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#pounditWednesday, September 30, 2020

John Calipari

John Calipari mentioned in connection with Knicks coaching job

John Calipari

John Calipari may be signed to a lifetime deal with Kentucky, but that won’t stop NBA rumors.

The New York Post’s Marc Berman published an article on Wednesday saying that some sources have said not to count out Calipari for the Knicks head coaching job.

Calipari has ties to the Knicks’ new leadership team of president Leon Rose, a former agent for Creative Artists Agency, and William Wesley (aka “Worldwide Wes”), a Knicks consultant. In February, agent David Falk said he thought Calipari would end up with the Knicks.

A report in April even said Calipari could not be ruled out as a candidate for the Knicks.

Despite Calipari’s ties to the Knicks, it would still be surprising to see him leave Kentucky. Maybe Calipari’s stint as the Nets head coach still leaves him dissatisfied, but he’s been at Kentucky so long and done so well there, it would be hard to see him leave. It’s not easy to leave a program behind that you’ve built up as well as Calipari has.

John Wall shares what makes John Calipari such an appealing coach

John Calipari

John Calipari has built his reputation by consistently being able to recruit some of the best players in the country to come play for him. From Derrick Rose to John Wall and Anthony Davis, many of the best NBA players over the past few decades have played for Cal.

So what is it about him that makes him so appealing? Wall, who played for Calipari at Kentucky in 2010 before becoming the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, did his best to explain that in a recent interview.

Appearing on a “Social Distance” interview with 247 Sports, Wall shared what makes Calipari an appealing coach.

“I think he’s just real. He’ll go anywhere to go visit you — he’ll go to the hood,” Wall said.

Wall says Calipari doesn’t focus on basketball when recruiting players, but tries to find out about their lives. He also makes his players earn their positions.

“He’s like a father figure to people,” Wall said. “He’s really there for his players.”

Wall believes Calipari genuinely cares about his players and wants them to succeed. Once a player/recruit is convinced that a coach has their best interests in mind, it’s easy to trust him from there.

It seems that’s what Wall was getting at — Calipari earns the trust of his players. And that’s part of why his players have made over a billion dollars in the NBA!

Report: John Calipari cannot be ruled out as candidate to coach Knicks

John Calipari

John Calipari has shut down any and all speculation about a return to the NBA multiple times over the last several years, but there may just be a situation that poses a different story this time around.

In a report on Sunday, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News mentioned the Kentucky men’s basketball coach as a possible candidate to coach the New York Knicks. While also noting that Calipari has publicly rejected the idea of leaving Lexington, Bondy says that Calipari is “so close” to new Knicks president Leon Rose that he should “never” be ruled out.

The 61-year-old Calipari, who has coached Kentucky since 2009, previously served as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets from 1996 until his firing in 1999. He was also briefly an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers before returning to the college ranks.

Calipari has been linked to teams such as the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings in the past but has always emphatically shot them down. A glamorous franchise like the Knicks with former Calipari players like Kevin Knox and Julius Randle might be a juicy draw however, especially with Calipari’s apparent fondness for the team.

John Calipari expects date of NBA Draft to be pushed back

John Calipari

The 2020 NBA Draft is currently slated to take place on Jun. 25, but John Calipari does not expect that to proceed as scheduled.

During a conference call this week, the Kentucky men’s basketball coach, who produces a number of draft picks every year, said that he anticipates the draft being pushed back. By extension, he also indicated that other dates like the scouting combine and the draft withdrawal deadline could be delayed as well.

“Guys that have a decision to make, whether they want to stay in the draft or not, the NBA is saying, ‘We’re keeping our date the same.’ OK, well what about the Combine? That is going to move, we believe,” he said, per Adam Zagoria of the New York Times. “Well, what about the draft date? That will move.”

“What about bringing them to your facilities? We don’t know when that will happen, or if it will happen,” Calipari added. “My point to that in trying to get information to the NABC is, shouldn’t we move the decision date back for the kids to go to college or not? The date was always based on when the draft is, when the combine is. Well, that’s all moving so now I think these kids should have more time making that decision.”

As it currently stands right now, the NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline is set at 11:59 PM on Apr. 26 and the Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline is at 5 PM on Jun. 15. This allows potential picks to test the waters of the draft but retain their eligibility and return to school for another year if they do not get the feedback that they would like.

The NBA is still not sure exactly what to do with the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign following the suspension of play on Mar. 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The season is all but guaranteed to resume at some point, but that would prevent teams from devoting attention to the draft until much later. Calipari recognizes this and seems certain the 2020 draft will be postponed.

John Calipari offers praise for Tennessee after Kentucky collapse

John Calipari

John Calipari could have been livid with his Kentucky Wildcats after they blew a 17-point lead in a home loss to Tennessee on Tuesday. Instead, he kept things in perspective and credited the Vols for their effort.

Calipari praised Tennessee for coming back from a big deficit in the second half, even calling the accomplishment “impressive.”

