Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017

UK's Calipari 'King of One and Done'

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Kansas Coach Bill Self gives credit where credit is due.

Calipari is the best salesman our sport knows, Self said prior to his team losing to Kentucky in the Final Four championship game.

He recruits good players, but he coaches good players. He gets them to buy in. Nobody recruits like him and nobody has coached better, considering how many young kids he has and how he gets them to play for one purpose.

You may find it hard to believe, but Caliparis Cats are considered by to have the top recruiting class in the country this year. If it holds up, it will mark four straight years he has ruled the recruiting wars.

He has commitments from three of the top 15 players, including 6-10 center Nerlens Noel. Noel is considered by recruiting services to be the No. 1 or 2 prospect in the country.

Joining Noel is Clarksville Northeast star Alex Poythress, a 6-8, 215-pound small forward ranked No. 7 by and No. 8 by Rivals. They also landed Archie Goodwin, a 6-4, 180-pound shooting guard out of Arkansas. Rivals ranked Goodwin No. 14. They will add 7-footer Willie Cauley, a 4-star recruit ranked No. 40 by Rivals.

It went down to the wire for the consensus No. 1 recruit, Shabazz Muhammad, a high-energy 6-6, 220-pounder who can play all over the floor. Muhammad decided to stay home, and will play at UCLA. If anyone was ideal for Caliparis dribble-drive system, it was Muhammad.

The Cats are still in the hunt for other blue chippers and will add point guard Ryan Harrow, who transferred from North Carolina State and is eligible this season. He started 10 of the last 15 games as a freshman at State. Harrow was highly recruited out of Marietta, Ga.

Not only does Caliparis message resonate with recruits, he has the resume to substantiate his sermon.

He saw five Kentucky players drafted in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft. The five players who are coming out early this year are all projected as first-round selections, with Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist projected to go in the first five picks.

Over the last four years, Calipari has coached eight of the 33 one-and-done players taken in the NBA draft. The closest coach to him is Texas coach Rick Barnes, with three.

Of Caliparis top-10 recruits since 2007, five have been top-five picks in the NBA draft.

The beat goes on in the Bluegrass.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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"My Bid" by Joe Biddle
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