Following Johnny Juzang’s announcement to enter his name in the transfer portal, John Calipari has been nothing supportive of his decision. If things weren’t to work out for Juzang, Calipari is making sure to put it out there that he’s open to having him back.
Coach Cal hinted at this in his initial comments on Friday.
“I talked to Johnny last night along with his family and let him know if he wants to come back here that this option is always open to him. Johnny had a great year and really got better as the season went on. I always enjoyed coaching him, and if there’s an opportunity to continue to do so, I would welcome it with open arms because Johnny is a great kid and a skilled basketball player with a bright future,” said Calipari.
While appearing on the SEC Network on Saturday night, Calipari doubled down on those comments.
“My feeling will be, five years from now or two years from now, he’s making a decision, he’ll call. ‘Coach, what do you think?’ And I told him, if you choose to come back, I’m fine. I’m not going to hold anything against him. For these young kids, this is a hard deal,” said Calipari.
After a rough start to the year, Juzang really picked it up down the stretch and looked to be prepared for a bigger role next season. Still, the Los Angeles native elected to transfer and has already picked up interest from schools out west, including USC and Gonzaga.
Considering all the circumstances, this was a tough decision for Juzang to make and a tough pill for the Kentucky Wildcats to now swallow. Even though it would be unlikely for him to return, it’s good to know the door is at least still open if there ever was a chance for it to happen.