John Calipari has been a hot name in the news of late, and he made more news Wednesday when he said the major goal of the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats was to send as many players to the NBA as possible, rather than winning an NCAA Title.
Kentucky Sports Radio first reported the story on Wednesday, as Drew Franklin writes:
“Last year we started the season with a goal,” he told the Alltech Rebelation crowd. “You may think that goal was to win the national title and win all the games and be… It was to get eight players drafted.”
Calipari always falls on the sword and puts the players before himself. That may rub many Kentucky fans the wrong way, as they want titles more than anything.
If Calipari’s goal was indeed to send as many players to the NBA, then mission accomplished. Kentucky could see as many as seven players (Willie Trill Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Dakari Johnson, and Aaron and Andrew Harrison) get drafted. Granted Calipari won’t see eight players get drafted, as one other player who thought about leaving—Alex Poythress— decided to come back, there is no denying that he has his recruits ready to play in the NBA.
As Franklin suggests in his story, I think the thinking here was that if the players all developed as they should, and reach their full potential, all other things would have fell into place. And that it nearly did, as the Wildcats came close to a perfect season, before ultimately falling to Wisconsin in the Final Four.