This is my first opportunity to listen and watch the whole interview of John Calipari by Rob Bromley. Calipari is always interesting, and no less so in this case.
Here are a few observations from the interview. I encourage you to add yours in the comments section below
Calipari had some funny comments about his meal in Las Vegas during the NBA Summer League.
He says he's trying to figure out ways to keep kids in school, and takes an implicit shot at Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski because of the early date of the decision to enter the draft. I wonder how many people will pick up on that? I haven't seen it out there so far, but if you'll recall, it was Williams and Coach K who pushed so hard to get that early deadline for NBA announcement.
The single best thing the NCAA could do, and Calipari mentions it here, is to allow players that are not drafted to return to college. If you are going to allow them things like a stipend and so forth, why not let them come back to school if they are not drafted as long as they pay all expenses and don't take any money? This seems like a no-brainer to me.
Yes, there are problems there, most notably where teams have moved on and don't have a scholarship left. This could lead to a kind of de-facto free agency, but I still think it's infinitely preferable to forcing the kids into a pro contract overseas or in the D-league.
I don't think trying to sell the post-basketball success is going to convince many players to give up the money. I appreciate what Calipari is saying, but I don't think it's really going to make a difference.
He says he was disappointed Wiltjer left, and I think the comparison to Goodwin's decision to put his name in the NBA draft is extremely apt. But Calipari's disappointment is tempered with his clear desire to see Wiltjer succeed, and he's right that Kyle's reality is the one that matters most.
Do you notice that Calipari never complains about his workload, or the July recruiting period? He's on record wishing it could be done differently, but he doesn't dwell on it and virtually never complains about it. Contrast that with Steve Alford and Sean Miller, who rail endlessly about it.
Calipari said that no college was represented in Las Vegas like Kentucky, and expects one day to see 40% of the players in the NBA summer league to be from Kentucky. Can you imagine that? I actually can, but I think 40% may be a touch high. But just a touch. 30-35%? Definitely.
He says that the satellite basketball camps are going to wind down, but the pro camps will be expanded to Louisville and other places. I like that idea.
Coach Cal thinks that Big Blue Madness will not be nearly as ugly as it has been in past years because the team will be practicing since the 26th, and have three weeks of instruction under their belts.
John Calipari was not pleased at Jeff Sheppard's comments recently, but he does say it's understandable. As I explained, Sheppard's comments were not helpful, and definitely a negative talking point for Kentucky's opponents on the recruiting trail. With that said, it is understandable, no doubt about it.