This morning, Shai Alexander committed to Kentucky, becoming the third Top 50 player in the last five days to do so. This time last week, Kentucky’s 2017 class had zero pledges, and now it has three. With the end of the early signing period coming up on Wednesday, should we expect any more? John Calipari didn’t rule it out.
“We’ve got some guys, we still may sign a couple more, we may not,” Cal said, adding later that he thinks Kentucky will end up with five or six recruits in the class. “If we don’t, we’ll sign a couple late, which is like we’ve done. That’ll be fine. You get yours, I’ll get mine and eventually we’ve gotta throw it up and see who’s who.”
Calipari launched into a lengthy diatribe about recruiting, starting by debunking the myth that he can get any recruit he wants.
“We don’t get every guy we recruit,” Cal said. “You don’t get everybody. That’s why I don’t go crazy. Our fans do.”
Go crazy? Us? No, we don’t–
Okay, yes we do. Calipari being Calipari, he pointed out that sometimes, not getting guys is a blessing in disguise because Kentucky basketball isn’t for everyone.
“We’re going to get the four or five guys we need to get that want to be here both feet in. They’ve got no problem — they’re not afraid of this, they’re not afraid to share. They want to come here and be coached. They watch me coach in practice — I don’t cuss and swear, that’s not how I coach — but the bar is raised high.”
“And then the question is, can you make it through this practice? If you can’t make it through this practice, this is every day. Don’t come here. If you think eventually you can, it’s probably a good place to come. If you walk in the gym and when you see no players, that’s where you want to be? You’re not coming here. If you walk in the gym and see a bunch of talent and say oh my gosh, this is, and you love it? You want to be here.”
Cal also took aim at recruiting rankings, which he called meaningless, pointing out that the 2014 class — Karl Towns, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles and Tyler Ulis — wasn’t even first in the country, which is ridiculous when you consider where those guys are now.
“I don’t think Karl Towns’ team was ranked the best recruiting class. What? Who ranked that,” Cal said. “Rankings don’t matter. It’s who do we get, how do they play and do they want this. This is not normal. It’s just not normal here.”
Thank God for that.