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John Calipari offers thought on college basketball’s transfer trend

“We’re up front and honest about what to expect instead of saying to expect the world.”

Auburn v Kentucky Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

College basketball is going through a bit of a change right now as transfers are starting to become a big part of the game.

While we haven’t seen this really affect Kentucky during the Calipari era, there are a few Cats that decided Kentucky wasn’t for them.

John Calipari was in Destin this week and was asked about the current transfer trend happening in College Basketball right now and he credited it to the recruiting of players in today’s game, as reported by Rivals.

Here are some of the key points he talked about during the interview:

“We’re up front and honest about what to expect instead of saying to expect the world,” Calipari said. “You can’t do that now because the way it’s playing out is that they (players) may be able to leave and may not even have to sit out, and I like that for the kids.“

We’ve seen this answer before from Cal. It’s clear that he knows a few coaches that promise these kids the world and fail to deliver. For this reason, the player gets high expectations, and when those expectations aren’t met, they’re out of there.

“The issue starts in high school and AAU, they’re used to going from one school to the other if it’s not perfect and it’s bleeding into what we do,” Calipari said. “With that, you have to undersell and over deliver”

This is a very interesting point that Cal brings up here. These players are starting to get used to jumping around to different teams before they come to College if they don’t like their situation. Now, we’re starting to see that same trend spring up in College Basketball.

Also, Coach Cal has made it known that he doesn’t promise any player anything but a competitive environment when they come to Kentucky. He’s sure to undersell them to tamper expectations so that the player knows exactly what they’re getting themselves into.

This is why you’ve seen so much success for Calipari when it comes to recruiting, however, it can be part of his downfall during recruiting as some players probably aren’t fond of being told they can’t get exactly what they want.

“Now they’re looking for what’s the guaranteed way, what’s the easiest way? Guess what, there is no easy way!” Coach Cal said. “You either master your craft and take the year to prepare yourself, or you are simply not ready for the NBA.”

“We haven’t had many kids transfer, but the ones that do still stay in touch. I didn’t make it personal, it’s not about me. If you think you have a better chance to go somewhere else to make your dreams come true rather than here, than I’m wishing you well and I’ll support you.”

It’s quite impressive to see how well the relationships are between the players who have transferred and Kentucky. Calipari not only preaches the family environment, he backs it up.

Ironically, Calipari watched as his son enter the transfer portal this week, though it’s a different situation, as he’s a walk-on simply looking for somewhere he can finally play after getting to work under his dad over the last three years.

When asked about RJ Hampton’s decision, here’s what Cal had to say:

“We’re gonna see how it plays out. You can’t say whether it was good or bad until you see the result,” said Coach Cal in typical swaggy fashion.

If you’d like to watch the interview, the video is below via Justin Rowland: