John Calipari says blog post on recruiting promises not aimed at any one school

ByMyron Medcalf ESPN logo
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Kentuckycoach John Calipari said his recent blog post on recruiting, which appeared to slight Dukeand Mike Krzyzewski's pitch to prospects, was not aimed at a particular player or program.

"It wasn't specific," Calipari said during his Wednesday news conference, which was streamed on his website, "You can obviously ... when I speak, you guys [parse] every word. The reality of it is that post was more in a general sense. It wasn't geared to one person, one program."

Last month, five-star recruit Hamidou Diallo, who recently received scholarship offers from Calipari and Krzyzewski, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Duke's staff promised him he'd be "set for life" if he picked the Blue Devils because the program maintains life-long bonds with its former players, which proves "it's more than just basketball" at Duke.

Calipari on Monday appeared to respond to that pitch in a blog post on his website.

"I refuse to go in a home and paint a picture saying things like, 'If you come with us, you'll be taken care of for the rest of your life by the program and by our alums,' even though you may only be in school for a year or two," Calipari wrote. "How preposterous does that sound? What if I say that same thing and the young man decides to transfer for one reason or another? Does that still hold true that we're going to take care of them the rest of their lives? Our approach is to give them the fishing rod and the lures to help them catch fish, not to just give you the fish."

Calipari said the media "ran with" the post and wrongly assumed it referenced a specific individual or team. He said he wrote the post after the mother of a recruit told him "all you talk about is the NBA."

"That's when I said, 'What is being said out here [to recruits]?'" Calipari said.

Calipari said he just wanted to educate people who might not understand how much his program values the community and education. He highlighted the program's 3.0 GPA last season, and he mentioned that John Wall and Anthony Davis were finalists for the NBA Cares Community Assist Award.

He also said his players don't need much assistance from him once they leave Kentucky.

"What happens to our draft picks ... I really don't have to help them," Calipari said. "I'm asking them for help. Give me a loan."

Calipari also discussed the upcoming season and the pending decisions by NBA draft entrants Marcus Lee, who will participate in this week's NBA Combine in Chicago, and Isaiah Briscoe. Players without agents have until May 25 to withdraw from the draft.

He said he expects Lee to stay in the draft but isn't sure about Briscoe.

"[Briscoe has worked out] for, I believe, three teams," Calipari said. "Don't know yet [if he'll return]. Whole thing comes down to him shooting the ball. ... Marcus is a little different. Marcus really wants to do this, and my guess is he'll keep his name in the draft. I just told him to go [to the combine] and do his thing. Show the athletic player you are."