The Big Blue Nation is no stranger to John Calipari’s recruiting success at Kentucky. We’ve heard about it from a variety of different angles. In The Ringer’s latest profile, his career in recruiting is detailed as they pinpoint exactly what inherently makes him an excellent recruiter.
There are two qualities that set him above the rest: “a straightforward honesty regarding their future at his program, and a preternatural ability to connect with people that makes even hard truths palatable.”
The most revealing parts of the profile addressed the former. Cal will always tell plays like it is, whether he’s recruiting them or addressing them as they make NBA Draft decisions. Malik Monk said Cal, “Basically kicked us off the team.” His ability to connect with his players led him to take a different approach with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
“I didn’t want to leave,” Kidd-Gilchrist says. “I just didn’t want to leave him, and that staff, and those people. They just really cared about me. They were like my blood, you feel me? I had it rough. I was a kid. I stuttered. I was a mama’s boy. I had lost my father. I went through stuff a lot of people don’t go through when they’re kids. So it was hard for me to leave home. And when I found this school with people who cared about me like they did, it was tough for me to say goodbye to that.”
It’s tough to say goodbye to all of Calipari’s recruits. Hopefully we do not have to say goodbye to the latest group until April.