Today is the first day of the early signing period and to celebrate the start of another great class, John Calipari sat down with ESPN Insider’s Paul Biancardi to describe his recruiting process. Most of the interview is stuff we’ve heard before — who wants to be next, servant leadership, brother’s keeper, Kentucky is Carnegie Hall, etc. etc. — but Calipari’s explanation of how he targets recruits was pretty interesting to me:
We don’t recruit that many guys. We only recruit eight, nine, or 10 prospects, normally it’s to fill four, five or six spots — we never know exactly how many we have to fill.
We target our recruits in this way: Is there anyone out there that has said publicly they want to play at Kentucky? If so, my staff evaluates to see if they are good enough and if so, let’s go see them play. If they are good enough then let’s stop right there, we won’t go any farther. Next, let’s get a little deeper into it and see if they really like us and really want us. We are never begging a kid, we are not going to spend time trying to “flip” a kid — we don’t do that. “We really like you, do you like us with the same level of interest? No? Fine — who’s next?” That’s how we get it down to less than 10 guys for a handful of spots.
Cal also said a few of the “knowns” he’s selling recruits on is that they’ll get drafted AND get a second contract in the NBA, which 15 of his former players in the league currently have.
“That’s what our guys get. That’s the difference at Kentucky.”
More where that came from if you’ve got an ESPN Insider login.