College, High School / Apr 22, 2009 / 4:11 pm

Calipari is Going to Lose Some, Win Some


When John Calipari decided to leave Memphis for Kentucky, he was doing so realizing that there was a possibility that his superstar-studded recruiting class wouldn’t remain intact. He retained top big man DeMarcus Cousins right away, getting him to sign with the Wildcats. But it looks like he’s going to fall to Bill Self with premier wing, Xavier Henry.

However, his loss of Henry wouldn’t be the end of the world for UK nation if he can pull the superstar of the Nike Hoops Summit, John Wall, on board.

Though Wall spent time with Coach K today, and will end up visiting Miami this weekend, the top prospect is expected to be leaning towards the Wildcats.

As charismatic as Krzyzewski might be – and Wall’s confidant Brian Clifton indicated that he laid out an incredibly impressive speech to the Wall family – the results in recent years speak for themselves. Calipari produced the No. 1 pick, who is now having great success against the world champion Celtics as a rookie, while Coach K produced a guy who might go play football at Michigan.

Wall said that he’s going to trim his list from eight schools down to three or four by Monday. If it turns out that Calipari’s recent trip to Raleigh, N.C. within the last 24 hours to see Wall’s Word of God teammate C.J. Leslie only nets a commitment from Leslie, and Wall bolts for the Blue Devils, it will be a huge disappointment. Though the possibility of getting Cousins, Henry and Wall on the same team is no longer, it would still be unreal to have Cousins, Wall, big man Daniel Orton, wing Jon Hood, and some of the other talent still on the UK roster.

The other big development from these decisions is that Brooklyn’s Lance Stephenson will have to choose between St. John’s and Maryland with Henry taking that scholarship offer at KU. Gary Williams visited Lance’s house within the last couple of days. He might have been assuring Born Ready that Terps PG Greivis Vasquez is going to stay in the NBA Draft, thereby allowing Lance to play an even bigger role in College Park.

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  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    “Calipari produced the No. 1 pick, who is now having great success against the world champion Celtics as a rookie, while Coach K produced a guy who might go play football at Michigan.”

    hahahahahahahahaha asd;asdfjakdfjaskljdflaksjd!!!!!
    About time someone pointed out that Coach K doesn’t develop talent. Duke, the home where McD All-americans die

  • Damon


    nice read about the olympic team. never thought kobe would get that emotional about just his jersey..lol
    could get ugly if they win the chip

  • tony

    are we really going to act like cal is a better coach than coach k and that derrick rose was an even talent w/ paulus coming into ncaabball? i think 10 final fours 3 titles & olympic gold speak for themselves compared to 3 final fours and no titles including the biggest choke job ever.

  • doc

    D-Rose woulda did that shit if he went to Morgan State.But Coach Cal about to bring Kentucky back.

  • mdubjordansr

    i have said for years that coach k is the dale brown of the acc.
    gets all the big talent and does nohing with it comparatively speaking….with the guys he’s had, they should have 10 titles but he is more interested in putting his rat-like face in the public as often as possible to continue getting that talent which he wastes annually

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    Tony and Doc –
    I agree with both of you guys. But I guess I’m trying to say that Calipari can sell Wall on that point. He can take some credit – nobody knows exactly how much he deserves – for making Rose the player that he is. But if he wants to get down and dirty, he can say that Coach K hasn’t produced a real NBA-caliber pro since Jason Williams. Though he’s had highly touted talent, it hasn’t always worked out for PG’s there.

    – AK

  • AO

    The Coach K/John Wall meeting happened today at 6:00pm. This article was written at 4:11 pm…how do you know he’s still a KY lean even before the meeting took place? Are you the same one who said Henry was a KY lean too?

  • professor

    I love how you give so much credit to Calipari for developing DRose into the stud point guard he is today. I can’t wait until my son is old enough to go to high school so I can hire Dru Joyce II, high school coach of Lebron James. He’ll help my son go to the hall of fame just like he did for Lebron.

  • H1790

    I think the amount of players Coach K has sent to the NBA compared to Calipari speaks for itself. Coach K has 14 current players in the NBA (J.Williams was 2nd pick in 2002) compared to what 3 maybe 4 players by Calipari. By the way the meeting was at 6 with Coach K, this article was published @ 4 ( what a dumbA). If UK was in the lead i’m sure he would have said so like he did with Memphis.

  • http://www.kentuckysportsradio.com flipisatrip

    The Wall visit was postponed due to K getting stuck in NY with a tour book signing.

  • Tarheel33

    So where is Carolina in all this?

  • moonpie

    i’m sure that’s why they hired Cal to coach the olympic team. Cause he knows so much about how to handle NBA talent..

    K’s got three rings…cal has got a jayhawk bone stuck in his throat.

  • Jay Jay

    So if Greg Paulus was playing for John Calipari, he would be playing in the NBA right now?

    And if D-Rose played for Coach K, he wouldn’t?

  • http://ukcats.newsvine.com/ Scott Isaacs

    It’s too bad that we lost both Henrys (especially Xavier) to Kansas. Hopefully they will change their mind, but it’s unlikely. I want to see us land John Wall now (and best Duke in the process) as well as get some other talent to surround Patterson and Meeks with if they come back and replace them if they both go to the NBA.

    Kentucky fans should check out the fan club my website link goes to. It’s called WildcatVine and it is a place where members can write their own stuff or clip links to stories about the Cats and discuss them in the group discussion module. :-)

  • Maynard

    Duhon, Boozer, Dunleavy and Deng haven’t been NBA talent? Say what you will about Redick and Shelden Williams, but they left Duke as lottery picks. (Williams was top 5) Even Dahntay Jones is a starter on a playoff team — not a great one, but the fact remains. And as mentioned, the Paulus-Rose comparison is irrelevant and would be a ridiculous and desperate selling point if used.

