Rick Barnes turned his teleconference this afternoon into a John Calipari rave session. The Texas head coach pretty much waxed poetic about Cal, whom he’s known since the two met at a camp in 1978. “I respect John as much as anybody in the coaching business,” Barnes said. “I don’t think he’s every truly gotten the credit he deserves for the kind of coach he is.” Apparently, the feeling is mutual; Barnes said that whenever he visits a recruit after Calipari, the parents ask if he knows Cal because Cal raves about him. How many coaches can say that?
While many (including Mike Francesa) will disagree with Barnes on this, he said he believes that “as an X and O guy, (Cal’s) very much underrated.” One thing everyone agrees on is that Calipari embraces the black hat. “John Calipari through his career has been willing to take on city hall,” Barnes said. “When that happens, you’re gonna be judged real quick.”
Okay, enough. What about basketball? Barnes said he admires how Cal keeps it real with his players. “He’s going to coach you. He’s going to tell you the truth, maybe like you never heard,” Barnes said, noting in particular the way Cal taught the Harrison Twins the importance of winning as a team. Speaking of point guards, what impact does Isaiah Taylor’s injury have on Texas? “It is huge. I could sit here and say it’s not. But it is huge,” Barnes said.
Regardless, Barnes and the Longhorns are ready for Friday’s matchup. “We don’t have anything scheduled to visit any horse farms or anything like that. We’re coming to play,” Barnes vowed.
Then he removed his name from consideration from the Kentucky offensive coordinator job.