has more than proved himself as the best coach to help top prospects achieve their NBA dreams, whereas Hardaway’s only coaching experience has taken place at the high school and EYBL levels.
A refresher of Calipari’s NBA Draft success, in case a certain recruit is reading:
- 42 NBA Draft picks, 31 at Kentucky, including 24 first-rounders
- Four No. 1 draft picks (Derrick Rose, John Wall, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns)
- At least one player taken in the top seven of the draft in eight consecutive seasons
- The only coach to have five first round selections in the same NBA Draft (2010)
- The only coach to have six players taken in one NBA Draft in the modern two-round era (2012 and 2015)
- The first coach in any of the three major American sports to have the No. 1 and No. 2 pick in the same draft (Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 2012)
- Two or more players selected in 10 consecutive NBA drafts dating back to 2008 with Memphis
And the most important…
- All 21 one-and-dones drafted in the first round
Nice try, Penny, but you can’t argue with those results.
If you’d like to listen to Penny’s comments about one-and-dones and Kentucky, they start around the 19:30 mark: