LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--John Calipari hit on a number of topics during a 30-minute-plus end of season press conference that touched on his recent national media tour, the NCAA and whether or not he knows who's coming back and who is not ( he said he doesn't know).
But clearly one of the things he and his players are dealing with more and more is the negative connotations of the one-and-done player. He talked about it during the NCAA tournament when introducing a new motto, "succeed and proceed".
He was asked Thursday about the stigma that seems to be attached to those players who may have been thinking of moving on after one season in college but end up staying longer. It's an expectation that is exaggerated at UK where eleven players have now moved on to the pros after one season in Coach Cal's five years.
"Well, you have to convince each kid that everybody's different and we got your back, that you have to trust the process of how we do this. Because the bottom line of the process is developing people and players. That's what we do. And there's no skipping steps. Some are mature physically. Some are mature emotionally. Some are both. The ones that are both can go. The ones that are one better be physically and then emotionally you better grow. If you're emotionally ready and you're not physically ready and you go, you're out of your mind. If you're both, you're the No. 1 pick in the draft, which we've had. So why is one year a failure? ‘Because so-and-so made it.' You're not him; you're you. And he's not you; he's him. You have to look at each of these situations, and I'm even doing it in recruiting now where I'm going into homes
and one of the things I started saying was, ‘You're not a failure if you come back two, three or four years. You're not a failure. You cannot plan on coming into this university for one year and thinking you're going to get out. If it happens, hallelujah, I'm happy for you. But if it doesn't happen, you understand, ‘I'm maturing. I understand the grind. I'm physically getting better.' But it can't be me just doing it. It's gotta be everybody out there. Staying in school more than one year is not a failure."
That last line was delivered rather emphatically.
The coach said that despite reports to the contrary, he has not yet filled the vacancies on his staff with the departures of Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland. Calipari will have surgery on his hip May 2nd and said it will take about a month or so to recuperate and then he'll be back at it.
Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.