During the John Calipari era at Kentucky, he has put a league-leading 28 players in the NBA. Now, those players are worth over a billion dollars in contracts.
Coach Cal prepares you for the league at Kentucky unlike any other coach in the country. For example, Tyler Herro was a four-star guard on his way to Wisconsin until he decided to make the move to Kentucky. It was a move that turned into him becoming a lottery pick, and he’s now shining in the playoffs for the Miami Heat, as they just beat the top team in the NBA 4-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Another former Cat is coming off an All-Rookie caliber season with the Charlotte Hornets.
PJ Washington was a star at Kentucky, and he had an appearance on the Jim Rome Show Wednesday where he credited his easy transition to the NBA to going to Kentucky.
“Coach Calipari put me in a great position to be where I am today,” said Washington. “Without him, I obviously wouldn’t be here, and I appreciate him. Pretty much everything I have done at Kentucky has made it easier for me to transition to the NBA.”
"I feel like Coach Calipari put me in a good position to be where I am today. Without him I wouldn't be here - pretty much everything I have done at Kentucky has made it easier for me to transition to the NBA."@PJWashington tells @jimrome about his time with @KentuckyMBB. pic.twitter.com/45cAj1WV3X— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 9, 2020
Washington was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He averaged 12.4 points on 45.5% shooting to go with 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and shot 37.4% from deep as a rookie.
“I think the transition was easier for me coming from a program like Kentucky where they mold you into a pro from Day 1,” he said. “With Coach Cal and Coach Kenny Payne, they did a great job of that with me, and that made the transition a lot easier.”
As for his former teammate Tyler Herro, Washington was expecting this type of performance from him on the big stage.
“I expect that from him. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen,” Washington said of Herro. “Everything I’ve seen him do before in workouts and definitely on the court at Kentucky.
“Tyler is a great player with a great future.”
It is hard to see why top recruits look at the success Kentucky players have in the league and don’t want to spend their college career as a Wildcat.