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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 69% of Calipari Recruits Playing in NBA, 97% Playing Pro Basketball


Senior Day always give me the chance to reminisce about the guys that we are not going to see at Rupp Arena ever again.  And this year’s crop is going to be large, with Monk, Fox, Adebayo, Briscoe, Willis, Hawkins, and Mulder all almost certain to be gone.  And in some form or another each of those guys will likely make a paycheck playing basketball at some level somewhere in the world next season.  At worst, you’ll probably have 6 of the 7 with Hawkins the odd man out.

But just consider the entire Calipari era.  Certainly some guys have worked out better at UK better than others but you just can not argue that Calipari gets guys paid.  And at an amazing clip gets them to the NBA and keeps them there:

2009 (Hood and Orton were Tubby commits)
John Wall: NBA, Washington Wizards
Demarcus Cousins: NBA, New Orleans Pelicans
Eric Bledsoe: NBA, Phoenix Suns
Darnell Dodson: South America (Argentina)

Brandon Knight: NBA, Phoenix Suns
Enes Kanter: NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder
Terrence Jones: NBA, Soon to be signed free agent
Eloy Vargas: South America (Argentina)
Doron Lamb: NBDL, Westchester Knicks
Stacey Poole: no longer playing basketball

Anthony Davis: NBA, New Orleans Pelicans
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: NBA, Charlotte Hornets
Kyle Wiltjer: NBDL, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Marquis Teague: Europe (Russia)

Nerlens Noel: NBA, Dallas Mavericks
Willie Cauley-Stein: NBA, Sacramento Kings
Archie Goodwin: NBDL, Greensboro Swarm
Alex Poythress: NBDL, Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Julius Randle: NBA, Los Angeles Lakers
James Young: NBA, Boston Celtics
Andrew Harrison: NBA, Memphis Grizzlies
Aaron Harrison: NBDL, Delaware 87ers
Dakari Johnson: NBDL, Okalahoma City Blue
Marcus Lee: Currently playing college
Dominique Hawkins: Currently playing college
Derek Willis: Currently playing college

Karl Anthony Towns: NBA, Minnesota Timberwolves
Trey Lyles: NBA, Utah Jazz
Devin Booker: NBA, Phoenix Suns
Tyler Ulis: NBA, Phoenix Suns

Jamal Murray: NBA, Denver Nuggets
Skal Labissiere: NBA, Sacramento Kings
Isaac Humphries: Currently playing college
Isaiah Briscoe: Currently playing college
Mychal Mulder: Currently playing college
Charles Matthews: Currently playing college
Tai Wynyard: Currently playing college

*Obviously all 6 guys are currently playing college basketball

TOTAL (43 guys total)
Currently playing college basketball: 14 (32.6%)
Currently playing in the NBA: 19 (44.2%)
Currently playing in the NBDL: 6 (14.0%)
Currently playing internationally: 3 (7.0%)
Currently out of basketball: 1 (2.3%)

And then consider this, if you take away the guys that are still playing college basketball and thus haven’t had the chance to play professional basketball, 19 out of 29 eligible Calipari recruits are currently playing in the NBA, or an amazing 65.5%!  Take that compared to just ONE of those 29 who are not making money playing basketball right now, Stacey Poole.  The guy is an absolute magician.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

  1. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:13 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Were Hood and Orten Tubby commits or Gillespie commits?

    • UK Fan In Nashville
      10:17 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

      BCG BABY!!!

  2. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:15 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Great post and numbers! It’s true, Cal is amazing at getting guys to be pros.

  3. eeewee
    8:37 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Ryan Harrow?

  4. CatsFanFrankfort
    8:41 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

    If you really think that Hawkins cant play ball overseas, you don’t pay enough attention.

  5. TreyTingle
    8:58 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Bryan the Intern,

    If Briscoe leaves after this year odds are he is going to be in the D-League or overseas the rest of his career ala Marquis Teague & Doron Lamb. The kid needs to stay in school come out next year and be the best player in College ball with a consistent jumper and he’ll be a first-rounder.

  6. mooresj29
    9:07 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

    When did college basketball go from hanging championship banners to lets see how many players we can get into the NBA??

    The quote that lives with me forever…”If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

    • runningunnin.454
      9:40 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Well, not exactly. There are silver and bronze medals in the Olympics, and the rest are called
      “World Class”.

    • catsarerunnin
      9:44 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

      College basketball hasn’t changed. The numbers of players going pro from college programs has always been used as a measuring stick. Of course there are those here who claim Cal is only interested in getting players to the NBA which is ridiculous. I can’t ever remember a time when a UK basketball coach was criticized for bring in the BEST players.

    • J-Dub421
      10:21 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah, I hate bringing in the best talent all the time. It’s really hurt us too, only 1 title, 1 runner up, 4 final fours and an elite eight in seven years. Only two 38 win seasons too. /s

    • catsarerunnin
      11:49 am March 2, 2017 Permalink

      I will reply to that as some on here will or would: “Only one title.” That’s not my opinion. It’s theirs.

    • UK Big Board Update
      8:02 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Pitino only had one title, which took him 7 years to get at UK, and then went 20 years before getting his second.

  7. AGSlater
    12:59 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Is he only going to get 1 title though? If he goes another 3-4 years and only has a collective 1 title in over 10 years with this kind of talent it will be dissapointing. You can think otherwise and count elite eights, runner ups, final fours. UK is in it for titles

    • UK Big Board Update
      1:28 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      It took Pitino 13 years to get his at UofL….

    • catsarerunnin
      2:10 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Slater you would have gone bonkers if you were an UNC fan during the Dean Smith years.

    • AGSlater
      5:01 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Say what you want. Tons of NBA players should get more titles.

    • UK Big Board Update
      8:00 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Like when Texas had Durant and Augustine? What about Washington? Look at Sean Miller at Arizona (hasn’t been past the Elite Eight, ever). I’m totally content with our performance under Cal.

  8. looking4number8
    1:46 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Just because you are a transfer doesn’t mean you are not a recruit. You have to be recruited and offered a scholarship to transfer from one school to the next.