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John Calipari Has A Recruiting Pitch That No One Else Can Match

(Photo: Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo: Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

John Calipari’s calling card on the recruiting trail has been his ability to get players drafted into the NBA.

The problem with this recruiting pitch now is that he’s not the only one doing it. Yes, we can all agree he’s the best, but Coach K is not far behind and he’s getting closer. Despite the fact that Calipari consistently gets players to the League, the national media has turned their attention to Cal’s inability to land elite recruits, rather than focus on how he develops the Tyler Herros of the world into lottery picks.

However, Calipari still has one pitch he can make to high school recruits that no one else can match. That’s how former Kentucky players have fared once they get into the NBA. He’s said it before, but for him, it’s not just about helping players achieve their dream of playing professional basketball. His goal is to help his players get to their second or third contracts because that’s when players really start getting paid.

This calling card by Calipari was easily proved true when former Calipari-era players at Kentucky surpassed $1 billion in total earnings. Well, that number has increased and it is increasing quickly. Calipari’s pitch could not be any truer than it is now.

The last four former Cats to sign max extensions are John Wall, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Jamal Murray. And the amount of money this quartet has netted with these extensions is absolutely absurd.

  • John Wall – 4 years/$170 million
  • Devin Booker – 5 years/$158 million
  • Karl-Anthony Towns – 5 years/$158 million
  • Jamal Murray – 5 years/$170 million

These four players have combined to net $656 million. Four players.

Please show me the former Duke or North Carolina players making this much money. I know it’s a different era of basketball, especially in terms of how much money owners just throw at players nowadays, but all four of these contracts are more than Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway made in his 14 (!) year NBA career.

So, Coach Cal might not be the only one who can claim that he gets players to the NBA, but he can offer possible generations of wealth that no one else even comes close to matching.

Article written by Nick Wheatley

35 Comments for John Calipari Has A Recruiting Pitch That No One Else Can Match

  1. mashburnfan1
    5:16 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    For all of those saying Cal develops players please explain why it is only some players. Why did he develop Herro but not Richards. Why Booker but not Diallo. Why PJ {in 2 years} and not Skal. I will answer for you. Because it is not the coach it is the player. Why did the Murray St only develop Morant in all of his coaching? Vandy coach developed a guy that only played 5 games. Some trainer developed a kid from Cincy that was drafted higher than Keldon this year, and that kid worked at a shoe company and played no college ball. You idiots that think any Coach {Cal, K, Miller, Self} develops kids in the 8 to 20 months they have them are just stupid. Why did Cal not develop Twins, POY, Diallo, Briscoe, SKJ, Gabriel, Goodwin, Richards {#1C} and all the other flops that were 1st round picks in High School. Look how many great players Cal had nothing to do with, Lebron, Leonard, Steph, KD, Westbrook, Harden, Klay, Kyrie, Embid, Draymond {not elite to me but valuable to GS} and many of these guys have NBA Titles. Man that High School Coach that was at SVSM should be pursued by every college and NBA team, he {as you all put it} “developed” Lebron into one of the best ever yet where is that coach now?

    • Skooms
      5:31 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      One day you’ll grow up and become a true UK fan little guy. We’re all rooting for you!!

    • 4everUKblue
      5:32 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Or maybe he’ll choke on his own venom. I vote for the latter.

    • Skooms
      5:39 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Well yes that is a possibility too. I’d actually give him a slight level of respect if he was just a normal “fake” fan. It’s the fact that he practically has an orgasm when he reads an article about the baseball or football team, and completely flips that switch on any article NOT dogging out the Basketball team.

    • mashman 93
      5:53 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Do you fully develop a kid in 8-10 months? No you don’t but you do teach them the right way to do things. For instance how to practice, play with energy and sometimes tweak a shot like Cal did with Murray and Herro. I’m no basketball savant just saying. A lot of high school coaches let these kids coast and none of them play defense consistently in high school.

    • Nickerbocker05
      5:59 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Okay! Seems like you answered your own questions?

    • nocode96
      7:23 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Mashman 93 maybe just said the best thing one could say when replying to mashbum’s non-sensical ramblings. Well done. And smashbumfan1, why won’t you go away? No one here likes you. You’re really bad at taking a hint, I’d hate to be the guy you fell in love with, I bet you’re clingy and stalky as hell.

    • Mad Max
      6:10 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      You get my vote for dumbest human being alive…you are alive right?

    • kentuckybackupplayer
      6:42 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Nick Richards is on the same development pace a Michael Jordan. Some kids take more than a year.

    • EastKY-BlueBlood
      6:48 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      You really don’t know the sport well enough that every player, or contestant may help you, since I’m thinking bball language prob over shooting the hopes to be understood. BUT… EVERY player…aka contestant, can’t be made to reach whatever one’s possible predetermined projection of what that said, maximum potential could possibly be. There’s things that even go pass physical limitations, but times that even one’s mental approach effects them from reaching their highest potential ceiling, as many others.., etc.. Even Coach/Style fit, bc shockingly no Coach is perfect!!?
      So a very basic outcome for ANY bball Coach at any level. After they have coached quite a few players, remember AKA contestants, it is of almost certain probability and I will go out on the worlds largest limb, and say none have had a 100% success rating, and that they had some kids they helped reach or put on the path of reaching their highest possible potential. Then there will be some players also, and again, whole “players” thing, if need translation again, scan a couple lines up. So, some also just never reach their projected best case scenario of whatever that maximum potential was early on thought it could be.

      So in summary, “SOME” do, “SOME” don’t!! Ik that’s some real heavy stuff to be taken in.. Hang in there!!

