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RINGER: How John Calipari Became College Basketball’s Best Recruiter

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.

[The Ringer]

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Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

24 Comments for RINGER: How John Calipari Became College Basketball’s Best Recruiter



  1. HashtagNoseWhistle
    2:21 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    “You don’t come to UK, I kill your family.” Mob Cal confirmed…



  2. Bobbum Man
    2:33 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    I’d be curious to see how many of these kids genuinely wanted to come back, obviously we would have wanted them back but hard to argue with a kid going #2 that he should come back to school. It’s a great example for him of truly putting the players first



  3. runningunnin.454
    2:38 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    RI up on the fightin’ Trae Youngs by 5 with 17 sec in OT.



    • cats646
      2:42 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Oklahoma sucks!!!!!!!!!



    • J-Dub421
      2:52 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Boom! Oklahoma goes out just like I knew they would. Tennessee dominated, whoever plays them next should be concerned.



    • cats646
      3:45 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Yes!! Oklahoma should’ve never been in. I hope the selection committee understands they mucked that one up big time!!



    • runningunnin.454
      3:55 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah, but espn is crying their eyes out.



    • J-Dub421
      3:59 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Especially not of a team like St. Mary’s who was ranked in the top 25 and didn’t get in. Oklahoma was barely over .500 overall and couldn’t even manage a winning record in their conference. 18-14 overall and 8-10 in conference is NOT a tournament worthy record.



    • J-Dub421
      4:00 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      *not over a team like St. Mary’s.



    • cats646
      5:56 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Agree. Saint Mary’s got the shaft.



  4. kfwa
    2:45 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t think its a coincidence that I’ve read three positive articles on John Calipari in the past week.

    I have a feeling Zion Williamson to Duke put Calipari and the nation on the attack against Duke and motivated these writers to see Calipari in a new light – someone who really does care about put these kids first while they know Coach K is blatantly hypocritical and self serving with the Duke “family”. They also recognize that Cal changed the basketball world and Duke is a follower, not a leader.

    These article showing Cal as the real deal will only help recruiting in the upcoming years as Duke tries to come to terms with following thru on their promises to these kids.



  5. DG
    3:02 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    and 1 title. He’s no longer the best recruiter either, Coach K is that now.



  6. Ukcatzfan2
    3:37 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    This article must have been wrote 2 years ago
    coach CAL is no longer number 1
    and if next years recruits are a trend then he maynot be in top 5 any more



    • jaws2
      3:49 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Just for the hell of it, if Cal wins a title this or next year, what are you going to have to say? He was lucky?



    • Kernel Sanders
      3:54 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, it’s horrible when you have three 5 star recruits, McD’s All Americans/Nike Hoops Summit/Jordan Brand Classic participants signed for next year to mix in with your returning 5 star players. Woe is us….the horror.



  7. BigBlueNationDude
    3:51 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Coach K is the best now though. Im starting to think Cal is going in the right direction though getting these fringe top guys. Thats the best recipe. Some guys that will stay 2-3 years and mix them with the megastars.



  8. Realme
    4:25 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Coach K won this season and next. Doesn’t mean he’s taken over the top spot permanently.



  9. satcheluk
    4:26 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Until Duke got into the shadiness.



  10. mapcatfan
    4:31 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Just one more example of why MKG, along with KAT and Derek Anderson are my favorite Cats ever!



  11. Smyrna_Cat
    5:25 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Is KSR officially affiliated with RINGER now?