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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

John Calipari admits he ‘missed’ on Zion Williamson

John Calipari

Kentucky coach John Calipari is known for his ability to recruit and improve freshmen, so it’s perhaps a touch surprising that he wasn’t able to land Zion Williamson.

Williamson ultimately attended Duke and took college basketball by storm, which led Calipari to admit that he’d underestimated exactly what the young big man could do.

“We recruited Zion. I probably missed him a little bit,” Calipari told The Dan Patrick Show on Friday, via Jeff Borzello of ESPN. “I knew he was going to be good, I didn’t know he was going to be this good. I knew he could dominate, but not like he’s done.

“When we played against him, I walked off the court and said, ‘I missed on another one!’ I knew he’d be good … the kid’s off the chain.”

Kentucky was involved in Williamson’s recruitment, but not as aggressively as Duke. The Blue Devils’ success didn’t really sit well with Calipari at the time, though both ended up getting equally far in this year’s NCAA Tournament, with both schools falling in the Elite Eight.

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