The Kentucky coach also complimented John Fulkerson, who scored 27 points for Tennessee, and said the Vols were the more physical team.

This is the kind of game that Calipari just wants to flush, put it behind them, and not watch the video.

The loss has to be a huge disappointment for Calipari and Kentucky fans. They had won eight in a row, including a road win at Tennessee, prior to the loss. The Cats are now 24-6 and have Saturday’s regular season finale at Florida before the SEC Tournament. Their case for a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament will depend on how the conference tournament goes.

Video: John Calipari gets ejected against Arkansas

John Calipari

Kentucky coach John Calipari is no stranger to getting ejected, and it happened to him again on Saturday.

Calipari’s Wildcats were struggling in the second half, on the wrong end of a 13-2 Arkansas run to tie the game. Calipari was infuriated by an illegal screen called against Kentucky forward EJ Montgomery, as it had seemed that Montgomery was standing still when the contact took place.

Calipari was given a technical for arguing, but kept disputing the call and received a second technical and ejection.

It’s far from the most animated we’ve seen Calipari, plus he lasted into the second half, but he had to have seen that coming. Maybe it was an attempt to give his team a breather and let them collect themselves. If so, it worked, as Kentucky got it together and won 73-66.

John Calipari disappointed with his coaching this season

John Calipari

The Kentucky Wildcats are 8-3 after losing their last two games, and John Calipari is placing as much blame on himself as anyone else.

Calipari spoke with the media ahead of Saturday’s big game against Louisville. He said going into the game that he’s been disappointed with his coaching, coming off the losses to Utah and Ohio State.

“As I look on where we are, I’m not really happy with me,” Calipari said Friday, via WDRB’s Eric Crawford. “Like, I haven’t figured this out, so if I’m a little bit still like, ‘OK, which way is this?’ They’re going to be that way too. . . . I keep saying, the upside of this team is tremendous. But they’re not there, which means that I must be doing a crap job not getting them to play better. We’re trying to work some of it through practice, but I’ll be honest with you, demonstrated performance is the only way to do some of this. They have to get on the court and do it.”

Calipari said he wants to improve spacing for three-pointers and get the ball inside more.

The Wildcats are led by Ashton Hagans’ 13.9 points and Tyrese Maxey’s 13.1 points per game this season. Louisville will represent the highest-ranked opponent Kentucky has faced since its opening win against Michigan State.

John Calipari: Indiana-Kentucky series not coming back any time soon

John Calipari

Kentucky and Indiana used to match up in an annual rivalry game in college basketball, but the series stopped after 2011 (they have met twice in the NCAA Tournament since). John Calipari says don’t count on it coming back any time soon.

SEC basketball coaches spoke with the media on Thursday for the SEC Basketball Teleconference. Calipari said on the call that he didn’t foresee the rivalry series with Indiana returning soon.

“Our schedule is so locked in, I’m not sure, here in the next four to five years, if even talking about it does anything,” Calipari said, via Kentucky Sports Radio. “We’re hoping to do something in London next year, we’ve got this challenge that we put together, the [Champions Classic] and then the [CBS Sports Classic]. We have a game that we have to play with Louisville. We have our big challenge with the Big 12. Our stuff is pretty well loaded so I don’t see it happening any time in the near future.”

Calipari preferred to do neutral site games rather than home games at Rupp Arena and Assembly Hall. He says he offered to play games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and was turned down. Why won’t he return to Bloomington? He seems to still hold something against Indiana fans after the way the 2011 game went down.

Kentucky still plays a very competitive schedule with games against North Carolina and Louisville non-conference, while Indiana has fallen off in level of play lately. They probably don’t see the need to add that game back.

Brad Calipari announces he is down to two schools in transfer decision

Brad Calipari

Brad Calipari announced on Twitter Wednesday that he is down to two schools regarding his transfer decision.

Brad, who is the son of Kentucky coach John Calipari, indicated his interest in playing at another program by entering the transfer portal, we learned in May. On Wednesday, he announced he was choosing between Hampton and Detroit Mercy.

Brad played two seasons at Kentucky under his father before redshirting last season. He decided to transfer in search of more playing time.

Brad appeared in 27 games over his first two seasons, playing 73 minutes. He scored 11 points in his Kentucky career, mostly as a 3-point shooter.

John Calipari addresses son Brad entering transfer portal

John Calipari

John Calipari on Thursday addressed the news of his son Brad entering the NCAA transfer portal.

News of Brad Calipari looking to transfer from Kentucky made headlines on Thursday. John, who has coached at Kentucky since 2009, says all the attention over Brad’s potential move caught him off-guard. He also explained that a potential transfer is not to bad blood between him and his son, but rather about the possibility of future playing time.

John is naive for thinking his son being in the transfer portal wouldn’t create some attention. But those who have been paying attention know the topic has been discussed for a few months.

Brad would have the chance to leave as a graduate transfer and play elsewhere. He appeared in 27 games over his first two seasons, playing 73 minutes. He has scored 11 points in his career, mostly as a 3-point shooter, and he redshirted last season.