Posted: Apr 11, 2011 2:18 PM by Alan Cutler
Updated: Apr 11, 2011 2:19 PM
Kentucky basketball was in great shape for next season with the number one recruiting class even before they tossed the ball up for the Hoop Summit in Oregon a few days ago.
All four of Cal's recruits showed that they can not only help right away, but as expected, many might turn into stars as soon as they put on a jersey that says Kentucky.
Cal talked to Andy Katz of ESPN about this years recruiting class.
"The greatest thing is that all four kids are great kids," said Calipari. "It'll be fun. They want to do this together. They take on a roll, a swagger and an arrogance, but that's based on their talent. They've got a ways to go. They all want to win, not just want to play."
That can be a big difference. It will make life easier for Cal as a coach because it becomes easier to tell freshman they have to sacrifice for the sake of the team if that's their attitude walking in the door.
As far as this years Cats, Cal isn't being as aggressive about pushing his freshman potentially out the door because of a potential NBA lockout that many believe is going to happen. Who can forget John Wall saying Cal told me I had to go to the NBA.
"I'm not going to influence them, I'm going to give them my opinion," said Cal.
"These kids have to live with any of these decisions. I don't want a player coming back if his heart isn't into it or thought he should have left. Daniel Orton chose to leave [last year]; no one forced him out the door."
Cal met with Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones about the NBA after the Final Four. He is going meet with them either on Monday or Tuesday. They have until April 24th to declare for the draft and until May 8 to withdraw from the draft.
Bottom line is Cal is really excite about next year.
"We're going to be good shape," Calipari said.
"These guys all like each other. They've played together or against each other in the McDonald's game, in the Summit game and will in the Jordan game. If Brandon chooses to come back, then he and Marquis can play together. We only had one point guard [this past season] and we were lucky there was no foul trouble or no injury. We didn't have any issues. We had a bunch of good players."
This is one of Cal's strengths. His ability to be very direct with his players, and getting them to buy in what he's saying.
"I don't have problems dealing with egos because I go right after them. We had a trip to Canada, and then three months before this past team got it together."
Cal thinks next years team will be easier to put together as a team than this years team. Plus, Cal believes they will be deep and they can shoot.