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UK’s Kidd-Gilchrist Says He Wants To Come Back, But Calipari Says He’ll Take Some Convincing

John Calipari isn’t a fan of the one-and-done rule in college basketball (a rule that’s actually driven by the NBA’s age limit).  But he does operate within that rule better than any other coach in the country:

“It’s not my rule.  I don’t even like the rule, one-and-done.  Whether it’s Carolina, Duke, Florida, we’re all in the same boat.  If a kid plays really well and that’s what he chooses to do, you can either try to talk him out of it or the (other) option is, don’t recruit good enough players that can be drafted.

They all come back and say, ‘Man, I wish I could have stayed three or four years.’  But there are opportunities that arise.”

Over the weekend, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — ranked as a consensus top five pick should he jump to the NBA after this season — joined those who’ve said they’d like to stay in the college game.  After UK knocked off Vanderbilt on Saturday, the freshman said: “I’m graduating here.  I’m not going anywhere.  I’m staying at Kentucky.”

When reporters laughed, Kidd-Gilchrist said he was “dead serious” and that he didn’t know “why y’all laughing.”

Calipari’s take?

“I’ll be happy with him whatever he wants to do.  Obviously, if he wants to stay, I’m going to be very happy.  But in the same sense, it’s too early to tell what anyone is going to do right now.  He says, ‘I want to get my degree from Kentucky,’ and I agree.  I want him to also.  Basketball-wise, he’s got to wait until the year is out and figure out where everything is.”


“He has to come up with reasons why he’s coming back to convince me.  Here’s why: What if he gets hurt, and I’m out there convincing him to come back?… It’s hard to live with yourself.”

Love him or detest him, it’s very hard to make an arguement that Calipari doesn’t put his players’ best interests first.  Of course, being a multi-millionaire and coaching at the nation’s top basketball school help afford the man that luxury.



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