    All that said, I just can’t see Wall at Duke. Just doesn’t seem like he’d fit in there with his agenda.

  • JoHawk

    Coach K and Cal are both good recruiters. Cal seems to get more out of his players. However, Bill Self is a better recruiter and a better coach than both of them. Self was known ONLY as a good recruiter at Illinois. He put that label to rest when he won the National Title at the expense of Coach Cal even though NOBODY (except Jay Bilas) gave the Jayhawks any chance of winning. Last year Self cemented his legacy as a great coach when he took an entire new team (the Jayhawks lost all 5 starters from the championship team) to the Sweet 16, even though again, nobody in the country gave them a chance. Now that Self has landed the Henry brothers, Jeff Withey (transfer from Arizona) and Elijah Johnson, they are set to make a run at another Rock Chalk Championship!

  • JP

    I love the depth of this article. Basically, the premise that since the last pg at memphis was better than the last pg at duke, we can generalize that cal is better at developing NBA talent? weak.
    Here’s the truth: http://www.ventaboutsports.com/2009/03/which-schools-produce-most-nba-players.html

    The MOST current pros, the current coach with the MOST rings, The coach who has coached the BEST NBA talent over the past 3 years as the Olympic head coach and John Wall’s BEST option. If Wall goes anywhere else but DUKE, you will know all that you need to about his decision-making skills.

  • magicmk

    The John Wall sweepstakes catfight amuses me. Does anyone here have a clue that Wall won’t be playing college ball beyond his freshman year?

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    “So where is Carolina in all this?”

    Somehow John Wall seems to have forgotten that UNC won the Chip this year and Ty Lawson is leaving, and there are a ton of McD all-American big men to pass to. UNC also produced Ray Felton, who won a chip and is a pretty good Pg in the NBA today and Lawson will soon follow. Or the fact that John Walls game fits UNC’s running style. Yeah I would much rather go to Duke… I mean with all their “stars” in the NBa…oh wait, Grant Hill is still the best player from duke in the nba today. He’s like 14ppg, Boozer scores 20ppg but gives up 30ppg, Elton Brand had terrible season that ended with another injury, Maghette is done, Duhon is Doo doo, Sheldon and JJ are out of the L next year when their contract expires, Shane Battier is already on the decline and he’s only like 28-29yrs old, Jay Williams was the #2 pick, but her scored 9ppg and avg 4 ast then he wrapped his bike around the tree coming from the gay club here in Chicago (BUST!!!!)… Yep, Coach K is exactly the person I want to help develop my maturity and talent, just ask Shavlik Randolph and Josh McRoberts. Both McD all-Americans and on their way to lottery picks b4 they showed up to duke.

    “Come to duke, where you’ll help me get 30 wins running a college style offense, I won’t teach you anything, you’ll get to drink with Duhon and be accused of rape with sheldon williams and the Lacrosse team, I’ll get to the NCAA tourney with the Refs in my back pocket, then I’ll use all that TV time to get more credit card endorsements. And I promise to take you from being a lottery pick to that Late first round/2nd round pick you always dreamed of becoming. Just sign your life… uh I mean your name on this letter of intent”

  • everybodyisslow

    let us have a moment of silence for WILLIAM AVERY, DANIEL EWING, JAMARCUS NELSON, TRADJDON LANGDON, DANNY FERRY, BOBBY HURLEY, SHAWN DOCKERY, J.J. REDDICK, SHELDON WILLIAMS, AND COUNTLESS OTHERS WHO CAN THANK COACH K FOR THERE SUCCESS IN THE LEAGUE. and by the way DENG is not good, im in chicago and i watch him play everyday, he is a slow unathletic sf who cant play d-fense. he gets 16 a game off back cuts and a 14 foot jumper that most teams give him… ONLY 1 OR 2 DUKEIES ever played D. SHANE AND GRANT HILL, period.

  • matt s

    damn mad haters in the house… bottom line is wall will get more exposure at duke if he is really “that dude” that everyone thinks he is. who gets more air time then ND football, Dallas Cowboys, Yankees, Blue Devils? If u are a one and done why not come to the university that u will get the most exposure and play against the best competition. and the reason unc is not involved is because ol’roy wont get involved with wall’s agent/sketchy aau guy/advisor/companion clifton. Which i commend him for being old school but sometimes u got to get a lil dirty if u want to land big time prospects cuz they all have people like that around them.

  • Evey

    You are all missing the point. The problem with the whole system are the blood sucking leeches that call themselves “mentors.” Give me a break, they don’t care about the kid, the care about the money that the kid can make for them. At least there is a coach that has more integrity and respect for the game then to bow down to a “handler” to land a quality recruit.

  • Fan

    Not going to answer every claim you make, but I will note a couple of things. First, It’s DeMarcus Nelson, not JaMarcus (and also Sean Dockery, Trajan Langdon, Shelden Williams, btw). Second, not every player who is a high school star has a realistic shot at the NBA, regardless of where they go to college. Take Nelson–he is, essentially, a 6’3″ guy who is not a super ball handler–that isn’t going to work in the NBA. Who knows if he would even have gotten the chances he’s had on the fringe this year if he hadn’t gone to Duke? And Bobby Hurley was knocked out of the NBA by a drunk driver who almost killed him–how is that Coach K’s fault?

  • DukeGuy

    Duke has more players than any other school in the NBA. “coach k doesn’t develop nba talent”

  • Maynard

    You lost your credibility with the Battier comment up there. In decline, huh? There’s not one team in the league that wouldn’t take Battier, trust. And Maggette — though admittedly flawed — is “done,” despite 18.5 ppg. Watch some games sometime.

    Oh, and Boozer had a real tough time last night. Yawn.