John Calipari is continuing his offseason series of reflections and previewing with his latest piece at CoachCal.com.
For his latest work, Cal talks about his vision of Kentucky Basketball and where he hopes the program is heading entering the 2016-17 college basketball season. It also involved his recruiting pitch and how he's not pulling any punches when talking to guys he hopes to see become future Wildcats.
I refuse to go in a home and paint a picture saying things like, "If you come with us you’ll be taken care of for the rest of your life by the program and by our alums" even though you may only be in school for a year or two. How preposterous does that sound? What if I say that same thing and the young man decides to transfer for one reason or another? Does that still hold true that we’re going to take care of them the rest of their lives? Our approach is to give them the fishing rod and the lures to help them catch fish, not to just give you the fish.
As for this year's team, Cal thinks this could be one of, if not the best defensive team he's ever coached.
As I look at this team, we could be one of the best defensive teams that I’ve had since 2012 and 2015 – physical strength, shot-blocking ability, athleticism at the guard position that can put tremendous pressure on the ball, length at all positions, and that includes our returning players and our incoming freshmen.
Defense is probably what I will focus on more than anything early in the season, so we’ll probably be a little behind offensively because of that. My hope is that our defense feeds our offense early on and we become a better execution team toward the end of the year. Will we press? I don’t know yet. My guess is in some form or fashion we will pick up and pressure the ball.
Oh, and he also referenced Marques Bolden without directly saying his name:
I say all this with recruiting not quite finished. Why not be the best rebounding team? Why not be the best shot-blocking team? Why not be the fastest team? Why not be an exciting offensive team that spreads the court, throws a lot of lobs and dunks a lot of balls, yet has players who can make shots?