    • dukeisking
      7:22 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      How does coach cal develop players to get their big contract after their rookie contract 3/4 years in the league?He can tell you country hillbilly bumpkins anything and you guys will believe it.. Only sensible individual on here is Mashburn.. The player has to HAVE TALENT. Cal IS NOT developing these players after they have left Uk 3/4 years.. hillbilly fans are so predictable!!

    • Skooms
      8:03 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Are you the pot or the kettle? NC has just as many “hillbillies” as KY. Keep on blowing the Rat god and feel good when he continues to fail with his top 10 recruits!

    • UKrulesall
      8:31 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Since you have all the answers you should become a developer of talent. With your obvious knowledge of the game and of the players, I’m sure any coach out there would beg you to be on his staff. No doubt you abilities are worth millions.
      What a toss pot!!

    • RealCatsFan
      9:33 am July 8, 2019 Permalink

      Let’s flip the narrative and ask why K or Roy (or Self) don’t have similar success from former players, considering that they had similar talent to work with.

  2. 4everUKblue
    5:26 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    Not even going to read mashbum’s Daily Diatribe, he’s famous for picking and choosing what fits his agenda while ignoring facts that do not. He’s desperate to matter to someone other than himself but sadly for him he only matters to himself. With that out of the way, I will say dUKe players lead the nation in getting paid during the recruiting process.

  3. J. Did
    5:38 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    CAL gets players drafted.

  4. Not Dan Issel
    5:46 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    After listening to Pat Riley’s press conference after drafting Tyler, my only question is which UK player Miami will draft next year?

  5. Irish son
    5:55 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    Obviously K can match it with something. He’s been kicking our butt for years now in recruiting

    • J. Did
      6:11 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      No comprende.

      K does what he does – with the “dook board of acceptance”.

      The ‘pedestal’, on which dook has ‘rested’ has been ‘Garage Sale’ inequality…arguably for years now.

      Mike accepts the challenges; while he may get the ‘best’ players, IF he puts ONE in the NBA, they are few and far between comparatively speaking.

      “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts”.

    • snakeman3342
      6:19 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      The thing that helps coach K is being the head man for team USA. That means he has a relationship with all the top American players. I believe the two platoon thing really hurt us when it comes to recruiting. If we had won that year it might have played out different. But there were plenty of times when we would have been better off with Tyler and Devin on the floor rather than the twins. It was a little of a no win situation for Cal because if guys come here then don’t get drafted after one year it puts them in a bad spot. A spot where they could be out of the starting lineup and have a reduction in minutes.

      I would also venture to guess that Cal is more upfront with the players during the recruiting process. He’s not just saying whatever he has to say to get the job done. Many NBA GMs have given Cal credit for getting players mentally ready for the NBA. That’s where the development part comes in. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s great at developing them on the court in all cases but they know what to expect mentally.

    • 4everUKblue
      7:05 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      And yet with all his ass kicking recruiting, he hasn’t made it to the final four in the last 3 yrs. His most recent team was heralded as the greatest class of all time and ESPN even named them the national champions at the beginning of the season.

  6. wildcat1515
    6:55 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    Mashburnfan needs to get laid by someone or something. Wow never seen such a negative person post like this so much.

    • 4everUKblue
      7:02 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      Only one or two others come close and I won’t mention names for fear they may magically appear.

    • nocode96
      7:20 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      We effectively mashed the others out of existence bro.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:32 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      I sure hope so code.

  7. VirginiaCat
    7:57 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    Nick’s article is spot on. Cal is the best at getting players to the league, that is clearly his forte. He trains his players for the next level, which is good and bad. It is good for the players in terms of getting to the NBA and flourishing, but mitigates success at the college level. For example, Cal eschews zone defense because that’s not how they defend in the NBA. I think most reasonable people would agree that his reluctance to play a zone has hurt us over the years. I guess my macro point is that getting players to the NBA does not necessarily equate to success at the collegial level.
    Okay, gentlemen, start your engines and pile on. Lets try to refrain from personal attacks.

    • Skooms
      8:11 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

      That’s where Cal and Keyshesuckit are different. K has no problems going zone when his man to man fails, and is obviously NOT worried about his players making it in the NBA. I’m not going to knock him for that, however, it’s NOT giving him any better results than we’ve seen here at UK. Cal follows through with his recruiting pitch. He shows that the players mean everything to him. I kind of wonder if K is starting to second guess trying to do it the Cal way, but he’s pretty much stuck. To go back to his old way, he’d have 1-2 years of being mediocre. He’ll retire before that happens.

  8. mashman 93
    8:12 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    I agree platooning hurt us.Players want to play but remember the Twins carried us in the first half of the Wisconsin game.

    • tiffincatfan79
      1:37 pm July 8, 2019 Permalink

      And Booker and Ulis couldn’t guard anyone or score in that game either. Fans seem to forget that too.

  9. 2thepoint
    10:02 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t think k will retire. I think he dies on the bench trying to get so many wins his record would stand forever.

  10. Lexingtonyn
    11:09 pm July 7, 2019 Permalink

    Wall,Booker, Towns and Murray also combine for 0 final four wins while at UK.

  11. Racerr11
    5:35 pm July 8, 2019 Permalink

    Mash is a complete idiot, drop the mic.

  12. Racerr11
    5:37 pm July 8, 2019 Permalink

    Virginia is a complete idiot , drop the mic.

  13. Racerr11
    5:39 pm July 8, 2019 Permalink

    Cal has had more success since he’s been at UK than any coach in college basketball during that time, period.